It’s voting day in two traditional B.C. Liberal strongholds, but most observers say it will be tough for the governing party — which is facing challenges from the right and the left — to win either byelection
Up for grabs are former Liberal seats in Port Moody-Coquitlam and Chilliwack-Hope and the opposition parties are treating the byelections as a referendum on not just Premier Christy Clark's leadership, but also on 11 years of Liberal government.
But Clark is playing down the significance of the byelections, noting most byelections don't tend to go the government's way, no matter what party is in power in B.C.
The official opposition NDP is hoping to take two seats in ridings where it's never been strong, while the B.C. Conservatives are looking for a historic breakthrough after years in political obscurity.
In Port Moody-Coquitlam NDP candidate Joe Trasolini, a former Port Moody mayor who once supported Clark, is considered the favourite, while Chilliwack-Hope is expected to be a tight, three-way race between the New Democrats, Liberals and upstart B.C. Conservatives.
The ridings were vacated when Liberal MLA Iain Black stepped down in Port Moody and Chilliwack Liberal Barry Penner left the cabinet and his seat last year.
The polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. PT.