Vancouver's civic election likely to produce some surprises

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

6 comments

election night
Some pundits act like they know the results of Vancouver's 2011 civic election already

With the announcement that two-term Vancouver city councillor Suzanne Anton will be running as the NPA’s mayoral candidate this fall, the stage has been set for what could become a very interesting civic election.

Not surprisingly, some media prognosticators have already written off Anton’s candidacy. If you believe their chatter, Gregor Robertson has the mayor’s job sewn up for another three years – boom, done, thanks for coming!

Or does he?

Just weeks ago there were only a few people who said Prime Minister Stephen Harper would be able to secure a majority government without the support of Quebec. We know how that story ended.

Last month, most of the political punditry wrote off David Eby in his quest to beat Premier Christy Clark in the Vancouver-Point Grey byelection. In the end, Eby came within a few hundred votes of victory.

Clearly, voter behaviour is not as easy to predict as it once was. Some are calling it the “Rob Ford Factor,” after Toronto’s volatile and conservative mayor. After years of left-wing mayors, no one would have predicted Toronto would elect one from the right.

A week can be an eternity in politics, and writing off Anton and her supporting cast of candidates six months out would be foolish. Anton will have to battle to unseat an incumbent, but I predict that even if Robertson does win the mayor’s chair, Vision will not get another substantive majority government as in 2008.

24hours.jpg In politics, momentum is everything. In the case of Vision Vancouver, the momentum hasn’t been on their side. In February, Vision were polling at 51 per cent support, compared with 25 per cent for the NPA. A recent poll by Justason Marketing Intelligence (JMI) reveals Vision has dropped 10 points to 41 per cent, with the NPA now at 30 per cent – and that’s before they had a leader.

Robertson has the edge today, but pollster Barb Justason stated she expects the NPA to regain seats. How many seats is anyone’s guess.

Another X-factor is the Green Party. Rumours are swirling that Adriane Carr may be considering a run for the mayor’s job too. If she does, all bets are off as to who might win this fall’s contest.

We’re a long way from election day in Vancouver, and I sense that the final political event of this year will be full of surprises.

- Post by Daniel. You can also read his weekly civic affairs column which appears every Thursday in 24 Hours Vancouver.

6 Comments

Couldn't agree more. Well said. I'm sure we're in for a lot of surprises this fall. Let's hope one of them isn't the fact that Gregor wins again.

I was reading Tony Tang's announcement that he is seeking a seat with VV and just LOVE this line:

“Under Mayor Gregor Robertson’s leadership, it is clear that Vision Vancouver is the only civic party that has the ideas and commitment to make our city more affordable to live in"

****

I almost spewed by coffee!

Chow and Tang...
reminds me of the duo Cheech and Chong.
Maybe Vision Vancouver want to bring comedy central back into the city hall. And more attention to weed, our friendly BC Bud. Based on Tang's imbibed speech, I can confirm that he inhaled it too.

The key in politics is about margins. And margins are always determined by the shifting independents.

The independents decisively rejected NPA in the last election and the Vision Vancouver's ground game is only getting stronger not weaker. And Green Party now a parliamentary party that is wiliing to seek consensus and compromises. It is simply too difficult to see the path to victory for Councilor Anton. While things may change, I simply do not see her as a change candidate. Given the number of the candidats trying to unseat her, it was clear that she had a weak campaign to start with and I predict given the lack of primary challenges it will only get weaker from there on. There are enough NPA candidates who want to be the mayor for her not to become the mayor.

Warren, you ignore the fact the NPA was split last time between Ladner & Sullivan factions and many of their supporters simply stayed home (as they did when Phillip Owen was seen to be pushed out from within). Not to mention there was anger over the Olympic Village fiasco.

Now Vision is wearing the Olympic Village, and they've angered many disparate groups over STIR, bike lanes, and HEAT shelters.

Surprises like an NPA showing some bold leadership on anything? Hopefully, it will be on pedestrian safety and finally having the courage to stand up to the few but loud angry reckless drivers that are speeding around the city endangering people walking, cycling and driving.

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