Skip to main content
//empty //empty

B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark campaigns in her riding of Vancouver-Point Grey on May 5, 2013.

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

Christy Clark has always relished a political scrap, but she approaches Tuesday's vote with her hands tied in one of her most challenging political fights.

The Liberal Leader is trying to win a second term as MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey – a riding covering western Vancouver, including Kitsilano, and the University Endowment Lands. Former premier Gordon Campbell held it for most of his provincial career.

But even Ms. Clark admits that her party commitments, campaigning across the province, has limited the time she can spend at home. "In a perfect world, a premier would be able to campaign across the province and campaign like every other individual candidate in a riding," she said.

Story continues below advertisement

Ms. Clark, who lives in neighbouring Vancouver-Fairview, said she does what she can. She cold-calls voters. She knocks on doors as her schedule allows. If she goes out to lunch or shops, she goes into Vancouver-Point Grey.

The Liberal leader dismisses speculation that she chose the riding to lose, allowing a brisk exit from the leadership if the party is defeated on May 14. "I want to win it and we need to win it," she said.

Ms. Clark said she believes voters "understand what it takes to run as a premier," given their support of Mr. Campbell, and hopes her provincial profile makes up for her local absence. "People will have no doubt who I am and what I stand for by the end of this campaign. They won't have necessarily needed to meet me to understand that."

NDP candidate David Eby says he is making the most of Ms. Clark's absence. The former executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association came within 564 votes of winning the 2011 by-election that was called to get Ms. Clark a seat in the legislature after she became leader. Mr. Eby, who moved to the riding since then, has been campaigning full-time for months.

Mr. Eby said his near-win persuaded New Democrats it was possible to take a traditionally Liberal riding. "That margin definitely motivates me," he said. "The big lesson I learned [from 2011] was this riding is interested in change because I was so close."

Top New Democrats appear to agree. NDP Leader Adrian Dix launched his provincial campaign in the riding, introduced to supporters by Mr. Eby. The NDP leader has said Ms. Clark can be defeated here.

Ms. Clark has another problem. B.C. Conservatives sat out in 2011, but are now running a candidate who could draw Liberal votes. It might not take much. Mr. Campbell's margin of victory swung widely. He ran four times in Point Grey, winning by 1,563 votes in 1996; 8,336 votes in the 2001 election, in which the B.C. Liberals won 77 of 79 legislature seats; and 2,250 votes in 2005. In 2009, he won by 1,921.

Story continues below advertisement

Retired health-care worker Jack Altman, a long-time resident of the riding, sympathizes with Ms. Clark's absence arguments, but says she has been tainted by her party's troubles.

Mr. Altman, 67, said he has voted across the political spectrum, but the NDP could lure his and others' vote this time."If the NDP gets the vote out, they have a shot at winning the seat," he said in a sidewalk interview. "I just think the Liberals themselves are in a lot of trouble. Whether [Ms. Clark] campaigns in the riding or not doesn't make much difference."

Riding Snapshot: Vancouver-Point Grey

Christy Clark: B.C. Liberal (incumbent)

David Eby: B.C. NDP

Duane Nickull: B.C. Conservative

Story continues below advertisement

Françoise Raunet: Green Party of B.C.

2009 election:

Liberal Gordon Campbell won the riding with 50.38 per cent of the vote; NDP candidate Mel Lehan came in second with 40.28 per cent; Green candidate Stephen Kronstein was third with 8.78 per cent.

Population:

54,600

Average household income, before tax:

Story continues below advertisement

$84,838 (B.C. average $67,675)

Source: Elections B.C. and B.C. Stats

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies