B.C. has 87 electoral districts, ranging from densely populated urban neighbourhoods to sprawling rural regions.
Two new ridings added for this election – Surrey South and Richmond-Queensborough – and tweaked boundaries in 48 districts, as well as a surge in support for the Green Party, have made for a volatile campaign.
For example, had the new boundaries been in place in 2013, analysts say, Liberal MLA Peter Fassbender would have lost Surrey-Fleetwood to NDP challenger Jagrup Brar. Mr. Fassbender won by 200 votes.
Meanwhile, some polls suggest the Green Party could elbow into traditionally NDP ridings on Vancouver Island and elsewhere.
Innovative Research Group, for example, has classified the 87 seats into categories based on results from the previous two elections, including "fortresses/strongholds" – 22 for the NDP and 33 for the Liberals – and 16 swing seats, where the results were within a 10-point margin in both 2009 and 2013.
Here are some ridings to watch, based on tight results last time or other factors.
Saanich North and the Islands
NDP candidate Gary Holman took the riding in 2013 with 33.3 per cent of votes cast, but it was a tight three-way race, with fewer than 400 votes between the victor and third-place Green Party candidate Adam Olsen. Liberal Stephen Roberts came in second, losing by a mere 163 votes. Before 2013, Liberals had held the riding since it was created in 1991.
No boundary changes since the last election.
2013 Voter turnout: 69.2 per cent. Margin of victory 0.5 percentage points/163 votes
- Gary Holman, NDP – incumbent
- Adam Olsen, Green
- Stephen Roberts, Liberal
Liberal candidate Linda Larson, formerly mayor of Oliver, won the riding in 2013 with 46.6 per cent of votes cast compared with runner-up, the NDP's Sam Hancheroff, at 39 per cent. Green Party candidate Doug Pederson placed third with less than 10 per cent of votes cast. The boundaries were expanded since the last election to include Princeton and surrounding communities, increasing the number of people in the riding.
2013 Voter turnout: 61.8 per cent. Margin of victory 7.6 points/1,386 votes
- Linda Larson, Liberal – incumbent
- Vonnie Lavers, Green
- Colleen Ross, NDP
The NDP's Harry Lali hopes to make a comeback in this riding, one of five in the Cariboo-Thompson region. Mr. Lali was first elected to the legislature in 1991, but lost his riding in 2013 to Liberal Jackie Tegart by about 600 votes. (Green and Conservative candidates trailed.) This time, the NDP's preferred candidate was Aaron Sam, chief of the Lower Nicola Indian Band, but Mr. Lali won the nomination in March. The riding's boundaries were adjusted since the previous election to include Hope and Fraser Canyon communities, increasing the number of people.
2013 Voter turnout: 61.5 per cent. Margin of victory 4.5 points/614 votes
- Jackie Tegart, Liberal – incumbent
- Arthur Green, Green
- Harry Lali, NDP
One of the more prominent candidates in this campaign has been the NDP's Morgane Oger, a school, community and LGBTQ activist and the first transgender woman to run for a major party in B.C.
She is running against Sam Sullivan, who was elected as a Liberal MLA in 2013 after serving as a city councillor and mayor of Vancouver. Matt Toner, who ran for the NDP against Mr. Sullivan in 2013, left the party for the Greens, where he is now a deputy party leader but not running for office.
Boundaries were adjusted to reunite Coal Harbour, which had been split between Vancouver-West End and Vancouver-False Creek.
2013 voter turnout: 50.1 per cent. Margin of victory 15.1 percentage points/3,247 votes
- Sam Sullivan, Liberal – incumbent
- Bradley Shende, Green
- Morgane Oger, NDP
Held by NDP MLA Claire Trevena, who was first elected in 2005 and re-elected in 2009 and 2013.
In 2013, Ms. Trevena took 50.7 per cent of votes cast, ahead of Liberal candidate Nick Facey, with 42.2 per cent.
This time, the Liberal candidate is Dallas Smith, former president of the Nanwakolas Council, a business development arm for six coastal First Nations, who has campaigned on bridging gaps between First Nations and industry. No changes to boundaries.
2013 Voter turnout: 57.3 per cent. Margin of victory 8.5 percentage points/2,002 votes
- Claire Trevena, NDP – incumbent
- Sue Moen, Green
- Dallas Smith, Liberal
The interior city is split into two ridings and is seen as a bellwether.
Kamloops for decades has elected MLAs who became part of the government of the day, whether Social Credit, NDP or Liberal.
Kamloops-North Thompson has been held by Liberal Terry Lake, who was first elected in 2009 and re-elected in 2013; he is not seeking re-election. No changes to boundaries.
2013 Voter turnout: 58 per cent. Margin of victory 13 points/3,044 votes
- Peter Milobar, Liberal
- Dan Hines, Green
- Barb Nederpel, NDP
Kamloops-South Thompson is held by Liberal transportation minister Todd Stone, who won the seat in 2013.
Slightly adjusted to take in more of the community around Knutsford.
2013 Voter turnout: 62.2 per cent. Margin of victory 22 points/5,752 votes
- Todd Stone, Liberal – incumbent
- Nancy Bepple, NDP
- Donovan Cavers, Green
10 things to know about B.C. politics
Voters in British Columbia go to the polls on Tuesday. Here are 10 things to know about B.C. politics:
1. The Liberals have been in power since 2001; Christy Clark become Premier in 2011, when she took over the leadership of the party from Gordon Campbell.
2. John Horgan was acclaimed NDP Leader three years ago and first won a legislature seat in 2005.
3. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver was part of a group of scientists who shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore for their work on climate change.
4. This election has 87 seats up for grabs, but at dissolution the Liberals held 47 seats in the legislature, the NDP had 35 and there were three Independents – including Weaver, the first Green to be elected to the house.
5. The Liberals are promising a personal income tax freeze, a cut to the small-business tax and four more balanced budgets on top of the five straight they have already recorded.
6. The NDP would increase the corporate-tax rate, bring in $10-a-day childcare and give renters a $400 annual rebate.
7. The Greens say they would overhaul the tax system to pay for spending on childcare, education, public health and the environment.
8. The Liberal Party of British Columbia is not affiliated with the Liberal Party of Canada and describes itself as "a made-in-B.C. free enterprise coalition."
9. The last time B.C. had a minority government was in 1952, one of only three in the province's history.
10. The NDP was in power from 1991 to 2001 after defeating the Social Credit Party, and had four different party leaders during their time in office.
The Canadian Press