Why Justin Trudeau will be spending a lot of time in B.C. in 2019

Posted In: News Date:Jan 9th, 2019

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in British Columbia today, a province that could play a significant role in a Liberal victory in October's federal election — or form an integral part of a path to government for Andrew Scheer's Conservatives.

Trudeau is in Kamloops to speak at two separate events: a party fundraiser and a town hall with local citizens. The visit puts him far from the scene of two pending byelection contests in the ridings of Burnaby South in the Greater Vancouver region and Nanaimo–Ladysmith on Vancouver Island. But those are just two of the many electoral battlegrounds dotted across the province.

The Liberals won 17 seats in B.C. in the 2015 federal election and picked up another from the Conservatives in a byelection in 2017. The New Democrats took 14 seats, the Conservatives held on to 10 and the Greens retained one (leader Elizabeth May's seat in Saanich–Gulf Islands).

Support hasn't shifted dramatically in the province since the last vote. The CBC Poll Tracker, an aggregation of all publicly available polls, puts the Liberals at 34 per cent support in B.C., down one point since 2015. The Conservatives sit at 32 per cent, a gain of just two points, while the New Democrats have slipped three points to 23 per cent.

At nine per cent, the Greens are up marginally over 2015. Maxime Bernier's People's Party, at just under one per cent support, has not had much of an impact.