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Will Greens split the left-wing vote?

Last Updated Apr 20, 2017 at 10:43 pm PDT

Summary

A political scientist is suggesting the Green Party's presence may actually help the NDP

The NDP could pick up votes by virtue that it now occupies the centre, says pundit

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – On the heels of the first leadership debate featured live on NEWS1130.com and CITY TV, more voters could be looking at the Green Party ahead of the provincial election in May.

A political scientist is suggesting the Green Party’s presence may actually help the NDP.

Hamish Telford of the University of the Fraser Valley says British Columbians dissatisfied with the Liberals may now allow themselves to consider the NDP, since the New Democrats now occupy the middle of the political spectrum.

“I think the Liberals have to be careful because they’re used painting the NDP off into the left-wing corner. In some ways, the Greens are further to the left, which puts the NDP in the middle.”

That makes the New Democrats more palatable for some voters.

“If NDP Leader John Horgan is able to play his cards right, he may be able to peel off votes from the Liberals – those Liberal voters who are not die-hard Liberals that couldn’t bring themselves to vote NDP in the past.”

One example of the NDP appealing to the centre of the spectrum – their proposal to eradicate bridge tolls.

Meanwhile, Telford says the Greens will appeal to environmentalists angry that the NDP would remove tolls on bridges and voters turned off by the feuding we heard between the Liberal and NDP leaders during Thursday’s debate.

And what about the sentiment that a vote for the Greens is a wasted vote? Telford says just look to Alberta where the NDP formed government after enough people there voted for the impossible.