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Analyst expects Premier Christy Clark will remain Liberal leader

BC Premier Christy Clark (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Premier Christy Clark will be leading her Liberal minority government back to the BC Legislature later this week, but how long will she remain head of her party?

The balance of power hangs by a thread in Victoria, with the NDP-Green alliance waiting in the wings, and the Liberals aren’t expected to survive long. But one analyst suggests it would be political suicide for the party to go through a leadership process right now.

“If Christy Clark thinks she can win again and the caucus supports her, then she has every right to stay on,” says David Moscrop, a postdoctoral candidate in the political science department at Simon Fraser University. “There’s lots of history where leaders stay on and they win again and if the party is okay with that, then Clark is right to stay.”

But Moscrop does expect there is backroom pressure for Clark to step aside once the time is right.

“For now, it’s super important for them to maintain as much solidarity and stability as possible because there could be an election soon,” he tells NEWS 1130.

“For the Liberals, they have every interest in continuity because the election could come in a few weeks or months. It would be really difficult to have a leadership process in such a short amount of time. I’d imagine most MLAs have made the calculation that, given how unstable the Legislature is, it makes sense to hold on to Christy Clark for now in case there’s a snap election.”

Moscrop suggests Clark has loyal supporters, but there are just as many Liberal MLAs who might like to see her go.

“I think if they could get away with pushing for her to leave, then a few of them would — folks with leadership ambition. But it’s just not the right time, things are too precarious and there could be an election anytime.”

He believes the Liberals need to show a unified front as long as there is a risk British Columbians could go back to the polls at any time.

“But is she going to be Liberal leader in two or four years? I highly doubt it,” Moscrop adds.

With a historic session set to open at the legislature Thursday, NEWS 1130’s Martin MacMahon will be in Victoria Thursday and Friday to bring you the very latest.