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Surrey federal byelection being characterized as 'too close to call'

Last Updated Dec 10, 2017 at 7:35 pm PDT

(Source: Elections Canada)

Political scientist says byelection in Surrey will be neck-in-neck between the Conservatives and the Liberals

The leaders of both the Conservative and Liberal parties came out during the campaign, but the new NDP leader was absent

SURREY (NEWS1130) – On Monday, voters in South Surrey-White Rock, as well as three other federal ridings, go to the polls to select new MPs.

The South Surrey byelection campaign was able to generate attention thanks to visits by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

New NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was noticeably absent.

“I was a little surprised by that. The NDP didn’t have a great chance in this riding, but the NDP selected him to be a leader that would appeal to urban and suburban ridings,” says Unversity of the Fraser Valley political scientist Hamish Telford.

He doesn’t get the impression that the byelection was essentially a referendum on the party leaders or their policies.

“Perhaps after the results come in, we can reassess that and wonder if the scandal involving the finance minister played into it. But at the moment it appears that, more or less, local issues were dominating.”

The finance minister scandal refers to Bill Morneau neglecting to put his substantial personal holdings into a blind trust. Morneau is the multimillionaire former chief executive officer of human resources company Morneau Shepell. The controversy sparked allegations of conflict-of-interest.

In fact, Telford says it’s too close to call whether the Conservatives will re-take the seat, or whether the Liberals will win. The seat was left vacant when Dianne Watts resigned to run in the BC Liberal leadership race.

The winners in the other three byelections are pretty well a foregone conclusion.

South Surrey-White Rock candidates

  • Larry Colero of the Green Party of Canada
  • Kerry-Lynne Findlay of the Conservative Party of Canada
  • Gordie Hogg of the Liberal Party of Canada
  • Michael Huenefeld of the Progressive Canadian Party
  • Jonathan Silveira of the New Democratic Party
  • Rod Taylor of the Christian Heritage Party of Canada
  • Donald Wilson of the Libertarian Party of Canada


The three other byelections

The byelection being held in Bonavista-Burin-Trinity, Newfoundland and Labrador is being held to replace Liberal Judy Foote due to unspecified family issues.

In Scarborough-Agincourt, Ontario, the race was prompted by Liberal Arnold Chan’s death to cancer in September.

In Battlefords-Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, the seat was left vacant by former Conservative agriculture minister Gerry Ritz who announced his resignation in late August.