Premier Horgan’s Snap election is the biggest gamble of his Premiership
B.C Premier Horgan is taking a page out of New Brunswick’s Premier Blaine Higgs playbook by sending his province to the polls early. With high polling numbers, Horgan is hoping for a similar result of that of his counterpart, a majority Government.
In 2017, Horgan’s government toppled the Liberal Government by forming a minority coalition Government with help of the Green Party. Horgan’s New Democratic Party (NDP), which won 41 seats together with the three seats won by the Green under then newly minted leader Andrew Weaver secured the Premiership.
In the middle of a pandemic, many B.C residents are understandably quite perplexed and upset by the Premier’s decision to call an early election considering the country just reported its highest amount of COVID-19 cases since May totaling 1,987.
Although Horgan’s popularity is high, which can be attributed to his handling of the pandemic, we would remissed if we didn’t acknowledge that the B.C NDP never actually won the 2017 general election. The Election was won by Christy Clark’s Liberals garnering 43 seats, just a few shy of forming a majority Government.
Horgan’s early election call may result in four years of having a majority Government or face a realistic possibility of seeing his Government be relegated back to that of official opposition.
Both the Liberals and Green Party have selected new leaders since the 2017 election, and if another close election were to ensue, there are no guarantees that the Greens will vote to prop up Horgan’s NDP. They will likely choose to back a Liberal government as the NDP’s hasty election call leaves them at a significant disadvantage.
Sonia Furstenau, the newly minted Green leader is only a week into her leadership and will face a monumental task of finding electable candidates and raise money to be relevant in a general election.
The Liberals under leader Andrew Wilkinson will do fairly very well despite his multiple gaffs and lack of popularity and charisma.
Horgan’s decision to call an election in the height of the pandemic is gutsy but may also be fatal to his political career.