When this riding went to the polls on Apr. 19, 2012, the results swung in favour of the NDP.
Longtime Liberal MLA Barry Penner had retired, and Laurie Throness stepped into his place. It was a contentious local race, with the leaders of all parties visiting Agassiz, Harrison, Chilliwack and Hope repeatedly throughout the campaign, introducing both their candidates and their platforms.
But the voter turnout for the byelection was lower than usual, at 41.1 per cent (13,375 votes). Of those votes, the NDP’s Gwen O’Mahony won 41.9 per cent, Throness earned 32 per cent, John Martin earned 25.2 per cent running as a BC Conservative (this time around he’s running in the Chilliwack riding as a Liberal) and Libertarian Lewis Clarke Dahlby earned 1 per cent of the vote, with 145 ballots in his favour.
That was a huge turnaround for this riding, with Penner winning 53.3 per cent of the vote back in 2009, the last general election. In 2009, O’Mahony earned the only other solid vote count, with 33.4 per cent, while the rest of the votes were spread thinly across the Conservatives, Greens and People’s Front.
Where to vote
While general voting day for the 40th provincial general election is Tuesday, May 14, advance voting is already available.
Voting is available now in district electoral offices until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14. Advance voting started this Wednesday and runs through Saturday, May 11 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. General voting is Tuesday, May 14, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
In Agassiz, vote at the Agassiz Agricultural Hall at 6800 Pioneer Avenue. In Harrison Hot Springs, vote at Memorial Hall, and in Harrison Mills, vote at Harrison Mills Community Hall.
The next election following this one will occur in 2017.
For more information, visit www.elections.bc.ca.
Questions and Answers
It’s election time again, and The Observer has asked the four candidates hoping for your vote about a cross-section of issues.
We asked how they would deal with the maintenance of Kent’s waterways, how they help drive tourism in Harrison, how they would fight for our air shed quality, health care and the province’s economy.
We also asked what one issue they feel deserves attention.
The candidates in this 40th general provincial election are: Gwen O’Mahony (NDP, incumbent), Laurie Throness (LIB), Michael Henshall (CON) and Ryan McKinnon (IND).
Click through for your candidates’ answers to the six questions we’ve asked.