On Tuesday night supporters of BC NDP were left shell-shocked as the results that came out showed the exact opposite picture of what had been predicted in various exit polls. In fact BC Liberals improved upon their showing from the last provincial elections to win 50 seats and NDP could get only 33 seats.
Many people thought BC NDP took it lightly and were complacent. Surrey resident Pardeep Sharma said NDP have only themselves to blame for the loss. “NDP thought they were going to win and so they thought all they have to do was to keep saying Time For Change. There is no expiry date on government. Like best before so and so date, so what exactly did they mean by Time For Change. NDP had to do more than that and talk decisively about their policies. But their leader was evasive,” said pardeep.
Another Liberal supporter from Surrey, Gurmej Josan said he had voted for Liberals but had not expected them to win a majority with so much ease. “When the results started coming in, I felt this is good for the Liberals. But honestly although I’m a Liberal supporter even I was not expecting them to win 50 seats. It just shows that people simply do not trust the NDP,” he said.
Another Surrey resident Omair Chaudhary felt Christy Clark knew what she was doing and was more aggressive. “I think the televised debate was also the turning point for the Liberals. While Clark was firm and came out with direct answers, Dix was evasive and did not give any clear answers. People were not sure what the NDP was going to do if it came to power. There was too much uncertainty with the NDP,” said Omair.
Some also felt that Dix was not strong enough. “There was too much ammunition that the BC Liberals had against Dix and they kept coming out with negative ads with attacks against him. Ultimately it affects the voters. Even the NDP had too many negative points that they could have talked about against the Liberals but they chose not to talk about that at all. I think that was a mistake. If you have so much ammunition against your opponent you have to tell people about that constantly and remind them. The NDP just did not do that,” said another voter from Surrey.
As for the NDP candidates they too did not have any explanation as to what happened. “I think we ran a strong campaign. Ultimately it is the people who decide. It was a tough race. I think we are victims of a negative campaign, the negative ads that the Liberals ran those ads did affect people. That’s what it is at the end of the day,” said Surrey-Fleetwood NDP candidate Jagrup Brar who lost to Liberal Peter Fassbender by less than 300 votes.
Surrey-Panorma NDP candidate Amrik Mahil too said he could not understand what went wrong. He lost to Liberal candidate Marvin Hunt. “I don’t know what happened. I simply cannot understand it. The Liberals did not run a good campaign,” he said.
Delta-north NDP candidate Sylvia Bishop lost out to Liberal Scott Hamilton. “I think people were expecting a different outcome. Certainly I was hoping for a different outcome in my riding. I’m very proud of the campaign I ran. We stayed positive,’ she said.
Ultimately it boiled down to the fact that the BC NDP wanted to stay positive and not attack the Liberals. The Liberals, on the other hand, ran a campaign which they thought gave them the best chance to win. And they won.