Green Party leader Elizabeth May has pledged to run in the next available by-election in her ongoing quest to get into the House of Commons. Well, looks like Elizabeth should start packing her bags for British Columbia (h/t Devin):
A high-profile New Democratic Party MP is stepping down to seek a seat in the May 12 B.C. election, giving the minority Conservative government a chance to win back a swing riding.Black's decision to leave Ottawa for what the Globe calls a “safe seat for the BC New Democrats” frees-up her federal seat, which is anything but safe for the NDP.
Dawn Black, the NDP's defence critic, will resign her federal seat in New Westminster-Coquitlam shortly, she said. She is expected to run uncontested for the NDP nomination in the provincial riding of New Westminster.
Indeed, it was held by Reform/Alliance/Conservative Paul Forseth since 1993 before Black took it by just under 3000 votes in 2006. And last fall, she barely squeaked-out a victory over Conservative Yonah Martin (now one of Harper's new Senators) by just 1488 votes. Liberal Michelle Hassen finished well back of the pair, and Green Party candidate Marshall Smith managed a respectable 7.2 per cent of the vote which is just above the party's national average of 6.8 per cent, but below their BC average of 9.4 per cent.
With Black leaving and Martin off to patronage heaven (hey, maybe she'll resign from the Senate and run for the seat? Don't hold your breath), both the NDP and Conservatives will have new candidates. Who both parties find to run for them will be very interesting. Hey, Paul Forseth is an active blogger, maybe he'll run again? Would be interesting.
While the Liberals haven't been a factor in this riding in years, they did make it interesting when former IWA boss Dave Haggard ran for the Liberals as one of Paul Martin's star candidates in 2004, finishing third but just 2600 votes back of the pack. If the Liberals can find a name, they could stir thing-up.
It's shaping-up as a real NDP-Conservative dog fight though, and if May does indeed fulfill her promise and contest this seat, it will be a very interesting wild card. While it's oversimplification to say the Greens draw more from the left than the right, in a race this tight, I'd have to say that with Black's departure there's a better than even chance for this seat to go Conservative. Particularly if there's any blowback against the NDP for Black's decision to resign just five months into her term.
We'll wait and see who all runs though before locking that in stone. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers