Thursday, August 16, 2007

From the Terrace Standard

Liberals would drop one seat

THE LIBERAL party would lose one seat if the redistribution of northwest ridings takes place as proposed by the B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission.

Currently the North Coast and Skeena ridings are held by the NDP and the Bulkley Valley-Stikine and Prince George-Omineca ridings are held by the Liberals.

The proposal would keep the North Coast riding name but take parts of it and add it to the new Skeena-Stikine riding.

Most of the voters to be added are in the Nass Valley and Stewart which cast 601 ballots for current North Coast NDP MLA Gary Coons and just 131 for Liberal Bill Belsey in the 2005 provincial election.

If that spread stayed the same, it would help current Skeena NDP MLA Robin Austin who topped Liberal Roger Harris by 359 votes in the 2005 election.

Also helping Austin would be the Hazeltons which could also be part of the new Skeena-Stikine riding.

That area posted 1043 votes for NDPer Doug Donaldson in 2005 compared to 243 for Liberal winner Dennis MacKay.

Heading into Smithers and then on to Vanderhoof for a riding to be called Bulkley-Nechako, the Liberals have a lot of support and would continue to beat the NDP provided current voting patterns stayed the same.

In any event, the loss of a northern seat wouldn't hurt the Liberals oveall if its current pattern of winning in more urban areas continues

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