While voters on the North Shore returned Liberal candidates to all three North Shore seats on election night, a look at poll-by-poll results showed distinct differences in how various areas of the North Shore’s three ridings cast their ballots.
Liberal MP Terry Beech surprised some commentators on election night as he held on to his seat in the riding of Burnaby North-Seymour with 35.5 per cent of the vote, with NDP challenger Svend Robinson coming in second with 32.3 per cent.
A look at the poll results showed Beech owed a chunk of his success on election night to support from North Vancouver voters. While the Seymour part of the riding makes up a much smaller part than the Burnaby side, Beech garnered solid support on the North Vancouver side of Burrard Inlet, pulling in twice as many votes as his closest NDP rival in a number of local polls and leading by significant margins in most North Vancouver polls.
The second-place finish in those polls was split between three contenders – the NDP’s Robinson, candidate Heather Leung who was dropped by the Conservative Party but remained as a Conservative candidate on the ballot and Green candidate Amita Kuttner.
While he came out on top on election night, Beech’s support was lower in some areas of Burnaby, where the Trans Mountain pipeline had garnered greater public opposition. Robinson garnered higher support there, particularly in some of Willingdon Heights, Lochdale and Simon Fraser University polls, as well as those in Westridge, near the pipeline terminus.
Leung – who was booted from her party for homophobic views part way through the election and who had a history of being a vocal opponent of LGBTQ-friendly school policies in Burnaby – had more support in Burnaby than in North Vancouver, and still pulled in 19.5 per cent of the vote overall in the riding. Leung even topped a few polls in Burnaby.
In North Vancouver, Liberal winner Jonathan Wilkinson’s support appeared to be distributed fairly evenly throughout the riding.
Wilkinson ended election night with 42.9 per cent of the vote, besting Saxton’s 26.9 per cent, despite earlier predictions of a much closer race between the two candidates, who also squared off in the 2015 election.
Wilkinson appeared to top most polls in North Vancouver by a significant margin and had strong support in areas like Grousewoods, Capilano Highlands and Pemberton Heights. There were also several polls where Wilkinson and Saxton were close in vote count. In other polls, however, Wilkinson won by margins of three and four to one over his Conservative challenger.
In West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, a nail biter election night ended with newcomer Liberal Patrick Weiler, an environmental lawyer, winning with 34.9 per cent of the vote over Conservative candidate Gabrielle Loren who garnered 26.7 per cent of the vote. Green Party candidate Dana Taylor also finished a strong third with 22.4 per cent of the vote.
In the geographically diverse riding, Weiler’s support was dispersed throughout the area with the strongest support in the Sea to Sky Corridor, especially in areas like Whistler, Pemberton and Squamish, as well as in West Vancouver.
Taylor also saw his strongest support in Whistler and Squamish, topping a number of polls in Squamish as well as Bowen Island and coming in a strong second in several polls in Whistler, as well as in areas of the Sunshine Coast.
Conservative challenger Gabrielle Loren – a former president of the West Vancouver Chamber of Commerce - saw her strongest support in West Vancouver, winning almost as many polls there as Weiler, as well as garnering second-place support from areas of the Sunshine Coast.