Prominent Liberals staring at defeat as NDP sweeps through B.C.

Prominent Liberals staring at defeat as NDP sweeps through B.C.

One by one they fell on Saturday night — prominent and dependable B.C. Liberals projected to lose their seats to an unprecedented show of force by the NDP.

In Vancouver-False Creek, Sam Sullivan is projected to lose his first election in a 27-year career as a politician in Vancouver and the province.

The former mayor’s campaign had focused on crime and homelessness in the downtown core, hoping to capitalize on growing discomfort in Yaletown.

But New Democrat Brenda Bailey appears to have prevailed, after promising a new elementary school for the Olympic Village after years of delay.

WATCH | B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson says there are still a lot of votes to be counted:

With his party projected to lose over a dozen seats, Andrew Wilkinson skipped a concession speech, saying he will wait until all mail-in ballot votes have been counted 1:25

In Richmond-Queensborough, former TV reporter Jas Johal had been a star candidate for the Liberals in the 2017 election, narrowly defeating NDP candidate and civil rights lawyer Aman Singh.

The 2020 contest was a rematch for the two candidates, and this time CBC is projecting that Singh has triumphed.

Jas Johal was a star candidate for the Liberals in the 2017 election. (Legislative Assembly of B.C.)

Meanwhile, in Langley — a riding the Liberals had won by a comfortable margin since 1991 — Liberal Mary Polak is also projected to lose her seat.

Polak had been Langley’s MLA since 2005, serving as the minister responsible for a long list of portfolios including health, environment, transportation and infrastructure, Aboriginal relations and reconciliation, children and family development, and healthy living and sport.

Saturday also saw the projected defeat of a Liberal who became notorious during the fall campaign season for some inappropriate sexual comments.

Jane Thornthwaite had served as the Liberal MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour since 2009, but attracted outrage this fall in response to comments she made about NDP candidate Bowinn Ma during a roast of retiring Liberal Ralph Sultan.

In a video from that roast, Thornthwaite said Ma is “a very pretty lady and she knows that she’s got ‘it’ and she knows how to get Ralph going.”

Thornthwaite eventually apologized for what she said was a failed attempt at humour. She is projected to lose her seat to NDP candidate and registered nurse Susie Chant.

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