Recent polls show the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding a ‘toss-up’

Recent polls show the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding a ‘toss-up’

If any proof were needed that the Green Party was targeting the hotly-contested Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding, it could be found on the first campaign day of the federal election.

Green Party candidate David Merner was driving to Sooke from his office in Esquimalt and the first indication of the election were signs – all from the Green Party. No other party had signs up until the next day.

“We have a really good shot of winning here,” mused Merner at the time.

Polls show that Merner has an edge in the race over NDP incumbent Randall Garrison. It’s a battleground replicated across Vancouver Island where Greens are hoping to flip NDP seats green.

The Greens received a boost last May when the party won the Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection, and, more importantly, where the NDP dropped to third place.

It was the first time in years the riding, located in a basin of huge labour support, flipped.

“We looked at that and said, ‘If we can win in Ladysmith then we can certainly win here,’” Merner said.

But while the polls are showing a “toss up” of who could take the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke seat, Garrison said that’s not what he or his volunteers are seeing when door-knocking or telephoning voters.

“We don’t have any evidence of drifting NDP support or any big surge in Green support,” said Garrison who was first elected in 2011 and won the riding by more than 5,200 votes in 2011.

“They targeted us [in the last election] and finished third.”

Climate change is a big issue with residents in the riding, said Merner, who ran as a Liberal in 2015.

“Climate change is a critical issue. I hear it on the doorsteps everyday. That’s going to affect how people vote,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Homes fit for royals for sale in North Saanich

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have returned to Greater Victoria

Gold Rush star dons Lucky Lager shirt in latest episode

Brennan Ruault, originally from Invermere, joined the show in the sixth season

VIDEO: Dashcam records near-miss by bad driver near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

VIDEO: Protesters block entrance to Victoria government building to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Activists want Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs demands to be upheld, observed and respected

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Police suspect foul play in Cowichan Tribes death

Police are looking at foul play in relation to a death on… Continue reading

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

Most Read