Burnaby ridings saw combined turnout of 50% – at most – in B.C. election

About 30% of Burnaby’s registered voters showed up to in-person voting opportunities and gave the BC NDP a comfortable lead in all four local ridings, according to preliminary data from Elections BC.

Of the 160,334 registered voters between Burnaby North, Burnaby-Lougheed, Burnaby-Deer Lake and Burnaby-Edmonds, just 47,625 showed up to vote in person – but that doesn’t mean the voter turnout is quite that low.

An unprecedented 700,000-plus mail-in ballots were ordered throughout the province, including 32,171 in Burnaby, and the latest estimate places province-wide returns of those ballots at just over 84%.

If Burnaby’s returns are consistent, that could bump the city’s voter turnout to nearly 47%, while the highest possible turnout – if all requested mail-in ballots in the city were returned – would be about 50%. That’s still far below the norm in provincial general elections, for which turnouts tend to be around 60%.

Burnaby-Lougheed had the city’s highest in-person turnout, at about 33.6% of registered voters, while Burnaby-Deer Lake had the lowest at around 27.1%. Burnaby-Edmonds and Burnaby North saw in-person turnouts of 27.8% and 30.3%, respectively.

In terms of mail-in ballot requests, Burnaby North had the most, with 22.2%, and Burnaby-Edmonds had the fewest, at 17.9%. Burnaby-Deer Lake’s and Burnaby-Lougheed’s vote-by-mail requests were 18.2% and 21.7% of registered voters, respectively.

But the overall turnout likely won’t be known for some time, and final results aren’t expected for at least two weeks.

If the final vote resembles the in-person voting, however, the NDP has taken the city in a landslide, with 55% to 61% of the vote. The current standings in each riding is as follows:

Burnaby-Deer Lake
Glynnis Hoi Sum Chan (BC Liberals) – 3,275 (32.5%)
Mehreen Chaudry (BC Greens) – 1,244 (12.3%)
Anne Kang (BC NDP) – 5,558 (55.2%)

Tripat Atwal (BC Liberals) – 3,072 (27.4%)
Raj Chouhan (BC NDP) – 6,861 (61.2%)
Iqbal Parekh (BC Greens) – 1,270 (11.3%)

Katrina Chen (BC NDP) – 7,669 (58.1%)
Tariq Malik (BC Liberals) – 3,559 (27.0%)
Dominique Paynter (BC Libertarians) – 240 (1.8%)
Andrew Williamson (BC Greens) – 1,737 (13.2%)

Burnaby North
Raymond Dong (BC Liberals) – 4,119 (31.4%)
Janet Routledge (BC NDP) – 7,410 (56.4%)
Norine Shim (BC Greens) – 1,611 (12.3%)

This year’s provincial election was a most unusual one, with the COVID-19 pandemic stealing the thunder of what is often an engaging political news cycle. Indeed, most candidates watched results roll in from home, rather than holding public gatherings.

The NOW asked all 13 candidates for statements on the election results over the weekend; only one candidate responded on Monday.

BC Libertarian candidate Dominique Paynter said her first foray into politics was “an excellent learning opportunity,” and while the election didn’t favour her party, she said she would continue to “fight for all of you and our liberties” in the coming years.

On social media, all four NDP candidates published statements thanking volunteers and voters, as did BC Green candidates Andrew Williamson and Norine Shim.


Follow Dustin on Twitter at @dustinrgodfrey
Email dgodfrey@burnabynow.com

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