Liberal Win Not a Surprise for Clark Despite Pollsters’ Predictions

May 15, 2013 Updated: May 15, 2013

VANCOUVER—Pollsters and voters may still be shocked about a Liberal party victory, but Premier Christy Clark says she wasn’t surprised her party defied early predictions about an NDP win in British Columbia. 

“The polls do not tell us how people are going to vote,” she said Wednesday. “It’s like me asking you what you’re going to have for dinner a month from now.” 

“People make their own choices and it’s a private, personal choice,” Clark said. 

Public opinion polls had the Liberals trailing the New Democrats by as much as 20 points before the campaign started, with many Liberal insiders ready for a change in government after 12 years of Liberal rule. 

Clark said she sensed a change in momentum for her party after the televised leaders’ debate two weeks before the election as voters honed in on her economic message. 

She said NDP leader Adrian Dix’s flip-flop on Kinder Morgan was also a factor because he seemed to be saying no to economic development. 

“I did know that people were concerned about the economy, and the people of British Columbia made their voice heard.” 

While Clark’s Liberals are back in office, she lost her own seat and said she won’t know which riding she’ll pick for a byelection until May 27, when election results become official. 

Clark said that with 25 returning MLAs and 25 new ones, the Liberals can start working on their economic plans with renewal and more vigour than when she stepped in for her predecessor. 

“It’s easier when you’re leading your own team,” she said. “It was a tough few years for lots of those folks. I came in after there had been a whole lot of turmoil in the party and it was really difficult for lots of people.”

Clark said that while the Liberals have won their fourth straight election, the party has also lost some experienced MLAs, including Ida Chong from Victoria and Margaret MacDiarmid from Vancouver. 

With files from The Canadian Press