Editorial: Political math

WHO would not want to have been a fly on the wall of the provincial NDP war room election night May 9 when it began to sink in that the party would not hold the Skeena riding?

After all, the party had held the riding for the past the 12 years and three provincial elections at a time when the BC Liberals formed three majority governments.

So consider the profound disappointment as NDP strategists began doing the math, numbers that are now so crucial.

As we know, the BC Liberals came away from the provincial election with 43 seats, the NDP 41 and the BC Greens three to make up the 87-seat legislature.

With the NDP/Green agreement now looming, that’ll result in a 44-seat governing arrangement. But with one of those MLAs likely to become the Speaker of the legislature, the result is a tie – 43 seats for the NDP/Greens and 43 for the BC Liberals, hardly a stable government in the making.

But look at the math if the NDP had held Skeena. The result would have been 42 BC Liberal seats, 42 NDP seats and three Green seats so that the NDP/Green governing deal would have produced 45 seats. Subtract one for the Speaker and that leaves 44 seats, a two-seat edge over the 42 for the BC Liberals, making for a more stable, albeit still slim, governing margin.

If NDP leader John Horgan keeps a diary, the first line election night could very well have been “If only we held Skeena …..”