An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
KAMLOOPS-NORTH THOMPSON MLA-elect Peter Milobar must have had a distinct sense of déjà vu all over again on the weekend.
At the end of election night a couple of weeks ago, Milobar held a slim but comfortable lead of 791 votes over NDP challenger Sadie Hunter. After mail-in ballots were counted over the weekend, he was still the winner, but only by a razor thin 196 votes.
Nine years ago, Milobar won another close one, this time in the race for mayor, beating challenger Dieter Dudy by only 235 votes in an election he’d been expected to win easily.
Mail-in voting is putting a whole new complexion on elections but, all things considered, polling in both the B.C. general election and the U.S. presidential election was not nearly as bad as it’s being made out to be. While Joe Biden didn’t win easily, the final electoral college count will be close to the totals that had been predicted.
And, his four million-vote popular vote margin is pretty much bang on what the polls said it would be.
In B.C., polls had the NDP winning roughly 50 per cent of the vote with the Liberals taking 35 per cent and the Greens 13 per cent. As of yesterday, the NDP took an actual 48 per cent of the vote compared to 34 for the Liberals and 15 for the Greens.
Predicted seats: 58 NDP, 27 Liberals, two Greens. The NDP ended up with 57 seats to 28 for the Liberals and two for the Greens. That’s pretty good polling.
As for Kamloops-North Thompson, the polls had Milobar ahead by a scant one per cent. More than a few were skeptical about that but the actual count gave him just under 41 per cent to just over 40 for Hunter.
Milobar can be forgiven if he’s feeling thankful that polling is still as accurate as it is.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.