The first time David Eby ran against Christy Clark, he lost by just 564 votes despite being a political newbie in a Liberal stronghold.
But with the NDP’s surge in popularity as the May provincial election approaches, Eby is “very hopeful” about his chances to win the Vancouver-Point Grey seat from the premier.
“It’s a great time to be an NDP candidate,” he said as he officially kicked off his campaign at his Kitsilano office Sunday. “What’s really resonating most for people is the message of the NDP that we can do better as a province.”
That doesn’t mean it isn’t daunting to run against the premier.
“It’s very intimidating. The premier has all kinds of resources, she’s a very good campaigner, and we’re not taking anything for granted,” Eby said. “It’s exciting that it’s going to be close.”
Eby, the former director of the BC Civil Liberties Association, and his team of about 50 regular volunteers plan to pound the pavement and knock on doors nightly to convince people to vote NDP. So far, he said, the environment has been the top issue on peoples’ minds in the affluent riding.
A team of UBC students will also be out on campus letting students know they can vote if they’ve been living in the province for six months prior to the election. If students vote, it could tip the scales in Eby’s favour due to the NDP’s education and transit policies, fourth year anthropology student Gabriel Giauque said at the office.
Though the premier’s official campaign has yet to start, Clark was out chatting with people in her riding on the Broadway corridor last week. None mentioned transit, according to a Liberal party spokesman.
As election season gets underway in the city, Suzanne Anton, the Liberal candidate for Vancouver-Fraserview, will open her campaign office on Monday.