B.C. Premier John Horgan Calls Snap Election

Written By Dallas G., Posted on September 22, 2020

BC Premier John Horgan of the BC NDP has called a snap provincial election in BC for Oct. 24, During the Covid-19 pandemic.

Previously the next election was set for October 2021, but according to Horgan now is a more appropriate time, saying: “I know some people are asking ‘why now?’, and I’ve gotta tell you I’ve struggled with this decision, it was not easy. But I believe in my heart it’s the best decision for all of us.”

Currently the NDP leads the province with a minority coalition government with the BC Green party. On the BCNewDemocrats YouTube channel, Horgan communicated his desire for a majority government as a result of the upcoming election:

“Right now we need to know that people are with us in our plan to fight this pandemic and build an economic recovery that works for everyone. We can’t afford to be side-tracked by another 12 months of partisan politics. Another year where the other parties can turn us back when we try to make decisions to help people.”

The snap election breaks the NDP-Green deal which said that no election was to be held until at least May 2021. Opposition to this decision has been made clear by the BC Green Party.

BC Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau says she is disappointed in the decision and calls the election “Completely unnecessary” when she criticized the NDP for calling the election early.

Furstenau stated:

“This is not a time when we put the interests of a political party ahead of the British Columbians who need to hear that we are here to support them. I am disappointed that this is what John Horgan has chosen to do, and I fully intend to hold him accountable for this decision as we put forward a campaign that will give people an alternative to this style of politics that puts partisanship and party ahead of the wellbeing and health of British Columbians.”

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau

With the current high popularity of Premier Horgan, the BC Green Party likely also fear that they may not be able to be part of the next government if Horgan and the NDP win a majority of the seats. 2017 was the first and only time so far the BC Greens were relied upon to help form a government.

BC Liberal Party leader Andrew Wilkinson criticized the decision as “unnecessary” and questioned Horgan’s character for calling an election amid a pandemic and for breaking the NDP-Green deal that got them into power.

“What happened to the deal he so solemnly signed?”  he asked and said “What kind of person does that in the middle of a pandemic?” when referring to Horgan calling an election at this time.

The other provincial parties also had their objections to the call.

BC Libertarian party president Clayton Welwood weighed in on Facebook speculating that Horgan’s intentions are to distract the public and dodge fiscal responsibility for their reckless spending and claimed the call breaks a law stating fixed elections in BC.


The Conservative Party of BC made a post on their page saying “Now is not the time for playing politics Premier Horgan, it’s the time for helping businesses, families and municipalities. We have an entire year ahead in 2021 for a provincial election, let’s focus on a well-deserved recovery the people of BC so desperately need.”

According to an Insights West poll, the provincial NDP’s approval rating has soared to record levels during the pandemic, leaving NDP members hopeful for a majority. Some experts and politicians have weighed in supporting this notion but some are not so sure.

Political scientist Hamish Telford of SFU said that “He’s the most popular premier in the country right now, largely because of his response to COVID” but also added that it’s “risky” because “Most British Columbians don’t think that there is a need for an election right now.”

Some have expressed worry on social media that this move will alienate Green party-leaning voters (polling at 14% according to the Angus Reid Institute) for the foreseeable future. That if the power-grab fails, the Green Party wouldn’t be as easy to form an alliance with next round.

Stuart Parker, Former leader of the BC Green party from 1993-2000 and current leader of the BC Ecosocialist party had a different view, telling The Tyee:

“The NDP signed a piece of paper, a formal agreement with another party to co-govern for another 13 months. They have realized that repeatedly violating the agreement in both letter and spirit won’t cause the timorous Greens to vote against them in the legislature; so they have just torn it up. It will be the Greens who pay for looking weak and humiliated; our province’s sycophantic press will praise this as an act of strength and boldness, not dishonour.”


There is also worry being expressed that the NDP has lost the hearts of small business owners that have been negatively affected by the shutdowns, and that NDP voters are the most likely to express discomfort with in-person voting (according to the Angus Reid Institute) which could lower voter turn-out for the party.

BC voters can already request a vote-by-mail package online found here.

“The question now is, where do British Columbians want to go, and who do they want to lead them?” – John Horgan – Premier of BC and leader of the BC NDP

Dallas G.

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