Teddy here. Please note this post will be edited/updated apx every hour until the polls close, so, keep coming back for more!
The 2pm (eastern) entry is as follows:
What should we watch for in the BC Election tonight? Firstly, I'll do "ridings to watch" a bit later, but in general, keep note of the following:
The polls close at 8pm local, 11pm Eastern. (I'll be writing this as 8/11 from here on in).
By 8:10/11:10 we should have some early results in from a smattering of ridings.
By 8:25/11:25 there should be a large enough number of ridings in to examine province-wide trends... but it's too early.
Between 8:35/11:35 and 8:55/11:55 a huge number of polls will report in. This will be the most fun and exciting time to watch.
By 9/12 we should have some solid trends to keep our eye on, and, the election, save a perturbance of about 15%, will be over.
So, what should we keep in mind during this period?
I've done studies of very early reporting in elections. Anything that's out before 8:25/11:25 is worthless to the final result. If it happens to match it, it is simple coincidence. The BC Liberals, as A - The government, B - A rurally strong party, and C - A party that had a peak during the advance polling period; should run ahead of it's final results. That means that in the midst of the big poll glut, we should see them very high compared to the final result. I would not be surprised to see them at 39, despite the fact I'm convinced they'll only take 23. The NDP, however, should have enough to maintain a lead regardless, even if only by a seat, or, even a tie.
The result of this will be that however many seats the BC Liberals have on the board at 8:50/11:50, those numbers will steadily decrease as the night winds down.
So the internet was out for a while at Teddy's house, but we are back!
There are a few regions that I will be keeping my eye on and for a few reasons. They are as follows:
Polls show the Greens doing well here, the election will determine just how well. The Greens could well be sitting on a third of the vote in the area, and depending on how concentrated that is, they could win their goal of 4 seats. I personally do not see it, but the margin of error for the numbers available certainly says it's possible if all the chips come down where the Greens want them.
In short, the area of the lower mainland that is south of the Fraser, west of the mountains, and east of Surrey. This is the most right-wing area of the province and how the vote splits fall here will determine how successful the BC Conservatives and BC Liberals are. If the BC Conservatives fail to make a dent here, it could well mean that long-term, a right-wing alternative to the Liberals is going to face some serious struggles.
Like the above, this area is supposed to be a strong area for the BC Conservatives, and how well or poorly they do here will determine the viability of such a party. Like Calgary, this is an area where the Conservatives as a "brand" have always been stronger than the conservatives as an idea.
These two ridings will be somewhat like the areas above, but, in these areas the NDP could do well. Should the NDP fail to do well, or even retreat, it could mark the start of a trend showing the NDP unable to break in to truly rural areas.
2 hours to go before the election starts. This will be my final update.
So what ridings should we be keeping our eyes on?
Oak Bay-Gordon Head
If the Greens are to win a riding tonight, it will be this one. They've dumped their efforts into winning here, and failure to do so would be quite damaging to the party.
The Premier's seat. I suspect she suffers from Charest Syndrome, that she will not win her seat if her party loses the election, and, I suspect her party will indeed lose the election.
The Green leader is running here and how well or poorly she does may determine not just her future but that of her party as well.
Former NDPer Bob Simpson is running here as an Independent. Much has been made of his run and it will be interesting to see if he can hold on to his seat or not.
The math alone says the Liberals should be able to win, but Sam Sullivan, former Mayor, is running here for the Liberals. For reasons I don't fully understand, NDPers seem certain they will take the riding.
The Conservatives think they can win here, but I don't see how. Just how well or poorly they do in this riding could determine the future of that party.
With the leader of the Conservatives running here, it will certainly be a benchmark of that party as to how well or poorly they will do in the long term.
Saanich North and the Islands
This is, roughly, the same seat Liz May holds, and many feel that fact means the local Greens will be able to win here on their own self-set goal of 4 seats. I just don't see it however.
This riding currently houses an Independent who is not running again. Who is running is Micha Popoff, local "colourful candidate". He was running for the Conservatives until they booted him from the party for putting his foot in his mouth. How well he does remains to be seen.
Peace River North
I have this marked as a gain for the Independent, Arthur Hadland. He ran last time and managed a strong second, with the Liberals down in the polls, he could take it.
The NDP took this in a by-election, and if they intend to have a truly strong majority, they'll need to hold it this time around.
John van Dongen is the current Independent MLA here. He had been a Liberal, and, a Conservative for a while too. Can he hold his seat after making such a fool of himself?
Currently held by an Independent, how much of a margin she gets re-elected by will help signal the feelings of voters.
The final riding to watch. In the HST referendum, 14,000 voters said NO, while only 8,000 said YES. In the last election, 10,853 votes were cast for the BC Liberals. The math would have the current BC Liberals sitting at about 7,200 votes. The question is can the NDP/Greens/Conservatives gain from this? They took a combined total of 7,628 votes last time, but with both a Green and a Conservative running, can someone gain the votes needed to beat the Liberals?
Time will tell.
As a reminder, this is my personal projection: