We’re laying it on the line
If you haven’t heard, voting day for the Vancouver municipal election is this Saturday, October 15. Since you’re consuming media of any type and reading a publication called BCBusiness, we’re going to guess that you have very much heard this.
What you definitely don’t know—because no one does—is how that election is going to unfold. Even the most seasoned City Hall watchers aren’t sure who to vote for. That makes trying to predict the results an absolute fool’s errand.
So it’s a good thing I’m an absolute fool. Here are our picks for the 2022 Vancouver municipal election.
I went back and forth on this one to the point where I typed Ken Sim into this space a few times. But while I think A Better City (ABC) will do well at the ballot box, I can’t shake the feeling that Stewart and his Forward Together team eke this one out again.
It’s a simple case of looking at the previous election, when Fred Harding and some other right-wing parties snuck away votes from Sim. Harding is back—this time with Sim’s former NPA—and Colleen Hardiwck (TEAM) is going to steal away a lot of west side voters from Sim.
Shauna Sylvester’s campaign in 2018 definitely stole away some votes for Stewart (though also will be some of Hardwick’s base), and it doesn’t seem like Mark Marissen and Progress Vancouver are positioned to do the same thing.
So we’re (very reluctantly) going to predict a Stewart win, even though the polls are singing a different tune.
It feels like ABC is going to do quite well. As the de facto popular centre-right party for the election, half of the council seats feels like a fair shake for them. After all, the NPA won five seats in 2018. We think three of those councillors are back in with ABC, while Mike Klassen and Peter Meiszner have been very vocal and it feels like both will make it on.
Christine Boyle is a lock to win a second term on council. She was among the most progressive on housing and climate issues at City Hall in her first term and will almost certainly be back. There’s definitely a lot of momentum for OneCity on the left side of the spectrum, but the big question will be whether OneCity or Forward Together takes home the lion’s share of the left-wing votes.
It feels like there’s just enough people begrudgingly voting Kennedy Stewart for mayor, but not enough that will support him down the line with council votes. OneCity seems well-positioned to get those, given Boyle’s voting record. Whether the entire slate makes it on is tougher to call.
It’s very tough to leave off all three of the other OneCity councillors, because it feels like it’ll be very close. But in the end, it feels like they just miss.
Carr will of course make it on. She’ll probably be the overall winner. It’s a bit curious, since the Greens have detractors on both sides of the spectrum. But Carr is like the wind or the rain or Thanos. She is inevitable.
Wiebe has done enough in supporting housing and cycling to get votes from left-leaning voters. They may see him as a good option to keep out ABC councillors.
And although left-leaning voters are certainly not fans of his attempts to block housing and bike lanes, it seems like Pete Fry won’t have too much difficulty nailing down a spot either.
We’d be pretty surprised if Swanson didn’t make it on again as she has a lot of support from the left side of the spectrum.
We’re not really going out on a limb here. We’re basically predicting the same thing as 2018, just with slightly different names. Still, there are many here we could be wrong about. Melissa De Genova got the third most council votes last year. But the NPA seems to have been literally and figuratively left behind.
There’s a decent chance voters revolt against the Greens. But until it actually happens, that’s hard to call. All three of the party's councillors were in the top six in 2018. It also seems like TEAM has done enough on the campaign trail to make a real mark, and its most well-known councillor, Bill Tieleman, could definitely find himself in City Hall.
In the end, as we said at the top, we really don’t know. The biggest risk on this list is Stewart, as an ABC majority on council seems to be where the polls think this is going.