Created in the 2011 federal seat redistribution, the battle for South Surrey–White Rock was a tight two-way race between the Conservatives and Liberals in its inaugural 2015 election, with Conservative Diane Watts squeaking out a victory by less than 1,500 votes. When Watts resigned her seat in 2017 to run for Leadership of the BC Liberal Party the federal Liberals capitalized, with popular longtime local politician Gordie Hogg winning by a similar margin.
According to data run at the end of the first week of the campaign by H+K’s partner Advanced Symbolics Inc.’s (ASI) – Canada’s only Artificial Intelligence (AI) pollster – Hogg is projected to win only 39% of the vote, with significant vote-splitting on the progressive left threatening his chances at reelection (the Green Party and NDP polling at 7% apiece). Hogg trails his Conservative challenger, former Conservative Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay, by three points.
According to our analysis, the dominant issues that voters are engaged about in the riding are unemployment and jobs, healthcare, and international trade. Interestingly, South Surrey–White Rock voters, compared to all Canadian voters, slightly over-index on engagement regarding international trade, and slightly under-index on engagement regarding taxes. This should bode well for Hogg who can tout the government’s accomplishments in negotiating and signing CPTPP and CETA, and negotiating USMCA.
The census profile for the riding explains why the Liberals and Conservatives have locked once again in a two-way race. The demographics of the riding overlaps evenly with demographics that positively correlate with both Liberal and Conservative profile trends – there is a significant married population (Conservative) and population density is high (Liberal).
South Surrey–White Rock will be a riding to watch in Battleground BC as the province once again looks to be crucial to the outcome of the election.
Methodology. Historical data is collected by ASI from the Canadian Census. Predictive data is from “Polly” an AI that predicts voter intentions based on publicly available social media data. Social media data is gathered from ASI’s online representative sample of over 270,000 Canadians selected using ASI’s patented CIC algorithm.