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Last week saw some signs of life, however. A debate hosted by Global TV (which I moderated) saw sparks fly many times and may have provided some clues about where the candidates stand versus each other.

Dianne Watts

She was the target of more aggressive questions than any of her rivals, which may suggest they consider her to be in first place on the first count (the party is using a preferential ballot, which will likely mean there will be several “counts” after the last place candidate drops after each count and their supporters’ second and third choices are distributed). Liberal government. But her outsider status can also be a big negative, since party members and not the general public are the only ones voting (she also did poorly in the debates).

Todd Stone

Could be the “compromise” candidate who benefits most from all those second choice ballots. His relative youth compared to the others assists his argument that the party must “renew” itself and become younger, but he’s also associated with the previous government’s problems (hello, ICBC) and that may hurt him.

Mike de Jong

The former finance minister has gobs of experience and performed well in that portfolio. But when it comes to political baggage, de Jong has a multi piece Samsonite set: ICBC,
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BC Hydro, money laundering in casinos . it’s a long list. There’s no question he displays a fairly deep grasp of many complex issues, but he may have overdone his attacks on his rivals in that last debate, and that may cost him some second and third choice support.

Michael Lee

The dark horse. 34 per cent of the vote awards 34 points).

There are 8,700 points up for grabs and whichever candidate gets to 4,351 points (that’s 50 per cent plus one) will be the winner.

So Lee must show significant support outside Vancouver, Richmond and Surrey to have a chance. Still, if he can remain on the ballot for a while he’s one to keep an eye on.

Sam Sullivan

The biggest longshot. The ex Vancouver mayor has stirred the pot with some provocative policy ideas (such as legalizing all drugs) but he’s expected to be the first candidate to drop off the ballot. But he came across as the friendliest (and funniest) candidate at the last debate.

I won’t predict a winner (I don’t think anyone has a clue how this will end),
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but I will predict this: I don’t see Premier John Horgan losing much sleep over any of the possible outcomes.