Since the 1950s, British Columbia (BC) has been, primarily a two-party political system. On the left/centre-left has been the CCF and its successor, the NDP, representing socialism/social democracy. On the right/centre-right has been a series of free-enterprise parties.
The NDP has formed government three times, always due to a spilt on the right, in the 1970s, 1990s and present day.
The primary centre-right party since the mid-1990s has been the BC Liberal Party, which governed for 16 years under Gordon Campbell, a real estate developer, and Christy Clark, a career politician and talk radio host.
Campbell and his party were elected by a coalition of British Columbians who identified with both federal Liberals and Conservatives. When Christy Clark, a federal Liberal originally, won the leadership she was able to hold much of this coalition together. In 2017, a tired BC Liberal government, with a weak campaign message was reduced to a minority. Clark tried to govern but the BC Green Party and NDP formed a coalition and pushed the BC Liberals from power.
In a subsequent election, the NDP won a majority under popular premier, John Horgan. Clark’s successor as party leader, Andrew Wilkinson, ran a disjointed campaign that further spilt the coalition the BC Liberal Party depended on.
New BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon, a former minister under both Campbell and Clark, pledged to let BC Liberal Party members hold a vote on renaming the party as part of his leadership bid. A majority of the party members voted to rename the party BC United, a name symbolic of what the party hopes to do in the next election.