Last year, John Horgan left Nanaimo's Leonard Krog, one of his most-respected and longest-tenured MLAs, out of cabinet. As the chaos in Nanaimo's city hall descended from minor embarrassment to national laughingstock, Krog decided to step down and run for mayor, despite the NDP government's razor-thin majority with its coalition partners.
Nanaimo is one of the safest NDP seats in the province - the electoral equivalent of a free throw.
Governing parties almost never win byelections.
Always strong on Vancouver Island, the Greens need to differentiate themselves from their senior partner, and are playing to win with a credible candidate.
The suddenly-rolling BC Liberals have a strong candidate.
And on the heels of a disastrous referendum result, a Speculation Tax Nanaimo wanted no part of, and a property tax increase caused by the NDP's Employers Health Tax, this could hardly come at a worse time.
If nothing else, it's going to be interesting.