BC ELECTION: NDP snap-election gamble pays off with sound majority
John Horgan's BC NDP ended election night with 55 candidates elected or leading in the province's 87 electoral districts.
New Democrats also strengthened their hold on Vancouver Island after a snap election that was held during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The results are far from final, with hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots yet to be counted, but results so far are enough to declare a majority government for Horgan.
As of election night, the BC Liberals were elected or leading in 29 ridings. That is a potential loss of as many as 14 seats. Leader Andrew Wilkinson did not concede, saying every vote must be counted before final results are determined.
The Green Party is poised to win three seats. Leader Sonia Furstenau and incumbent Adam Olsen retained their seats in Cowichan Valley and Saanich North and the Islands. The Party was also leading in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky by five-percentage point.
The NDP wins include at least one new seat on the Island and possibly two. Parksville-Qualicum is among the Liberal seats in jeopardy, where incumbent Michelle Stilwell is trailing by more than 900 votes behind the NDP's Adam Walker. It's the only race on Vancouver Island with no declared winner.
In Greater Victoria, the NDP retained all their seats and picked up a new one in Oak Bay-Gordon Head, where former MP Murray Rankin defeated the second place Green candidate Nicole Duncan by 19 percentage points. The Green’s won this riding in 2017 under Andrew Weaver.
Newcomer Grace Lore was declared winner of Victoria-Beacon Hill, holding the seat for the NDP. She told CFAX she's honoured with this opportunity. "Of course, I'm stepping into the biggest shoes of the province with Carol James leaving this seat."
The New Democrat Rob Fleming held his Victoria-Swan Lake seat by a large margin. He told CFAX on election night that the Victoria region will benefit from the NDP win. "Talking to both business and labour about ideas about how we can expand the movie and television industry here…. the shipbuilding and ship repair opportunities we have in this region, those are just a few of the ideas the BC NDP - myself and my colleagues - put out in this campaign and I'm really excited to get down to the work."
Lana Popham in Saanich South took an even larger share of the vote compared to her showing in 2017, as she held her seat for the NDP. Reflecting on the pandemic era campaign, she says she missed face-to-face contact with voters but found that campaigning by phone was beneficial. "I found that I was able to have longer conversations and talk more in-depth and more about policy. In some ways, it may have been a more effective way to campaign.”
Here's a breakdown of the South Island ridings, as of 11:30 pm October 24:
Grace Lore, NDP: 50.2 %
Jenn Neilson, Green: 34.2%
Karen Bill, Liberals: 14.3%
Rob Fleming, NDP: 56.6%
Annemieke Holthuis, Green: 29.6%
David Somerville, Liberal: 11.9%
Mitzi Dean, NDP: 56.8%
Andy MacKinnon, Green: 26.2%
RJ Senko, Liberal: 15.6%
Langford-Juan de Fuca
John Horgan, NDP: 65.2%
Gord Baird, Green: 19.4%
Kelly Darwin, Liberal: 14.7%
Oak Bay-Gordon Head
Murray Rankin, NDP: 47.7%
Nicole Duncan, Green: 28.2%
Roxanne Helme, Liberal: 23.6%
Saanich North and Islands
Adam Olsen, Green: 55.2%
Zeb King, NDP: 26.6%
Stephen Roberts, Liberal: 18.2%
Lana Popham, NDP: 52.0%
Rishi Sharma, Liberal: 25.0%
Kate O'Connor, Green: 23.0%
Sonia Furstenau, Green: 44.1%
Rob Douglas, NDP: 40.0%
Tanya Kaul, Liberal: 15.9%