B.C. Premier-elect John Horgan smiles during a post-election news conference, in Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. British Columbians could soon know the final results of the provincial election as officials have said they are aiming to wrap up the mail-in ballot count today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. Premier-elect John Horgan smiles during a post-election news conference, in Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. British Columbians could soon know the final results of the provincial election as officials have said they are aiming to wrap up the mail-in ballot count today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Final ballot count confirms British Columbia’s NDP increased seat count to 57

One riding will go to a judicial recount to decide between BC Greens and BC Liberals

The New Democrats will govern British Columbia with 57 of 87 seats in the legislature, a decisive majority confirmed as the final ballot count concluded Sunday.

The B.C. Liberals won 28 seats, one of which is pending a judicial recount because the race was so close, and the Greens held two.

Elections BC began counting 660,000 mail-in and absentee ballots that Friday, 13 days after the Oct. 24 provincial election.

While it was clear that the NDP had successfully turned its minority into a majority, it was not yet known by how much.

That night, four races were too close to call, while the New Democrats were projected to win 53 seats, the Liberals 27 and the Greens three.

Ultimately, the New Democrats successfully pulled off wins in each of the four tight races, pulling ahead of the Liberals in two of them over the course of the mail-in count.

On Sunday, NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu, a community activist and nurse, officially took the seat in Vernon-Monashee, a long-time Liberal stronghold. Liberal incumbent candidate Eric Foster was first elected there in 2009.

“I feel so blessed to be given this opportunity to represent people. I will make sure all voices are equally heard and congratulate the people of Vernon-Monashee for exercising their right to vote,” she said in a tweet.

New Democrat Henry Yao, a community advocate and former youth worker, was confirmed the winner in Richmond South Centre Sunday with 179 more votes than Liberal Alexa Loo.

The NDP won the other two tight races, Abbotsford-Mission and Chilliwack-Kent, earlier in the count.

West Vancouver-Sea to Sky was projected to be the first Green seat on the Lower Mainland until Liberal incumbent Jordan Sturdy pulled ahead of Jeremy Valeriote by only 41 votes Saturday to clinch a win.

The tight margin triggers an automatic judicial recount, Elections BC said, and it will be up to the B.C. Supreme Court to set a date.

The election makes John Horgan the second two-term NDP premier in B.C. history, following a campaign that was marked by the pandemic.

His opponents took aim at him throughout the campaign for what they called an “unnecessary” election during a public health emergency when British Columbians need a steady hand most.

But voters ultimately rewarded Horgan for the gamble.

“This has been an extraordinarily difficult election for many, many reasons, but it’s one that I believe had to happen,” Horgan said on election night.

“I’m grateful for all British Columbians that we have put the election behind us and we can get back to focusing on the things that matter most to you.”

READ MORE: NDP takes Vernon-Monashee for the first time since the 1980s

READ MORE: Judicial recount coming in B.C. seat where Liberals upset Greens by 41 votes

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Just Posted

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Campbell River dock fire spread slowed thanks to security guard

Creosote docks pose challenges for fire fighters

Scenes like this one in the dugout are all too frequent for parents and kids arriving to play baseball at Nunns Creek Park these days, spurring a request to the city to let them move to the Sportsplex in Willow Point. Photo from CRMB presentation to City of Campbell River
Safety concerns run Campbell River Minor Baseball out of Nunns Creek Park

Parents say ‘needle and feces sweeps’ have become part of everyday life for the baseball community

The cover of the newly redesigned Beaver Lodge Forest Lands activity guide. Photo courtesy Greenways Land Trust
Greenways redesigns Beaver Lodge activity guide

Guide has helped teach students for over a decade

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, a general pathologist at the North Island Hospital Campbell River Hospital Medical Laboratory, spoke about the issue of service in the region at a meeting in February 2020. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona hospital board wants pathology service back

Board supports move for chair, vice-chair to engage with Island Health on issue

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 flight demo team returning to Vancouver Island for spring training

The team will be in the Comox Valley area from May 16 to 24

Saanich police and a coroner investigated a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal Greater Victoria crash

Driver who died veered across centre line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Brown Drive Park closed as conservation officers search for her after she returned from relocation

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Most Read