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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

West Kelowna City Hall on Cameron Road. (File photo)
Rose Valley water treatment facility to cost less than planned

The contract of $45.1 million was awarded to developer Maple Reinders Constructors Ltd .

Crash on Enterprise Way, Feb 23. (Jen Zielinski, Black Press Media)
Tuesday evening’s commute stalled by 3 vehicle collision

The incident backed up traffic on Enterprise Way at Dilworth Drive

A $3,000 donation from the Gary Bennett Family Fund will go towards baby products for families in need. (Central Okanagan Food Bank)
Okanagan charity donates $3,000 to support young families

The Gary Bennett Family Fund donated to Central Okanagan Food Bank

Project rendering of Hadgraft Wilson Place (CNW Group/Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)
68-unit affordable housing complex coming downtown Kelowna

The six-storey complex located on Fuller Ave is set to be completed by fall 2022

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Shuswap firefighters responding to structure blaze find cannabis grow operation

RCMP investigating, attempting to track down owner of property

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

(Stock photo)
EDITORIAL: The freedom to read

Books have been challenged many times in the past

Most Read