Published: Wed, May 17, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

NDP and Liberals running neck and neck in tight B.C. election

NDP and Liberals running neck and neck in tight B.C. election

British Columbia's Liberals managed to hang on to power by the skin of their teeth on Tuesday in an election that produced the first minority government in the Pacific Coast province in 65 years.

Despite the fact we still don't know who the Premier is along with the possibility of a minority government, Clark had plenty of positive things to say about the vote.

The election of a minority government in British Columbia already has political parties pondering common ground between them as everybody awaits the final results.

Advance votes are still being counted tonight and could swing the result in some close ridings.

Christy Clark and the BC Liberals aim to continue to rule B.C. with a minority government after neither major party gained enough seats in Tuesday's election to secure the 44 seats required for a majority.

When the campaign kicked off April 11, the Liberals held 47 of the Legislature's 85 seats, the NDP had 35, the Greens one and there was one independent.

The results could change with 176,104 absentee ballots still to come and the NDP's Ronna-Rae Leonard clinging to a nine-vote lead over Liberal Jim Benninger in Courtenay-Comox.

That vote will be destined for a recount, and could be vulnerable to absentee ballots that won't be counted for almost two weeks, between May 22 and 24. Asked several times if she accepts personal responsibility, Clark avoided a direct answer.

Horgan said he and Weaver agree that the Liberals have failed British Columbians on many issues.

"My focus is on the people of British Columbia and if Mr. Weaver and others want to join with me, I am happy to do that". Fursteneau has battled the Liberals over a contaminated waste dump in her riding; Olsen is an opponent of the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion Clark is backing.

"Which party is able to break that divide is going to determine who will form the government looking forward for the next 10 years", he predicted. Absentee ballots are counted at final count, May 22-24.

If the NDP had Green support to form a government it could possibly order more environmental or health assessments on the pipeline which would postpone the start of construction.

Weaver said he and Horgan agree on some key issues, such as electoral reform and a ban on corporate and union donations.

There are 87 seats in the legislature.

Surrey-Green Timbers - Rachna Singh (NDP), who replaced the highly popular Sue Hammell when she made a decision to retire from politics, defeated Brenda Locke (Liberal), who had once been elected MLA from the riding and had been a minister.

The NDP did better than expected in greater Vancouver, which has historically been the linchpin for the Liberals, but it has also given away some of its own seats to Christy Clark's party, jeopardizing its chances of securing a majority.

"Elections don't go wrong; elections go as they go".

"British Columbians voted today to get big money out of politics", he said. Under the watch of Clark, a former radio host who has led for six years, B.C. topped Canadian growth for the second consecutive year in 2016 and also led in job creation. British Columbians voted for action for action on climate change.

"It may depend on which of Horgan or Clark is willing to offer the Greens more in terms of policy concessions".

Like this: