It was a nail-biter for a while, but Scott Hamilton has officially won the riding of Delta-North for the B.C. Liberals.
This week, Elections BC is counting the absentee ballots (from people who were out of country or unable to get to a ballot box for the May 14 provincial election).
Most of the results will be released on Wednesday.
However, the Delta-North count was done early, and Hamilton remains the MLA-elect for that riding.
Hamilton won by 302 votes on election night, and that lead was cut to 203 on Monday. Nonetheless, it was enough to win.
It made for an exciting day as the numbers were called in to Hamilton’s campaign manager Isaac Kendall.
He said when he heard Thursday there were 1,400 absentee ballots to count, there was “a little lump” in his throat.
“It just mattered which box they opened up first, but by the end of the day, we got the job done,” Kendall said Monday.
The other local riding to watch is Surrey-Fleetwood, where incumbent NDP MLA Jagrup Brar fell by just 266 votes to Langley Mayor Peter Fassbender and the Liberals.
In that riding, there are about 2,000 ballots outstanding.
“Anything can happen, you know,” Brar said Monday. “It happened the election night. It could end in a surprise.”
As an ex-basketball player, Brar said he’s not unfamiliar with loss.
“It’s part of life. You have to take the defeat in a graceful way,” Brar said.
He notes that the NDP took a pounding at the polls in this area.
“This is bigger than Surrey-Fleetwood,” Brar said. “In Surrey, we lost between six and 15 per cent (popular) support.”
Brar believes there are three main reasons for the pummelling the NDP took at the polls: The Liberals’ negative ads against Adrian Dix; inciting economic fear over NDP rule; and complacency among NDP supporters, who listened to early poll results and thought the election was in the bag.
Outside of Surrey-Fleetwood and Delta-North, most other local ridings were fairly handy victories and are expected to remain the way they are.
Elections BC will release the final counts on Wednesday.
Only then will Brar officially count it as a loss.