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

Peace Arch Hospital Foundation executive director Stephanie Beck speaks at a 2017 groundbreaking ceremony. In March 2020, she announced the Rapid Response Grant Program, aimed at providing financial assistance during the pandemic. (File photo)
Peace Arch Hospital Foundation launches youth program

Youth in Action designed for students who want to make an impact in their community

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on April 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Surrey RCMP asking for dash-cam video of ‘suspicious incident’

Incident involves a newer model Toyota Rav 4 SUV

Surrey RCMP are investigating a “serious” collision near Cloverdale Saturday evening. (Curtis Kreklau photo)
Surrey RCMP investigating ‘serious’ collision in Cloverdale

Witness says vehicle collided with utility pole at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of March 7

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Denise Stevenson

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

The Kimber family of Boston Bar lost their home in a fire. Blaine Kimber’s daughter created a fundraiser to help rebuild the home with the goal of $100,000. (Screenshot/GoFundMe)
Fundraiser created for Boston Bar family that lost everything in weekend fire

Witnesses say the Kimber family escaped the fire without injury, but their home is a total loss

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

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

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read