Experts predict instability in the legislature after BC election

Saturday, 13 May, 2017

The Liberals only need one more seat for a majority.

And if not for local NDP riding in-fighting in Cowichan, Columbia River-Revelstoke and Fraser-Nicola over bitterly contested nominations, likely costing the party three seats, Horgan would be premier-elect now. On election night in 2009, the NDP's Charlie Wyse was declared the victor in Cariboo-Chilcotin, before the final count declared Liberal Donna Barnett the victor.

Under the watch of Clark, a former radio host who's governed for six years, BC has led Canada in job creation and posted a budget surplus for five consecutive years. Whichever party they choose to work with would get to form the government, while the other party would become the official opposition.

She was quietly, and desperately, hoping Christy Clark's pro-pipeline Liberals would win a clear victory over John Horgan's anti-pipeline NDP.

The opposition, left-leaning New Democrats toppled powerful ministers in Clark's not-very-liberal Liberal Party cabinet. That race is expected to go to a judicial recount.

There were approximately 51,000 absentee ballots in the 2013 election, and Elections BC will make its final count of this year's ballots between May 22 and 24.

After the initial results were in Tuesday, Horgan said the outcome shows British Columbians want a change in government after 16 years under the Liberals. "Getting out your vote is always critical in an election".

Either way you look at it - number of seats or percentage of votes won - the Liberals lost.

"Site C is being constructed for an industry that does not exist, the LNG industry, and so desperate are the BC Liberals to actually land LNG that they sign contracts to subsidize LNG ... to the tune of 6 cents a kilowatt hour", said Weaver.

Premier Christy Clark remains premier, and she'll get the first shot at forming a new government when she visits Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon.

Outcomes like that could come up if the NDP manage to grab the hotly contested Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, where the Liberals lead by just 170 votes, or Richmond-Queensborough, where Liberal Jas Johal is sitting on a 263 vote lead.

"Voters know best. And they reminded us tonight that we are far from flawless", Clark said.

He'll want concessions to his party's views, and he'll get them, to judge by Wednesday's performances.

"The game's not over", said Horgan, who refused to concede defeat on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, political commentators say that Albertans should be watching the results in B.C., especially with the implications they would have on the future of pipeline projects there.

Weaver heralded the breakthrough of his candidates on Vancouver Island. "In the days ahead there will be discussions taking place between all parties, but [tonight] is not the time, [tonight] is the time for Greens to celebrate".

Explore our interactive results tracker above to navigate to results for individual ridings.

Clark will continue as premier until the dust settles. The Green Party grabbed a record three districts in what its leader described as North America's first elected green caucus.

Horgan said he and Weaver agree that the Liberals have failed British Columbians on many issues. One points towards a new election.

Continued rule by the BC Liberals under Clark would largely maintain course, amid some promises to reduce MSP premiums and cap tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges.

Andrew Weaver is applauded by his supporters at the B.C. Green Party Headquarters at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort.