A judicial recount is coming for the West Vancouver-Sea to Sky riding after Liberal incumbent Jordan Sturdy beat Green Jeremy Valeriote by the narrowest of margins.
Under the Election Act, a judicial recount must take place if the difference between the top two candidates is less than 1/500 of the total ballots considered at final count.
In West Vancouver-Sea to Sky, where the Green party had hoped to pick up its third seat, Elections B.C. said that threshold was 49 (with Sturdy taking 9,216 and Valeriote 9,175).
Over the weekend, as elections officials processed 660,000 mail-in and absentee ballots (13 days after the provincial election), the NDP secured four more seats. Those were in Abbotsford Mission, Richmond South Centre, Chilliwack Kent and Vernon Monashee.
On election night, the New Democrats were projected to win 53 seats in the B.C. parliament, the Liberals 27 and the Greens three. Four races were too close to call.
Sunday’s final count (with one judicial review) gives the NDP 57 seats, the Liberals 28 and the Greens two.
Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said in a statement the party would await the official recount result.
“Jeremy Valeriote is an excellent candidate and the close results in his riding show that the people of West Vancouver-Sea to Sky are hoping for a more sustainable and equitable future for their community,” Furstenau said.
“Every election, more and more voters have chosen to vote Green — that is cause for celebration and we will continue to work with the community to come out strong next time.”
On Saturday it was confirmed that NDP candidate Kelli Paddon in Chilliwack-Kent had beaten incumbent two-termer Laurie Throness.
Throness started the campaign as a Liberal candidate but quit to run as an Independent after causing an uproar comparing free contraception programs to eugenics at an all-candidates meeting. Paddon won by 1,304 votes.
Throness said in a tweet he called Paddon to congratulate her on her win and said his time in office was “an enormous privilege.”
“It has been my life’s joy to serve the riding of Chilliwack-Kent for 7.5 years,” the tweet says.
In Abbotsford-Mission, the New Democrats also took away what had been considered a safe Liberal seat.
The Liberal incumbent Simon Gibson had been winning in the riding when the ballot count was finished on election night.
However, New Democrat Pam Alexis finished with 10,364 votes to Gibson’s 9,620. Alexis is the former mayor of Mission.
Liberal candidates have been elected in Abbotsford-Mission with more than 50 per cent of the votes since the riding was created for the 2009 election.
Richmond South Centre went to the NDP’s Henry Yao, narrowly defeating Richmond councillor Alexa Loo by 124 votes.
Vernon-Monashee was the last riding to be called, with the NDP’s Harwinder Sandhu breaking the iron grip of the Liberals, beating four-term Liberal Eric Foster.
During the campaign, a Sandhu election sign was defaced with racist and sexist messages. According to her online profile, Sandhu is a registered nurse, active at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
with files from Canadian Press