The mood was positive and getting more optimistic by the minute at BC Liberal headquarters as the early returns showed that the governing party could be poised for an epic comeback.
Former federal Conservative minister Stockwell Day said at 9 p.m. that the numbers "show what we were seeing on the ground."
Day, a strong BC Liberal supporter, said that "people were willing to stay with what was working."
He stopped short of declaring victory, but said that, "AIl I can say is I prefer being on the side of 50 leading and 32 behind... We are masking our optimism at this point. But obviously it's a positive trendline."
Former BC Liberal finance minister Colin Hansen said that the results in some close ridings may not be known until late into the night because of the high advanced poll turnout.
"It could be a long evening," said Hansen because the advanced vote isn't usually known until later in the night. Hansen said 15 per cent of votes in Vancouver-Point Grey were cast in the advanced poll.
Hansen said he isn't surprised by the BC Liberal showing.
"We saw the gap close dramatically over these last few weeks, which we knew they would. And we knew that Christy Clark would be a formidable campaigner and that she had a real vision for the province."
Hansen said the election would be far closer than predicted by pollsters because Clark was being "compared to perfection" when she was running government, but during an election "you are compared to the alternative."
Doug Ward is reporting from BC Liberal headquarters at the Wall Centre.