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'I'll be taking time for reflection': NDP leader Carole James

VICTORIA - New Democratic Party supporters continued to cheer results in particular ridings even as it became clear the B.C. Liberal Party was on its way to winning a third solid majority.

“I'll be taking my time for reflection,” NDP leader Carole James told reporters following her concession speech. “We'll obviously be looking at the results. Tonight is Gordon Campbell's night. I offered him my congratulations.”

James said she had no regrets about the NDP campaign. “I'm disappointed obviously in the result. I'd hoped we'd be able to win tonight,” she said.

She dismissed the idea that the NDP stance against the carbon tax was a mistake. “I continue to believe the carbon tax is ineffective and isn't fair, so I still have those concerns.”

Campbell got more votes in an election where people were worried about the economy. “I think it's clear the economy was an issue and the people felt they wanted someone with experience,” she said. “You don't get rid of the polarized politics in British Columbia very quickly. Old perceptions take a long time to go away.”

Supporters cheered results that saw Lana Popham beating Robin Adair in Saanich South, Jessica Van der Veen in a close race with Ida Chong in Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Gary Holman close with Murray Coell in Saanich North and the Islands, as well as NDP incumbents John Horgan, Maurine Karagianis and Rob Fleming retaining their seats.

“We'll continue to have some very strong voices in the legislature as well as some new faces in opposition,” said James.

Few candidates or campaign workers seemed surprised by the overall results. Nor were they expressing an immediate need for James to resign.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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