With the vote counting still underway on Saturday night, the British Columbia NDP is on track to be re-elected with a large majority.
As of 10:45 p.m., the NDP were leading or elected in 55 constituencies, the BC Liberals in 29 and the BC Greens in three. There are 87 seats in the B.C. legislature.
The NDP had received about 44 per cent of the vote, the BC Liberals 35 per cent and the Greens 16 per cent.
The result would mean a gain of a dozen or more seats for the NDP, including some that had been considered unlikely for the party.
Among the former Liberal seats that the NDP is poised to win are North Vancouver-Seymour, Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, Richmond-Queensborough, Parksville-Qualicum, Vancouver-False Creek, Richmond-Steveston, Richmond-South Centre, Surrey-Cloverdale, Langley and Boundary-Similkameen.
The three constituencies where the Greens were leading are Cowichan Valley, Saanich North and the Islands and West Vancouver-Sea to Sky.
NDP Leader John Horgan said it’s been an honour and a privilege to serve as premier the last three years and that he’s grateful to voters for giving him the opportunity to continue that work.
Returning to work Monday, his priorities include managing the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting the services people count on, and keeping people safe, healthy and secure, he said.
“The challenges ahead are daunting,” he said, noting his mother always encouraged him to do his “level best” and saying that is exactly what he will do.
BC Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said Horgan called the snap election hoping to get a majority government and wipe out his opponents.
“They were half successful,” she said.
The strong support for the Greens showed British Columbians want the government held accountable on important issues like climate change and inequality, she said. “We will not let you down.”
Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson acknowledged that the NDP would likely form government, but did not concede defeat. People should wait until all of the ballots are counted, he said.
“This has been a new campaign like no other in the midst of a global pandemic,” he said. “I’m proud to have presented a bold plan on behalf of the BC Liberal Party.”
The results available this evening include counts of the votes cast on election day and in advanced polls, but not those made by mail.
By Thursday afternoon, Elections BC had sent out more than 724,000 vote-by-mail packages and received back nearly 480,000 of them, about one for every seven registered voters in the province. Counting those votes, along with absentee ballots, won’t begin until at least 13 days after election day.