John Horgan and the B.C. NDP are headed for a majority government, based on election night results from 87 constituencies across the province.
It takes 44 seats for a majority, and the NDP were leading in 55 seats with most of the election-night results reported. The B.C. Liberals were elected or leading in 29 constituencies and the B.C. Green Party was ahead in three.
Results in closer races will likely have to wait for two weeks to see the result of a flood of mail-in ballots as voters chose that option in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sonia Furstenau, the new B.C. Green leader, won re-election in Cowichan Valley, and her fellow Green MLA Adam Olsen was well ahead in Saanich North and the Islands.
The B.C. Greens’ Jeremy Valeriote was on his way to an upset win over B.C. Liberal incumbent Jordan Sturdy in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky, bringing the Greens back to three seats pending the final results. B.C. Green Nicole Charlwood is in a tight race with NDP candidate Brittny Anderson, who succeeded retired MLA Michelle Mungall.
B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson was re-elected in Vancouver-Quilchena, and Horgan in Langford-Juan de Fuca.
Apparent upsets on election night included B.C. Liberal veteran Mary Polak in Langley, falling behind NDP candidate Andrew Mercier. “Three weeks from tonight we’ll know the actual result,” said Surrey-Cloverdale B.C. Liberal incumbent Marvin Hunt, who appeared to be defeated on election-night results by the NDP’s Mike Starchuk.
Oak Bay-Gordon Head, vacated by former B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver, appeared to be won by the NDP’s Murray Rankin, a former MP for the Victoria region. Nathan Cullen, another former NDP MP, was on his way to a win in Stikine, vacated by the retiring NDP forests minister Doug Donaldson.
Horgan was subdued in his acceptance speech, thanking provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Elections B.C. for organizing a safe election in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A majority has been called but there are hundreds of thousands of votes still to be counted,” Horgan said.
Wilkinson was cautious in his concession speech just after 10 p.m. on election night, acknowledging that the NDP will form the next government.
“But with almost half a million mail-in ballots still to be counted, we still don’t know what the final count will be,” Wilkinson said. “We have to wait for these results because everyone’s voice needs to be heard.”
Horgan was criticized for calling the election a year before his own legislated date and in the middle of a public health emergency, after three and a half years of a minority government supported by three B.C. Green MLAs.