Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. Limbo: Provincial Election Results in Doubt for at Least Two More Weeks

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. Limbo: Provincial Election Results in Doubt for at Least Two More Weeks

Article excerpt

B.C. limbo as final election results weeks away


VANCOUVER - British Columbia's election hangs in the balance with thousands of votes still to be counted, kicking off weeks of speculation and backroom negotiations with the newly influential Green party.

When preliminary results were tallied Tuesday night, Christy Clark's Liberals had 43 seats, John Horgan's NDP won 41 and Andrew Weaver's Greens held a historic three ridings. The stunning outcome gave B.C. its first minority government in 65 years, with Weaver's party holding the balance of power.

But the Liberals only need one more seat for a majority -- and 176,000 absentee ballots are yet to be counted. Several ridings were decided by fewer than 300 votes, including Courtenay-Comox, where the NDP won by a mere nine votes.

The final results are expected by May 24, and it's anyone's guess what B.C.'s legislature will look like.

"The game's not over," said Horgan, who refused to concede defeat on Wednesday. "There's still 176,000 seconds on the clock and I'm going to wait to see what the final outcome is."

Horgan and Clark have drawn different lessons from Tuesday's results. While Horgan said it's clear British Columbians want change after 16 years under the Liberals, Clark said she reads the result as a plea to the parties to work together.

The Liberals lost seats in Metro Vancouver and several cabinet ministers were defeated. Asked several times if she accepts personal responsibility, Clark avoided a direct answer.

"British Columbians sent a very strong message to all sides of the legislature. They want us to work together collaboratively and across partisan lines," said Clark, who was trying to win the party's fifth straight majority government.

The premier's office said Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon has asked Clark to continue governing after the election.

The popular vote on Tuesday gave the Liberals about 17,800 more votes than the New Democrats.

Even after the absentee ballots are counted, tight finishes could trigger judicial recounts. …

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