BC election results not as expected

Shara JJ Cooper
By Shara JJ Cooper
May 15th, 2013

BC’s 40th provincial election finished with more than a few surprises.

In the Boundary-Similkameen, Liberal candidate Linda Larson was elected as the newest MLA.

This outcome wasn’t so much a surprise, as a curiosity. The CBC and other media sources declared the Boundary-Similkameen one of the top ridings to watch after incumbent John Slater and New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate Marji Basso both stepped down for “personal reasons.” A few months later (former) conservative candidate Mischa Popoff was removed from the conservative campaign after making controversial remarks. He continued to run as an independent.

Larson was in the lead from when the first ballot box was counted right up until the final numbers were in. However, NDP candidate Sam Hancheroff was never too far behind.

Once all the ballots were counted, Larson had 7,853 ballots (46.34 per cent), Hancheroff had 6,656 (39.28 per cent), Green Party candidate John Kwasnica had 1,481 (8.74 per cent), independent Mischa Popoff  had 608 (3.59 per cent) and independent Doug Pederson had 349 ballots (2.06 per cent).

The Boundary-Similkameen riding had 28,816 registered voters with 4,774 of them casting their ballots in the advanced election and a total of 17,187 ballots altogether. There are 38160 people in the riding, which means about 45 per cent of the population voted.

Another election surprise came happened on Vancouver Island. Oak Bay-Gordon Head candidate Andrew Weaver became the first ever Green Party MLA in the province after winning the riding. Over on the mainland, Delta South had another first. Incumbent Vicki Huntington, an independent, was re-elected in her riding.

The provincial end result might be the biggest surprise with incumbent premier Christy Clark being re-elected for a second term. It was widely projected by early polls that NDP leader Adrian Dix would be the next premier and end the 12-year Liberal reign. However, once the ballots started rolling in, Clark was off to a running start and never lost momentum.

“I think people are going to re-examine the truthfulness of polls,” she said in her victory speech. “If there’s any lesson it’s that pollsters and pundits and commentators do not choose the government. It is the people of British Columbia that choose the government.”

The conservatives didn’t win in any of the ridings, including leader John Cummins own Langley riding but Dix won in his Vancouver-Kingsway riding.

“The voters have decided and it’s our responsibility to accept that decision,” NDP leader Adrian Dix said in his concession speech. 

Categories: GeneralPolitics