Liberals leading in early BC election results

Clark said Wednesday she spoke with Lt. Governor Judith Guichon, who asked her to remain as premier while absentee ballots are counted and one or more recounts takes place.

However a minority scenario would likely mean negotiations between Green leader Andrew Weaver and both the NDP and Liberals. Absentee ballots are counted at final count, May 22-24.

Why? Because it only takes one B.C. Liberal MLA crossing the floor to the NDP or Greens or sitting as an independent or quitting or, god forbid, passing away, and Christy Clark no longer controls the B.C. Legislature.

"If it's true that British Columbians voted for a change, that must mean - if you're Andrew Weaver - ousting Christy Clark from government", said UBC's Richard Johnston.

D'Avignon said all three parties have made commitment to transit and transportation infrastructure spending, but said the George Massey tunnel replacement project promised by the Liberals may now be placed on the back burner. This could happen if either party ends up getting polling data that suggests they could pick up seats if and election were to be called.

The Greens, with three seats, can now decide who forms the next government.

The unofficial results showed Liberals finished with 40.85 per cent of the popular vote, down about four per cent from 2013.

"The game's not over", said Horgan, who refused to concede defeat on Wednesday. When W.A.C. Bennett defeated the Liberal-Conservative coalition government in 1952, his minority lasted less than a year before opponents brought the government down.

Whether the Liberals will attempt to govern on an ad-hoc basis with case by case support of the other two parties, or seek a more formalized agreement with the BC Greens remains to be seen.

"British Columbians voted today to get big money out of politics", Horgan said.

"British Columbians sent a very strong message to all sides of the legislature".

George Hoberg, professor of environmental and natural resource policy at the University of British Columbia, said the situation could create uncertainties and makes building the project politically hard. "And they voted for an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top", Horgan said.

Electoral reform: The Greens want to introduce electoral reforms to replace the current first-past-the-post system.

"It could be a disaster", said Johnston about the vast difficulties in changing the way a province votes, "but if they can pull it off it would transform B.C. politics".

"Tonight is the beginning of something very different, and something that I think could be really exciting for the future of our province and our kids", she said.

"LNG project approvals would be easier for the province to unilaterally reverse", compared to federally approved pipelines, Hoberg said.

News outlets are reporting a Liberal minority government, but that could all change as the rest of the votes are counted.

"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.

Carbon tax: The Greens' plan would increase the carbon tax over the next four years from $30 a tonne to $70 a tonne.

  • Leroy Wright