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BC NDP pick up 4, Liberals hold 2 key races as final provincial election count continues

Click to play video: 'Elections BC begins count of absentee, mail-in ballots' Elections BC begins count of absentee, mail-in ballots
Elections BC begins count of absentee, mail-in ballots – Nov 6, 2020

John Horgan’s NDP government picked up four seats and was leading as many other key races on Saturday, as elections officials continued to count mail-in and absentee ballots from the 2020 provincial election.

The overall outcome of the election is not in question, with Horgan on track to form a majority government, but the size of that majority is still in question.

As of Saturday afternoon, the party had won 53 seats, the BC Liberals had won 26 and the Greens two.

On election night on Oct. 23, there were still 12 races Global News deemed too close to call.

On Friday, Elections BC staff began counting the more than 660,000 remaining uncounted ballots, a process expected to take at least three days.

Of the more than 287,000 of those ballots workers counted Friday, the NDP won just over 51 per cent, the BC Liberals nearly 32 per cent and the BC Greens 14.5 per cent.

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Read more: B.C. election 2020: BC NDP projected to form majority government

Officials finished counts in a number of those ridings Saturday afternoon.

In Chilliwack-Kent, former BC Liberal turned independent Laurie Throness was unseated by New Democrat Kelly Paddon.

The NDP’s historic Fraser Valley surge continued, as it picked up Abbotsford-Mission, where Mission Mayor Pam Alexis defeated the BC Liberals’ Simon Gibson by 744 votes.

It’s one of the ridings where the BC Conservatives may have played spoiler. Conservative Trevor Hamilton won 1,989 votes.

The NDP also solidified its hold on Richmond, adding two more seats from the traditionally Liberal sub-region.

The party flipped Richmond-Steveston, where city councillor Kelly Greene beat Liberal Matt Pitcairn by 1,335 votes, and also picked up Richmond South Centre.

BC Liberal Alexa Loo took to Twitter to concede and congratulate new NDP MLA Henry Yao.

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BC Liberal incumbent Jackie Tegart held on to win in Fraser-Nicola by just 282 votes over New Democrat Aaron Sumexheltza.

The party appears to have cost itself a winnable race. Dennis Adamson, one of 13 NDP riding executives who resigned in protest at Sumexheltza’s nomination, ran as an independent, winning 438 votes — more than Tegart’s margin of victory.

The Liberals also pulled off a come-from-behind win in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky that will be headed to a recount.

Read more: BC Greens poised to make history with their first seat off Vancouver Island

On election night, Green Jeremy Valeriote led by 604 votes. But once the outstanding ballots were counted, incumbent BC Liberal Jordan Sturdy took a 41 vote lead.

New Democrats were also leading in four other ridings, the BC Liberals in two.

The party held the slimmest of leads in Vernon-Monashee, where the party desperately hopes to form an Okanagan beachhead.

Harwinder Sandhu was ahead of incumbent Liberal Eric Foster by just 50 votes.

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New Democrat Megan Dykeman held a lead of 1,161 over Liberal Margaret Kunst in Langley East.

In Parksville-Qualicum, New Democrat Adam Walker maintained more than a 1,000 vote lead over former BC Liberal cabinet minister Michelle Stillwell, and in Vancouver-False Creek the NDP’s Brenda Bailey’s lead over BC Liberal and former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan to more than 1,400 votes.

Read more: Final ballot counting is underway in the B.C. election. Here are some ridings to watch

Of the remaining tight races, the BC Liberals held their strongest lead in Vancouver-Langara, where incumbent Michael Lee was up by 935 votes over New Democrat Tessica Truong.

Liberal Trevor Halford also held a 751 vote lead over New Democrat Bryn Smith in Surrey-White Rock.

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