B.C. kids vote Green party the official opposition to NDP majority


When the campaign kicked off April 11, the Liberals held 47 of the Legislature's 85 seats, the NDP had 35, the Greens 1 and there was one independent.

In one riding, Courtenay-Comox, the NDP were declared the winners with just nine votes.

As of 9 p.m. the ballrom is almost full now and cheers go up as the television incdicates a lead for Saanich North and the Islands Green Party candidate Adam Olsen draws cheers from the crowd.

In her own district of Kelowna-West, Clark lost a close battle with NDP candidate Shelley Cook, receiving only 3.7 per cent more votes.

Traditionally, the party in power - the Liberals - get the first chance to convince the lieutenant governor that they can form government, especially if they have the largest number of seats. Horgan promised a new hospital for the Cowichan Valley during the election campaign in an effort to shore up support for his candidate.

Votes are still being counted and it could be early in the morning before voters know which party will form B.C.'s next government.

"British Columbians did tell us tonight that they want us to do some things differently", she acknowledged, pledging to work with the other parties and congratulating John Horgan and Andrew Weaver on a hard-fought campaign. And they have been supported, at least in part, by the NDP and opposed by the BC Liberals.

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This was SHSS's first time participating in the Student Vote. Absentee ballots are counted at final count, May 22-24.

The party lost in the northern riding of Skeena, which the Liberals haven't picked up since 2001, but picked up seats across Metro Vancouver, knocking off four cabinet ministers, including Attorney General Suzanne Anton, TransLink Minister Peter Fassbender, and Naomi Yamamoto in North Vancouver-Lonsdale - a riding that hasn't gone orange since 1991, when the vote was split on the right. "British Columbians voted today for proportional representation". Silence greeted news that the NDP had taken the lead in several swing ridings in Burnaby and Surrey in the Vancouver area.

The Liberals were trying to win a fifth successive majority government after holding power for 16 years. We saw that in our polling where Green and NDP supporters were excited about their party's outlook and the Liberal supporters didn't share the same level of enthusiasm for their party. The province has Canada's lowest unemployment rate and has led the country in economic growth two years in a row. The fact of the matter is that the Greens are here, we're going to be a force.

The New Democrats' platform contained big-ticket promises including $10-a-day childcare, freezing hydro rates for a year and eliminating tolls on two major Lower Mainland bridges.

After months of pressure, the Liberals committed to convening a panel to review political fundraising.

- With files from Geordon Omand and Gemma Karstens-Smith in Vancouver, and Dirk Meissner in Victoria.