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Former cabinet minister Kevin Falcon was in front as early results were released today in the B.C. Liberal party leadership race.

After three rounds of results, Falcon had just over 48 per cent of the points awarded to the candidates.

His closest challenger was legislature member Ellis Ross, who had almost 29 per cent, followed by his legislature colleague Michael Lee at almost 11 per cent.

Val Litwin remained on the fourth ballot, while Gavin Dew, Renee Merrifield and Stan Sipos were dropped from the field after two ballots.

Falcon captured 4,121 first ballot points, 4,143 on the second and about 4,202, shy of the 4,351 points needed to claim victory.

Earlier today, a judge rejected a bid by a party member to delay the release of the results for 15 days over concerns about the Liberals’ recent audit of new members it signed up during the leadership campaign.