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British Columbia voters who hadn’t already cast a ballot in the province’s election had their last opportunity to make their choice. More than a million of B.C.'s 3.5 million registered voters had cast their ballots in advance or by mail-in ballot during the pandemic-era election.

Those votes will not be counted today, but rather, under the terms of the Elections Act, starting Nov. 6 at the earliest. That will delay the outcome of the first B.C. election held during a pandemic until mid November.

Recent headlines:

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NDP Leader John Horgan returns with majority government after calling election

Opinion: B.C. NDP’s pandemic election gamble pays off

Key ridings to watch in the B.C. election

Here’s where the Greens, Liberals and NDP stand on election issues


11:30 p.m. PDT / 2:20 a.m. EDT

Greens will hold NDP accountable

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau says her slightly expanded caucus will hold British Columbia’s majority New Democrat government to account in the legislature.

The Green party won three seats in the B.C. election on Saturday, with Adam Olsen joining Furstenau in getting re-elected.

They will be joined by environmental engineer Jeremy Valeriote in the West Vancouver-Sea to Sky riding.

Furstenau says the NDP will quickly discover the strength of the three -member Green caucus.

She says the NDP engineered the election in order to win a majority but were only partially successful in their effort to cripple opposition voices, especially the Greens.

Furstenau says the Greens will put forward a hopeful vision to help people endure the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Furstenau was elected Green leader one week before NDP Leader John Horgan called a snap election more than a year ahead of schedule.

- Canadian Press

BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau delivers her speech after being re-elected during a press conference at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort in Victoria, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020.

CHAD HIPOLITO/The Canadian Press


10:40 p.m. PDT / 1:40 a.m. EDT

Horgan will go back to work on Monday

NDP Leader John Horgan says he will go back to work on Monday and focus on helping residents get through the COVID-19 pandemic as he awaits the final results of the B.C. election.

Like Wilkinson, Horgan acknowledged the high number of mail-in ballots that need to be counted.

Horgan says he will invest in schools, long-term care and childcare.

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“One thing we know for certain is that on Monday I’ll be going back to work and we’re going to be putting people, businesses and others who are focused on getting through the pandemic at the front of everything that we do,” said Horgan during a victory speech in a room that was largely empty due as a result of pandemic restrictions.

The NDP have been elected in at least 50 ridings, including in North Vancouver-Seymour where Liberal incumbent Jane Thornthwaite has lost her seat to her NDP rival.

Thornwaite was criticized by opposition politicians for comments she made about fellow North Vancouver MLA Bowinn Ma during a celebratory roast for a retiring colleague in September.

- Canadian Press

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press


10:25 p.m. PDT / 1:25 a.m. EDT

Opposition Leader says mail-in ballots will show final results

Opposition Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson says it appears the NDP will have the opportunity to form the B.C. government, but he notes there are still at least half a million ballots to count.

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Wilkinson, who earlier was re-elected to his seat of Vancouver-Quilchena, says mail-in ballots will determine the final results.

He did say during his speech that the NDP was clearly ahead and it appeared John Horgan’s party would have the opportunity to form government.

The Liberals were elected or leading in 29 ridings, NDP in 55 ridings, while the Greens had elected three members to the legislature.

The final results will not be known for at least two weeks due to the large number of mail-in ballots cast throughout the province, and Wilkinson says those votes must be counted before the election is called.

The Liberals held 41 seats in Opposition to a New Democrat government supported by the Greens when the election was called in September, a year ahead of B.C.'s fixed election date.

Liberal incumbents Todd Stone, Mike Bernier and Teresa Wat have been re-elected, although several Liberal incumbents lost their seats Saturday. Both Liberals Mary Polak and Sam Sullivan lost their seats.

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- Canadian Press

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson reads a statement at provincial election night headquarters, in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020.

DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press


10:10 p.m. PDT / 1:10 a.m. EDT

Richmond-Queensborough and Vancouver-False Creek ridings

BC Liberal Jas Johal, a former high-profile TV reporter who has once considered running for the leadership of the BC Liberals, appeared have been defeated by NDP candidate Aman Singh in Richmond-Queensborough. In 2017, Mr. Johal won the seat by 263 votes over Mr. Singh, a lawyer.

BC Liberal Sam Sullivan, a former Vancouver mayor, was running behind NDP candidate Brenda Bailey, a tech entrepreneur, in Vancouver-False Creek, a riding that Mr. Sullivan has represented since 2013.

- Ian Bailey


10 p.m. PDT / 1 a.m. EDT

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New NDP wins, Greens pick up third seat

Former New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen has won on his first attempt at provincial politics.

Cullen won his riding of Stikine, despite facing a backlash after he was overheard making negative comments about a B.C. Liberal candidate in a neighbouring riding.

The Greens have picked up a third, with Jeremy Valeriote winning West Vancouver-Sea to Sky to join Green Leader Sonia Furstenau and Adam Olsen as the party’s representatives in the legislature.

- Canadian Press


10 p.m. PDT / 1 a.m. EDT

Green leader wins her B.C. seat

Green party leader Sonia Furstenau has been re-elected in her Cowichan Valley riding in the B.C. election.

- Canadian Press


9:50 p.m. PDT / 12:50 p.m. EDT

Riding to former Green leader Andrew Weaver now NDP

The riding that was once held by former Green party leader Andrew Weaver has been won by the NDP in the B.C. election.

Former New Democrat member of Parliament Murray Rankin, who represented Victoria federally, beat the Green party in Oak Bay-Gordon Head.

Education Minister Rob Fleming has also been re-elected on Vancouver Island, holding his seat of Victoria-Swan Lake.

Fleming had faced criticism from the BC Teachers' Federation over the handling of school re-openings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

- Canadian Press


9:15 p.m. PDT / 12:15 p.m. EDT

NDP victorious in British Columbia election

NDP leader John Horgan’s gamble, calling an early election amid the pandemic, has paid off and he will return to the B.C. legislature as premier once again.

Mr. Horgan is the second premier in Canada to upgrade a minority government amid the pandemic, following in the footsteps of New Brunswick’s Progressive Conservatives.

With more than 25 per cent of the polls reporting, the NDP were leading and elected in 47 seats – which would be enough to command a majority in the 87 seat legislature if those numbers hold up.

Mr. Horgan called the snap election on Sept. 21, a year ahead of schedule, asking British Columbians to give him a stable majority government to manage the COVID-19 crisis. While the second wave of the virus arrived in the province, the government went into caretaker mode for 32 days as the politicians campaigned in a pandemic-inspired bubble.

- Justine Hunter


9 p.m. PDT / 12 p.m. EDT

Wilkinson of the BC Liberals re-elected as MLA

Andrew Wilkinson of the BC Liberal Party has been re-elected as MLA in Vancouver-Quilchena, keeping the seat for the party. Wilkinson won 1,456 out of 2,664 counted votes

- Canadian Press


8:50 p.m. PDT / 11:50 p.m. EDT

Health Minister Dix wins riding

Health Minister Adrian Dix has won his riding of Vancouver-Kingsway in the B.C. election.

Early results show the New Democrats beating the Liberals.

The NDP has just over 45 per cent of the popular vote, compared with 34.6 for the Liberals and the Greens have 15.9 per cent.

A party needs 44 seats to form a majority government in B.C.

- Canadian Press


8:45 p.m. PDT / 11:45 p.m. EDT

Parties await results as vote counts roll in

On election night, NDP leader John Horgan watched the returns in a downtown Vancouver hotel room. In a ballroom in the same hotel, the party’s headquarters for election night looked very different than a normal election. The pandemic protocols meant that party supporters were not allowed to gather, in fact just a handful of broadcast journalists were allowed in the room where Mr. Horgan was expected to eventually speak.

Even before the polls closed, the Liberals were appealing to their supporters for donations to help pay for challenges to election results in the coming weeks. “We need to ensure fairness and integrity in every riding in British Columbia,” wrote party president Paul Barbeau in an email. He predicted thousands of the mail-in ballots could be rejected, promising some intense disputes in close races. Many of the early mail-in ballots were mailed out before nominations closed, so voters were required to write in the name of their preferred candidate or party. “That means training volunteers, deploying field staff, and maybe even retaining lawyers to monitor the final ballot count in key ridings,” Mr. Barbeau wrote.

- Justine Hunter


8 p.m. PDT / 11 p.m. EDT

Polls close in the 2020 B.C. election

The polls have closed in British Columbia’s election, but whether a winner can be declared Saturday night is up in the air because of an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots.

Mail-in-ballot requests surged during the pandemic. The pandemic meant the election was mostly fought online. Gone were rallies, replaced by virtual town halls. Handshakes turned into elbow bumps.

- Canadian Press


7:30 p.m. PDT / 10:30 p.m. EDT

Watch key ridings

Chilliwack-Kent, Coquitlam-Burke and Mountain Cowichan Valley are among some of The Globe’s recommendations of ridings to follow this election.

Click here to find more information on key ridings in the B.C. election

- Ian Bailey


7 p.m. PDT / 10 p.m. EDT

About half a million mail-in ballots returned

Elections BC says nearly half a million mail-in ballots have been returned as people tried to avoid going to the polls to vote in B.C.'s election during the pandemic.

It says 724,279 vote-by-mail packages were requested, with nearly 498,000 returned as of Friday night.

Voters had until the polls close today to return the mail-in ballots.

There are nearly 3.5 million registered voters in British Columbia.

- Canadian Press


9 a.m. PDT / 12 p.m. EDT

Leaders go to the polls

NDP Leader John Horgan was among just over 681,000 people who cast their ballots during the week-long advance voting period that ended Wednesday.

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau voted early Saturday at a community centre in the Vancouver Island community of Shawnigan Lake, and Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson cast his ballot at a polling station in Vancouver.

“From what I have heard, turnout has been steady throughout the morning and I think things have gone well so far,” Andy Watson said, from Victoria, in an interview. “I’ve heard of some places having lines. I haven’t heard of extensive lines anywhere.”

- Justine Hunter, Ian Bailey, Canadian Press


8 a.m. PDT / 11 a.m. EDT

Polls open

There is no computer network allowing Elections BC to know in real time how many voters were casting ballots on voting day.

- Canadian Press


More headlines

Eager to imprint: BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson strives to make his mark

B.C. Green Leader Sonia Furstenau wants party to focus on ‘addressing the growing inequality’ in the province

A calculated risk: NDP Leader John Horgan on his decision for a snap election in B.C. and the rough road that could lie ahead

Facebook says its election integrity strategy is in effect in B.C.

More opinion and analysis

Editorial: In B.C.’s pandemic election, the Liberals and NDP have reversed roles

With files from the Canadian Press

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