(Black Press Media files)

(Black Press Media files)

Significant leads led media to call the B.C. election early, expert says

Nearly half a million mail-in ballots are still to be counted

When the B.C. election began to be called less than an hour after polls closed on Saturday (Oct. 24), some voters were flummoxed. Those who voted by mail wondered if perhaps their vote was meaningless.

But according to the director of academic products at Canadian STEM research and education centre Maplesoft, there’s a science to it.

“You don’t always have all the votes in when you make those calls,” said Karishma Punwani. About 1.82 million people cast a ballot in this fall’s election out of a total of 3.49 million registered voters. Of those, 546,877 cast a ballot on Election Day and another 670,324 voted in advanced polls – and those are the votes available to be counted on Saturday night.

Another 525,000 mail-in ballots and 85,000 absentee ones will be counted no sooner than 13 days after Oct. 24, as per legislation. The final vote count is scheduled to begin Nov. 6, with the election writ to be returned on Nov. 16.

However, that’s not likely to change much about the projected BC NDP majority.

“There’s only 10-12 ridings where it’s a close call,” Punwani said. Those ridings include Abbotsford-Mission, Chilliwack-Kent, Richmond South Centre and Vernon-Monashee, some of them separated by barely one per cent.

“In many of the other ridings there was a significant lead… over the other party,” she added.

As for the 525,000 mail-in ballots, Punwani said they shouldn’t be concerned – at the end of the day, those votes will be counted and could still change the winning candidate.

“But something to keep in mind is it might swing to the Green Party, it might swing to to the Liberals but it might swing further to the NDP,” she noted.

Current preliminary results have the NDP with 55 seats, the Liberals with 29 and the Greens with three. To win a majority, a party must get at least 44 seats.

READ MORE: Horgan’s B.C. majority came with historically low voter turnout


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Town of Qualicum Beach will continue to have confidential in-camera meetings in person and at the council chambers. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Qualicum Beach confidential meetings to remain in person at council chambers

Coun. Robert Filmer calls decision an ‘unneeded risk’

Josie Osborne was sworn into the Legislature virtually on Nov. 24. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA Josie Osborne named minister of municipal affairs

The position was previously held by Selina Robinson, who is the province’s new finance minister

Kwalikum Secondary School. (SD69 photo)
Schools superintendent says protocols don’t change after COVID-19 exposure at Qualicum Beach high school

Elder: ‘We were assured by the Health Authority that the school is safe’

Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort general manager Paul Drummond, right, and SOS executive director Susanna Newton with some of the gifts left during the resort’s annual Toy Drive. (Peter McCully photo)
Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive in Parksville a rousing success

More than 1,200 toys, 16 bikes and $13K in cash/gift cards donated

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from daycare in Nanaimo

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Gracie couldn’t stop nursing from her previous owner’s goats which was problematic given the goats were trying to be dried out to breed. Gracie now lives at A Home for Hooves. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Cowichan animal sanctuary gets international accreditation

A Home for Hooves farm sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney has spoken out about some veterans losing their Dimished Earning Capacity income. (Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror photo)
Blaney pens letter to minister about veteran supports

Concerned about veterans losing some income

Most Read