It had been billed as one of B.C.’s races to watch – and the match-up between Liberal incumbent Jas Johal and NDP challenger Aman Singh in Richmond-Queensborough did not disappoint.
Singh drew first blood by taking a slim lead over Johal after the first ballot box reported back, but after that, it was a neck-and-neck night as the two took turns taking the lead.
As more and more polls continued reporting, however, Singh’s lead widened – and by late in the evening, it became clear that Singh would, in fact, emerge victorious.
At 11:49 p.m., with 86 of 87 ballot boxes reporting, Singh held a 940-vote lead, with 46.68% of the vote to Johal’s 39.3%.
In New Westminster, meanwhile, the NDP’s continued dominance was never in doubt, as Jennifer Whiteside never saw less than about 56% of the vote coming her way. At 11:49 p.m., with 99 of 100 ballot boxes reporting back, Whiteside held 58.88% of the vote.
Green challenger Cyrus Sy held steady at about 20% of the vote throughout the evening, winding up with 19.56%, holding the second-place lead over the Liberals’ Lorraine Brett, at 16.14%.
The local results mirrored provincewide success for the NDP, which won 55 seats, with 44.75% of the popular vote. The Liberals took 29 seats, with 35.53% of the popular vote, while the Greens took three seats, with 15.36% of the popular vote.
Those results still stand to change, since a record number of mail-in ballots have yet to be accounted for – and those ballots aren’t counted until Nov. 6.
In New Westminster, 12,263 mail-in-voting packages were issued, while another 6,794 were issued in Richmond-Queensborough.
Exactly how many mail-in-voting packages were returned will be announced by Elections B.C. on Nov. 5, at which point Elections B.C. will be able to provide an estimate amount of time for the final count.
At this point, however, it isn’t considered likely that the mail-in ballots will change the overall landscape – though both NDP leader John Horgan and Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, in their election-night speeches, acknowledged the large number of votes yet to be counted.
For full preliminary election results, see https://elections.bc.ca/homepage.php