(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

Just Posted

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements’ invention La Méduse (the Jellyfish) removes oil from the ocean. The invention was one of 15 out of 700 inventions submitted to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Little Inventors contest. (Cole Schisler photo)
‘Little Inventors’ from Ladysmith showcased in national science challenge

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements were one of 15 finalists in the Little Inventors Challenge

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read