WELCOME TO KTW'S COVERAGE OF THE 42ND PROVINCIAL ELECTION. THIS RUNNING BLOG WILL INCLUDE ALL THE INFORMATION FROM TONIGHT'S RESULTS:
-- This election has 87 seats up for grabs. At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats. The Greens held two seats, there were two Independents and one seat was vacant.
-- A party needs 44 seats to form a majority.
-- DID YOU KNOW?
The NDP formed a minority government in 2017 with support from the Greens after finishing on election night with two fewer seats than the B.C. Liberals, while the Greens won three seats and held the balance of power.
• The last time B.C. had a minority government before that was in 1952 and the NDP's rise to power in 2017 ended a 16-year span outside government.
• The B.C. Liberals were in power from 2001 to 2017.
• The NDP was in power from 1991 to 2001 with four different party leaders during its time in office.
• Andrew Wilkinson became leader of the B.C. Liberals in February 2018, replacing Christy Clark.
• John Horgan was acclaimed NDP leader in 2014 and first won a seat in the legislature in 2005.
• Sonia Furstenau has been on the job for about a month, being elected to lead the Greens on Sept. 14.
-- Elections BC has sent out about 700,000 vote by mail packages and has received about 500,000 as of Oct. 23. Those ballots will not begin to get counted until Nov. 6. They will likely comprise 30-35% of all ballots cast. Election day and advance poll ballots will be counted tonight.
-- In Kamloops-North Thompson, there are 107 ballot boxes. In Kamloops-South Thompson, there are 97 ballot boxes. After one ballot box reporting, B.C. Liberal Peter Milobar is leading in Kamloops-North and B.C. Liberal Todd Stone is leading in Kamloops-South.
-- After four ballot boxes counted, Milobar leads with 45 votes, followed by Sadie Hunter of the NDP (36), Dennis Giesbrecht of the Conservatives (13), Thomas Martin of the Greens (5) and independent Brandon Russell (2).
-- Kamloops-South Thompson B.C. Liberal candidate Todd Stone is at the North Kamloops office he shared throughout the campaign with Kamloops-North Thompson B.C. Liberal candidate Peter Milobar.
A night during which candidates are typically surrounded by many supporters, the campaign looks different amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Joining Stone and Milobar tonight are their spouses, a limited number of campaign staff and media.
“Normally, we would be at a hotel ballroom and the place would be packed,” Stone said. “There would be all this nervous energy and everybody would be, you know, making small talk, waiting for the results to pour in. Much smaller group. I think there’s only about eight of us, not including a couple of media.”
Steps have been taken, however, to include more people safely from a distance. A big screen television is set up in the campaign office. Supporters from both ridings will join the candidates for a Zoom call as the results start coming in. Stone said they felt it was important to share the excitement of the evening with people who have “shown up day in and day out through this campaign to help us.”
Stone said his voice went a bit hoarse after spending Saturday making many phone calls to thank supporters and ensure voters turned up at the polls. He said despite technology and innovation, elections are won and lost based on who shows up to vote.
“We really just worked the phones as hard as we could,” Stone said.
Asked his thoughts on election night, Stone said he has butterflies, just as he did during the previous two elections in which he ran.
“I’m certainly anxiously awaiting the results coming in, just like British Columbians are,” he said. “I’m really proud of the campaign Peter and I ran together. We put a whole bunch of local priorities front and centre, items that we’re going to fight for and advocate for for our respective communities. At the end of the day, it’s a team Kamloops approach and I think it was very well received during this campaign.”
Provincially, Stone said he does not know how the results will shake out but that he is proud of the effort put forward in the Thompson valleys.
-- With 5 of 107 ballot boxes reporting in Kamloops-North, Milobar has 90 votes, followed by Hunter with 73, Giesbrecht with 36, Martin with 20 and Russell with 3. With 2 of 97 reporting in Kamloops-South, B.C. Liberal Todd Stone has 126 votes, followed by Anna Thomas of the NDP with 63 and Dan Hines of the Greens with 33.
-- After 13 of 107 ballot boxes counted in Kamloops-North, Milobar leads with 385 votes, followed by Sadie Hunter of the NDP (316), Thomas Martin of the Greens (110), Dennis Giesbrecht of the Conservatives (96) and independent Brandon Russell (12).
-- With 17 of 107 ballot boxes counted in Kamloops-North, Milobar leads with 474 votes, followed by Sadie Hunter of the NDP (422), Thomas Martin of the Greens (141, Dennis Giesbrecht of the Conservatives (118) and independent Brandon Russell (15).
--With 5 of 97 ballot boxes counted in Kamloops-South, Stone leads with 213 votes, followed by Anna Thomas of the NDP (95 votes) and Dan Hines of the Greens (60).
-- With 21 of 107 ballot boxes counted in Kamloops-North, Milobar leads with 567 votes, followed by Sadie Hunter of the NDP with 527, Thomas Martin of the Greens with 161, Dennis Giesbrecht of the Conservatives with 134 and independent Brandon Russell with 17.
-- With 12 of 97 ballot boxes counted in Kamloops-South, Stone leads with 502 votes, followed by Anna Thomas of the NDP with 364 and Dan Hines of the Greens with 233.
-- At 8:55 p.m., the CBC has called a NDP government victory.
-- With 30 of 107 ballot boxes counted in Kamloops-North, Milobar leads with 926 votes, followed by Sadie Hunter of the NDP with 783, Thomas Martin of the Greens with 251, Dennis Giesbrecht of the Conservatives with 213 and independent Brandon Russell with 22.
-- With 21 of 97 ballot boxes counted in Kamloops-South, Stone leads with 1,188 votes, followed by Anna Thomas of the NDP with 638 and Dan Hines of the Greens with 375.
-- It’s early into the night and B.C. Liberal Kamloops-North Thompson candidate Peter Milobar is watching the polls come in alongside his wife and son and fellow B.C. Liberal candidate Todd Stone at their shared campaign office.
Due to the pandemic, it’s different than years past, with volunteers joining the celebration over Zoom. Members of the media are popping in, coming and going as well.
“It’s definitely different with COIVD, that’s for sure,” Milobar said.
With early returns showing less than 30 ballot boxes reporting. Milobar said the results were expected to be close— 41 per cent of the vote compared to NDP candidate Sadie Hunter’s 35.
“Hopefully, we’ll stay on the right side of the ledger and we’ll see here we land,” Milobar said, noting the glut of mail-in ballots still to come.
He said it was expected to be a tighter race for him, especially with a Conservative candidate on the ballot.
-- With 40 of 107 ballot boxes counted in Kamloops-North, Milobar leads with 1,521 votes, followed by Sadie Hunter of the NDP with 1,365, Thomas Martin of the Greens with 402, Dennis Giesbrecht of the Conservatives with 368 and independent Brandon Russell with 29.
-- With 28 of 97 ballot boxes counted in Kamloops-South, Stone leads with 1,698 votes, followed by Anna Thomas of the NDP with 982 and Dan Hines of the Greens with 583.
-- At 9:12 p.m., the CBC is calling an NDP majority government.
-- Kamloops-South Thompson B.C. Green candidate Dan Hines is at home at the RareBirds Housing Co-operative in South Kamloops, along with a couple of people from the housing community, his campaign manager, 2019 federal Green candidate and Kamloops lawyer Iain Currie and wife Lisa Steele.
John Kidder, who is the partner of Elizabeth May, dropped by for a visit.
Hines said he is closely watching the number of Green candidates leading early in the results.
“That number is more interesting to me than the orange and red boxes,” he said, calling the B.C. Green Party the “most interesting story of the night.”
Hines ran in the 2017 provincial election. Asked if election night feels strange amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he said there is “no comparison.
“Both in the way the whole election cycle was just condensed and now not being able to have a full get together with our volunteers and our team and have a celebration tonight is very muted. We’re all here in masks, we’re all careful. It’s just a very different energy.”
On Saturday, Hines spent the day on the phone to get people out to vote, writing people back who reached out to thank them and also cooking chilli. He said he feels very good about the Green party campaign. He said the party communicated well. The party leaned heavily on social media. He noted the party collaborates well and has long-term vision.
“There’s also an openness because of the pandemic to a third option and to creative new possibilities,” Hines said.
-- Kamloops-South Thompson BC NDP candidate Anna Thomas is watching the election results with her immediate family at home in North Kamloops. Her first time running for public office, Thomas said with a laugh that she doesn’t know any different.
“Usually I’m on the other side but this year I’m behind the scenes,” Thomas said. “Front row, actually.”
Thomas said it is “exciting.” Looking back on the campaign, she called it an amazing experience and she said it went well.
“I have awesome volunteers, Kamloops-South Thompson committee worked so hard,” Thomas said. “They did such an amazing job guiding me anyway they can. It made it a little easier. I don’t know how easy [laughs].”
Earlier on Saturday, Thomas spent time with friends, met her North-Thompson BC NDP running mate Sadie Hunter and waited for her sister to arrive from Calgary, to join in on the festivities.
She said she tried to make her day as normal as possible.
“I’m feeling really good,” she said. “It’s all been a learning process. I’m just thankful. It’s just really exciting to be part of the NDP movement and carve space for other women such as myself or people that have similar life experiences as me that, you know, I got to do this. I’m out here doing it.”
-- With 53 of 107 ballot boxes counted in Kamloops-North, Milobar leads with 2061 votes, followed by Sadie Hunter of the NDP with 1,797, Thomas Martin of the Greens with 532, Dennis Giesbrecht of the Conservatives with 471 and independent Brandon Russell with 42.
-- Kamloops-North Thompson Green candidate Thomas Martin was married earlier today and is indisposed on election night, devoting the day to his new bride, wtih whom he celebrated in a small ceremony that included their parents in Kamloops.
Green representative Matt Greenwood fielded the call from KTW in his place. He’s been checking in periodically online as the results roll in.
“It’s not quite as exciting an event as it has been in years past,” Greenwood said.
As for Martin, “he’s completely in the wedding zone right now,” Greenwood said.
Greenwood said the Greens were hoping to have a decent showing in Kamloops-North Thompson.
Early returns are showing the Greens with 10 per cent of the popular vote, which is much lower than the 20 per cent they had in the riding in 2017, but Greenwood noted that year involved a fully mobilized campaign, with time to organize.
Greenwood said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Greens come out with a little less in the popular vote for KNT this time due to the election being called on short notice, but hopes they will at least garner 10 per cent of the popular vote — the amount required to get an election expenses rebate.
-- Kamloops-North Kamloops Conservative candidate Dennis Giesbrecht is downtown, watching the polls come in on a television at Frick and Frack with his wife, campaign manager and press secretary.
He said while they aren’t getting the seat counts they wanted, the 19 Conservative candidates provincewide are getting a decent amount of the popular vote despite not having candidates in 68 ridings.
Of his own 10 per cent of the vote, Giesbrecht said that while one always wants more, COIVD-19 posed challenges and they adapted with more online presence.
-- While B.C. Liberal Todd Stone secured re-election early in Kamloops-South Thompson, the picture in Kamloops-North Thompson is not as clear.
With 76 of 107 ballot boxes counted in Kamloops-North, B.C. Liberal candidate Peter Milobar leads with 3,103 votes, followed by the NDP’s Sadie Hunter with 2,663 votes, Thomas Martin of the Greens with 781 votes, Dennis Giesbrecht of the Conservatives with 762 votes and independent Brandon Russel with 55 votes.
With Elections BC having sent out 5,744 mail-in ballots, which won’t start to be counted until Nov. 6, the race between Milobar and Hunter remains up in the air.
-- With 83 of 107 ballot boxes counted in Kamloops-North, Milobar leads with 3,621 votes, followed by Sadie Hunter of the NDP with 2,966, Thomas Martin of the Greens with 930, Dennis Giesbrecht of the Conservatives with 889 and independent Brandon Russell with 67.