Experts predict instability in the legislature after BC election

Experts predict instability in the legislature after BC election

Experts predict instability in the legislature after BC election

Liberal Leader and incumbent premier Christy Clark says she intends to lead the next government, adding the result presented an opportunity to open up a new dialogue "about how we do things, what we should do, how we want to shape the future of our province".

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver easily won his seat again in Oak Bay-Gordon Head but unlike previous sessions of the legislature, he won't be the sole MLA for the party.

"He's a smart thoughtful reasonable guy and so we found places where we can work together".

At the current seat count - 43 Liberals, 41 NDP and three Greens - Horgan suggested there is a clear mandate for change of leadership.

With B.C.'s 87 ridings, a party requires 44 seats to form a majority.

The Liberals need only one more seat for a majority government, but Elections BC has until May 24 to release the final results.

Looking at seats the NDP picked up where the Green vote - if it went entirely Liberal - could have turned the race, the NDP gained in all but two, Burnaby North and Courtenay-Comox.

At the same time, they don't account for the 2017 voter trend, which saw the NDP out perform the BC Liberals compared to 2013 results in almost every swing riding. The B.C. Liberals are the party that approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which is set to start construction in the fall.

But it may be a while before British Columbians know which way the power will shift in the province.

Andrew Wilkinson, advanced education minister in Clark's government, said B.C. may not get definitive results until the end of the month, when he said absentee ballots and judicial recounts must be completed.

There are more of those kinds of riding than the opposite, where the Liberals took a seat from NDP with the Green vote, said Harrison.

But during the campaign, Weaver refused to say which party he would support in a potential minority government.

"The majority of British Columbians voted for a new government and I believe that's what they deserve".

"It is my intention to continue to lead British Columbia's government", Clark, 51, told supporters in downtown Vancouver.

The loss of its majority is a big blow for the Liberals, which had campaigned on a track record of strong economic growth and balanced budgets, but had been hobbled by voter anger over unaffordable real estate and environmental concerns.

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Clark told reporters she never thought it was going to be anything but a really tough election.

Weaver, now holding the balance of power, also hinted at how his party would handle votes in the legislature, saying the Greens would take an issue-by-issue approach, with all decisions on an "evidence based" and "principled" position. Political donations from corporations and unions were election issues for both the Liberals and NDP. "I'm really excited. I came into tonight with an terrible lot of confidence that we had done what it would take". But that handful of seats, mostly in Metro Vancouver, has changed the landscape of the whole province.

The Green Party and NDP share similar ideas in some areas - such as opposition to Kinder Morgan's pipeline, raising carbon taxes, and taxing housing speculators.

While the final count won't be concluded until May 22, 2017, voter turnout is estimated at around 57 per cent, up from 55 per cent in 2013.

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