An orange wave swept over the Maple Ridge ridings on Tuesday.
Both incumbent Liberal candidates, Doug Bing (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows) and Marc Dalton (Maple Ridge-Mission) were defeated in the provincial election by NDP counterparts.
Bob D-Eith won the latter with 9,843 votes, 120 more than Dalton (9.723).
And Lisa Beare won in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows with 10,992 votes, 1,340 more than Bing (9,652).
“It’s been a really exciting night. We still have to wait and see what happens, but it’s a fantastic night, especially here in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and Mission. We voted for change here, and we’re excited to bring that,” said Beare.
She didn’t consider her win over Bing an upset.
“I’ve been positive throughout this whole campaign. I’ve been optimistic and worked very hard,” she said. “And Doug has worked hard. We knew it was going to be a close race.”
D’Eith said his party still has to find out whether there will be a change in government, but it looks like there will be change locally.
“In the end, people in the Lower Mainland realized they wanted change, and we’ve seen that tonight.”
D’Eith said he was excited “when the check went off” and he was declared the winner, but with a margin of victory of just 120 votes he could still lose the riding with the counting of absentee ballots.
The results of those will not be known until after May 20.
“We’re very excited, we’re ahead at this point, but we have to wait and see,” said D’Eith.
He watched the election results with family at home “on the edge of our seats.”
In the same riding, Peter Tam of the Greens had 3,181 votes, followed by Trevor Hamilton of the Conservatives (850) and Jeff Monds (144) of the Libertarians.
Dalton conceded defeat to D’Eith, but cautioned to wait for the mail-in ballots to be counted. In 2009, he was leading by 200 votes until the mail-ins were counted. He ended up winning by 68 votes.
“I am going to concede to Bob, but that could change in 1o days.”
In Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, Alex Pope of the Green Party earned 3,010 votes in the same riding, followed by Gary John O’Driscoll of the Conservatives (613), and independant candidate Steve Ranta (373).
Provincially, the Liberals won 43 seats on Tuesday, four less than in 2013.
The NDP took 41 seats, six more than the previous election.
The Greens won three seats this time, two more than before, and all on Vancouver Island.
Dalton said the NDP took about a half dozen seats from the Liberals in the Lower Mainland, and that bridge tolls and affordability were key issues, as was party leadership.
“The main thing I heard was attack upon our leader” he added. “And I think that was the strategy of the opposition.”
Dalton said he is thankful to have had eight years in government.
He won the 2013 election by a 1,497 votes over then-NDP candidate Mike Bocking.
He was first elected in 2009.
Bing won in 2013 with 10,824 votes over the NDP’s Elizabeth Rosenau (10,204).
He conceded defeat to Beare shortly before midnight.
“It’s kind of gut-wrenching,” Bing said. “You have the moments where you think you’re on your way and the next moment you’re down. It’s been that kind of an evening.”
Bing said he took issue with the NDP’s divisive campaign. While it never got personal between he and Beare, he was disappointed by what he saw as personal attacks against Clark.
“They were just relentless,” he said. “They blamed her for children in government care committing suicide … I thought it was really unfair to put that on her shoulders.”
• All 2017 election results are unofficial.