(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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The Pitt Meadows Paddling Club is looking for a new location. (Special to The News)
Pitt Meadows paddling club looking for a new location

Club has lost its former leased site on Harris Road

Samantha Lowe won more than $637,000 playing Lotto Max. (BCLC Media Relations/Special to The News)
Maple Ridge woman wins lottery

Samantha Lowe won Lotto Max on Feb. 23

Hospital outbreaks included in Fraser Health update Feb. 28, 2021. (Black Press file)
Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreaks at Chilliwack General and Surrey Memorial

The medicine units are temporarily closed but ERs remain open, according to Fraser Health update

Conservative MP Marc Dalton (The News files)
Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows MP votes no to NDP Pharmacare bill

Maple Ridge city councillor disappointed

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on October 27, 2020. The City of Vancouver says it has purchased a former hotel at a major thoroughfare that can house about 65 units to accommodate homeless people. A joint news release by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and city says 2075 Kingsway, Days Inn by Wyndham Vancouver, will be ready for accommodation this November. The Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen also announced a $51.5 million Rapid Housing Initiative for Vancouver that is expected to create 135 new affordable homes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Former Vancouver hotel to be converted to 65 units for homeless people by the fall

The former Days Inn on Kingsway will be ready to house people in November

B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Murder conviction upheld in case where Surrey mom was stabbed in front of her kids

Jury in 2017 found Tanpreet Kaur Athwal, aka Sonia Kaur Gill, guilty of first-degree murder in 2007 death of Amanpreet Bahia, 33

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Most Read