UPDATE: 2 p.m.
Eric Foster continues to hang on to a razor-thin lead as more mail-in and absentee ballots are counted in the Vernon-Monashee provincial election race.
The race had been too close to call on election night Oct. 24, with just 180 votes separating the BC Liberals' Foster from NDP challenger Harwinder Sandhu.
With votes still be tabulated, Foster and Sandhu were still only 164 votes apart Friday afternoon.
The vote count as of 2 p.m. was:
- Eric Foster BC Liberal Party – 7,163 34.95%
- Harwinder Sandhu BC NDP – 6,999 34.15%
- Keli Westgate BC Green Party – 3,341 16.30%
- Kyle Delfing Conservative – 2,990 14.59%
These numbers as of 20,493 votes counted.
UPDATE: 12:50 p.m.
With 20,076 votes now counted, the provincial election race in Vernon-Monashee is even closer.
The nail-biter race between incumbent Eric Foster of the BC Liberals and the NDP's Harwinder Sandhu is now separated by just 152 votes.
The votes totals as of 12:45 p.m. Friday are:
- Eric Foster BC Liberal Party – 6,996 34.85%
- Harwinder Sandhu BC NDP – 6,844 34.09%
- Keli Westgate BC Green Party – 3,284 16.36%
- Kyle Delfing Conservative – 2,952 14.70%
ORIGINAL: 11:45 a.m.
Numbers are starting to change in the ultra-tight provincial election race in Vernon-Monashee.
The final count began today of absentee or mail-in ballots from across the province, and Elections BC expects the count to take at least three days.
Vernon-Monashee was one of the closest races in the province, with just 180 votes separating BC Liberal incumbent Eric Foster and NDP challenger Harwinder Sandhu on election night.
While the count is in progress, Elections BC is updating its website with fresh numbers.
Daily totals will be updated until the final count is available.
Should Sandhu unseat three-time MLA Foster, it will be the first time the North Okanagan has elected an NDP candidate since 1984.
As of 11:45 a.m., Foster's lead had shrunk to just 163 votes, however it is unknown how many more ballots remain to be counted.
A record number of mail-in ballots were received during this election due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Current vote count as of 11:45 a.m.
- Eric Foster BC Liberal Party – 6,890 35.01%
- Harwinder Sandhu BC NDP – 6,727 34.18%
- Keli Westgate BC Green Party – 3,196 16.24%
- Kyle Delfing Conservative – 2,867 14.57%
The results on election night gave the NDP 53 seats, the B.C. Liberals 27 and the Greens three — leaving four ridings undecided, including Vernon-Monashee.