Harwinder Sandhu wins Vernon-Monashee in one of the closest races in the province

Sandhu becomes new MLA

After two weeks of waiting, Harwinder Sandhu has officially won the Vernon-Monashee riding.

When it was all said and done, Sandhu ended up beating Foster by a 424 votes. The North Okanagan riding was a tight battle right off the bat, with Sandhu and Foster never being within more than four per cent of one another.

Foster had a narrow 180-vote lead once all the ballot boxes were counted on Election Day, but the race was far from over. A record number of mail-in ballots were used across the province due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which included a crucial 8,581 ballots in Vernon-Monashee.

The mail-in ballots favoured Sandhu, who made up ground once those votes began to get tallied on Friday.

Vernon-Monashee was one of the closest races in all of British Columbia, with the 180-vote margin that was left after Election Day tallies.

The region hasn't elected an NDP candidate since 1984, and Foster has represented the area since 2009. In 2017, Foster handily won the riding, taking 48 per cent of the vote to the NDP's 29 per cent.

As for the other challengers, BC Greens candidate Keli Westgate came in third with 4,464 votes, and BC Conservative candidate Kyle Delfing placed fourth with 3,472 votes.

Castanet will be speaking with both Sandhu and Foster this afternoon and will have their reaction to the election results coming up later today.

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