Premier Christy Clark trailed for part of the evening, but took a narrow victory over her NDP rival David Eby in a byelection in Vancouver-Point Grey Wednesday.
In a nail-biter finish, Clark took 7,371 votes to Eby’s 6,776 to capture the seat vacated by former premier Gordon Campbell.
Clark pulled ahead of Eby in the early counting, but Eby gained a slight lead with about a third of polling stations reported. With 87 of 134 ballot boxes counted, Clark led by a single vote.
It’s the first win by a government candidate in a B.C. by-election in more than three decades. The results won’t be official until May 18.
Eby, a lawyer best known as an advocate for anti-police protesters in Vancouver and his leading role in anti-Olympic demonstrations, moved to the Vancouver-Point Grey constituency to run in the by-election. He was assisted in his campaign by NDP leader Adrian Dix, who represents Vancouver-Kingsway in the B.C. legislature.
The Vancouver-Point Grey byelection was triggered by the resignation of Campbell, who held the seat through three elections and stepped down shortly after Clark was selected B.C. Liberal leader in February.
Without any challenge or recount, the result means Clark can take her seat in the legislature’s front bench before the legislature completes its current session, expected to be on June 2. But the close finish casts doubt on whether Clark’s win can be certified in time.
Also running in the by-election were B.C. Green Party candidate Francoise Raunet, BC First candidate Danielle Alie and independents Eddie Petrossian and William Gibbens.
Raunet finished a distant third with 511 votes, followed by Alie and the two independents.