Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer Longtime NDP supporter Alice Brown puts her arm around NDP candidate Sylvia Lindgren on election night.

Update: Kyllo sweeps to election victory

MLA heads back to legislature with more than 50 per cent of the vote

A minority government may be the story provincially, but in the Shuswap, Liberal MLA Greg Kyllo will be heading back to the legislature with more than 56 per cent of the vote.

With all 78 ballot boxes counted, Kyllo had garnered 14,236 votes.

NDP candidate Sylvia Lindgren earned 6,816 or 26.9 per cent of the votes, BC Green candidate Kevin Babcock took 3,940 votes and Libertarian Kyle McCormack got 388 votes.

Out of 40,978 registered voters in the Shuswap as of April 11, only 25,380 went to the polls on voting day.

Elated with the results, the morning after the election Kyllo said that while he had been hesitant to run for office four years ago, he believes he has more to offer.

Kyllo says he was somewhat apprehensive as results started to come in, considering recent elections in other jurisdictions.

“But I worked hard and got impressive results; I’m relieved,” he said with a laugh. “I appreciate the volunteers who worked hard for the last 28 days. We didn’t get into negativity.”

Kyllo says he reminded voters that when the Liberals took office, B.C. was in the last place in terms of economic growth, had the highest unemployment rate and a total of six credit rating downgrades.

Kyllo says the biggest issue now is the absentee vote which is yet to be counted.

“Absentee ballots typically favour the Liberals and if that’s the case, my gut tells me we should get at least one more seat, which would give us the majority we need to form government,” he says.

“If we’re not part of the governing party, it will be be very different.”

Regardless, Kyllo said he is hoping to be able to continue earning the support of his constituents.

“No government is perfect, nor is any MLA, but I have worked hard to resolve some of the issues in the Shuswap and obviously, there are lots of projects I’d like to see completed,” he says.

NDP candidate Sylvia Lindgren conceded defeat Tuesday night, but praised her campaign volunteers for their efforts, saying they were going to continue their work to “lift people up.”

Wednesday morning she said she was doing well.

“It was a good adventure, a good ride and we built a great team. It’s all good, we’ll get them next time.”

Asked about highlights and lowlights of the campaign, she said the highlights were definitely the people who came to volunter. The hardest part was participating in eight forums in a row, she said.

“That was pretty tough. I don’t know that it was a low, but that was pretty tough… And losing, that’s tough.”

Lindgren said she hasn’t ruled out running again and, in any case, she will definitely stay involved with the Shuswap NDP.

As for the provincial election results as they now stand, she describes them as “nerve-wracking,” not knowing how things will unfold and where the balance of power will be.

“If we can get a progressive coalition, I think we can do great things in this province still.”

Looking farther afield, in the Kamloops-South Thompson riding that includes the Village of Chase, Liberal candidate Todd Stone was the number 1 choice by a long stretch, taking 14,409 votes for 56.6 per cent of the total.

NDP candidate Nancy Bepple took 21 per cent with 5,479 votes, BC Green candidate Donovan Cavers garnered 5,214 or 20 per cent of the total, Libertarian Jessica Bradshaw got 274, and the remaining 99 votes went to Beat Klossner, representative for the Communist Party of B.C.

Elections BC notes results are preliminary from the initial count. Final results will not be available until after the conclusion of the final count, which will commence on May 22.

Note: Riding results for Chase were incorrectly reported and have since been corrected.