BC Liberals candidate Eric Foster watched the results roll in with his wife, Janice, on Oct. 24, 2020. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)

BC Liberals candidate Eric Foster watched the results roll in with his wife, Janice, on Oct. 24, 2020. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)

Too close to call in Vernon-Monashee race

Incumbent Foster holds slim lead over NDP Sandhu, mail-in ballots still to come

Election night has wrapped but the race between incumbent Eric Foster of BC Liberals and NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu is too close to call in Vernon-Monashee with mail-in ballots still coming in.

The final results will likely have to wait for two weeks to see the result of a flood of mail-in ballots as voters chose that option in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I knew it was going to be a lot closer than the past,” Foster said from his campaign chair’s home Saturday night, but he didn’t expect it would be this close.

Foster keeps a slim lead over Sandhu, but only by 180 votes. As one of the tightest races in the province, the results of the mail-in ballot count are crucial.

“This has been a very close election and nothing has been decided yet,” Sandhu said in a statement early Sunday morning. “Every vote is important and every vote should be counted. I am looking forward to the announcement of the complete results.”

At least 724,000 British Columbians requested mail-in ballots and with a number left to be counted, results of the Vernon-Monashee race are still unclear.

An Oct. 20 Pollsters finding said people who had already voted were more likely to support the NDP. The poll found 51 per cent of early voters supported John Horgan’s NDP, compared to 35 per cent of those who have not yet voted.

An NDP government was declared only an hour after polls closed. A majority is projected but is dependent on final counts.

Green candidate Keli Westgate, who finished third with 16 per cent of the vote, spoke on the early declaration of an NDP majority government.

“Our projections were better than we thought,” Westgate said Saturday night. “We have at least four seats. We were hoping for another minority government. It would be good to have all the parties working together. Hopefully, the NDP take climate action seriously.”

With 14 per cent of the vote, Conservative candidate Kyle Delfing said a majority NDP government was to be expected.

“Ideally, what I would have liked to see is another minority government,” Delfing said. “I think it would have been better for the people.”

READ MORE: Tight race in Vernon-Monashee

READ MORE: BC VOTES 2020: Live results roll in for Vernon-Monashee race


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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BC Votes 2020Election 2020