New Democrat Premier John Horgan is back for a third term as MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca, and he’s brought an NDP majority government with him.
Horgan easily defeated his Liberal, Green Party and Communist Party challengers during Saturday’s provincial election. With all 80 polls reporting, he garnered 10,302 votes or 65.39 per cent of the popular vote, and the NDP won a majority government.
Horgan took to Twitter as polls closed to thank voters for “putting their lives on hold to help keep B.C. moving forward for everyone.”
“We’ll keep fighting for better health care, more opportunities, and to make life a little easier for families. That is my commitment to you. I have never been more honoured to serve as the leader of the B.C. NDP,” he posted.
Green party candidate Gord Baird spent the evening at home, on Zoom calls with fellow candidates, Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau and volunteers.
“I’m happy with second place, I’d be happier with first place, but I’m feeling great,” he said.
|Green candidate Gord Baird says he will run again in the next election to ensure the money donated to him goes to the cause donors wanted. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Baird credits his team of volunteers for running a great campaign. He said the most important overarching message he hoped came out of the past couple of weeks is collaboration.
“The whole idea of partisan politics is a very dated way of running politics, and I think we demonstrated we’re not partisan,” he said. “We take good ideas from either side … we support the best ideas for the province.”
Liberal candidate Kelly Darwin watched the results from home with his family, and although he was disappointed with the results, he said he was looking “at the big picture.”
|Liberal candidate Kelly Darwin’s main focus during his campaign was bringing attention to the lack of support for small businesses. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
“I’m surprised about the NDP majority, holding an election in the middle of the pandemic – I thought the people would hold him accountable,” said Darwin.
Darwin ran with a focus on small businesses struggling throughout the pandemic and said he would continue to spotlight those issues, although he wants to “take a few days” first.
We'll keep fighting for better health care, more opportunities, and to make life a little easier for families. That is my commitment to you. I have never been more honoured to serve as Leader of the BC NDP. 3/3 #bcpoli #BCelxn2020— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) October 25, 2020
Communist Party candidate Tyson Riel Strandlund said he wasn’t expecting to win a seat but was glad with the result, adding that at least a dozen people in Victoria have signed up for the party he calls a win.
|Communist candidate Tyson Strandlund says that while he doesn’t expect to win a seat during Saturday’s election, he hopes his campaign can impact the political landscape. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Strandlund spent the night watching the results roll in with his campaign manager. Looking forward, he said he would continue working to “build socialism in the community.”
“The Communist Party is here to stay, we’re growing, and as long as capitalism is here, the Communist Party will be here to fight it,” said Strandlund.
Horgan officially terminated his minority government agreement with the B.C. Green Party on Sept. 21 and called an early election for Oct. 24.
Opposition parties demanded that Horgan not call an election a year early, as B.C.’s COVID-19 cases increase.
Horgan said he “struggled mightily” with the decision to call an early vote, but the long duration of the pandemic requires stability.
Due to the pandemic, more British Columbians have decided to vote by mail-in ballot than ever before. Elections B.C. won’t finalize election results until after Nov. 6, when those mail-in ballots are counted. Voters requested an estimated 12,120 mail-in ballot packages in the Langford-Juan de Fuca riding.