John Horgan won his fourth consecutive victory as Langford-Juan de Fuca MLA Tuesday night by capturing more than 50 per cent of the popular vote.
Now all that hangs in the balance for Horgan is whether he will win enough seats to become premier and lead British Columbia to its first NDP government in 16 years.
Horgan, 57, was one of the first declared winners Tuesday night by the media and has 12,144 votes — or 52.78 per cent of the popular vote. Liberal candidate Cathy Noel has 6,062 votes and the Green Party’s Brendan Ralfs 4,341.
Fringe party candidates Willie Nelson (Vancouver Island Party) and Scott Burton (Libertarian Party) had less than 500 votes between them.
Speaking to supporters at NDP headquarters in Vancouver early Wednesday morning, Horgan thanked his team back home on the Island.
“They worked very hard, they knocked on a lot of doors, they made a lot of sandwiches, they talked to a lot of British Columbians in Langford-Juan de Fuca who wanted to see change,” he said.
“British Columbians voted today to get big money out of politics.”
Noel, who ran her first campaign, was pleased with her effort in the gruelling 28-day campaign.
“I have no regrets,” she told Black Press.
“From my standpoint, even though I didn’t win, I did win. It was an amazing experience. I did the best I could.”
Noel said she plans to run again.
“I knew it was going to be a tough battle, but I believe in the community. Things are happening here and there’s so much possibility.”
Horgan, although largely absent on the local campaign trail as he concentrated on the provincial race, battled the Langford-Juan de Fuca riding on transportation and health care.
Horgan was first elected in 2005 and re-elected in 2009 and 2013. He was elected leader of the NDP in 2014.