NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard celebrates an apparent slim victory on election night May 9 in Courtenay-Comox. (Comox Valley Record)

NDP extends lead as vote tally continues in Courtenay-Comox

Ronna-Rae Leonard builds lead to 148 votes with 500 more to go

By noon on the final day of counting absentee ballots in Courtenay-Comox, NDP candidate Ronna Rae Leonard has a 148-vote lead with about 500 ballots still to count Wednesday in the crucial swing seat of the 2017 B.C. election.

Leonard finished the election-night count with a nine-vote lead over B.C. Liberal candidate Jim Benninger, with more than 2,000 absentee ballots being tallied to get to the final count. Final results are expected today, with a judicial recount that may be requested by the losing candidate.

If there are no changes to winners, the election night total will stand at 43 seats for the B.C. Liberals, 41 for the B.C. NDP, and three seats for the B.C. Greens, who could then choose which party to support in a minority legislature. A one-seat gain for the B.C. Liberals would give them a majority.

There were 179,380 absentee ballots not counted on election night May 9, including those who mailed in ballots from outside their home constituencies. Ballots collected by Elections B.C. mobile teams, in hospitals, remote work camps and one that went door-to-door in an area isolated by a landslide in the Shuswap, are also not included in election night vote counts.

In the event of a minority, Premier Christy Clark would be expected to ask Lt. Governor Judith Guichon for official permission to carry on governing. The minority government would fall if it loses a confidence vote on its budget, which was introduced and not passed before the election.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hydro pole fire closes portion of Metchosin Road in Colwood

Motorists are advised to avoid the area of Metchosin Road near Royal Bay

Strong winds expected in Greater Victoria Friday evening

Winds are expected to ease Saturday morning

‘We thought it was an earthquake,’ homeowners okay after tree falls

Mature tree falls on roof of Victoria Avenue house

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

The Coldest Night of the Year comes to Sooke

National event helps those who are hungry and homeless

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

SOOKE HISTORY: Remembering Salvatore (Sam) Pasta

Salvatore (Sam) Pasta lived life to the fullest

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read