Oak Bay High voting station was slow and steady for the provincial election day, Oct. 24, 2020. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Oak Bay High voting station was slow and steady for the provincial election day, Oct. 24, 2020. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

NDP’s Rankin declared winner in Oak Bay-Gordon Head

An estimated 15,918 mail-in ballots requested in Oak Bay-Gordon Head

Murray Rankin looks to be headed to the B.C. Legislature as part of a majority NDP government.

The Canadian Press is declaring Rankin the winner in Oak Bay-Gordon Head. CP is also projecting a majority NDP government.

Prelminary results from 89 of 95 ballot boxes reporting, give Rankin 6,660 votes, followed by Nicole Duncan of the Greens with 3,933, Liberal Roxanne Helme with 3,298 and Communist Florian Castle with 76 votes.

Black Press Media reached out to Rankin for comment, but had not received a response late Saturday night.

ALSO READ: B.C. VOTES 2020 MAP: Provincial election results, riding by riding

Supervisory elections officer Karen Garland at the Gordon Head middle school voting station was confident in calling Oct. 24 the slowest election day by far that she’s seen in three elections.

“The mail-in and advanced votes have significantly reduced today’s numbers,” Garland said. “The good thing is we have a big space, lots of room and it’s been very safe here.”

Due to the high number of British Columbians who chose to vote by mail-in ballot this year, election results won’t be finalized until after they have been counted — sometime after Nov. 6.

About 8,651 people cast advance ballots in Oak Bay-Gordon Bay this year. About 37.5 per cent of Oak Bay-Gordon Head voters requested mail-in ballots this year. That’s 15,918 out of 42,385 registered voters, almost twice the provincial average of 20.7 per cent per riding.

Rankin is looking to make a seamless switch from federal to provincial politics and be the first NDP MLA in Oak Bay-Gordon Head since Elizabeth Cull in 1996. Oak Bay-Gordon Head is considered a swing seat that the NDP will need to earn a majority vote after former BC Green party leader Andrew Weaver stepped down and declined to run again. Learn more about these candidates here.

Liberal candidate Roxanne Helme is following the results from her Oak Bay home. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Early voting for the 2020 provincial election has broken records, according to data released by Elections BC.

Only Victoria-Beacon Hill has such a high percentage of mail-in ballots, with 37 per cent, or 18,363 of the 48,772 registered voters. Saanich South has 34 per cent (41,697 of 14,230) and Victoria-Swan Lake 32 per cent, or 12,978 of 40,590.

The agency said 681,055 people cast their ballot during seven days of advanced voting that ended Wednesday, compared to 614,389 in 2017. In 2013, there were 366,558 people who voted in advance and 290,220 in 2009, with fewer yet in earlier elections.

In the 2017 provincial election, Weaver captured Oak Bay-Gordon Head with 15,257 votes (52.17 per cent), followed by Liberal Alex Dutton with 6,952 (23.77 per cent), the NDP’s Bryce Casavant with 6,912 (23.63 per cent), Jin Dong Yang-Riley of the Vancouver Island Party with 67 and Xaanja Ganja Free of 4BC with 58.

A total of 29,246 people cast a ballot in Oak Bay-Gordon Head in 2017, giving it a turnout of 72 per cent, well above the provincial average of 61.2 per cent.

For more election coverage, go to vicnews.com/tag/bc-votes-2020.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the ongoing pandemic, Elections BC estimates that roughly 35 per cent of voters used mail-in ballots, which will be counted beginning on Nov. 6. This means that tonight’s election results may change.

With files from the Canadian Press.

ALSO READ: Here’s what you need to know to vote


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

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