The final count in the 2017 provincial election shows BC Liberal candidate Joan Isaacs narrowly edging out incumbent and BC NDP candidate Jodie Wickens to take the Coquitlam-Burke Mountain riding.
Although Isaacs' lead was reduced from 215 earlier in the day to 87 by 5 p.m. Tuesday, according to the BC Election's website, she still eaked out a squeaker win.
Also on Tuesday, the BC Election website said the tally was completed, with Isaacs carrying 44.28% of the vote, with 10,388 votes, compared to Wickens' 43.91% and 10,301 votes. The BC Green Party's Ian Soutar had 2,771 votes for 11.81% of the popular vote. In all, 23.460 votes were counted.
The shifting vote totals during the final count this week also solidified the leads for Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth and for Coquitlam-Maillardville's Selina Robinson, another BC NDP MLA.
Once absentee ballots were counted for Farnworth, he had 14,079 votes and 55.79% of the 25,234 total, a record for the riding. Robinson, who narrowly won her seat in 2013, earned 11,438 votes or 50.61% to Kim's 8,519 or 37.70%. The Greens, meanwhile, had 2,467 or 10.92% once all 22,599 votes had been taliied.
In Port Moody-Coquitlam, where the NDP's Rick Glumac clinched the seat from incumbent Linda Reimer, the numbers gave Glumac 11,754 or 47.69% of the popular vote, compared to 9,910 votes for Reimer or 40.20% of the popular vote. The Greens, meanwhile, earned 2,985 or 12.11% of the popular vote.
But Coquitlam-Burke Mountain — a former BC Liberal stronghold — was one of six B.C. ridings that party officials were watching closely as, theoretically, their outcomes determine who will form a government.
Currently, Christy Clark's Liberals are one seat shy of a majority government with 43 seats while John Horgan's NDP have 41 seats and the BC Green Party under Andrew Weaver has three seats.
Last week, Isaacs’ election-night lead of 170 votes over Wickens jumped to 268 due to what Elections BC termed as a "transcription error." Afterward, the NDP launched a request for a recount but Elections BC declined.
However, with the margin so tight, it is unknown if a judicial recount will proceed. Applicants can still request a judicial recount up to six days after the final count is released on May 24.
Meanwhile, Farnworth's campaign manager told The Tri-City News his team strategically went after absentee voters — that is, those who had mobility issues or who would be away on May 9.
"We did as a campaign team make a concerted effort to reach out to them to encourage them to cast their votes in advance," Brad West said. "Our job in the campaign is to maximize the vote and we did."
As a result, Farnworth broke through the 14,000-vote mark. And he will have the highest percentage and highest raw vote total of any winning provincial candidate in Port Coquitlam's history, West said.