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Who's running BC now? The election and minority rule explained

20 May 2017

British Columbia's Liberals managed to hang on to power by the skin of their teeth on Tuesday in an election that produced the first minority government in the Pacific Coast province in 65 years.

The seat count remained virtually deadlocked at the end of the night, with the Liberals declared elected in 43 seats, and the NDP elected in 41, with ongoing uncertainty in some close races that could yet go back and forth.

"And they reminded us tonight that we are far from flawless", Clark said, adding that she was willing to work with the other parties to govern.

Kathryn Harrison, also a professor at UBC, says the Greens must weigh the risks of either choice, but the Liberals may wait to do any negotiating until after May 24, when a final count of ballots is expected.

The final results of British Columbia's election are still not in, but already experts are predicting an unstable government that is unlikely to last a full four-year term.

All three major party leaders say they're willing to work with the assembly voters have elected. Both the NDP and Greens favoured changing the voting system to some form of proportional representation and vowed to ban corporate and union donations to political parties, issues the Liberals failed to fully appreciate.

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The unofficial results showed Liberals finished with 40.85 per cent of the popular vote, down about four per cent from 2013.

The Greens haven't said anything about who they would support in the new government.

The Liberals held 47 seats in the previous legislature, the NDP had 35, the Greens one and two were held by independents.

"If it's true that British Columbians voted for a change, that must mean - if you're Andrew Weaver - ousting Christy Clark from government", said UBC's Richard Johnston.

"BC Greens have said we can work with anyone", Weaver said.

BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark handily won her West Kelowna riding over the NDP's Shelly Cook with 60% of the vote during Tuesday's BC Election. For the first time in provincial history, the Greens expanded their seat count from one to three, which gives the third party the balance of power.

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The NDP claimed the Courtney-Comox riding by just nine votes, which will mean a recount. "We'll get decisions but they will take longer, they will often be more complicated because there will be layered issues in those compromises".

"Tonight we won the popular vote", she said.

Almost 8,600 students at more than 50 local public schools, private schools and alternate education sites cast ballots and returned NDP candidates in all four ridings.

Clark endorsed the project after the federal government's approval, but Horgan has promised to use "every tool in the toolbox" to stop it.

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, who now faces a hard choice in deciding whether to back the Liberals in a minority government, told reporters Wednesday that he is willing to negotiate with the other two parties.

For example, the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion has been strongly supported by the Liberals but widely opposed by the NDP.

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"This is truly historic", she said.