NDP Brittny Anderson has been provisionally elected as Nelson-Creston’s new MLA, but her victory is far from certain.
Anderson has a lead of 934 votes over Nicole Charlwood of the Green Party with 77-of-77 polls reporting in the riding during Saturday’s provincial election. Anderson was named the provisional winner by The Canadian Press.
Anderson’s advantage means the winner won’t be known until November when Elections BC counts an estimated 4,041 mail-in ballots for the riding. Anderson has 5,377 votes ahead of Charlwood’s 4,443.
Anderson said just before midnight on election night that she wants to wait for the mail-in ballots.
“I think we definitely need to wait before we can be confident. We’ve done all that we can do and now we just have to trust in the democratic process and I’m really hopeful that I will get to represent our riding. But I want to wait.”
If Charlwood makes up the deficit, it would be a historic result for the Green Party that has never won a seat outside Vancouver Island.
“It is rolling out as we expected,” Charlwood said, “and there are still about 4,000 votes to be counted. It feels almost disrespectful for anyone to call it when there are that many votes still out.”
She said that in the previous election Nelson-Creston Green candidate Kim Charlesworth was told she had come in third, but when all the votes were counted, she came second.
“So I am standing strong at this point.”
If Anderson holds her lead, it would still be a stunning turn for the NDP in a riding it has held since 2005 and lost just two elections in since 1972.
Her predecessor Michelle Mungall won the previous three terms, and in 2017 beat the Green runner-up by 2,555 votes.
But even that result wasn’t as strong as past years. When the NDP formed a minority government in 2017, Mungall was named Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.
That same year, the NDP said it would continue on with the controversial Site C hydroelectric dam project. Mungall had campaigned against the dam’s construction on the Peace River.
Mungall announced in September she would not run for re-election, and endorsed Anderson as her potential successor.
Anderson’s ascension to Victoria comes just over two years after she won a Nelson city council seat in her first municipal election. It also means a byelection will be announced to fill Anderson’s vacant seat if the result stands in her favour.
A Finley comeback is also mathematically possible. She would be the first Liberal MLA in the riding since Blair Suffredine’s one-term run from 2001 to 2005.