Larson, Conroy, Mungall re-elected as MLAs
On a night when Christy Clark and the BC Liberals were able to hold on to power, albeit, a minority government, not much changed in the BC Interior as most of the incumbents won return trips to represent their respective ridings in the BC Legislature.
Michelle Mungall and Katrine Conroy of the BC NDP Party easily won their ridings in Nelson-Creston and Kootenay West, respectively, while Linda Larson of the BC Liberal Party is back to represent Boundary-Similkameen.
In Kootenay East, Liberal Tom Shypitka took over from retired cabinet minister Bill Bennett to win the riding by a wide margin.
Larson, thought to be in trouble in Boundary-Similkameen jumped out to a comfortable lead and never looked back most of the evening.
The now two-time MLA capture 43 percent of the vote with 9,174. Collen Ross of the BC NDP was second with 32 percent (6,941) with Independent Peter Entwistle having a strong showing at 14 percent (3,028). Vonnie Lavers of the Greens was fourth at 10 percent (2,145).
In Kootenay West, Conroy had no troubles fending off the opposition, Jim Postnikoff of the BC Liberals and Sam Troy of the BC Green Party.
Conroy won the riding with almost 60 percent of the popular vote, 14,559 votes. Postnikoff was second at 24 percent (4,265) while Troy held 15 percent (2,760).
In the Nelson-Creston, Green Party candidate Kim Charlesworth came close to unseating two-time incumbent Michelle Mungall of the NDP, with the best-ever showing for a Green Party candidate in the riding.
Charlesworth garnered 29 per cent of the vote (4,425 votes) while Mungall had 43 per cent of the vote at 6,607 and Tanya Wall of the Liberals had a 27 per cent vote share (4,089).
Provincially BC Liberals escaped with a minority government after capturing 43 of B.C.’s 87 ridings, compared to 41 for the NDP.
It is B.C.’s first minority government result since 1952.
However, with several ridings being decided in the early hours of Wednesday morning, the final tabulations by Elections BC on May 22 and 24 remain on everyone’s mind as absentee ballots have yet to be counted.