British Columbia’s ruling Liberal Party won the general election in the Western Canadian province earlier this month but lost its legislative majority, according to final voting figures on Wednesday, which were in line with preliminary results.
The right-of-center Liberals won 43 seats out of 87, while the left-leaning New Democratic Party took 41 seats, final results from Elections BC showed. The results meant the province’s first minority government since 1952 and handed the tiny Green Party, which won three seats, the balance of power.
British Columbians, along with oil and gas companies with big projects in Canada’s third most populous province, have been awaiting the final tally since the tightly contested May 9 election. The provincial Liberals, unrelated to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberals, have governed the Pacific coast province for 16 years.
The Greens could push the pro-business Liberals out of power by forming a majority government with the NDP. Both the NDP and the Greens oppose large oil and gas projects such as Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which the Liberals approved.
The Liberals and NDP have spent the past two weeks courting the Greens, who tripled their seat count and have not said if they will support either party. For now, with the Liberals holding the most seats, Liberal leader Christy Clark will remain as provincial premier.
Included in the final count were nearly 180,000 absentee ballots, which had not been counted. Elections BC also conducted recounts of two electoral districts, including one on Vancouver Island where the NDP candidate defeated a Liberal by just nine votes in preliminary results.