Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Liberals eke out win as minority government

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark's Liberal Party was neck to neck with the left-leaning New Democratic Party in an election that could spell uncertainty for multibillion-dollar energy projects.

Clark made clear her plans to remain as premier, saying she would continue to lead government, hinting events could perhaps deliver her a majority yet.

Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver holds the balance of power with his three seats, versus 43 for the B.C. Liberals and 41 for the NDP.

Clark did go on to concede that her party had lost seats, noting that "British Columbians want us to do some things differently", including working more across party lines.

Throughout the campaign, Weaver was unwilling to say whether he would prefer to work with the Liberals or the NDP - and now he could choose either.

Local students elected NDP incumbent Katrine Conroy with 46.59 per cent of the vote, while Sam Tory, BC Green Party candidate received 32.16 per cent of the vote, and Jim Postnikoff, BC Liberal Party candidate, received 21.25 per cent of the vote.

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What if the NDP and Liberals end up with the same number of seats and the Greens won't form a coalition with either?

The campaign began four weeks ago with Clark and the Horgan locked in a tight race to be premier, and Weaver hoping to build upon his one seat in the legislature.

More than 170,000 B.C. elementary and high school students participated in the student vote, with 1,092 schools, representing all 87 electoral districts, reporting election results. "We need to reclaim democracy for the people of British Columbia".

Although some believe minority governments can be effective, and force opponents to work together for the good of the population, history suggests otherwise.

In September previous year, the Greens banned corporate and union donations.

He said in both cases, the minority governments fell apart forcing a subsequent election, with the NDP losing seats in both instances while the Liberals gained majority victories.

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The results from Student Vote 2017 are in and students have voted in a majority BC NDP government. However, it remains one seat short of the four seats needed to gain official party status under the Provincial Constitution Act.

Richard Johnston, a political scientist at the University of British Columbia, said he doesn't expect negotiations on the possible framework of a minority government to start until after the final results are known.

And one of Robertson's communications staff served in a senior role with the NDP campaign. British Columbians voted for action on climate change.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Clark deflected a question on how much she's to blame for the reduced Liberal vote into a chance to embrace the Greens.

The loss of its majority is a big blow for the Liberals, which had campaigned on a track record of strong economic growth and balanced budgets, but had been hobbled by voter anger over unaffordable real estate and environmental concerns. NDP leader John Horgan had vowed to stop Kinder Morgan Inc's Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion, which the Liberals approved. Clark included a promise to "work with the other parties" in the context of a partisan stem winder speech delivered in the wee hours of the morning.

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