Rich Coleman was declared the winner of his Langley East riding, but even Wednesday morning, it was uncertain what sort of government will form in Victoria.
“I think it’s coming down to a tight race,” Coleman said, early Tuesday evening. He was proved right as the numbers tightened and the Liberals and NDP began to trade the lead back and forth.
“It’s obviously going to be a long night to see where the votes lie,” Coleman said.
At the end of the night, Coleman won Langley East with 53.91 per cent of the vote, according to preliminary results from Elections B.C. His NDP opponent Inder Johal took 28.2 per cent of the vote. Bill Masse of the Green Party won 16.23 per cent of the votes, while Alex Joehl of the Libertarians took 1.66 per cent, or 448 votes.
Joehl noted on Twitter that he appeared to be the Libertarian with the highest vote total in the province.
“The electorate is always right at the end of the day,” Coleman said.
The gathering at Coleman’s Walnut Grove campaign office was low key, with family, friends, and volunteers trickling in to watch the results. Those gathered were by turns boisterous as Liberal candidates were declared victorious, or quiet as the NDP climbed towards a dead heat.
Johal was pleased to see the NDP neck and neck with the Liberals for the first time in more than a decade.
“So far, I think it’s great, its obviously a tight race,” Johal said.
She was spending the evening with fellow NDP volunteers and candidates at a central NDP celebration in Surrey, where the NDP took several seats from the Liberals.
Johal was still hopeful the NDP would take a victory. “I’m looking for a win here,” she said.
Green candidate Bill Masse was also pleased as his party was leading or elected in three ridings, an increase from the single seat they had held in the last legislature.
“I’ve been feeling a lot of buzz about the Greens, as a candidate,” Masse said.
While it was too early to talk about coalitions, Masse said that if there is a minority government, the Greens could wield a lot of influence in Victoria.