Three-time MLA Nicholas Simons has coasted to a fourth consecutive term in Powell River-Sunshine Coast in Tuesday’s BC general election. The race remained a virtual dead heat between the BC Liberals and the BC New Democratic Party late into the night–with the Green Party of BC possibly holding the balance of power.
As of 11 pm, the Liberals, in power since 2001, had taken 43 seats, the NDP 41 and the Greens three. But tens of thousands of advance polls still had to be counted in several close races.
Latest figures show that Simons won 11,846 votes, or 51 per cent of those cast. Mathew Wilson appeared to have squeaked out a second-place standing over the Green Party’s Kim Darwin, pulling 5,717 ballots (24.6 per cent) to Darwin’s 5,629 (24.3 per cent). The second- and third-place standings could change once advance votes are counted overnight and and absentee ballots are counted later this month.
“I just want to say how happy I am that our message resonated well with people on the Sunshine Coast,” Simons said Tuesday night, speaking over a video link from Powell River to supporters gathered in Sechelt.
As to the undecided status of the general results, Simons, who had been highly critical of the Christy Clark-led Liberals during the campaign, said he thought good sense would ultimately decide whether the Greens make a deal with the Liberals or the NDP, if it is a minority government.
“I think well-reasoned arguments are going to win the day when it comes to public policy and isn’t that going to be fun. It’s better than dictatorship.”
Green Party leader Andrew Weaver had hinted late in the campaign that, in the event the Greens held the balance of power, he foresaw working more easily with the Clark and the Liberals than with NDP leader John Horgan. But Simons said he had a very good relationship with Weaver. “I expect we’ll be talking things over in the next few days.”