BC election results are 'beginning of something different,' Clark says

In the wildest finish in modern B.C. political history, the election has resulted in a minority government for Christy Clark and the BC Liberals.

The party won 41 seats, but there are still absentee ballots outstanding and there may be recounts, including Courtenay-Comox on Vancouver Island where NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard won by nine votes.

"I think they want us to find ways to do things differently", Clark told reporters.

"B.C. Greens are committed to working with whichever party we end up working with", he said. "And with absentee ballots still to be counted I am confident they will strengthen our margin of victory".

Even after the final results are announced May 24, tight finishes could trigger judicial recounts. What do we want British Columbia to look like in 4 years, in 10 years, in 40 years?

When it was all said and done, Christy Clark and the BC Liberals claimed the province's first minority government in more than six decades.

NDP Leader Horgan reached out to Green voters in his election night speech, mentioning issues that resonate with both parties. "It is my intention to continue to lead British Columbia", she added.

The softwood lumber dispute "really provided an opportunity for the premier to stay on her message of jobs for the resource sector", said Gerald Baier, University of British Columbia political science professor. "Now is not the time for those discussions".

"It could be some time before this is completely clear".

Based on preliminary numbers, voter turnout was up slightly to 56.45 per cent on Tuesday compared with 55.32 per cent in 2013.

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That campaign promise is shared by the NDP, as are a number of the Greens' other policy goals, including voting reform and increased education spending.

But it didn't hold, and before long the parties found themselves locked in a dead heat with 42 seats, a result that held for much of the evening, keeping British Columbians around the province on the edge of their seats.

Three strong personalities - the leaders of the provincial Liberals, the NDP and the Greens - battled it out on the campaign trail but will now have to figure out who will work with whom.

"Mr. Horgan has said he would use all of the tools at his disposal but hasn't been very specific about what those are", she said.

The Liberals lost seats in Metro Vancouver and several cabinet ministers were defeated.

Angolano said that electoral precedent has been set previously in Ontario in the 1980s with the NDP propping up a Liberal provincial government, and federally when the NDP stood behind the Pierre Trudeau government in 1974.

It has been four years since Clark promised the province a potentially trillion dollar LNG industry. The province has Canada's lowest unemployment rate and has led the country in economic growth two years in a row.

"I think British Columbians heard the message about how important it is that we fight for jobs, especially in the face of rising USA protectionism in the United States and that we keep taxes low, stay competitive, leave more money in people's pockets and that we keep up the good work that we've been doing for four years", she said.

The New Democrats had 35 seats when the legislature was dissolved last month.

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