Christy Clark remains BC premier until all votes counted

An advanced poll in at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Vancouver's Yaletown

An advanced poll in at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Vancouver's Yaletown

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark's Liberal Party was neck-and-neck with the left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) in an election that could mean uncertainty for multi-billion-dollar energy projects. Several ridings were decided by fewer than 300 votes, including Courtenay-Comox, where the NDP won by a mere nine votes.

Clark, 51, told supporters early Wednesday she intends to remain premier despite coming one seat shy of the bare minimum 44-seat threshold needed to form a majority government.

Horgan told reporters he meant to wait for the election's final outcome on May 24 before talking further about government scenarios, adding he would be willing to work with any party.

Liberal incumbent Jordan Sturdy held on to his West Vancouver-Sea to Sky seat, despite strong showings by both the Greens and NDP.

One of Clark's surprise moves during the campaign was to pledge to ban or tax out of viability US thermal coal exports through B.C. ports in retaliation for USA duties on softwood lumber.

As far as past conflict with Horgan, Weaver says they are both passionate people who are passionate about people.

If that seat flips to the Liberals after the final vote tally in two weeks, Clark will regain a bare majority government - even without the Greens' support.

"B.C. Greens are committed to working with whichever party we end up working with", he said.

British Columbia's Green party has emerged from Tuesday's election with a unique opportunity that could help decide the province's political future but it comes with risks for the upstart political movement. According to Elections BC, there were more than 50,000 valid absentee ballots in the last provincial and it's unclear how many there are this time around.

They are now elected in three ridings - leader Andrew Weaver's seat in Oak Bay-Gordon Head plus new wins by Adam Olsen in Saanich-North and the Islands, and Sonia Furstenau in Cowichan Valley.

"None of the leaders wants to be the one who causes an election".

The Liberals held 47 seats in the previous legislature, the NDP had 35, the Greens one and two were held by independents.

She said voters sent the message they want a bigger economy, not a bigger government, while keeping middle class taxes low.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers industry lobby group, whose members depend on export routes such as Trans Mountain, said: "We're prepared to continue to advocate for our interests".

He insisted throughout that he was willing to work with either main party, although the bitterness between him and NDP leader John Horgan was on display many times during Weaver's four years as a lone Green MLA.

Clark, for her part, has worked well in the past with Weaver. The NDP has promised to ban the donations, while the Liberals have said they'll convene a review panel.

Norman Ruff, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Victoria, said Wednesday it's more likely the Liberals or the NDP would enter some kind of deal with the Greens in exchange for their support in propping up the government.

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