It’s the closest election in modern B.C. history, but only a couple of ridings will see a recount.
Elections BC has rejected all three requests from the NDP, and one of two made by the Liberals.
Courtenay-Comox will see a recount, where just nine votes decided a winner, along with Vancouver-False Creek.
READ MORE: BC NDP request recount in three ridings
While the recount request for Vancouver-False Creek made by candidate Morgane Oger was rejected, a request made by Phillip James Ryan has been accepted due to advance voting inaccuracies.
The qualification for acceptance, according to Elections BC, is if the difference between the top candidates was 100 votes or fewer, or if votes were not correctly accepted or ballots were not correctly rejected, or a ballot account does not accurately record the number of votes for a candidate.
But in all this talk about recounts, UBC economics professor Kevin Milligan says what you should really keep an eye on are absentee ballots in all close ridings.
“In about three out of four cases, we’re [going to] end up in the same place: 43 Liberals, 41 NDP, three Green. But in one out of four cases, the result might switch because one of those close ridings will flip when those absentee ballots are open.”
There are 176,000 absentee ballots to be counted, and Milligan says those votes might have more potential to change the election outcome than recounts do.
“These recounts can sometimes move things around by a dozen votes here and there. Absentee ballots are about 10 per cent of the total ballots that are cast, so all of these close ones should still be thought of as up in the air.”
Province columnist Mike Smyth says he’s not surprised by the ridings that were rejected for a recount because they were decided by more than 100 votes.
He says Courtenay-Comox is no shock due to the riding’s narrow numbers, which could swing back from NDP to Liberal when recounted.
LISTEN: Full interview with Province columnist Mike Smyth
“That would give Christy Clark… a bare majority which changes everything. If it remains a minority government then that’s when we could start seeing some wheeling and dealing here to see who’s gonna be Premier.”
Smyth says even if B.C. had a majority government as a result of a flipped riding, it wouldn’t be stable and the outcome is totally unpredictable.
“Anything could happen. You could have an MLA cross the floor and join another party, you could have somebody resign in some kind of scandal, someone could miss a vote, we haven’t seen anything like this in B.C. for 60 years, so people get ready. This is going to be a pretty wild situation.”
Both Smyth and Milligan were speaking on CKNW Weekend with Sterling Faux.
Applications for a recount can still be made six days after the final count on May 24.
An application for a recount can be made if the difference between the top two candidates is within 1/500th of the total number of votes cast in that particular riding, and the request is required if the difference is that slim.