While the future of the next government may rest on the results of their race, the two Courtenay-Comox candidates at the centre of the province’s closest election results are taking it in stride.
NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard and Liberal candidate Jim Benninger’s political fates rest on absentee ballots and a recount, slated to start Monday.
Leonard says it’s heartening to have squeaked out a victory on the night of the election.
“Just like election night, I want to be celebrating the moment. We are nine votes ahead at this point, and it feels better than being nine votes behind.”
However, she also says she’s ready to get to work.
“We’ll be waiting for the results and looking forward to moving forward.”
And she feels confident that she can affect the change people voted for.
“I still feel like I’m in campaign mode in that regard. Not that the votes going to change, the vote’s definitely sealed there.”
Meanwhile, Benninger says with no campaigning left to do he’s switching gears, at least for a moment.
“I have no shortage of things on my to-do list right now so I’m kind of enjoying this bit of time.”
However, he says there’s still a chance the recount could swing the vote.
“We’ll just have to wait and see what the final count is.”
He says the riding is used to the pressure of a close race, but not quite to this extent.
“The Comox Valley is always close each election, and of course this past election was a case in point. But I don’t think we’ve seen it quite that close before.”
The Courtenay-Comox riding has a chance to swing the election from a minority government to a BC Liberal majority, with the Liberals standing at 43 seats, NDP at 41 and Greens at three before recounts.
Another recount is currently underway in the Vancouver-False Creek riding, where the Liberals are ahead, due to advance voting inaccuracies.