Sean Leslie | Email news tips to Sean
There's a lot of head-counting going on at the legislature these days with the Liberal majority down to just five, and a couple of MLA's absent this week.
Premier Christy Clark's apparent effort to woo independent MLA John Slater to support his former colleagues points to a possible problem for the Liberals, mustering enough votes to stay in power.
There are 45 Liberal MLA's including House speaker Bill Barisoff, who only votes in the event of a tie.
That means if the four independent MLA's vote with the 36 New Democrats, the Liberal majority is only four, and Liberal Kevin Falcon has been absent from the legislature for personal reasons this week.
NDP House leader John Horgan says the Premier's call to Slater shows the Liberals are worried.
"There's trouble in mudville and they may not have the votes to pass their budget."
Horgan admits his party will jump on a chance to topple the government.
"The government needs to hold a majority in the legislature or it's no longer the government. On matters of confidence, nothing is more important to the functioning of the province of British Columbia than a budget and if they can't pass one they don't deserve to be in government and we'll be into an election, yes."
Liberal House leader Mike De Jong admits the margin is slim.
"We have to make sure we've got sufficient numbers of people here at all times."
MLA Eric Foster is the caucus whip, it's his job to make sure the government has enough members on hand to pass a confidence motion.
And Foster says that shouldn't be a problem.
"There's always people coming and going, we watch the numbers very closely and we'll have our people in the house."
If the government loses a vote on a confidence motion like the budget, it would be forced to dissolve, De Jong says he's confident that won't happen.