The Island’s political map is a little more orange, with early results indicating the NDP was likely to hold on to their 10 seats and take an additional two.
New Democrat Murray Rankin, the former NDP MP, was poised to take Oak Bay-Gordon Head, where incumbent Andrew Weaver, the former Green Party leader, did not run again.
It appeared likely the NDP would flip Parksville-Qualicum as well, taking the riding from the Island’s lone B.C. Liberal, Michelle Stillwell.
The Greens held on to their two seats, with party leader Sonia Furstenau and Adam Olsen re-elected in Cowichan Valley and Saanich North and the Islands, respectively.
Although winners were projected, it was too close to call Parksville-Qualicum and Nanaimo-North Cowichan.
Mail-in ballots in all ridings will not be counted for several weeks.
NDP candidate Grace Lore surged to a lead in Victoria-Beacon Hill, the riding held by Carole James for the past 15 years, but Green candidate Jenn Neilson trailed by just 200 votes with 46 of 117 polls reporting. Liberal Karen Bill was in third.
NDP incumbent Rob Fleming took an early lead. With 20 of 112 polls reporting, Fleming held 51 per cent of the vote. Green candidate Annemieke Holthuis held a strong second place with more than 30 per cent of the vote.
The riding has elected a non-NDP MLA only once in the past 40 years.
Oak Bay-Gordon Head
The NDP were poised to take Oak Bay-Gordon Head with former Victoria MP Murray Rankin taking more than 44 per cent of the vote with 57 of 95 polls reporting results. Green Party challenger Nicole Duncan had 32 per cent of the vote.
Saanich North and the Islands
Adam Olsen looks likely to hold onto his seat with more than 52 per cent of the vote with 36 of 117 polls reporting. Olsen said this week that he felt the Green Party’s record and platform had both connected and resonated with voters in his riding.
New Democrat Lana Popham took an early lead, capturing more than 50 per of the vote with almost two-thirds of polls reporting. Liberal Rishi Sharma had 26 per cent. Green Kate O’Connor was close on his heels, at 23 per cent.
It appeared to be a runaway victory for Mitzi Dean in Esquimalt-Metchosin. The New Democrat incumbent gathered early momentum to open a wide lead over Green challenger Andy MacKinnon and the Liberal’s RJ Senko.
Langford-Juan de Fuca
NDP Leader John Horgan easily secured his seat, with major news outlets declaring his victory with less than a third of the ballots counted. Horgan had a healthy lead over his challengers, the Green’s Gord Baird and Liberal Kelly Darwin.
Sonia Furstenau, just over a month into her tenure as Green Party leader, appeared likely to hold onto her seat. Furstenau had 46 per cent of the vote with nearly half of the riding’s polls reporting, putting her ahead of the NDP’s Rob Douglas, who had 36 per cent.
New Democrat Doug Routley was leading with 42.27 per cent of the vote with more than half of ballot boxes reporting. Chris Istace of the Green Party followed with 33.41 per cent, and Liberal Duck (Don) Paterson had 24.32 per cent.
Routley has been MLA since 2005. He won in 2017 with 46.89 per cent of the vote.
The NDP’s Sheila Malcolmson looked poised to hold onto her seat in Nanaimo, a long-time stronghold for the party. With 39 out of 106 ballot boxes reporting, Malcolmson was leading with 49.35 per cent of the votes. Green Lia Marie Constance Versaevel had 26.57 per cent, followed by the Liberal’s Kathleen Jones with 24 per cent.
Mid Island-Pacific Rim
NDP candidate Josie Osborne took a strong early lead in the Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding, collecting 53.46 per cent of the vote with 55 out of 99 boxes counted. MLA Scott Fraser, who did not run again, won the seat in 2017 with 49 per cent of the vote.
Incumbent Michelle Stillwell — the Island’s only Liberal — was neck and neck with New Democrat Adam Walker. With 45 of 116 boxes counted, Stilwell had 35.8 per cent of the vote, with Walker at 34.2 per cent. Green candidate Rob Lyon had 20.9 per cent.
It was the tightest race in the last provincial election in 2017, with just 189 votes giving New Democrat Ronna-Rae the win. This time around, Leonard held a 500-vote lead on Liberal newcomer Brennan Day with about a third of the ballots counted.
The NDP’s Michelle Babchuk took the lead Saturday, but environmentalist Alexandra Morton of the Greens was proving a good challenger with about half the polls reporting.
— With files from Louise Dickson, Andrew Duffy, Darron Kloster, Roxanne Egan-Elliott and Carla Wilson