Student voters give NDP a majority

The results are in — at least for the Student Vote program at B.C. schools.

Elementary, middle and secondary students who participated in the mock vote handed John Horgan and the NDP a majority.

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With more than 85,000 students under 18 casting ballots in all 87 electoral districts, the NDP took 59 out of 87 seats and 40 per cent of the popular vote. The students “elected” Horgan in his Langford-Juan de Fuca riding, with 52 per cent of the vote.

Participating students were in grades 4 to 12.

This year, 1,040 schools participated in the Student Vote program, which gives students a chance to learn about the electoral process before reaching voting age, with results coming from 700 of them. Students also research parties and platforms and debate the issues.

Student voters gave the Green Party 16 seats and 28 per cent of the vote, making it the official opposition. Green Leader Sonia Furstenau “won” her riding of Cowichan Valley with 49 per cent of the student vote.

In third place were Andrew Wilkinson and the Liberals, earning 12 seats and 25 per cent of the student vote. Wilkinson “won” in the Vancouver-Quilchena riding with 39 per cent of the vote.

The students also handed two seats to non-mainstream parties: Conservative Trevor Bolin “won” his riding of Peace River North and Rod Taylor of the Christian Heritage Party “won “in Stikine, while there were two ties — between the Greens and the NDP in Kelowna-Lake Country and between the Liberals and the NDP in Shuswap.

Student Vote is organized by CIVIX, a national charity focused on promoting citizenship in young Canadians. Elections B.C. is a partner in the effort.

Paper ballots were most popular, but students also had the option to vote online. Voting took place Wednesday and Thursday.

The complete outcome is at http://studentvote.ca/results/bc 2020, and includes results for the province, for each riding and for each participating school. The results were embargoed until the official polls closed.

CIVIX chief operating officer Lindsay Mazzucco said the election was challenging for the Student Vote program, “given the pandemic and the nature of a snap election.”

jwbell@timescolonist.com

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