Oppal falls behind in see-saw Delta South recount
With absentee ballots remaining, attorney general lags by 14 votes
Last Updated: Monday, May 25, 2009 | 6:25 PM PT
B.C. Liberal Wally Oppal fell behind in Monday's initial recount of ballots cast in Delta South in the May 12 provincial election.
Absentee votes will still need to be counted Tuesday before the final result will be announced Wednesday.
Partial results posted at 6 p.m. PT Monday by Elections BC show independent candidate Vicki Huntington had a lead of 14 votes over Oppal.
Huntington, a five-term Delta city councillor, now has 9,760 votes, while Oppal has 9,746 votes after Monday's initial recount.
Oppal, B.C.'s attorney general, increased his three-vote lead to seven votes ahead of Huntington shortly after the recount began Monday.
But he fell behind Huntington after the recount was finished, with 918 absentee ballots still to be counted.
Huntington said she does not expect Monday's recount to change the outcome, but is hopeful that when hundreds of absentee ballots are opened and counted for the first time that she may win the seat.
Barnett pulls ahead in Cariboo-Chilcotin recount
Another initial recount was conducted Monday in the Cariboo-Chilcotin riding.
Liberal candidate Donna Barnett led NDP candidate Charlie Wyse 5,834 votes to 5,775 votes, reversing a 23-vote lead Wyse held on election night, according to partial results posted at 6 p.m. PT Monday by Elections BC.
Again, 977 absentee ballots in that riding will need to be counted before a final result can be announced.
"This is quite unprecedented," Kenn Faris, event communications manager of Elections BC, said of the results of the two initial recounts.
"The fact that they're so close and then they overturned the way they did is quite unusual as well. But anything can happen in close races as you know."
According the official count on election night, the B.C. Liberals won the election, taking 49 seats, while the NDP took 36.
The only previous case of an election result being overturned was in 2001 in Victoria-Hillside where New Democrat Steve Orcherton led by 58 votes after the initial count. But after a recount and a count of absentee ballots, Liberal Sheila Orr was declared the winner by 82 votes.