With the NDP coming so close to forming the B.C. government, many centre-left voters will wonder how much of an effect vote splitting had on the election's outcome.

But vote splitting may in fact have benefited both parties in certain ridings.

One University of B.C. political science professor says there are places where the Green vote helped the NDP at the expense of the Liberals.

Kathryn Harrison says there's no disputing the Greens won two ridings that were previously NDP and may have siphoned off some centre-left votes in at least one other riding, clearing a path for the Liberals to win there.

But she argues the narrative that Green voters split the vote on the left, allowing the Liberals to win, is flawed.

"In eight other ridings, it looks to me like the increase in Green vote share came disproportionately from the Liberals and allowed the NDP to win when they arguably wouldn't have otherwise.

"So that interpretation is not that the Greens hurt the NDP and allowed Christy Clark to win, but in fact that the NDP would have done worse in this election had it not been for the Green vote."

There were 16 ridings, mostly in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, where the combined NDP/Green vote would have been enough to defeat the Liberals. 

The Greens won three seats in their traditional stronghold of Vancouver Island, where they were competitive in a number of ridings. The only Island riding where vote splitting may have helped the Liberals was Parksville-Qualicum.

Vote splitting on the left was much more of a factor in and around Vancouver, including in ridings that were down to the wire on election night: Vancouver-False Creek and Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, where the Green party attracted 16 and 12 per cent of the vote, respectively.

NDP-Green vote splitting may also have helped the Liberals in three of Richmond's four ridings.

Vote splitting on the right

There were also 16 ridings where a combined Liberal-Green vote could have defeated the NDP. 

Geographically, these ridings were more spread out through the province. Six were on Vancouver Island, including the province's closest race, Courtenay-Comox, which was decided by only nine votes and will be subject to a recount.

A strong Green showing may also have hurt the Liberals in Metro Vancouver swing ridings in Burnaby and the Tri Cities.