Delta South's Vicki Huntington is sole Independent elected
3 Independent MLAs had hoped to hold on to their seats
Vicki Huntington has been re-elected in the riding of Delta South. With all 123 polls in the riding reporting, she had a 2,505-vote majority over Liberal candidate Bruce McDonald.
In 2009, she won with a narrow margin of just 32 votes over Liberal Wally Oppal, after a recount in a riding that had gone Liberal in every election since 1991.
Two other Independent MLAs were hoping to hold on to their seats — and perhaps even hold the balance of power in the B.C. legislature if a minority government were elected — but as the results trickled in, it became apparent they were headed for defeat.
With 95 polls reporting Cariboo North Independent incumbent Bob Simpson lost to Liberal candidate Coralee Oakes by 526 votes. And as the results finished coming in for Abbotsford South, John van Dongen was behind Liberal Darryl Plecas by 3,673 votes.
Elected, ejected and defected
Of the three sitting Independents who sought re-election in 2013, only Huntington won her seat in 2009 as an Independent.
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Simpson was elected in 2005 and 2009 as a New Democrat, but was kicked out of the caucus in 2010 for criticizing then-leader Carole James.
Van Dongen was elected as a Liberal in 2009, winning by 5,578 votes. He was appointed solicitor general but resigned from the cabinet position following revelations that his driver's licence has been suspended for excessive speeding.
He left the Liberal Party in March 2012, and has remained vocal since about the BC Rail scandal that had dogged the Liberal government for years. Van Dongen joined the B.C. Conservatives, becoming the only Conservative member in legislature. He later quit that party in September 2012 to sit as an Independent.
The riding of Boundary-Similkameen was also recently represented by an Independent, John Slater. Slater was elected as a Liberal, but did not seek re-election in 2013.
Boundary-Similkameen candidate Mischa Popoff, who ran without party affiliation, had a relatively high profile in the area after being booted from the B.C. Conservatives because of excerpts from some of his local newspaper columns. But neither Popoff nor Independent Doug Pederson, also running in Boundary-Similkameen, appeared as top contenders as the results came in. Instead, Liberal Linda Larson won the seat, defeating NDP candidate Sam Hancheroff by 1,197 votes.
In Peace River North, Arthur Hadland was considered a contender because of his high profile in the riding, but with all 102 polls reporting late Tuesday night, the Independent candidate trailed Liberal incumbent Pat Pimm by 3,788 votes.
Most of the 376 candidates running in the 2013 B.C. provincial election represent one of 19 political parties, but 35 — almost 10 per cent — chose to run as independents and 10 are running with no affiliation.
Independents to watch: Election night results
List of Independent and "no affiliation" candidates
Source: Elections BC