British Columbia

Canada election 2015: Liberals raid Conservative seats while NDP holds ground in B.C.

Liberals take nearly half of B.C.'s 42 seats

Liberals take nearly half of B.C.'s 42 seats

Liberals celebrated victory in Surrey-Newton on Monday night. (Manjula Dufresne/CBC News)

The Liberals have taken a slight lead in British Columbia, in what was earlier a tight three-way race in various parts of the province.

Although the ridings were looking almost evenly split earlier on Monday night, the Liberals took the lead as the polls continued to come in. 

As of 11:45 p.m. PT, the Liberals had 15 of the province's 42 seats, a jump from only two seats in B.C.

The Conservatives lost the most seats in the province, dropping from a previous total of 21 seats to 12 with one other seat still in dispute.

The NDP's numbers remained relatively stable, with 13 confirmed seats.

The Green Party has also kept its one seat on Vancouver Island, with the re-election of leader Elizabeth May representing the riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands.

"Welcome to the first night of the post-Harper era," said May from her riding in Saanich-Gulf Islands.

NDP candidate Nathen Cullen was one of the first MPs to be elected, representing the riding of Skeena-Bulkley Valley. Cullen had run for the leadership of the party in 2012. 

Ridings in Metro Vancouver appear to be leaning in the same direction as the rest of Canada — mostly Liberal. 

"There does seem to be, and this election seems to confirm it in some ways, a desire for change," said UBC political science associate professor Gerald Baier.

"There was a lot of talk about minority government in this election. Voters have sort of spoken to say, well, if we're going to empower someone we're going to empower them fully."

Two important Conservative ridings were lost to Liberal candidates — Kerry-Lynne Findley, the Minister of National Revenue, has lost to Liberal Carla Qualtrough. And Liberal Ron McKinnon has taken James Moore's seat in Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam — Moore held the seat but announced earlier this summer that he was leaving federal politics.

In Vancouver South, the Liberal's "star candidate" Harjit Sajjan defeated incumbent Conservative candidate Wai Young. 

B.C. polls close as Liberal government announced

The polls closed at 7 p.m. PT across the province. And for the first time in a federal election, results from other parts of the country weren't blacked out — meaning voters were able to hear media across the country project a Liberal majority soon after polls here were closed.

"I think certainly it's not as close as we thought it would be at the beginning of the night," said Baier.

"You might not have as much of a say in the overall outcome for British Columbians, but I think it's still going to be important who's going to represent you in your riding for the next four or so years." 

Elections Canada assured voters if they were in line by 7 p.m. PT they would be able to vote. 

Spokeswoman Dorothy Sitek said there were still long lines at some polling stations in Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island as polls approached closing time earlier in the evening. 

There are 42 seats up for grabs in the province, six of them in new ridings that were created when electoral boundaries were redrawn in 2012.

Follow the CBC British Columbia live election blog

B.C. is expected to be one of the biggest battle grounds in the country, with tight three-way races across the province. Four of the party leaders gave their final plea for votes in B.C.