British Columbia

Some mayoral races in B.C. were decided by just a vote or 2

Vancouver was far from the only close race — and far from the closest.

Clinton, Peachland race decided by single ballot; 2 votes separated Bowen Island candidates

Gary Ander and Melanie Mason said they were shocked by the 'roller-coaster' result of Saturday's election for Bowen Island mayor, which saw Ander edge Mason by two votes. (Facebook)

UPDATE — Oct. 23, 2018: After a verification process, the race for mayor of Peachland has ended in a tie. A judicial recount has been ordered.

It was a close race for mayor's seats across B.C. on Saturday. Really close.

Yes, Vancouver had a tight race that wasn't decided until well past midnight — but candidates in small towns across the province were also left on the edge of their seats longer than they thought they'd be.

"It really was a bit of a roller coaster," said Melanie Mason, who lost the race on Bowen Island by just two votes. 

"It was really, really close."

Former firefighter Mike Hurley defeated five-term mayoral institution Derek Corrigan in Burnaby. Hurley won the mayor's seat by a 12 per cent margin. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

2 candidates split by 2 ballots

Gary Ander edged out Mason 896 to 894. The candidates, both councillors, were shocked.

"I expected it to be close ... Obviously, I didn't think it was going to be that close," Ander said in a phone interview the morning after the election.

Mason has already requested a recount, but doesn't think results will change.

"I guess I wish I had canvassed just one more ferry lineup, but it is what it is," said Mason, who watched the results at home with her family.

Single-vote races

In Peachland, incumbent Cindy Fortin lost her re-election campaign against former councillor Harry Gough by just one vote.

Clinton was also decided by a single vote, with Coun. Susan Swan edging Roland Stanke​. Incumbent Jim Rivett did not run for re-election.

In B.C., judicial recounts aren't automatic unless there's a tie.

Candidates or electoral officers can apply for a recount under several circumstances, including if the votes were not correctly accepted, ballots were not correctly rejected and if the ballot account did not accurately record the number of votes cast.

Independent candidate Kennedy Stewart was elected mayor of Vancouver with a less than one-per-cent margin over the NPA's Ken Sim. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Other mayoral races decided by less than 1% of the vote:

North Cowichan — 10-vote difference

  • Al Siebring (3,017)
  • Jon Lefebure (3,001)

Vancouver — 984-vote difference

  • Kennedy Stewart (49,812)
  • Ken Sim (48,828)

West Vancouver — 21-vote difference

  • Mary-Ann Booth (4,394)
  • Mark Sager (4,373)
Kennedy Stewart supporter Clint Morrison watches a television while awaiting the election results at the mayoral candidate's election night gathering at a tiki bar in Vancouver on Saturday. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Mayoral races decided by less than 5% of the vote:

Cache Creek — 26-vote difference (5%)

  • Santo Talarico (230)
  • John Ranta (204)

Chase — 11-vote difference (1%)

  • Rod Crow (256)
  • David Lepsoe (245)

Chetwynd — 24-vote difference (5%)

  • Allen Courtoreille (255)
  • Alec Brownlee (231)

Duncan — 26-vote difference (1%)

  • Michelle Staples (494)
  • Martin Barker (468)

Kaslo — 13-vote difference (2%)

  • Suzan Hewat ​(260)
  • Andrew Shadrack ​(247)

Keremeos — 15-vote difference (2%)

  • Manfred Bauer (299)
  • Arlene Arlow (284)

Port Edward — 10-vote difference (4%)

  • Knut Bjorndal (113)
  • Dave MacDonald (103)

Salmo — 25-vote difference (5%)

  • Diana Lockwood (270)
  • Stephen White (245)

Tumbler Ridge — 13-vote difference (2%)

  • Keith Bertrand (251)
  • Don McPherson (238)

With files from Brady Strachan and Bridgette Watson

Read more from CBC British Columbia


  • A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Roland Stanke was mayor of Clinton. In fact, the incumbent mayor is Jim Rivett, who did not run for re-election Oct. 20.
    Oct 22, 2018 9:41 AM PT


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