Nfld. & Labrador

NDP clinging to 5-vote victory in Lab West after official addition of vote tally

Bruce Chaulk, the province's chief electoral officer, will order a judicial recount in the next 7 days.

Judicial recount to be requested in next 7 days, says chief electoral officer

Jordan Brown squeaked out the closest win on election night, with a margin of five votes between him and Liberal incumbent Graham Letto. (Jordan Brown/Twitter)

An NDP candidate in the Labrador West district is still hanging on to a five-vote victory over a Liberal cabinet minister after an official addition of the votes cast in Thursday night's provincial election.

That means Bruce Chaulk, the province's chief electoral officer, will be requesting an official judicial recount of the ballots in the next seven days, he said.

"Every vote matters," Chaulk said.

NDP candidate Jordan Brown overtook Liberal Graham Letto in the final moments of a white-knuckle race in Thursday's election. Brown's narrow victory came on the last poll from Wabush, giving the NDP a third seat in the legislature.

Officials spent all day Sunday poring over the paperwork filed by each of the province's polling stations, make sure the numbers reported on paper lined up with the numbers called in by officials after polling stations closed and votes were tallied.

'Every vote matters,' says Bruce Chaulk, the province's chief electoral officer. (CBC)

They did not find any discrepancies in the numbers reported for Labrador West, he said, meaning Brown's vote count remains at 1,366 and Letto's at 1,361.

Any margin fewer than 10 votes triggers an automatic recount of the ballots.

"Since I've been in the office in 2011, we haven't had ... a request for a judicial recount done," he said.

"It's a big one for the people of Labrador West."

As of 3:30 p.m. Sunday, those paperwork checks were still ongoing for a number of other districts, Chaulk said.

Read more stories from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Jacob Barker