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NDP in the lead in hotly-contested Nanaimo by-election

Last Updated Jan 30, 2019 at 9:44 pm PDT

Polls are now closed in the hotly-contested by-election in Nanaimo. (Liza Yuzda, NEWS 1130)

NANAIMO (NEWS 1130) — NDP candidate Sheila Malcolmson is in the lead as the results come in for the by-election in Nanaimo.

The polls are closed, and as of 9:43 p.m. Malcolmson was in the lead with 48 per cent of the votes, with 63 of 111 ballot boxes counted. B.C. Liberals’ candidate Tony Harris had 41 per cent of the vote.

There is a lot of pressure on the B.C. NDP’s Sheila Malcolmson to maintain the balance of government; should she lose to the B.C. Liberals, that would mean a tie between the NDP-Green alliance and the Liberals with 43 seats each, possibly triggering a by-election across the province to avoid a stalemate at the legislature.

But Premier John Horgan says if the Liberals win, he will keep governing the same way.

“We’ll carry on as we have every single day. My view has always been, this is a real opportunity and a blessing, and a privilege to have the chance to be the Premier of British Columbia,” he tells NEWS 1130.

He says he’s confident in the work his is doing in Nanaimo, and that NDP Sheila Malcolmson will come out the winner.

“Sheila has been hearing back that they like what they see in the new government, that they like that our values align with the people in this community, and that’s what’s made this an exciting campaign,” he tells NEWS 1130.

He says even with a Liberal win, he’s not worried about moving ahead with his mandate.