Vernon-Monashee election race remains a toss up between Foster, Sandhu

Who will win in Vernon?

As British Columbians went to bed Saturday night, the results of the provincial election were still a toss up in Vernon-Monashee.

The results were too close to call to declare a winner between incumbent Eric Foster of the BC Liberals and Harwinder Sandhu of the BC NDP.

Foster maintained a narrow lead for most of the night, with Sandhu nipping at his heels throughout.

With all of the ballot boxes counted, Foster remains in first place by only 180 votes.

Sandhu and Foster went back and forth at the beginning of the night, but Foster took a slight lead shortly after 9 p.m. and held it until the end of the night. But, with the results so close and a record number of mail-in and advance votes yet to be counted, the riding could still swing either way.

Sandhu remained well within striking distance the entire night, and could still steal the riding. The largest lead Foster took the entire night was only four per cent, and that was right at the beginning of counting. It continued to tighten as the night went on.

"It's a real nail-biter, lots of back and forth," says Foster. "I feel bad about the provincial results, but this race is so close I'm by no means out of the woods."

"Every vote is important and every vote should be counted," adds Sandhu. "I am looking forward to the announcement of the complete results."

Once mail-in and advance votes are counted, it remains to be seen if a recount will be necessary.

Just up the road, in Sicamous, Foster's colleague Greg Kyllo coasted easily to victory in the Shuswap riding.

His victory was called with less than half the ballot boxes counted.

He finished the night with just under 54 per cent of the vote.

His nearest challenger, Sylvia Lindgren of the NDP had 31 per cent, and the Greens' Owen Madden 15 per cent.

Kyllo was happy about his win, but admitted he was "a little bitter" about the provincial majority for the NDP.

He called NDP Leader John Horgan's calling of the election during the pandemic "reprehensible."

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