BEN Stewart, who had stepped down as MLA in 2013 to allow then-premier Christy Clark to get elected after she lost in her own riding of Vancouver-Point Grey to NDP’s David Eby, is back in the saddle after winning the Kelowna West by-election on Wednesday with 56.6 per cent of the total votes cast.
After Clark’s government was defeated in the B.C. Legislature, she resigned as leader of the B.C. Liberal Party and also quit as MLA on August 4.
The Liberals now have 42 seats in the Legislature, the NDP has 41 seats and the Green Party has three seats. Speaker Darryl Plecas, a former Liberal MLA, is an independent member.
Preliminary Voting Results
* Ben Stewart (BC Liberal Party): 7,692 (56.46%)
* Shelley Cook (BC NDP): 3,197 (23.47%)
* Robert Stupka (BC Green Party): 1,727 (12.68%)
* Mark Thompson (Conservative): 898 (6.59%)
* Kyle Michael Ernest Geronazzo (Libertarian): 110 (0.81%)
Total: 111 of 111 ballot boxes: 13,624 (100%)
PREMIER John Horgan in a statement said: “Congratulations to Ben Stewart on winning the by-election in Kelowna West, and I want to congratulate Shelley Cook for running a stellar campaign.
“I know Ben will represent the people of Kelowna West with integrity and compassion, and I look forward to having him rejoin us in Victoria.
“Given Kelowna West is historically a BC Liberal seat, we knew we were facing an uphill battle. We’re so proud of the Shelley Cook and her campaign. My thanks go to her and to all the volunteers and supporters who helped out.
“Our BC NDP government is committed to making lives better and more affordable, in every community in our province. We’ll continue that work, for the people of Kelowna West and across the province.”