The BC Liberals Tom Shypitka has swept Kootenay East according to preliminary results in the 2020 BC election. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Shypitka holds lead in Kootenay East on final count

The BC Liberal candidate has been returned to represent the riding

The final count for the 2020 provincial election has been completed, with the NDP returned to government with 57 seats out of 87, for a net gain of 16.

Elections BC announced the final count for the October 24 election over the weekend after it finished counting 660,000 absentee and mail-in ballots.

The opposition BC Liberal Party lost 13 seats, falling to 28. The BC Greens have stayed level, with 2 seats.

Locally, on the final count, Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka was still very much the winner of the riding, having secured 57.9 percent of the vote (9,897 votes) after mail-in ballots were counted.

Shypitka improved on his 2017 result when he won 56.57 per cent of the vote in the riding.

While his percentage of votes overall was reduced on the final count, his raw vote lead over the NDPs Wayne Stetski was increased after all votes were counted, from 4,100 votes on the initial count to 4,398 votes on the final count.

Stetski won 5,499 votes, or 32.17 per cent of votes cast, while the BC Green candidate won 1,697 votes, or 9.83 per cent.

Following the counting of the mail-in ballots, Kootenay East remains the most pro-BC Liberal riding in the province, with Shypitka’s vote share the largest by percentage of all BC Liberal candidates across British Columbia.

A total of 17,093 votes were cast in the riding, representing a turnout of 54.9 percent.

READ MORE: Final ballot count confirms British Columbia’s NDP increased seat count to 57
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