Eric Foster leads in Vernon-Monashee but race is too close to call | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Eric Foster leads in Vernon-Monashee but race is too close to call

It's been a close election between B.C. Liberal incumbent Eric Foster and B.C. NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu for the Vernon Monashee riding.
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B.C. Liberal incumbent Eric Foster is leading with most polls reporting tonight but the results are so close, we may not know who the MLA is for another couple of weeks. 

With 104 of 121 polls reporting, Foster has a narrow lead with 35 per cent of the vote, compared to Harwinder Sandhu with 34 per cent — a difference of 195 votes. No matter what else happens tonight, the 8,747 voters who requested mail-in ballots will make a big difference.

Those votes won't be counted for another 13 days, Elections B.C. has said. 

If Foster loses the seat, it will be an historic failure. Foster has been MLA since 2009 in a seat the Liberals have held since 1996. If Sandhu wins, it will be the first time the NDP has held a Vernon Monashee seat.

The riding, which encompasses Vernon, Coldstream and Lumby stretches northeast to the North Okanagan Electoral Area E.

The only other time a competitor got close to snatching a seat from the Liberals was in 2009 when the NDP earned 31.8 per cent of the vote — closer to the Liberal’s 37.3, but not enough to swing the election.

Sandhu, a nurse at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, previously said in an NDP press release that running in the provincial election is a natural extension of the work she is currently doing at the hospital.

“When deciding to run, I had to ask myself, do I try to improve health care by working at the hospital or should I go to Victoria to join John Horgan's government and work for better health care for all British Columbians?” she said in the release. “As a patient care coordinator in one of the COVID wards at the hospital, I am well aware that the B.C. NDP government has earned top marks for how it handled the pandemic.”

Foster has sat the last term in parliament as the Official Opposition Caucus Whip.

He's also served on a number of committees, including the Environment and Land Use Committee and the Agenda and Priorities Committee. He has been a member of the Select Standing Committees on Legislative Initiatives, Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct, Standing Orders, and Private Bills, and Finance and Government Services.

A Lumby resident, the MLA has been involved in politics for close to 30 years. Foster sat as a councillor in Lumby for 12 years, before becoming mayor for one term and then moving into provincial politics.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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