Andrew Wilkinson is the new BC Liberal leader after a fifth ballot victory over Dianne Watts
Andrew Wilkinson is the new leader of the BC Liberal Party.
The MLA for Vancouver Quilchena and former attorney general defeated former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts in a race that needed five ballots to decide a winner.
Wilkinson, an Oxford-educated doctor and lawyer who grew up in Kamloops, received 4621 points for 53.1% of the votes while Watts had 4079 for 46.8%.
First term Vancouver MLA Michael Lee was third while Kamloops MLA Todd Stone was fourth and veteran Liberal Mike de Jong fifth.
Wilkinson told the crowd, party members now have to come together, and work to broaden their appeal with voters.
Fourth ballot results:
Dianne Watts 3006 34.5%
Andrew Wilkinson 2862 32.8%
Michael Lee 2832 32.5%
Lee is eliminated with fifth and final ballot being counted
Dianne Watts 2469 points 28.3%
Michael Lee 2264 26.3%
Andrew Wilkinson 2201 25.2%
Todd Stone 1766 20.2% (eliminated)
Fourth ballot counting underway.
BC Liberals are in the process of choosing their new leader.
The winner of the six person race will be determined later tonight after three days of online and phone voting by party members.
Former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts leads after the second ballot with 24.9%, followed by Vancouver-Langara first term MLA Michael Lee with 22.5%, Andrew Wilkinson has 18.7%. Todd Stone had 17.3% and Mike de Jong had 16.5%
As no one had a a majority, a third ballot is being held with de Jong eliminated.
Sam Sullivan was eliminated after the first ballot.
The candidates are in the race to replace Christy Clark who resigned as leader last August.
The party says the six hopefuls signed up almost 30,000 new members during the campaign, bringing the party’s total to around 60,000.
On Saturday morning, the Vancouver Sun reported candidate Todd Stone had to cancel 1,349 party memberships his campaign had signed up with improper email address after concerns raised by auditors in the party.