Ben Stewart of the BC Liberals has won the Kelowna West by-election.
Stewart captured the race by a large margin over the NDP’s Shelley Cook after votes from all 111 ballot boxes were counted.
Stewart had 7,692 votes (56.4%) while Cook got 3,197 (23.4%).
Robert Stupka of the Greens was third with 1,727 votes (12.6%), Mark Thompson of the Conservatives had 898 (6.5%), and Libertarian Kyle Geronazzo had 110 (0.81%.).
13,624 people cast a vote, which was 30% of the close to 47,000 eligible voters.
Stewart, a founder of Quails’ Gate Winery in Kelowna, was the riding’s MLA until 2013 when he resigned to let Christy Clark run and win a by-election after the premier lost her riding in Vancouver-Point Grey.
The Liberals now have 42 seats in the legislature to the NDP’s 41, the Greens have 3, and there is one independent.
Due to his alliance with the Green MLA’s, Premier John Horgan’s minority government holds a two-vote balance of power.
Voting has now ended for the Kelowna West provincial by-election which covers West Kelowna and downtown Kelowna.
The riding has been a Liberal stronghold, with former MLA Ben Stewart looking to make a return, after stepping down five years ago to allow Christy Clark to win a seat.
Also on the ballot are Shelley Cook of the NDP, who finished second to Clark in the last by-election, Robert Stupka of the Greens, Conservative Mark Thompson, and Libertarian Kyle Geronazzo.
About 6,100 people cast ballots in the advance polls, representing 13% of the rising’s almost 47,000 eligible voters.
The current standings in the BC Legislature has the New Democrats and Liberals each with 41 seats, the Greens have three, and there is one independent.