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‘Value of the vote’

For the first time in more than six decades an independent candidate has won a seat in the provincial legislature.

For the first time in more than six decades an independent candidate has won a seat in the provincial legislature.

Elections B.C. declared Independent Vicki Huntington the victor in Delta-South yesterday, defeating Attorney General Wally Oppal by a mere 32 votes .

“Our elected representatives are now representing the parties, not the people,” Huntington said outside the Sundance Inn in Delta, where she planned to celebrate with supporters.

“This is perhaps the first time that people have stepped forward and said, ‘We want you to be accountable and we want you to represent us.’”

On election day, it appeared that Oppal had won the riding by three votes.

A recount of the election night tally, combined with 918 absentee ballots, gave Huntington 9,977 votes to Oppal’s 9,945. The slim margin means there will be an automatic judicial recount.

Oppal, who left a relatively safe seat in Vancouver-Fraserview to run in his home riding of Delta-South, told reporters he was disappointed with the result.

As for her effectiveness as a single independent MLA, Huntington said “all I can do is speak the truth ... and let them know how people feel about issues.”

She said she is not on a “collision course” with government, but will vote on issues based on how they impact Delta-South. She added she would likely support government on issues of economic importance.

“I’m hopeful that the government will understand that it’s the value of the vote that is important here. That they will respect how the voters in this riding have chosen.”

 
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