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Polls open for Kelowna-West byelection to fill Christy Clark's former seat

Polls open for Kelowna-West byelection to fill Christy Clark's former seat

Ben Stewart is leading down the final stretch of the Kelowna West by-election.

Stewart had served one term as MLA when he stepped down in 2013 to make way for Clark, who had lost her seat in Vancouver-Point Grey to the NDP's David Eby.

Stewart won 7,692 votes - 56.46% of the vote.

The BC Green Party has been working hard for Robert Stupka to have a strong showing at the polls.

The byelection took place in wine country, which is now caught in a trade war between the BC and Alberta NDP governments over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. But thanks to a confidence and supply agreement with the Green Party, which holds three seats, the NDP-Green coalition has two more votes than the Liberals.

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Stewart happens to come from the wine business.

Now the Liberals and NDP each have 41 voting seats.

The numbers are more than 2,700 votes shy of those cast during advance polls for last year's general election, but 400 more than the 2013 byelection, in which Christy Clark was elected to the riding. There is one independent member, former Liberal and current Speaker Darryl Plecas.

Clark also resigned as leader of the B.C. Liberal party last summer, saying she was leaving politics and public life for good.


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