Advance polls show how close election was in Saanich North

The race for MLA in Saanich North and the Islands in the May 2013 provincial election was close

The race for MLA in Saanich North and the Islands in the May 2013 provincial election was close — and recently released numbers from Elections B.C. shows just how close it was.

In their statement of votes, released Jan. 21, Elections B.C. shows the results of each advance vote and general polling station in all of B.C.’s electoral areas.

They also tally up the spoiled and rejected ballots from each constituency. In this riding, there were just under 100 of those.

Elections B.C. specifically refers to the Saanich North and the Islands race — a close three-way battle that prompted an automatic recount. A judicial recount was not required, as the second place candidate did not ask for one following the initial recap.

That race — between Gary Holman (NDP), Stephen Roberts (B.C. Liberal) and Adam Olsen (Green) — was decided by only 163 votes with Holman the victor.

Olsen wasn’t that far back. The current B.C. Green Party interim leader was 216 votes back of Roberts and 379 away from Holman.

The proximity of the candidates to the finish line can be seen in the advance polling numbers, as can the political divide throughout the riding.

On Saltspring Island, Holman’s home, voters there gave him 1,135 votes to Roberts’ 514 and Olsen’s 448.

In Sidney, a more traditionally conservative area, Roberts led advance polling with 1,338. He was followed by Holman (1,041) and Olsen (954).

The closest race in the advance poll was in Central Saanich where Roberts edged Olsen 939 to 933. Holman was a close third with 926.

Each of the top three candidates garnered more than 10,000 votes. Independent candidate Scott McEachern received 599.

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands showed they will still exercise their right to vote by trouncing the provincial turnout average of 55.32 per cent with a mark of 69.2 per cent.