Simon Gibson watches the poll results coming in on election night. / Kevin Mills Photo

Gibson waiting for final results of election

Abbotsford-Mission MLA is safe, but some riding results could change

Simon Gibson is returning as MLA for the Abbotsford-Mission riding. However, he isn’t sure what role he will be taking.

Gibson was declared the winner early into Tuesday evening as he quickly built up a big lead over the NDP’s Andrew Christie and the Green candidate Jennifer Holmes.

Gibson won the riding with ease, earning 12,080 votes compared to the second-place finisher, Christie, who earned 6,754.

However, Gibson’s Liberal party, at this time, has earned 43 seats overall, one short of the 44 needed to form a majority government.

And with the NDP having earned 41 seats and the Greens winning three, it appears the Liberals will be forming a minority government – that is, unless something changes.

“My understanding is we will be waiting for the results of the absentee ballots, which should be completed within two weeks. Then we will be in a better position to know our status,” said Gibson, noting that there are some ridings that were so close, the results could be changed.

The best example is Courtney-Comox, which is of particular interest to the Liberals.

In that riding, the NDP’s Ronna-Rae Leonard defeated the Liberals’ Jim Benninger by just nine votes.

“We’re optimistic that the absentee ballots will secure his victory, which will give us the majority we need to form government,” said Gibson.

He called the next two weeks “quite suspenseful.”

Another riding that still could swing is Maple Ridge-Mission, where the NDP’s Bob D’Eith won by 120 votes over incumbent Marc Dalton.

Gibson said he has to take a wait-and-see attitude.

“I’d prefer to be in government. Frankly, opposition is not as rewarding. Having come off four years as a government MLA, and looking back on all the contributions that I was able to provide to the riding, on both sides of the river, makes me realize I’d rather be a government MLA.”

As for his victory in Abbotsford-Mission, Gibson said he made every effort to represent the entire area.

“I did try to make contacts through the area, right through including McConnell Creek and Lake Errock and Deroche and Dewdney and Hatzic and Nicomen Island. So I was certainly open to go out and visit people throughout the area.”