Ben Stewart

Victorious Liberal candidate Ben Stewart addressed supporters who were maintaining physical distancing while gathering at the West Kelowna Yacht Club.

Election day is over. But 19,758 Kelowna-area ballots still have not been counted.


However, the vote distribution among mail-in ballots sent to Elections B.C. from Central Okanagan residents is highly unlikely to change the final outcome in this area.


On Saturday, the three Liberal candidates finished an average of 4,200 votes ahead of the second-place NDP candidate.


For the local NDP candidates to overtake the Liberals during the so-called 'final count', they would have to have received at least 64 per cent of all the mail-in votes that were cast.


That is unlikely since, provincially, the NDP won  45 per cent of all ballots that were counted on Saturday, and average of 29 per cent locally.


Polling before general election day suggested those who voted by mail were more likely to cast a ballot for the NDP. However, even if that preference were true, the difference in voting intentions would not seem to be enough to lift the NDP to victory in any of the Central Okanagan ridings.


A Research Co. poll last week found that half of voters who by then had decided who to vote for had already cast a ballot for the NDP.


Should the NDP have received half of all the Kelowna-area ballots that were mailed in, their three candidates would still finish behind the victorious Liberals.


Across B.C., just under 500,000 mail-in ballots were requested by voters in advance of Saturday's general election. But only 69 per cent were received by Elections B.C. of Saturday's cut-off date.


In the Kelowna-area ridings, 28,674 advance ballots were requested. If a similar share of locals returned their ballots to the provincial average, Elections B.C. would have received 19,758 mail-in ballots from the Central Okanagan.


The counting of mail-in and absentee ballots begins 13 days after general voting day.