Justin Trudeau’s liberals have secured another seat in Quebec, pushing him slightly ahead of the bloc Québécois in the province.
Brom-Missisquoy is the only ride to change hands since Monday’s preliminary election results, which did not include some 850,000 mail-in ballots.
Once election officials finished counting postal votes in the riding on Thursday, Liberal Pascal Saint-Onge led the block’s Marilou Alari by only 186 votes.
This leaves the Liberals leading or elected in 34 of the Bloc’s 33 of Quebec’s 78 seats and placing them slightly ahead in terms of the popular vote.
The Conservatives are leading or elected in 10 Quebec riding and the NDP in just one.
Nationally, Brom-Missisquoi’s victory put the Liberals on 159 seats, although one of them was won in Toronto’s Spadina-Fort York by a rejected Liberal candidate – Kevin Wong – who is now an independent MP. I have to sit.
The mail-in ballot count is still in progress in four tight contests on Thursday evening, with the Conservatives standing on 119 seats, the NDP on 25 and the Greens on two.
However, recounting is expected in some close ridings, where a handful of votes separate the winner from the loser.
Counting was complete by Thursday afternoon, in most rides in Quebec, Ontario and Atlantic Canada, as well as in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.
But throughout BC – where more mail-in ballots were received than in any other province – election officials were still tallying thousands of votes.
As the remaining results came out, election experts warned that, in some photo-finish riding, a recount would have to decide who ultimately sits in parliament.
Experts say a recalculation is expected in the Winnipeg-area ride of Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley where Conservative Marty Morantz defeated Liberal Doug Ayolfson by only 24 votes.
Elections Canada said Thursday afternoon that vote counting had ended and the results were being confirmed.
Experts said judicial recalculation is likely to start there as the margin is so small.
Quito Magi, a pollster who runs public opinion firm Mainstreet Research, said voters should expect recounts in many ridings.
“The Charleswood seat is going for judicial recount. I suspect at least two or three other (candidates) will ask to go for recount,” Magee said.
“We saw in this election that there were a larger than expected close race. Turnout was very, very low. At least 1.2 million fewer people voted in this election than in the previous election.
If there is a tie between the two leading candidates or the difference of votes is less than one-thousandth of the total votes, an automatic judicial recount is triggered.
In other tight races, the loser has the option of going to court to count the votes again. When asked by The Canadian Press, the NDP, Conservatives and Liberals did not say whether they would seek recounts in ridings where they came second by a small margin of votes.
The nearest result is in Sault Ste. Mary, Ont., where less than one percent of the vote separates liberals and conservatives. Liberal Terry Sheehan defeated Tory Sonny Spina by 247 votes after the mail ballots were counted.
In another close race, Vancouver Granville, counting of mail-in ballots continued. Liberal candidate Taleb Noormohammed is narrowly leading over New Democrat Anjali Appadurai.
In the riding of Davenport in Toronto, Julie Dzerowicz of the Liberals won by less than 200 votes after a close fight with the NDP.
The NDP snatched Edmonton Grisbach from the Tories, with a higher-than-expected margin, after a dynamic campaign by two-spirit Métis leader Blake Desjarlais.
Similarly, Liberal Patrick Weiler emerged from the mail-in count on Thursday with a lead of nearly 2,500 votes over his Conservative rival in B.C.’s West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea-to-Sky country.
Elections Canada expects more rides to end the counting of mail-in ballots Thursday night. But with thousands of postal votes in some, many of them in BC, counting will continue on Friday.
On Thursday evening, several BC riders were still counting, including Nanaimo-Ladysmith, which is the site of a fierce battle between the NDP, Conservatives and Greens.
In Victoria, election officials were busy reconciling more than 12,600 ballots sent by post, the most in Canada.
Counting was also underway in the Saanich-Gulf Islands, where more than 10,700 people have opted for postal votes and former Green Party leader Elizabeth May was declared the winner on Thursday.
But in Richmond Center, B.C., voters were holding their breath as mail ballots were matched in an epic battle between rookie Wilson Miao and veteran incumbent Alice Wong.
On Thursday, Liberal Miao held a narrow lead over veteran Conservative Wong, who has been a local lawmaker since 2008.
Elections Canada said it expected to complete counting of votes in almost all ridings by Friday.