Final results from the BC 2013 Election and Student Vote

May 30th, 2013

The final count of the 2013 British Columbia general election results was completed this week by Elections BC. In total, 1,803,051 ballots were cast from across the province. In total, 1,803,051 ballots were cast from across BC. Voter turnout was approximately 58 per cent, compared to 51 per cent in 2009.

The BC Liberal Party won a majority government and leader Christy Clark will remain as premier. The BC NDP and leader Adrian Dix will form the Official Opposition. Andrew Weaver from the Green Party of BC becomes the first Green candidate elected at the provincial level in Canada. Independent Vicki Huntington retained her seat in Delta South.

The results from the BC 2013 Student Vote are also final. 101,627 ballots were cast from 693 schools representing all 85 electoral divisions. Students elected an NDP government with a Liberal opposition.

Party Adult Seat Count Student Vote Seat Count
BC Liberal Party






Green Party of BC







BC students also elected the NDP in both 2005 and 2009. You can find the complete results from the 2013 election and Student Vote on our results page.


Six ridings were separated by less than 500 votes, but only one seat changed hands as a result of the final count.

After the preliminary count, Liberal candidate Steve Kim led in Coquitlam-Maillardville by 105 votes. NDP candidate Selina Robinson now holds a slim 35 vote lead. Elections BC has applied for a judicial recount to ensure an accurate result in that riding. Robinson won the seat in the Student Vote.

The final count includes absentee ballots and special ballots, which were not included in the initial count. Approximately 170,000 absentee ballots were cast, compared to 90,000 in 2009.

The University of British Columbia’s Sacha Peter analyzed the final count results. He notes that if only absentee and special ballots were counted, the NDP would have won a minority government with 42 seats.


Premier Clark says that the legislature will reconvene this summer to pass the provincial budget.

How soon will that happen? Clark says that she will wait until she can win a seat in the legislature. Clark was defeated by NDP candidate David Eby in Vancouver-Point Grey. She can run in a by-election once a Liberal MLA steps down.

Clark is also meeting with her 49 MLAs to determine the makeup of her new cabinet. Nearly half of all Liberal MLAs are newly elected.

We’ll keep you posted with the latest BC news. Stay tuned!


Student Vote BC in the Media

May 22nd, 2013

Last week, more than 100,000 elementary and secondary students took part in the BC 2013 Student Vote. Students from all 85 electoral districts elected an NDP majority government with a Liberal opposition.

We partnered with Global and the Vancouver Sun for this election. Global aired the results on election night (click here for photos), and the Vancouver Sun published the results in print and online. In addition, Vancouver Sun data reporter Chad Skelton analyzed the results for each participating school.

Many other media outlets from across the province have provided extensive coverage of our program. Click here for a list of articles that feature the Student Vote results.

For example, here is a great editorial from the Penticton Herald:

Student Vote is a great program and it’s wonderful to see that so many schools in our region took advantage of it.

Fake elections were held in elementary and secondary schools complete with ballot boxes, secret ballots (nearly identical to the ones adults are handed on election day) and two clerks.

In Penticton, 11 schools were involved including a large contingent from Pen-Hi. In Boundary Similkameen, seven schools participated.

In British Columbia, more than 100,000 students voted on Monday and final results were embargoed until Tuesday at 8 p.m. (so not to influence the real vote in any way.)

True to a real election, there were even some spoiled ballots.

Student Vote BC also breaks down the province riding-by-riding.

Whether you agree with who the young people chose, it’s undeniable that this is a great program. In addition to the voting day, students are encouraged to study up on the candidates and the issues.

Youth being disengaged in provincial and federal politics is nothing new. (Think back to your own youth, how many 18-year-olds do you know who were dying to vote?)

This program will help. Thanks to all those who were involved.

We would like to thank all of the newspapers, television networks, radio stations and blogs who took the time to cover the Student Vote program this spring. We would also like to thank the students and Team Leaders who represented Student Vote in interviews, and the candidates who took the time to visit schools.

The Student Vote Team

100,000 Students Elect NDP Majority; Liberals form Official Opposition

May 14th, 2013

More than 100,000 elementary and high school students across the province participated in Student Vote: a parallel election program coinciding with the British Columbia provincial election.

After learning about the democratic process, researching the party platforms, hosting candidate forums and debating the future of British Columbia, students cast their ballots for local candidates.

101.627 votes were reported from 693 schools representing all 85 electoral divisions across the province. Students elected an NDP government and a Liberal opposition.

The NDP won 53 seats, forming a majority government, and captured 38.50 per cent of the popular vote. Leader Adrian Dix won his seat in Vancouver-Kingsway, receiving 59.52 per cent of the vote.

The Liberals took 21 seats and 28.17 per cent of the popular vote. Premier Christy Clark lost in Vancouver-Point Grey, receiving 28.50 per cent of the vote. Clark was defeated by NDP challenger David Eby, who received 40.42 per cent of the vote.

The Green Party won 8 seats and captured 17.21 per cent of the popular vote. Leader Jane Sterk won her seat in Victoria-Beacon Hill with 42.81 per cent of the vote.

The BC Conservatives received no seats in the Student Vote, though they took 8.59 per cent of the popular vote. Leader John Cummins was unable to win a seat in his Langley riding.

Three independent candidates won their seats including John Van Dongen (Abbotsford South), Bob Simpson (Cariboo North) and Vicki Huntington (Delta South).

Students have voted for the same governing party as the adults in 16 out of 19 elections. However, students in British Columbia selected an NDP majority government in both 2005 and 2009.


The Student Vote Team

Student Vote Day in BC

May 13th, 2013

It’s finally here! Today is Student Vote Day in British Columbia. The rest of the province heads to the polls tomorrow.

Students from as many as 765 schools will be casting ballots from all 85 provincial electoral districts. This includes more than 40 per cent of all schools in the province, and more than 60 per cent of all secondary schools.

Before we know the results of this Student Vote, let’s take a look back at previous provincial Student Vote programs in BC. In both cases, students elected an NDP majority government with a Liberal opposition.


In 2009, more than 61,057 students cast ballots from 454 schools in 83 electoral districts.

The BC NDP won with 47 seats and 37 per cent of the popular vote. The BC Liberals formed the opposition with 24 seats and 29 per cent of the vote. The Green Party would have elected 12 candidates, receiving 27 per cent of the vote. Click here to see the full results.

In the actual election, the Liberals won a majority government with 49 seats, while the NDP formed the opposition with 35 seats.


In 2005, 61,673 students cast ballots from all 79 electoral districts.

The NDP won a majority government with 45 seats and 35 per cent of the popular vote. The Liberals would have formed the opposition with 25 seats and 28 per cent of the vote. The Green Party won seven seats and took an impressive 22 per cent of the popular vote. The Conservative and Work Less parties each won one seat. Click here to see the full results.

In the actual election, the Liberals won a majority government with 46 seats and 46 per cent of the popular vote. The NDP formed opposition with 33 seats.

British Columbia students also cast ballots in the 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011 federal Student Vote programs.

Check back in tomorrow to see the results of the 2013 BC Student Vote!


Student viewpoints on the BC Provincial Election

May 9th, 2013

Yesterday’s blog featured two youth perspectives on the Student Vote program. Today’s blog features two more. Do you have a student who wants to share their Student Vote experience?

David Thompson Secondary

Grade 10 student Lila Berryman summarizes the all-candidates debate at Vancouver’s David Thompson Secondary School. Click here to see photos from the event.

What if teenagers could vote? Are their views and values that much different from adults? At DTSS, we’re having a Student Vote the day before BC’s election to find out. Rumours are flying far and wide. “Who will you vote for? What’s a Student Vote?” On day one, posters advertising the four main parties were tacked up around the school. My Socials teacher was right on top of teaching us about politics, and the pros and cons of the parties. She said how much popular opinions had changed over the years. As the day grew old and wrinkled, we learned that our small class of 12 will be running and scrutineering the student election.

On Monday, May 6th, the Candidates Debate took place in the DTSS theater. Laurel Ralston from the Green Party, Doug Clovechok of the Liberals, Norm MacDonald, our NDP MLA, and Earl Olsen of the Conservative Party came together to give us their opinions on local matters. It was really illuminating for all those attending as to the nature of politicians, and politics in general. They always managed to sneak in the motto of their party, or the main statement of their platform, even if the question had nothing to do with it.

To be fair, they did make some good points, and, like a ski hill, all the parties clearly have their ups and downs. They all agreed with something or other that we, as a community, want done in our valley, and that got a few more people interested and sure of their opinions. I think that some of it went over a few heads though, just because the topics weren’t necessarily relevant or interesting to high-schoolers.


I know that myself and many of my classmates would have enjoyed seeing them actually discussing ideas with each other, like in the Leaders’ Debate, as opposed to simply replying to questions with answers that they didn’t necessarily seem to hold true in their heart of hearts. But that’s politics.

In the end, it’s a true learning opportunity for all involved, and I feel that the student vote is a valuable asset to encourage and educate the next generation of voters.


R.A. McMath Secondary

17-year-old Hagan Dietz-Rosales has sent us his recap of the Student Vote program at R.A. McMath Secondary in Richmond:

My high school is buzzing with excitement, and student volunteers are busy designing flyers and letting their peers know about our school’s May 13th vote—as well as the one on the 14th.

As a young person with an interest in politics, the lack of youth engagement becomes perpetually clearer the further I become involved. The most basic form of political engagement is exercising one’s right to vote; however, that form of engagement is unavailable to everyone under the age of 18. How are we supposed to get youth involved and excited if they don’t have access to that most fundamental form of democratic expression? The solution requires engaging this question on both a pedagogical and social level.

Students must be educated about our democratic customs, institutions, and practices as a prerequisite to engaging within our political system. It is the mandate of schools to foster our youth’s evolution into knowledgeable citizens—the understanding of our democratic tradition falls into that purview as well, and ought to be taught as rigorously as any other subject.

On a social front, new strategies have to be developed to agitate conversations between youth about politics. An organic dialogue is the most valuable way to interpolate students into politics. It will require a grassroots effort by organizations such as Student Vote BC to ensure that these dialogues occur. At my own school, I’ve had the chance to listen in on numerous conversations about Student Vote and our upcoming election. I’ve been surprised at the richness of the debate, and my peers’ depth of knowledge.

Ultimately, the more informed future citizens are, the more accountable future politicians will be when tackling tough issues that face our cities, our provinces, and our country. I’m glad I can be a part of a movement that affects positive change in our democracy.

Student Vote BC: Youth Perspectives

May 8th, 2013

Over the past few weeks we have shared some great blogs written by educators across British Columbia. Today we would like share some messages from two students currently taking part in the program.

Gleneagle Secondary School

Liam St. Louis is a student at Gleneagle Secondary in Coquitlam. He is also the Team Leader for his school.

On May 2nd, students at Gleneagle Secondary School in Coquitlam got a taste of democracy.

500 students gathered in the gym to watch an all-candidate’s meeting between those running to be the MLA of Coquitlam-Burke Mountain. Present were the Liberal incumbent and the prime challenger, the NDP, as well as candidate’s from the BC Conservative, Green, and Libertarian parties.

Faced with the time constraints of fitting event in a single hour and 15 minute block, including time for students to enter and leave, we were unable to get through all the questions we had prepared. But still, it was a valuable exercise in exposing students to the people that are running for public office. The candidates faced challenging questions on education reform, dealing with the deficit, the environment, and the lack of good job opportunities, among others. The questions served to highlight some of the differences between the parties – but also to emphasize the similarities.

Immediately afterwards, all five candidates stayed in at lunch to speak to any more students who had questions that hadn’t been answered previously. With some 30 students in the room asking questions to the candidates, we were pleased to see so many students taking the initiative to go find out more about the people who might represent them.

All in all, we at Gleneagle Secondary are very happy and very proud to have had such a successful, exciting event for Student Vote at our school – and are even more excited to make this election a reality.


École Victor-Brodeur

Victoria’s École Victor-Brodeur has had several candidates visit during the campaign. Grade six student Sydney Adkins gives a recap of the Green Party visit:

On April 29th, Green Party candidate Susan Low came to our school to talk to the class about her political party. She explained that our resources will only last us so long, and it’s not that far away that we might be running out. What her party is trying to do is devise methods to replace or use with more precautions our non-renewable natural resources. She says what they are trying to do will take a long time but they will do little things along the way to save our environment. Our class has looked up some of the “little things” they are trying to do, such as double the amount of parks in the province, raise the price of carbon tax and build more bus stations. Overall, her presentation was very well done and she was incredibly respectful of us students and our questions.


Do you have a student who wants to share their Student Vote perspective?

Student Vote Success Stories

May 7th, 2013

Candidates from across the province continue to visit Student Vote schools to meet with classes and take part in all-candidates’ debates. Here are two more stories from the campaign trail:

Adrian Dix visits Westsyde Secondary School

BC NDP leader Adrian Dix visited Westsyde Secondary School in Kamloops. Student Vote Team Leader Jeremy Reid has summarized the day’s events:

Last week Westsyde Secondary School went from a little knowledge about our school’s Student Vote campaign to full out engagement.  Students started streaming in to the library to take their seats after lunch. At this point I lost count of the photographers and media that were present.

I received word that BC NDP leader Adrian Dix had arrived by the bus outside our school. The temperature in the library was starting to rise with about 120 students present.

How did we get to this point of being one of the scheduled stops of the NDP leader’s tour? We have a class twitter account (@BlueWaveWSS) that we regularly use to interact with politicians and media. We have been tweeting out student written questions to the local candidates and interacting with them.

Sometimes, we have the media or others tweet in on our conversations. I have found that by using social media in the classroom can help make learning about politics and government real to students. They especially like it when we tweet at the start of class and end up getting replies before the period ends. As a result of our tweeting we were contacted by the NDP leader tour to arrange a visit.

After he was introduced, Dix bounded down the library hallway like, well, a politician: shaking hands and waving. Dix spent the first 15 minutes talking about education, environment, student engagement in politics and post secondary education.

One of the local politicians remarked to me afterward that on the NDP bus, they discussed that the questions Dix faced were the toughest that he had faced so far.

So now our school wide Student Vote has gained more knowledge by the students, and it is sure to be one of our best. Plans are underway to have another candidate from the BC Liberal party visit us for more questions and answers.

All-Candidates Debate at Magee Secondary

Magee Secondary in Vancouver held an all-candidates meeting last Tuesday. Grade 11 student Carol Lee has provided us with a recap:

More than five hundred students attended Magee Secondary School’s Vancouver-Quilchena all-candidates’ debate.  We were for very fortunate to have Andrew Wilkinson from the BC Liberals, Matt Toner from the BC NDP (filling in for Nicholas Scapillati), Damian Kettlewell from the BC Green Party, and Bill Clarke from the BC Conservatives.  In addition we had the pleasure of welcoming numerous media outlets that attended this event, including Student Vote.

Overall, the all-candidates’ debate was very successful, with many students asking questions from the floor, as well as very well developed responses from the candidates.  This event helped students become more engaged on the importance of politics and voting.  Hopefully, when many of these students become eligible to vote over the next few years, they will be more aware in the issues and cast their votes accordingly.  We hope that on May 13, 2013 when Magee hosts its Student Vote that most students come out to participate in this event.

Finally, organizing the All Candidates Debate was an excellent learning opportunity for the twelve students who are involved in the Student Vote Initiative Team.  The team is made up of seven students involved in the Grade 8 and 9 Magee Leaders Program and five Grade 11 students, with the support of the teachers from the Socials Studies Department.

Once again, we would like to thank Student Vote for covering this event and giving us the opportunity to blog about our experiences and upcoming events in regards to the upcoming 2013 BC Provincial Election.

Carol also blogged about the debate for Global News.

Nine tips from a Student Vote Team Leader

May 6th, 2013

The BC provincial election is only a week away, but there is still plenty of time to implement Student Vote activities in your classroom.  Central Elementary Community School Team Leader Christopher Lister offers some tips for running a successful Student Vote program at your school:

It is never too early to empower our youth. As an elementary school educator in Chilliwack, I have been involved with Student Vote for 4 years. In 2009, my principal at the time called me into his office and handed me a box that he had ordered from Student Vote and asked me if I wanted to run an election with my grade 5-6 class. In the back of mind I could hear my dad’s familiar rhetoric, one he used to inspire my siblings and I around voting time, “Women chained themselves to fences for the right to vote….” He was trying to impress upon me the need to honour those who have gone before me in the struggle to have their opinions recognized. I took the package from my principal and started a journey to demystify the election process and remind my students that their voices need to be heard.

My students and I have now participated in the 2009 provincial election, the 2010 federal election, the 2011 Chilliwack-Hope by-election, and will be joining more than 760 other schools by voting in the 2013 provincial election.

When I host an election at school, I like to invite all candidates to present to my students before they make their final decision on Student Vote Day. If you are considering hosting a Student Vote election I would say the opportunities for authentic learning experiences are second to none.

Here are my top 9 tips for hosting a Student Vote election:

  1. Contact candidates early – their schedules can fill up quickly.
  2. Stop by campaign offices and introduce yourself. Candidates are more likely to agree when they hear you are reminding students of their rights and responsibilities as Canadian citizens.
  3. If you need contact information for your candidates try contacting your local newspaper.
  4. Use Ustream to stream your presentation live to participating schools in your riding.
  5. Encourage parent participation by inviting them to watch the candidates speak. Here is a sample letter I sent out this year.
  6. Engage your students in the process by collecting campaign materials and information on party platforms.
  7. Debrief what each candidate has spoken about and display the information so students are able to make their final decision.
  8. Recreate a polling station in your classroom/school and have your students use election resources like privacy screens, ballot boxes and ballots to recreate voting day.
  9. Compare and contrast the results of Student Vote Day to actual voting day in your riding.

Christopher Lister

Student Vote BC 2013: Ground Team Update #2

May 6th, 2013

Last week the Student Vote Victoria team shipped out ballots to the 765 schools registered to vote in Student Vote BC 2013. Every school that registers for the program receives not only the package full of resources described in our last Ground Team Update, but also a package of ballots. Each school gets a unique package, depending on the electoral district(s) they registered to receive ballots for and the number of students that will be voting at their school. This ranges from less than 10 students at a school to over 1,500.

The Student Vote team waits for the official close of candidate nominations, as set by Elections BC. This is when anyone wishing to stand as a candidate for election as an MLA must have the appropriate paperwork submitted and approved by Elections BC. For this general election, that date was April 26. While many candidates had been unofficially nominated far in advance of Writ Day, there were a few individuals that only became candidates just before the deadline. This is why it is vital we wait until the close of nominations before printing our ballots, to ensure their complete accuracy.

You can see a full list of candidates on the Elections BC site, right here.

Once the candidates are nominated and the ballots are printed, our team races to ship them to schools. Every registered school should be receiving their ballots early this week, if they have not done so already.

We are very excited for schools across BC to receive their ballots and for students to vote on Student Vote Day. If you’re a registered Student Vote Team Leader and you have any concerns about your package, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our Victoria team’s goal is to ensure you have absolutely everything you need to run a smooth parallel election.


BC Election Signs

May 2nd, 2013

We know when the seasons change from winter to spring because we see plants and flowers pop to life all around us. Election season gives us the same visual cues that it is upon us as campaign signs begin sprouting on lawns, highway medians, and any free space in our communities.

Signs can be a great way for us to learn who the candidates are in our electoral district. But they can also be a blight on our landscape and become a contest of “more is better.” Our intern Megan wrote about this debate in her blog “Campaign Signs: Awareness or Annoyance?

Here are a few news stories about how communities in BC are dealing with campaign signs:

The Vancouver Sun is tracking which blocks across the province have the most election signs. Citizens can submit their own reports.

There are also some creative uses for election signs. The Province recently wrote about candidates in Vancouver-False Creek using dog jackets as campaign signs in their predominantly urban riding. The Langley Times reported about a gentleman who used old campaign signs to create children’s beds, in an effort to recycle. And a group in Montreal published instructions on turning old campaign signs into birdhouses.

Elections BC has specific instructions for the placement of election signs. They cannot be placed within 100 metres of a District Electoral Office, or 100 metres of a voting place when voting is being conducted. Municipalities should also be consulted about by-laws regarding the placement of or limits on the size of election signs.

For more complete details on Elections BC’s policies about placing election signs, please refer to the Guide to Election Communications for Third Party Advertising Sponsors (page 15-16).

Have you seen any creative uses for election signs in your community?


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