May 24, 2017 / 2:24 AM / 3 months ago

British Columbia election results unclear after 2 days of recount

(Reuters) - Results of a tight election in western Canada's British Columbia remained unclear late on Tuesday following two days of vote recounting, with a razor close race on Vancouver Island poised to determine control of the provincial government.

A preliminary tally of votes in the May 9 election showed that the ruling Liberal Party won 43 out of 87 seats. The left-leaning opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) won 41 seats and the Green Party had claimed three.

The Liberals and NDP have spent the past two weeks courting the tiny Green Party, which would hold the balance of power in the province if the preliminary results are confirmed.

The Greens could push the pro-business Liberals out of power by forming a majority government with the NDP. Both the NDP and Greens oppose large oil and gas projects such as Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The outcome is likely to be determined by the recount in a close race in the Courtenay-Comox region on Vancouver Island, where the initial tally put the NDP ahead of the Liberals by just nine votes.

A partial count posted on Tuesday evening showed the NDP was in the lead with 10,481 votes, compared to 10,380 for the Liberals. The provincial elections office said on Twitter that it would post its next update on Wednesday morning.

The final results included nearly 180,000 absentee ballots cast across the province that were not counted in the initial tally.

Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Jim Finkle in Toronto; Editing by Michael Perry

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