(Image / Sheila Malcolmson Facebook)

The BC NDP are breathing a sigh of relief today as party member Sheila Malcolmson won Nanaimo’s crucial MLA by-election Wednesday night.

Last night’s victory means that the party will maintain its delicate hold of power in British Columbia.

According to Elections BC’s preliminary results, Malcolmson won the race with 49.22% of the total vote.

Meanwhile, BC Liberals candidate Tony Harris ended the night in second place with 40.47% of the popular vote, and BC Green Party’s Michele Ney rounded out third place with 7.38% of the vote.

Combined, the NDP and Green Party will continue to form a minority government in BC, holding 44 of 87 seats in the province. Had the Liberal Party won this by-election, both the NDP and Liberals would have tied with 43 seats and would have likely triggered an early election.

“I want to thank the people of Nanaimo for a vote of confidence,” said Malcolmson in a statement.

“Not just in me, but in the BC NDP’s work making life more affordable for British Columbians, improving the services people count on, and generating the jobs of the future in a healthy, sustainable environment.”

In total, 21,410 Nanaimo residents casted their ballots on polling day out of a possible 45,374.

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