Card-carrying BC Liberals in the Kootenays largely favoured George Abbott in Saturday’s leadership contest, which saw Christy Clark named premier designate.Figures released by the party show that on the first ballot, Abbott led the pack in Nelson-Creston and Kootenay East with 42 and 62 per cent of the vote respectively. He was second in Kootenay West with about 30 per cent.Clark was second in Nelson-Creston and Kootenay East with 37 and 32 per cent. She led Kootenay West with 33 per cent.Kootenay West was one of Mike DeJong’s stronger ridings. He secured 22 per cent of first-ballot support, but that still left him in third place. He collected nine per cent of the vote in Nelson-Creston and less than one per cent in Kootenay East.Kevin Falcon, meanwhile, received 12 per cent support in Nelson-Creston, 14 per cent in Kootenay West, and six per cent in Kootenay East.Province-wide, Clark led the first ballot followed by Falcon, Abbott, and DeJong.DeJong was then dropped and his supporters’ second choices were distributed among the other candidates.On the second ballott, Abbott led all three Kootenay ridings, with 46 per cent in both Nelson-Creston and Kootenay West. He held steady at 62 per cent in Kootenay East. However, across B.C. he was in third place, and was therefore dropped from the final ballot.Abbott’s support then split between Falcon and Clark. Although Falcon’s numbers received a big boost, Clark was ultimately the favourite in all three Kootenay ridings, with 56 per cent in Kootenay East, 58 per cent in Nelson-Creston, and 60 per cent in Kootenay West.The actual number of Liberal voters in the ridings was small: 116 in Kootenay West, the second fewest in the province; 186 in Nelson-Creston, sixth fewest; and 324 in Kootenay East. Yet due to the party’s new balloting system, they carried the same weight as ridings with much larger memberships.Vote tallies in each riding were converted to percentages which were worth an equivalent number of points. The points were then tallied provincewide.
1ST BALLOTNelson-Creston (186 votes cast, 6th fewest in B.C.)Abbott 42.1%Clark 36.5%Falcon 12.7%DeJong 8.6%Kootenay West (116 votes, 2nd fewest)Clark 33.1%Abbott 30.4%DeJong 22.3%Falcon 14.2%Kootenay East (324 votes cast)Abbott 61.6%Clark 32.4%Falcon 5.7%DeJong 0.3%2ND BALLOTNelson-Creston Abbott 45.7%Clark 39.6%Falcon 14.7%Kootenay WestAbbott 45.9%Clark 36.5%Falcon 17.6%Kootenay EastAbbott 61.9%Clark 32.4%Falcon 5.7%3RD BALLOTNelson-CrestonClark 57.5%Falcon 42.5%Kootenay WestClark 60.3%Falcon 39.7%Kootenay EastClark 55.6%Falcon 44.4%