Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have picked up one more seat in Quebec, pushing them slightly ahead of the Bloc Quebecois in the province.
Brome-Missisquoi is the only riding so far 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 Thursday, Liberal Pascale St-Onge edged ahead of the Bloc’s Marilou Alarie by just 186 votes.
That leaves the Liberals leading or elected in 34 of Quebec’s 78 seats, to the Bloc’s 33 and also puts them slightly ahead in terms of the popular vote.
The Conservatives are leading or elected in 10 Quebec ridings and the NDP in just one.
Nationally, the Brome-Missisquoi victory puts the Liberals at 159 seats, although one of them was won by a disavowed Liberal candidate — Kevin Vuong in Toronto’s Spadina-Fort York — who will now have to sit as an Independent MP.
With the mail-in ballot count still continuing in four tightly-contested ridings Thursday evening, the Conservatives stood at 119 seats, the NDP at 25 and the Greens at two.
However, recounts are expected in a clutch of close-run ridings, where a handful of votes separates the victor from the loser.
In most ridings in Quebec, Ontario and Atlantic Canada, counting was complete by Thursday afternoon, as well as in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.
But across B.C. — where more mail-in ballots were received than any other province — election officials were still tallying thousands of votes.
As the remaining results rolled in, election experts warned that, in a few photo-finish ridings, a recount will have to settle who ultimately sits in Parliament.
Experts say a recount is expected in the Winnipeg-area riding of Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley where Conservative Marty Morantz beat Liberal Doug Eyolfson by just 24 votes.
Elections Canada said on Thursday afternoon that counting had finished there and results were being verified.
A judicial recount would likely be triggered there because the margin is so small, experts said.
— Canadian Press