05/10/2013 02:08 EDT | Updated 07/10/2013 05:12 EDT

Independent MLAs seeking balance of power in B.C.

Independent candidate Bob Simpson says the tightening race between the Liberals and the NDP could leave independent MLAs like him holding the balance of power after Tuesday's B.C. provincial election.

Simpson, who is the incumbent in Cariboo North, says more Independent candidates are running this election and the narrowing gap between the NDP and the Liberals means a minority government is possible.

"Look at the collapse of the NDP back to their base of 42 per cent and the Liberals below that," he said.

"And who knows, with a five-way split — Conservative, Green, Liberal, NDP and Independent — it only takes 24 per cent of the vote to win. I think we might see some breakthroughs."

In February, Simpson and fellow independents Vicki Huntington and John van Dongen proposed several changes to make the legislature more open and accountable. Now he thinks this election could give them a chance to do that.

"I think a balance of power-type government where there's a split between the two main parties and a group of independents, Greens, Conservatives hold the balance of power, then I think we could together and demonstrate a different kind of politics for people."

Simpson narrowly won his seat as a New Democrat in 2005 and 2009, but was kicked out of the caucus in 2010 for criticizing then-leader Carole James, making him one of four independents in the legislature by the end of the term.