In the politeness that follows defeat, demands for provincial New Democrat leader Carole James to resign will be kept out of the headlines - at least for the time being. Nevertheless, this is the second election in a row the party has lost, despite the Campbell administration's strong negatives. And the party's failure to effectively exploit those negatives - and present British Columbians with a compelling campaign narrative - is cause for the New Democrats to reassess the party's leadership and its approach to politics over the past six years.
Defeat was inevitable in neither circumstance. In 2005, the New Democrat went from three seats in the legislature to 33. But, given the Campbell administration's first term cutbacks, it's conceivable that seat count could have been higher - despite the disaster that befell the party in 2001.
As for this election, the Liberals were dogged by friends and insiders allegations in the months leading up to the writ being dropped. And the Campbell administration's claim to being the province's best economic manager became assailable as Statistics Canada released numbers showing British Columbia's economy is in worse shape than the Liberals had forecasted in their most recent budget.
But the New Democrats didn't drive those numbers. They mishandled the friends and insiders allegations. And their mushy middle election platform gave New Democrat candidates little to talk about on the campaign trail - with most of the major planks having been rolled out before the writ was dropped.
Of course, that's not to say the Liberals campaign was much better. It was just better than the New Democrats. And that was enough to win the incumbents a third term in government.