Tories, NDP and Greens score wins in Atlantic Canada, but Liberals hold fast

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HALIFAX — Atlantic Canada’s once monochromatic electoral map, awash in Liberal red since 2015, received a slight makeover Monday as the Tories, NDP and Greens punched holes in the Liberals’ East Coast fortress.

Four years ago, voters across the region handed Justin Trudeau’s party all 32 of the region’s seats, which meant it had nowhere to go but down Monday as the election results rolled in from the four easternmost provinces.

Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives and Jagmeet Singh’s New Democrats failed to make the big breakthroughs they were hoping for, but Elizabeth May’s Green party made history by electing the party’s first member in New Brunswick in a hard-fought three-way race.

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Three hours after the polls closed, Liberals were declared elected in 24 of the region’s 32 ridings, the Tories had picked up four and the NDP and Greens each added one. The outcome in the other two ridings remained uncertain.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Liberals won six of the province’s seven seats, but the NDP broke the Liberal grip on the region by winning St. John’s East. NDP politician Jack Harris defeated lawyer Nick Whalen, who was elected in 2015 by less than 700 votes.

Harris served as leader of the province’s New Democratic Party from 1992 until 2006, and he also served as the MP for St. John’s East in 1987-88 and again from 2008 until 2015.

In neighbouring St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O’Regan was re-elected by a substantial margin.

In New Brunswick, the Conservatives won a number of traditionally Tory ridings, with the party’s candidates declared elected in Tobique-Mactaquac, New Brunswick Southwest and Fundy Royal.

The province’s biggest surprise came in Fredericton, where the Green party’s Jenica Atwin won a three-way race against the Conservative and Liberal candidates.

In Nova Scotia, Liberal Sean Fraser held on to Central Nova, a race that attracted national attention when country music star George Canyon was recruited as a Tory candidate in late August.


The Liberals in Nova Scotia were expecting challenges in five ridings where popular incumbents stepped down before the campaign began — among them former Tories Scott Brison and Bill Casey.

The Liberals held Brison’s former riding, Kings Hants, but they lost West Nova to Conservative Chris d’Entremont, a former provincial cabinet minister.

In Cape Breton, where the two seats were considered among the safest Liberal seats in Canada, the Liberals held on to Cape Breton-Canso, but the final results had yet to come in for Sydney-Victoria.

In northern New Brunswick and along the Acadian shore, where French-speakers dominate, the Liberals held on to several safe seats, including Beasejour, held by cabinet minister Dominic LeBlance, and Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe, held by Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor.

In Prince Edward Island, the Liberals had held on to all four seats, despite a concerted push by the Tories to take the western riding of Egmont.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2019.

— With files from Holly McKenzie-Sutter in St. John’s

The Canadian Press

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