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Brian Pallister claims 2nd straight PC majority in Manitoba

Manitoba·Breaking

Manitobans will soon learn whether the Progressive Conservatives will hold on to their majority government.

It's election day in Manitoba. Thousands voted today and CBC will be live with the results on TV, radio, online and on our social platforms.0:00

Brian Pallister will keep his job as premier of Manitoba after voters handed his Progressive Conservative party another majority government in Tuesday's election, CBC News projects.

The Manitoba NDP ran a campaign attempting to paint Pallister and the PCs as ruthless cost-cutters who would sell off the province's assets. That message does not appear to have swayed voters enough to put the NDP into office.

The Manitoba NDP ran a campaign attempting to paint Pallister and the PCs as ruthless cost-cutters who would sell off the province's assets. That message does not appear to have swayed voters enough to put the NDP into office.

As of 9:11 p.m. CT, as early results come in, CBC News is projecting PC wins in 23 ridings, including leader Brian Pallister's seat in Fort Whyte.

Among the early projected winners are 10 out of 13 former PC cabinet ministers. Other projected winners for the PCs are Josh Guenter in Borderland, Wayne Ewasko in Lac du Bonnet, Greg Nesbitt in Riding Mountain, and Doyle Piwniuk in Turtle Mountain.

Brian Pallister and the Progressive Conservatives won a second term in government, CBC News projects. (Mike Fazio/CBC)

NDP Leader Wab Kinew won his seat in Fort Rouge, blocking Green Party Leader James Beddome, who also ran in that constituency, CBC News is projecting.

Six other NDP candidates are projected to win their seats, including the first black MLA, Uzoma Asagwara, in Union Station.

PC campaign promises touched on many traditional conservative issues like tax cuts and reducing government bureaucracies. But above all, the PCs aimed to remind voters of the fiscal record of the previous NDP government.

During their first term in office, Brian Pallister and the Tories embarked on an agenda of slashing the province's deficit, freezing or cutting costs in many areas and revamping the health-care system.

Leader Wab Kinew and the NDP wanted to make this election a referendum on the PC's record on health care. They repeatedly slammed the Tories for closing three Winnipeg hospital emergency rooms and pushed them to come clean about their future plans.

The NDP also accused the Tories of harbouring plans to privatize other public entities like Manitoba Public Insurance. They criticized them for clashes with the federal government over national initiatives like the climate accord, and for being slow to accept funding for infrastructure, housing and other expenses.

The campaigns for the two main parties also took personal shots at the leaders, with the PCs reminding voters about Wab Kinew's legal troubles, while the NDP ran ads labelling Pallister an "ass."

Last election, 57.43 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot.

Kinew and the NDP hope to regain ground lost to the PCs in the devastating defeat of the 2016 election.(Austin Grabish/CBC)

Early election

Only three years into his first term, Pallister called the election more than a year before the fixed election date of Oct. 6, 2020. This gave an advantage to the PCs, who were ahead in the polls and flush with cash, while the other parties were left trying to catch up.

The 2016 election brought the PCs to power with a historic 40 seats — the most they have ever won — and devastated the NDP, which had governed the province for 17 years.

Since then, a number of expulsions, resignations and byelections have shifted the seat counts of all three parties in the legislature. When it was dissolved, the PCs had 38 seats, the NDP had 12 and the Liberals had four — just enough to attain official party status.

Former Progressive Conservative MP Steven Fletcher claimed the name of the Manitoba Party for himself after he was ejected from the Tory caucus. Two other MLAs — Mohinder Saran of the NDP and Cliff Graydon of the PCs — sat as independents after sexual harassment allegations led their parties to push them out.

The NDP lost another seat when former premier and leader Greg Selinger resigned his St. Boniface seat, which was then snatched up by Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont in a byelection last year.

Lamont and the Liberals are hoping to win at least four seats to hold onto their official party status, which they regained last year for the first time since 1995.(Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Local races could make history

Seat counts aren't the only thing that has changed on the political map since the last election. The province's independent electoral boundary commission redrew the borders of nearly all electoral districts, which has created a number of open races.

Manitobans appear set to elect the first black MLA, as well as the first female Indo-Canadian MLA.

Meanwhile, the Greens hope their Wolseley candidate, David Nickarz, will give them their first seat in the legislature. Last election, Nickarz came close to beating longtime MLA Rob Altemeyer, who isn't running for re-election.

The Liberals could face an uphill battle to hold onto their official party status, which they regained last year for the first time since 1995. They won the northern riding of Keewatinook in 2016, narrowly beating the NDP's Eric Robinson, but MLA Judy Klassen then jumped to the federal Liberals to run for the seat in Churchill–Keewatinook Aski.

Liberal Cindy Lamoureux, meanwhile, chose not to run in her old constituency of Burrows after its borders were redrawn. Instead, she's running Tyndall Park, seeking to take it from NDP incumbent Ted Marcelino.

About the Author

Cameron MacLean is a journalist living in Winnipeg, Man. where he was born and raised. He has more than a decade of experience covering news in the city and across the province, working in print, radio, television and online.

    Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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