Pallister, Tories headed to second, smaller majority – Winnipeg Free Press

Pallister, Tories headed to second, smaller majority - Winnipeg Free Press
Progressive Conservatives win majority government in Manitoba election
Wab Kinew has passed his first electoral test as leader of the Manitoba NDP, as CBC News has projected he will win his seat in Fort Rouge and the party will gain seats this election.

The Opposition party is projected to win 18 seats in Manitoba's 57-seat legislature — four more than they won in 2016.

Manitoba NDP leader Wab Kinew leaves after speaking to media on election day outside the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg, Tuesday, September 10, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

The Metropolitan Theatre in Winnipeg exploded in cheers as Kinew took the stage Tuesday night. Voters, he said, made it clear that "they want us to be the conscience of Manitoba."

He says the gains his party made in seats over the 2016 vote show people care about the health-care system and they want the Progressive Conservative government to do better.

"I don't think we were defeated tonight," he told the crowd. "And the sign that many Manitobans agree are all the New Democrat MLAs elected today."

Brian Pallister and his Progressive Conservatives have won a renewed majority from Manitoba voters to continue a program of cost-cutting and tax reductions.

Video: Manitoba Election: NDP Leader Wab Kinews FULL concession speech

Pallister earns another term as Manitoba premier, PCs win majority

Spirits were high as the party faithful celebrated several gains: the party won back St. Vital, unseating incumbent cabinet minister Colleen Mayer, regained seats in northern Manitoba and staved off a possible defeat by the Green Party in Wolseley.

Defiant and combative, Brian Pallisters early election gamble pays off

"We increased our seat count, we took out a cabinet minister. This was a very good night," Kinew said following his speech.

While the PCs were projected to lose a handful of seats in the legislature, Mr. Pallisters gamble to call the election one year earlier than prescribed under the provinces fixed-date election law looked set to return his party to power with another of the largest government caucuses in decades. The PCs had 38 seats before dissolution, while the NDP had 12 and the Liberals four. There were three Independents

Video: Brian Pallister declared winner in Manitoba provincial election

Manitoba re-elects a Conservative majority government

There were, however, losses for the party, with longtime NDP MLA Ted Marcelino being unseated by Liberal candidate Cindy Lamoureux in Tyndall Park.

"I love Ted. He gave so much to this campaign and you are pointing out one outcome, but Ted probably won us three or four other seats," Kinew said when asked about the loss.

The campaign was marked by a barrage of mudslinging between the two main parties. The Progressive Conservatives ran ads attacking Mr. Kinew for his past criminal convictions, for which the record was suspended, and an accusation of assault from a former girlfriend, which he has denied. The ads also publicized offensive lyrics from Mr. Kinews rapping career.

"I feel energized, enthused and proud," said Kinew, who ran against Green Party Leader James Beddome and four other candidates in Fort Rouge, a seat he first won in 2016.

Mr. Pallister compared his party to the animal on Manitobas logo, the bison, several times on Tuesday night as he celebrated large back-to-back majorities. While admitting that his moves on health care have not been popular with some, he said his victory showed widespread support for the austerity he has imposed on the province over the past three years.

Wave of 3 black MLAs make history with elections to Manitoba Legislature, CBC News projects

Kinew said he has no plans to step down as party leader, and expects to lead the NDP in the next election.

NDP sweep in northern Manitoba, while rural south stays blue, CBC projects

In addition to Fort Rouge, the NDP are projected to win several other seats previously held by the party, including Nahanni Fontaine's St. Johns  seat and Amanda Lathlin's seat in The Pas-Kameesak.

The Tories focused their re-election bid around a handful of themes, promising more tax relief, more job creation and vowing to maintain and enhance funding for health care. Their biggest surprise was the announcement — once the province’s budget is balanced — they would begin phasing out the education portion of Manitoba property tax bills.

Pallister, Tories headed to second, smaller majority

The mood in the room Tuesday got a boost when the NDP was projected to win St. Vital, with candidate Jamie Moses projected to defeat incumbent cabinet minister Colleen Mayer. The party had pinned a lot of hopes and resources into Moses being successful after his second stab at the seat. 

The PCs ran a tightly controlled, error-free, front-runner campaign that minimized opportunities for gaffes by their outspoken and, at times, testy leader. Pallister only participated in one leaders debate, rejecting a forum planned by the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and declining another such invitation in Brandon.

"What we are seeing is positive energy," Nahanni Fontaine said at The Met Tuesday evening. "We have made history tonight."

"The decisions made by governments in the next 18 months are what is going to make the difference. Both the PCs and the NDP are offering total surrender on this issue because they’re choosing cynical political games over an issue that is important to everyone," he said.

Moses will make history, along with the Union Station NDP candidate Uzoma Asagwara, as the first black MLAs elected to the Manitoba Legislature, according to CBC News projections. Tory candidate Audrey Gordon is also projected to win in Southdale, bringing the total number of black MLAs elected to three.

NDP campaign co-chair Bea Bruske also said St. James is projected to swing back to the NDP after being lost to the PCs in 2016. Diljeet Brar is the projected winner in Burrows, a seat previously held by the Manitoba Liberals.

Northern Manitoba has also returned to the NDP fold, with wins projected in Flin Flon, Thompson, Keewatinook and The Pas-Kameesak.

As the provincial election campaign entered its final hours, and with the composition of Manitoba’s next legislature at stake, the four main political parties spent Monday shoring up support in winnable constituencies and urging supporters to vote.

Video: Manitoba Election: Panel says NDPs leader may have helped gain seats

The party was shocked by losing Keewatinook to the Liberals and Thompson to the PCs in 2016, said Chris Adams, a political scientist at St. Paul's College at the University of Manitoba.

"We have the centre-left in this campaign fragmented across three parties.… [The] NDP should feel happy about how they came out tonight."

While many say reining in the province's finances was necessary, critics have said his government has been focused on the bottom line above all else. That focus has came at the expense of the front-line services he vowed to protect, opponents say, including in the health-care sector, where workers have complained of staffing shortages and unsustainable workloads.

Ten new New Democrat MLAs were elected Tuesday night, meaning the Opposition party will now have more rookie MLAs than incumbents.

On the campaign trail, Pallister utilized a classic front-runner's strategy, making mostly modest pledges. He vowed to build upon the work his government had already done, with new promises to eliminate the provincial sales tax on a few purchases such as home insurance, and to build more schools.

Manitobas Pallister expected to win second term in vote

The Opposition NDP went into the 2019 election with 12 seats — two less than they held after the 2016 election. 

Brian Pallisters gamble has paid off with another PC majority in Manitoba

They lost St. Boniface to the Manitoba Liberals in a 2018 byelection after former leader Greg Selinger resigned his seat. Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont is projected to hold onto that seat for his party.

Throughout his time in politics — stretching back to his first stint as an MLA beginning in 1992, and extending to three victories in federal runs between 2000 and 2008 — Pallister has related to voters by citing his upbringing on a small farm and how those experiences shaped him.

The Maples seat was lost in 2017 after Mohinder Saran was kicked out of the NDP caucus following sexual harassment allegations. 

The gravity of the night, and what his Progressive Conservative party achieved in winning a second consecutive majority government, appeared to hit Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister when he spoke about the people closest to him in his victory speech Tuesday night.

The NDP lost power after 17 years in government in 2016, when Brian Pallister's PCs won a historic 40-seat majority.

Currently, votes are still being counted throughout the province, but projections are showing that the Progressive Conservatives have defeated the challenging NDP by a landslide, while the Manitoba Liberal Party hangs on to a few seats.

Throughout this year's 29-day election campaign, the NDP focused on health care as its main issue and rarely veered from leader Wab Kinew's message that the NDP would reverse health care changes made under Pallister's government.

In another land-slide victory for provincial conservative parties, the province of Manitoba has re-elected the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba to lead them.

Kristin Annable is a member of CBC's investigative unit based in Winnipeg. She can be reached at [email protected]

The PC’s are predicted to hold onto 35 seats in the province which is several less than their prior majority. The NDP are predicted to gain several seats.

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The Progressive Conservatives cruised to an easy victory Tuesday night, but voter turnout was at an all-time low.

Speaking to a crowd of supporters at his CanadInns Polo Park election night headquarters, newly re-elected Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister called the Progressive Conservatives’ victory a step forward for the province.

“Forward to new schools for our children and grandchildren, forward to a stronger economy for all of us and forward to more affordability for families …with lower taxes and more money right on the kitchen tables of Manitoba families.”

The New Democrats are hoping to expand on the 12 legislature seats they held when the election was called. Kinew reached out on the campaign’s final day to Liberal and Green supporters and told them his party is the only one in a position to oust the Tory government.

Manitoba NDP leader Wab Kinew said in a speech to supporters that he called his Progressive Conservative opponent Brian Pallister to concede the election, but he still had a positive attitude about the election’s results.

“I think Manitobans sent a very, very strong message, and the seats that we took back made it very clear that Manitobans want us, the New Democrats, to not only be the conscience of Manitoba, not only to be the opposition of Manitoba, but to be the progressive voice for Manitoba.”

WINNIPEG — A light drizzle fell across parts of southern Manitoba Tuesday as polls opened for a provincial election that will determine whether the Progressive Conservatives get a second mandate for cost-cutting and tax reductions.

And the jab from Kinew a few minutes ago I called Brian Pallister…it was a local call. #mbpoli

The New Democrats were on track to improve on the 14 seats won in 2016 and remain as the Official Opposition. They were winning back some of the core support that abandoned them in the election three years ago. Leader Wab Kinew won his seat in Fort Rouge.

Progressive Conservatives keep majority government in Manitoba election despite NDP gains

Despite hopes by Green Party supporters that it might be their first-ever win, Green candidate David Nickarz was defeated by the NDP’s Lisa Naylor.

David Nickarz has given his concession speech after losing the Green Partys main hope to securing their first seat in Manitoba. #globalwpg #mbelxn pic.twitter.com/sPsjxhrEsL

Subsidies for everything from public housing to sleep apnea machines to physiotherapy have been cut. Three hospital emergency departments in Winnipeg have been downgraded and no longer handle life-threatening cases such as heart attacks.

MANITOBA VOTES: Tories will form another majority government

Manitoba Liberal leader Dougald Lamont was re-elected in St. Boniface, joining fellow Liberals Dr. Jon Gerrard (River Heights) and Cindy Lamoureux (Tyndall Park). However, the Liberals lost official party status, losing a seat in northern Manitoba.

Kinew ran on a promise of more money for health, education, infrastructure and social programs to go with a $15-an-hour minimum wage and a surtax on the wealthy, with a balanced budget in four years.

“It’s just great to be re-elected. It’s phenomenal to be a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba and to be able to make a contribution,” he said.

Almost all of Pallister's cabinet ministers at dissolution were re-elected, including Finance Minister Scott Fielding, Health Minister Cameron Friesen and Justice Minister Cliff Cullen.

Pallister keeps seat, Progressive Conservatives build lead in Manitoba election

“This is 20 years, and this will be the sixth election that I’ve won, so I’m really thankful to the voters in River Heights.”

Pallister reduced the provincial sales tax by one point to seven per cent and fulfilled an election promise to reduce annual deficits, but his fiscal restraint has stirred up controversy.

Manitoba election 2019: Live results and riding-by-riding vote counts

Graydon was running as an independent candidate in this election, after being expelled from the PC caucus after allegations of sexual harassment. He was defeated in 2019 by PC candidate Josh Guenter.

Just spoke with @PC_Manitoba Joshua Guenter who was elected in Borderlands tonight. At just 25 years old, the newly elected MLA says he wants to focus on affordability for Manitobans

The new riding of Union Station has elected its first MLA – NDP candidate Uzoma Asagwara. It was created from the riding formerly known as Logan.

Speaker Myrna Driedger was re-elected in Roblin for the Progressive Conservatives. A longtime MLA, Driedger was originally elected in a 1998 by-election.

Prior to the election call, Pallister and the Progressive Conservatives held a majority in the Manitoba Legislature, with 38 of the 57 seats to the opposition NDP’s 12.

Tuesday’s election followed a 29-day campaign kicked off Aug. 12 when Pallister triggered an election more than a year ahead of schedule.

Advanced voting numbers for 2019 were up over the previous provincial election, with almost 113,000 voters making their choice before Election Day, according to Elections Manitoba.

Approximately 112,983 Manitobans cast their ballots during the eight days of advance voting for the 2019 provincial election. This compares to approximately 110,000 votes cast during advance voting in the 2016 election.