NDP leader defeated in Tracadie-Sheila
Last Updated: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 | 12:06 AM ET
The leader of the New Brunswick NDP, Roger Duguay, lost his bid to win the party's first seat in the legislature since 2004 when he was defeated in his riding of Tracadie-Sheila in Monday's provincial election.NDP Leader Roger Duguay votes Monday in his riding of Tracadie-Sheila. (CBC)
PC Claude Landry was re-elected in the northeastern riding.
While the New Democratic Party leader won't get a seat in the legislature, the party has almost doubled its popular support to nine per cent.
The NDP has been shut out of the legislative assembly since 2004, when former leader Elizabeth Weir resigned and was appointed the president and chief executive officer of Efficiency New Brunswick.
The NDP suffered a disastrous electoral showing in 2006. Under the leadership of Allison Brewer, the party was only able to win 5.1 per cent of the vote, the lowest amount in public support in more than 30 years.
While Liberal Leader Shawn Graham and Progressive Conservative Leader David Alward travelled the province, visiting all 55 ridings, Duguay spent almost the entire campaign in the northeastern riding of Tracadie-Sheila.
Tracadie-Sheila, which is a fishing community on the Acadian Peninsula, voted for the Tories in 2006, making it a difficult riding for Duguay to pick up.
Duguay is trying to unseat first-term Tory MLA Claude Landry, who won the riding in 2006 from his political mentor Elvy Robichaud.
Duguay placed a close third place in a nearby riding of Miramichi Bay-Neguac in 2006.
The NDP attempted to rebrand itself during the election as the party of the middle class.
Duguay tried to expand the traditional base of the New Democratic Party in the election campaign. With the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives offering daily campaign promises, the NDP blasted the two traditional parties as ignoring the financial crisis that the province is embroiled in.
Instead of talking about new spending initiatives, Duguay told New Brunswick voters about places where he'd cut in order to control the $749-million deficit.
The NDP proposed to cut the Department of Business New Brunswick, which would save $60 million, and the party would crack down on the so-called March madness, when civil servants spend the remainder of their budgets in the final month of the fiscal year.