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Yukon Liberal Larry Bagnell, with his wife Melissa Craig, cast his ballot in Whitehorse on Tuesday morning. ((CBC))

Two MPs held their ridings in Canada's northern territories, while the Conservatives gained Nunavut after Tuesday night's ballots were tallied.

Yukon Liberal incumbent Larry Bagnell will return to Ottawa for his fourth term after defeating Conservative Darrell Pasloski.

Bagnell took 45.26 per cent of the vote but Pasloski, a Whitehorse pharmacist and businessmen, made significant gains for the Conservatives, capturing about 32 per cent of the popular vote.

The Conservatives' 2006 Yukon candidate, Sue Greetham, had finished third in that election with 23.67 per cent of the vote.

The three northern ridings have been held by Liberals and New Democrats in recent history, but the Conservatives were hoping to make gains in the territories. In this election, the Tories increased their focus on Arctic sovereignty, promoting more military patrols and icebreakers in the northern region.

But in Western Arctic, which encompasses the Northwest Territories, NDP incumbent Dennis Bevington took the riding with 41.68 per cent of the vote with 90 of 91 polls reporting.

The Conservatives ran former territorial cabinet minister Brendan Bell in that riding in the hopes of swinging the vote in their favour. He garnered 37.23 per cent of the ballots.

The Tories made a breakthrough in Nunavut where Liberal Nancy Karetak-Lindell had decided not to run again.

Leona Aglukkaq, a former territorial minister, won the riding  as a Conservative and was widely considered a star candidate.

She was leading with 34.08 per cent of the vote with 56 of 58 polls reporting. Liberal Kirk Kootoo Ejesiak had 29.67 per cent of the votes.

Geographically large ridings

Canada's northern territories represent the largest ridings in the country geographically but have the smallest populations of any electoral districts.

The three ridings that make up the North have large aboriginal populations, with the majority of the total population residing in the capital city of each territory.

The election campaign in the North focused on issues such as Arctic sovereignty, climate change, public transit, housing and social questions.

The Liberals' Green Shift plan, which included a carbon tax, was heavily criticized in the Yukon, where Bagnell has held the riding since 2000.