Manitoba Liberal Party Leader Jon Gerrard has retained his riding of River Heights in southwest Winnipeg.

The 63-year-old physician has held the seat since 1999, but his party has not had much more of a presence in the legislature. His was the only seat in 1999, then the party gained one more in 2003 and retained both of those through the 2007 election.

But that second seat was lost in November 2010 when Kevin Lamoureux left it for a successful run at federal politics.

That seat was claimed by the NDP on Tuesday, leaving Gerrard as the sole Liberal in the legislature.

"Although the hearts of Manitobans were with another party … we are the conscience, the caring party, and will continue to be so," Gerrard said in a speech.

'Although the hearts of Manitobans were with another party … we are the conscience, the caring party, and will continue to be so.'—Jon Gerrard

He thanked the voters of River Heights for continuing to support him and tipped his hat to the NDP.

"Congratulations and well done," he said.

Gerrard also said he believes his party has a strong furture in the province, despite its struggles. The Liberals have young candidates "who are going to be the future," he said. "We have a dream that one day there will be a Liberal government in our province."

As for his future as leader, Gerrard said he was not prepared to talk about that but that he was "committed to serving the people of River Heights for four more years." 

The Liberals share of popular support has slipped slightly in each of the last three elections under Gerrard.

Then during the campaign for the 2011 election, one of Gerrard's candidates, Harry Wolbert, who is running in Winnipeg's St. Vital district, told The Canadian Press that Gerrard bears some blame for the party's struggles.

"I guess ultimate responsibility rests with the leader. There are some within the party, within the public, who don't like the leader," he said in an interview.

Gerrard was dealt another blow during the late stages of the election campaign when a pair of prominent former Liberal MPs announced their endorsement of two NDP candidates.

In a mailout to people in the hotly contested Winnipeg riding of Seine River, Anita Neville and John Harvard expressed support for the NDP's incumbent candidate Theresa Oswald.

Harvard also expressed in a letter to constituents that he supported NDP incumbent Sharon Blady in the Winnipeg riding of Kirkfield Park.

The letters noted a strategic vote was necessary in those ridings to keep put the Progressive Conservatives.