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NDP ready to fight N.L election despite federal losses

New Democrats say they're ready to fight a provincial election campaign in Newfoundland and Labrador, despite the loss of two federal seats.
Earle McCurdy says the loss of two NDP members of parliament is significant, but won't hurt the party's chances in the provincial election. (CBC)

New Democrats say they're ready to fight a provincial election campaign in Newfoundland and Labrador, despite the loss of two federal seats.

Provincial NDP leader Earle McCurdy admitted the defeat of Jack Harris and Ryan Cleary is a significant loss.

"They were friends of mine, they were good MPs and obviously they'd be great allies on the doorstep. Having said that we'll charge on," said McCurdy on Tuesday.

Defeated MPs Ryan Cleary and Jack Harris share a laugh on election night. (CBC)

"Over the years I've seen the Conservatives reduced to two MPs. I remember our party was reduced to nine. The Liberals last time were virtually wiped out, and in all cases the parties bounced back," he added. "So politics is a bit of a roller-coaster ride."  

McCurdy said the provincial election will be fought on different issues.

"And we don't have the Harper factor there. We don't have someone with that vicious, divisive, mean-spirited nature," he said. 

In McCurdy's opinion, voters in the province don't have to be strategic to defeat the current Progressive Conservative government, who he described as "having no life left." But he says they should think twice about putting more Liberals in power.

"We do have a government that's on its last legs, very tired, and there's a clear mood for change in the province. I think that everybody will have to consider the question in light of the Liberals sweeping all 32 seats in Atlantic Canada."

"Who's going to hold the federal Liberal government's feet to the fire?"

​As to whether Harris or Cleary might run provincially, he said it's far too early to ask.

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