The Liberals will form the Official Opposition in the house of assembly, but party Leader Kevin Aylward, who took on the job less than two months ago, has failed to win the district of St. George's-Stephenville East.

Education Minister and Government House Leader Joan Burke was re-elected in the district for the third consecutive time.

Aylward brushed away questions from reporters about his future as leader, saying it was something that would have to be dealt with later.

Aylward took over from from Yvonne Jones when she resigned as leader in August to fight breast cancer. She was re-elected on Tuesday in her district of L'Anse Au Clair with 71 per cent of the popular vote.

Aylward focused on the party's gain in his concession speech Tuesday.

"We have increased our number of seats in the house tonight," he said, speaking in Stephenville.

The Liberal Party won six seats. The NDP took five.

The Liberal's caucus will include:

  • Eddie Joyce in the Bay of Islands district
  • Andrew Parsons in the Burgeo-La Poile
  • Yvonne Jones in the Cartwright-L'Anse au Clair district
  • Dwight Ball in the Humber Valley district
  • Jim Bennett in the St. Barbe district
  • Randy Edmunds in the Torngat Mountains district

At dissolution, the PCs held 43 of the 48 seats in the house of assembly, while the Liberals held four and the NDP held one.

'It wasn't easy'

He thanked his supporters after conceding defeat.

"It wasn't easy. I knew it was going to be an uphill battle. I knew it was going to be a difficult fight. You run a risk when you enter politics. I understand that," said Aylward, who won five consecutive elections in the western Newfoundland area before he left politics in 2003.