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Fabian Manning has the dubious honour of being the only Conservative incumbent in Newfoundland and Labrador. If any riding in the province is going to defy Premier Danny Williams's "Anyone But Conservative" campaign, it's this one.
St. John's East
Conservative Norm Doyle won this seat fairly comfortably last time, but he isn't sticking around for another fight. The clean slate offers opportunity for Liberals and New Democrats alike, most notably for returning former MP Jack Harris, who's running for the NDP. Williams told Newfoundlanders to vote "Anyone But Conservative," but will they listen?
St. John's South-Mount Pearl
Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn, Stephen Harper's cabinet representative in Newfoundland and Labrador, decided not to run again here. How far can the hostile feelings of Danny Williams reach? Will the voters in the provincial capital swing Liberal to make their point?
Long-time Liberal MP Joe McGuire decided to step down, so this is the only seat on Prince Edward Island without a Liberal incumbent. Now a former premier — the Liberals' Keith Milligan — squares off against a former provincial cabinet minister — the Conservatives' Gail Shea — to determine whether the Conservatives can get a toehold in what used to be safe Liberal turf.
Former Liberal cabinet minister Andy Scott has decided not to run again, so this seat is now vacant. The Conservatives have held Fredericton in the past, and this urban seat can pull a sizeable NDP vote that threatens Liberal prospects.
Liberal incumbent Jean-Claude J.C. D'Amours is a marked man in northwestern New Brunswick, in a seat the Conservatives think could swing. The NDP can shave off a significant chunk of votes in this francophone seat. Will a split in left-of-centre support help the Tories taste victory? The Conservatives have enlisted a former provincial cabinet minister — Jean-Pïerre Ouellet — as their candidate.
Life after Elsie Wayne wasn't pleasant here for the Conservatives, as the comeback of Paul Zed in 2006 moved this riding back into the Liberal fold. This was one of only two seats in the country held by the former Progressive Conservative party in 1993. How safe is Zed this time? The Conservatives are running Rodney Weston — a former provincial cabinet minister of chief of staff to former Premier Bernard Lord — against him.
After years of targeting Tobique-Mactaquac as highly winnable, the Conservatives finally snatched it in a squeaker in 2006. Mike Allen toppled then-Liberal MP Andy Savoy with the smallest margin of victory in Atlantic Canada. Will it hold?
Stéphane Dion's deal with Elizabeth May means that no Liberal candidate will be challenging Defence Minister Peter MacKay. But if the Green party leader can consolidate the anti-Conservative vote, she could force MacKay to sweat a little, and stay off the national hustings to work harder in his home riding.
MP Bill Casey's nasty split with the Conservative party moves this riding from a Tory stronghold to a question mark. Will residual hard feelings fracture Tory support? Can an Independent defy conventional wisdom and hold this riding?
The retirement of Alexa McDonough clears the slate in Nova Scotia's capital. Is the NDP strong enough organizationally to hold onto her seat? Or will the previously second-place Liberals take it back?
Former Liberal cabinet minister Robert Thibault held his seat in 2006 in a tough fight against the Conservative challenger — the closest result in Nova Scotia. But his personal stock as MP has fallen in recent months. So who wins the rubber match?