Tories shut out by ABC campaign in N.L., make gains in N.B., P.E.I.

Premier Danny Williams's Anything But Conservative campaign delivered the desired "big goose egg" to the federal Conservatives in Newfoundland and Labrador, but the party made gains in other parts of Atlantic Canada.

Green Party leader loses in Central Nova

Premier Danny Williams's Anything But Conservative campaign delivered the desired "big goose egg" to the federal Conservatives in Newfoundland and Labrador, but the party made gains in other parts of Atlantic Canada.

The Liberals held on to 17 seats out of Atlantic Canada's 32 ridings in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as of about 10 p.m. ET.

Green party Leader Elizabeth May acknowledges supporters as she concedes defeat in Central Nova. ((CBC))
The Conservatives won 10 seats, and the New Democrats took four. One Independent will also be going to Ottawa from the region.

In the 2006 election, the Liberals won 20 seats, the Conservatives nine and the NDP had three.

As the votes were tallied, Conservative candidates were often placing third in Newfoundland and Labrador rather than landing in their traditional first or second spot — putting them several dozen percentage points down in the overall vote compared with previous elections.

Conservative Fabian Manning, the only Tory incumbent running in the province, lost the Avalon riding to Liberal Scott Andrews, who took 45.28 per cent of the vote.

Williams's ABC campaign was aimed at ensuring the federal Tories didn't win any seats in N.L. The Progressive Conservative premier launched the effort after the federal Conservatives went back on their 2006 election promise to exclude non-renewable energy revenues from the federal equalization formula.

None of the province's seven ridings went to the Conservatives, who held three seats going into the federal election. The Liberals took six of the seats while the NDP took one.

The Conservatives had won the St. John's East riding in 2006, but its representative, Norm Doyle, did not run in this election, and it was taken by New Democrat Jack Harris, who previously held the seat in 1987 and served as the provincial leader of the party in the 1990s. It was a landslide for Harris, who took more than 74 per cent of the vote.

Conservative gains in N.B.

But the Conservatives picked up seats in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Conservative candidate Peter MacKay savours victory in Central Nova. ((CBC))
The Conservatives only held three seats in New Brunswick after the 2006 election but walked away with six seats on Tuesday night.

In New Brunswick, there had been concern during the campaign about the Liberals' proposed Green Shift plan, which combines a carbon tax with income tax cuts.

Conservatives alleged the Liberal plan would destroy the province's economy and threaten the construction of a proposed second oil refinery in the port city of Saint John.

The Saint John riding was switching back and forth between the Liberals and Conservatives as the votes were counted. Going into the election, the riding was held by Liberal Paul Zed, who faced off against former provincial cabinet minister Rodney Weston.

Weston, who also served as the chief of staff in former premier Bernard Lord's government, took the riding with 39.54 per cent of the popular vote. In the end, 495 votes led him to victory.

In Fredericton, former provincial cabinet minister Keith Ashfield, who resigned to run in the election, was elected. The riding had long been held by Liberal Andy Scott, who decided not to run again in the 2008 election.

Conservative Mike Allen also convincingly won the Tobique-Mactaquac riding after only winning by 0.7 percentage points in 2006. Allen took 57.33 per cent of the vote.

Voters in the riding of New Brunswick Southwest re-elected Conservative Veteran Affairs Minister Greg Thompson. Conservative Rob Moore was also re-elected.

Liberal incumbent Charles Hubbard was ousted in the riding of Miramichi by Conservative Tilly O'Neill-Gordon.

The Liberals held on to three ridings, including Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe. Liberal incumbent Brian Murphy was battling it out with Conservative Daniel Allain before being elected by 17,492 ballots.

The province's sole NDP representative, Yvon Godin, once again won the riding of Acadie Bathurst, taking 57.35 per cent of the vote.

Tories win seat in P.E.I.

The Conservative gains spilled over to Prince Edward Island, where the party had not held a seat since 1988.

The vote in the riding of Egmont was switching between Liberal Keith Milligan, a former premier, and Gail Shea, a former provincial cabinet minister. But Shea was declared elected with 8,122 votes to Milligan's 8,060. 

The three remaining Liberal incumbents — Lawrence MacAulay, Shawn Murphy and Wayne Easter — were re-elected in the island province.

May won't go to Ottawa

Liberal Scott Brison was re-elected in the Nova Scotia riding of Kings-Hants. (CBC)
In Nova Scotia, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May was defeated in the Central Nova, where she faced off against Conservative cabinet minister Peter MacKay, who has held the riding since 1997. More than 5,550 votes separated MacKay from May in his victory.

May had previously called the election a "watershed" moment for her party.

Also in Nova Scotia, former Conservative, now independent, Bill Casey took 69.01 per cent of the vote and won the riding of Cumberland-Colchester- Musquodoboit Valley. Casey sought re-election as an independent after being ejected from the federal party for voting against the budget in 2007 after expressing concerns about the Atlantic Accord.

Liberal Scott Brison held onto the riding of Kings Hants.

Meanwhile, Liberal Robert Thibault lost his seat in West Nova, where Conservative Greg Kerr took 39.93 per cent of the vote.

Megan Leslie of the NDP held Halifax, where former party leader Alexa McDonough has retired. Leslie took 42.75 per cent of the vote in the urban riding.

Diverse region

There are 2.3 million residents in Canada's Atlantic region, where farming, fishing, oil, energy and tourism shape the local economies.

The region also holds Canada's biggest military base, by land mass, at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick, a large naval presence in Halifax, and military concerns also take a prominent spot in Atlantic Canadians' psyches.

Following the 2006 election, the Liberals held 20 of Atlantic Canada's 32 seats. The Conservatives took nine seats and the NDP won three.

Voters and provincial politicians looked to the federal parties' climate-change policies during the campaign.

New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island all expressed concerns about the Liberals' Green Shift.

Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald has claimed the proposed carbon tax would cost the province millions of dollars annually and in P.E.I., farmers have been concerned about the impact on their bottom line.

When the election was called in early September, the Conservatives held 127 seats, the Liberals had 95, the Bloc Québécois held 48, the NDP had 30 and the Greens had one (B.C. Liberal-turned-Independent MP Blair Wilson joined the Greens days before the election call). Independents held three seats and another four seats were vacant.