Manitoba

'It's been a tough campaign': Liberals lose 3 seats in Winnipeg

The Liberals clung to power but lost three Winnipeg seats Monday while the Conservatives kept five rural ridings and made headway in the city.

Liberal minority to govern from Ottawa with 4 of 7 Winnipeg seats they had after 2015 election

Terry Duguid was re-elected in Winnipeg South but it was amid a finish that saw his Liberal party slip inside the city from seven to four seats. (Rudy Gauer/CBC)

The Liberals clung to power but lost three Winnipeg seats Monday while the Conservatives held on to all of their rural ridings and made headway in the city.

One of three city seats went to the NDP's Leah Gazan, who snatched back the longtime NDP riding of Winnipeg Centre from the Liberals' Robert-Falcon Ouellette.

The other two seats went to the Conservatives, including former Winnipeg city councillor Marty Morantz, who stole a seat from the Liberal's Doug Eyolfson in Charleswood–St. James–Assiniboia–Headingley.

Fellow Tory Raquel Dancho, 29, ousted Liberal MaryAnn Mihychuk, a former cabinet minister, from the riding of Kildonan-St. Paul.

"The reason that I believed that I could was because I saw other women do it before me," Dancho told a room full of supporters.

Watch Dancho describe what inspired her run:

Conservative MP Elect Raquel Dancho speaks about what inspired her to run in this year’s federal election. Dancho, 29, captured a seat in the Kildonan-St. Paul riding. 0:35

Five Conservative strongholds outside of Winnipeg stayed Tory blue while the NDP's Niki Ashton hung onto her party's lone rural riding of Churchill–Keewatinook Aski. 

New Democrat Daniel Blaikie was re-elected in Elmwood-Transcona, rounding out the three NDP seats won on the night.

Meanwhile, for the Liberals, Kevin Lamoureux was re-elected in Winnipeg North, James Carr for Winnipeg South Centre, Dan Vandal in Saint-Boniface-Saint Vital and Terry Duguid in Winnipeg South.

The Liberals will have a minority government, according to CBC News projections.

"It's been a tough campaign. As I said onstage, the Prime Minister had everything but the kitchen sink thrown at him and and he's still standing," Duguid said after jubilant supporters carried him on their shoulders into his election night headquarters.

"The parties will have to find a way to work together."

Watch Duguid supporters cheer him on:

Supporters lift Liberal MP Terry Duguid in the air at his victory party in Winnipeg South. 0:47

The Conservatives' rural wins went to incumbents James Bezan in Selkirk–Interlake–Eastman, Candice Bergen in Portage–Lisgar, Ted Falk in Provencher and Larry Maguire in Brandon–Souris.

"I wish that we could have formed a majority," Maguire said. "Sometimes minority governments last quite a while and sometimes they have a short life, but we'll just have to see how that evolves."

Dan Mazier, who replaced Robert Sopuck, kept Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa for the Conservatives.

And then there were 4

The 43rd federal election came just 41 days after Manitobans cast ballots in the provincial election. 

Though the total seat share in Manitoba is comparatively small at just 14 of 338 nationwide, the Prairie province is considered a bellwether during elections.

Before Parliament was dissolved heading into the election, Manitoba was represented by seven Liberal members of Parliament, including Manitoba's lone cabinet minister in Carr (Winnipeg South Centre). There were also five Conservatives and two New Democrats. That's reflective of the seat ratio maintained by those three parties Canada-wide.

Jim Carr celebrates his re-election in front of a room of supporters. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

In the 2015 election a red wave swept across Canada and into Manitoba, netting the Trudeau Liberals seven of the eight Winnipeg-area seats.

After Monday night, the Liberals were down to four, all still in Winnipeg.

Manitobans voted this election under very unusual circumstances, including a province-wide state of emergency due to a devastating snowstorm.

For evacuees from several remote First Nations, voting in this federal election wasn't in their home ridings. Elections Canada set up special polling stations for those staying in shelters in Winnipeg due to outages from the snowstorm that left a record 100,000 without power at its peak.

Similarly, Elections Canada made arrangements to ensure Manitoba Hydro workers, still hard at work repairing downed power lines, could vote near job sites.

Tight Winnipeg races

Conservative Marty Morantz waves to supporters after winning Charleswood–St. James–Assiniboia–Headingley which was held by the Liberals. (Marie Michelle Borduas/Radio-Canada)

As was the case in other provinces, the incumbent Liberals had their backs against the wall in several ridings here in Manitoba, including in Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley, which was lost to the Conservatives' Morantz.

"It's time to party," Morantz said after his Monday night win, adding he's excited to head to Ottawa.

The closest race Canada-wide in 2015 was in Elmwood-Transcona. NDP candidate Blaikie eked out a win by just 51 votes over Conservative candidate Lawrence Toet, and he won again Monday.

Elmwood-Transcona NDP MP Daniel Blaikie celebrates his re-election with jubilant supporters and admirers. (Ahmar Khan/CBC)

"Gratitude is the main feeling," Blaikie said of his win, "gratitude to voters in Elmwood-Transcona who weren't prepared to accept the dismal record of the Trudeau government but who weren't prepared to install another Conservative government that was going to cut services."

The 2015 red wave also visited Kildonan-St. Paul when voters elected Mihychuk, a former provincial cabinet minister for the NDP, as the local Liberal MP. She only won the previously-Conservative seat by three percentage points, and Dancho took the riding from her Monday.

Maryann Mihychuk lost her seat in Kildonan-St. Paul. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

"I think we saw that people in the west from the Prairies, even from Kenora, are looking for change, and they were frustrated," said Mihychuk. 

"The progressives split the vote and we got what we least wanted and that was a Conservative candidate."

The CBC's Bartley Kives, on the what the Manitoba seat count means. 2:28

Liberal Incumbent Ouellette won Winnipeg Centre from the NDP and longtime MP Pat Martin in 2015, but Gazan's campaign spoiled Ouellette's hopes of being re-elected.

"What can you do differently, if you're the most independent-minded MP in Canadian history, who voted against their government more times and tried to give people exactly what they wanted in Winnipeg Centre," a defiant Ouellette said after the loss.

"What they told me, they wanted an independent MP, and so I gave them that."

After losing Monday, Robert-Falcon Ouellette said he gave Winnipeg Centre the 'most independent-minded MP in Canadian history.' (Gary Solilak/CBC)

MP-elect Gazan said the NDP will affect the way the Liberals govern.

"We're talking about universal Pharmacare and I feel confident with a minority government, we'll be able to push through good things that are focused on people and not big corporations," she said.

The Liberals will have more trouble with the NDP when it comes to oil pipelines. Gazan said one reason she ran was to oppose new pipelines.

New Democrat Leah Gazan thanks supporters after defeating incumbent Liberal Robert-Falcon Ouellette in Winnipeg Centre. She is one of a trio elected on the night that stole seats from the Liberals. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

About the Author

Bryce Hoye

Reporter

Bryce Hoye is an award-winning journalist and science writer with a background in wildlife biology and interests in courts, social justice, health and more. He is the Prairie rep for OutCBC. Story idea? Email bryce.hoye@cbc.ca.

With files from Bartley Kives, Sean Kavanagh, Sam Samson, Riley Laychuk, and Alana Cole

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