New Brunswick

Tories pull near-sweep in New Brunswick

New Brunswick voters decided to paint most of the province blue once again in Monday's federal election, with the Conservatives winning eight of the province's 10 seats.

New Brunswick voters decided to paint most of the province blue once again in Monday's federal election.

The Conservatives won eight of the province's 10 federal seats - a gain of two, at the expense of the Liberal party.

The lone Liberal winner was in Beauséjour, incumbent Dominic Leblanc.

Meanwhile, the province's only NDP MP Yvon Godin also managed to hold onto his seat in Acadie-Bathurst.

The Conservatives picked up nearly 40 per cent of the vote share.

New Brunswick Premier David Alward said it's twice now that the Liberals have suffered a serious loss in New Brunswick, referring to the September provincial election.

"We know what took place last Fall, what we see taking place right now in the province as well," he said. 

"It will be a time of re-building for them, I would expect."

2 Liberals turfed

In Madawaska-Restigouche, Conservative Bernard Valcourt quickly ousted Liberal incumbent Jean-Claude D'Amours, after being away from federal politics for 18 years.

Valcourt, a 59-year-old lawyer, served as a senior federal cabinet minister in both the Brian Mulroney and Kim Campbell governments before being defeated in the 1993.

On Monday, Valcourt garnered 14,224 votes in the northwestern riding, compared to D'Amours' 12,309.

D'Amours, who was first elected in 2004, won the seat by almost 5,000 votes in 2008.

Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe's Tory candidate Robert Goguen also managed to unseat the Liberal incumbent, Brian Murphy.

Goguen, a 54-year-old lawyer, and president of the New Brunswick Progressive Conservative party, won 17,408 votes, while Murphy only claimed 15,244.

Murphy, the former mayor of Moncton, had only squeaked back into office in 2008, with a 1,232 margin over the Conservative candidate.

Tories hold

In New Brunswick Southwest, Conservative candidate John Williamson retained the seat for the Tories after incumbent Conservative Greg Thompson decided not to re-offer.

Williamson, 41, a former senior adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper blew away his competitors, earning 17,971 votes, with NDP candidate a distant second at 7,413 votes.

The Tories have dominated the southwest riding in every race since 1968, save for one in 1993, when Liberal candidate Harold Culbert won.

In Fundy Royal, another Conservative stronghold in the province, incumbent Rob Moore also held onto his seat for the Harper government, with a comfortable 58 per cent of the vote share.

Moore, a 36-year-old married father of three, claimed his fourth consecutive victory with 21,302 votes, over NDP candidate Darryl Pitre's 9,880.

In 2008, Moore also won by more than 9,000 votes.

"It just goes to show again that the poll that counts is the one on election day," he said.

Moore said he plans to focus on ensuring the best economy possible.

"Right now, the concern that many of my constituents have is on the economy," he said.

"They want to make sure we have a strong economy because without a strong economy, all the things that we value, like a strong health care system and a strong education system, and strong support for families and seniors — we need to have a strong economy to do all those things that we want to do."

The southern New Brunswick riding has given its support to the Conservatives in every election for the past 80 years, save for 1993, when Liberal Paul Zed won office.

In Saint John, which was considered one of the ridings to watch in the province, Conservative incumbent Rodney Weston, held off NDP candidate Rob Moir.

Weston got 18,457 votes, about 7,000 more than Moir.

In 2008, Weston topped the second-place Liberals by fewer than 500 votes.

Fredericton's Conservative incumbent Keith Ashfield secured his second federal victory, with 21,457 votes. NDP candidate Jesse Travis finished a distant second with 10,522.

"I was just fortunate to come out on top. But it just as easily could have been someone else," Ashfield said during his victory speech.

Ashfield admitted, however, that he was surprised by the strong New Democrat showing. It was the first time since the NDP first fielded a candidate in 1962 that the party finished better than third.

"(Voters) perhaps weren't happy with (Liberal Leader Michael) Ignatieff. I don't really know. But I found it quite strange that the Liberals would end up in third place rather than second."

Ashfield, 59, a former provincial Conservative cabinet minister, won the riding from the Liberals in 2008, during his first run in federal politics.

Tobique-Mactaquac's Conservative incumbent Mike Allen also enjoyed a landslide victory. He claimed more than 21,000 votes in the riding, located on the province's western border, compared to second-place NDP candidate Pierre Cyr's 6,403.

Allen, a 50-year-old consultant, was defeated in 2004, but elected again in 2006 and 2008.

In Miramichi, Conservative incumbent Tilly O'Neill Gordon, a 62-year-old teacher, celebrated her second federal win, earning 16,113 votes over NDP candidate Patrick Colford's 7,097 votes.

By comparison, in 2008, O'Neill-Gordon beat Liberal Charles Hubbard by only 1,449 votes.

Monday's win makes O'Neill-Gordon the first Conservative MP to ever win back-to-back elections in the riding.

Miramichi has traditionally been a Liberal riding, with the Liberals winning in all but two elections in the past half-century - 1993 and 1984.

O'Neill-Gordon ran on the platform that supports scrapping the long-gun registry, while introducing a payroll centre that the Conservatives say will bring 550 jobs to the region.

"I'm very proud that Miramichers have put their faith back in me for another term," she said. "I have started many things underway and…I'm happy to be going back.

"I'm one of those people who never become over confident until it's right down to the wire and now I'm feeling really, really good."

Liberal candidate Keith Vickers, who came in third, congratulated O'Neill-Gordon, but blamed the NDP candidate for stealing votes that could have helped the Liberals win the seat.

Beauséjour was the only riding where the Liberals maintained a presence in the province.

Dominic LeBlanc, a 43-year-old lawyer, kept his seat with 17,399 votes, 39 per cent of the vote share in the southeast riding. Conservative candidate Evelyne Chapman came second with 14,814 votes, or 33 per cent of the vote share.

"It is clear that Canadians are sending the Liberal Party a message," said LeBlanc.

In Acadie-Bathurst, in the province's northeast corner, NDP incumbent Yvon Godin won his sixth consecutive federal election. Godin, who has held the seat since 1997, was declared the winner early in the evening, with a strong and steady lead.

He garnered nearly 70 per cent of the vote share, with 32,017 votes, compared to Conservative Louis Robichaud's 7,455 and Liberal Jean Marie Gionet's 6,491.