Nfld. & Labrador

PC, NDP leaders' futures uncertain after losses in N.L. provincial election

What the future holds for the PC and NDP parties is uncertain, but some suggest a change in leadership is coming.

Former PC cabinet minister expects a change in the coming days

A change of leadership for Newfoundland and Labrador's PC and NDP parties is possible, after both leaders lost their seats in the House of Assembly on Saturday. (Paul Daly/The Canadian Press)

PC Leader Ches Crosbie and NDP Leader Alison Coffin both lost their seats inside the House of Assembly on Saturday. 

What the future holds for either party is now uncertain. 

Crosbie didn't speak to the media after results were made public by Elections NL, but in a pre-recorded message the PC leader said he was going to "take a few days to reflect on what has happened and determine where to go from here."

In her speech, Coffin said she would continue to help the party's two re-elected MHAs, Jim Dinn in St. John's Centre and Jordan Brown in Labrador West, "however and whenever I can."

Asked Saturday about the possibility of taking over the leadership, Dinn said he has "no such ambitions or inclinations," and plans to continue to focus on his district.

Crosbie took over the leaadership in 2018, beating Stephenville-Port au Port MHA Tony Wakeham. Coffin became leader of the NDP in 2019 after the resignation of former leader Gerry Rogers. 

For now, it appears both Crosbie and Coffin will remain leaders of their respective parties. 

Rogers told CBC News that despite the party now holding only two seats inside the legislature and the leader being  without a seat, she believes the NDP will still hold the new Liberal majority government accountable, while remaining collaborative.

"I think that's what we saw before this election when there was a minority government. We saw the collaboration, and I think that's what the people of the province want," she said. 

"They want our government to be collaborative, to work together, because what's facing us is really, really difficult. As Andrew Furey said, 'What is next may be hard.'"

Premier Andrew Furey will continue as the head of Newfoundland and Labrador's Liberal government, now a majority. (Paul Daly/The Canadian Press)

As for the provincial Tories, former PC cabinet minister Sandy Collins said he doesn't believe Crosbie will stay on as leader. 

This election was Crosbie's second effort to claim the premier's chair, after losing to Liberal Dwight Ball in 2019. Coffin was also in that race. 

"Many thought that after the last general election his days were numbered, but he stuck around for this one," Collins said. 

"I foresee, in a couple of days, an announcement coming out with an interim leader being named."

Collins said leadership could fall to Wakeham, Terra Nova MHA Lloyd Parrott or Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans MHA Chris Tibbs, who posted a video to social media earlier in March indicating he one day wanted to become the party's leader. The video was deleted shortly after it was published. 

"[They] have the leadership capabilities to lead this party, as well as some people outside the party," Collins said. 

"I don't know what the aspirations are at this point, but we have options and with Ches's defeat, as well with Alison, it gives two opposition parties the opportunity to hit a reset button."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Peter Cowan

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