Nfld. & Labrador

PC's Jim Lester takes Mount Pearl North byelection

The reign of the PC party continued in Mount Pearl North on Tuesday night, with Jim Lester winning a byelection.

Tories maintain control of Steve Kent's former district

Jim Lester raises his hands in the air alongside PC leader Paul Davis on Tuesday evening at his campaign headquarters in Mount Pearl. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

The reign of the Progressive Conservatives has continued in Mount Pearl North with Jim Lester winning a byelection for the vacant seat.

The man dubbed "Farmer Jim" took the win with 47 per cent of the vote, bringing about a career change for the operator of Lester's Farm Chalet.

"Each day when I wake up on the farm, I never know what is going to face me," he said. "But there's nothing I haven't been able to clean up yet."

Shortly after polls began reporting back, Lester held a commanding lead over Liberal candidate Jim Burton and NDP candidate Nicole Kieley.

As the lead grew safer, Lester arrived at campaign headquarters and shared in the celebrations with his team and supporters.

The Liberals finished with 25.6 per cent of the support, narrowly edging the NDP at 24.7 per cent.

  • Jim Lester (PC)  2064
  • Jim Burton (Lib)  1129
  • Nicole Kieley (NDP)  1088
  • Hudson Stratton (Ind)  121 

Lester will now fill the seat left vacant when former Tory cabinet minister Steve Kent resigned from elected politics last month.

PC Leader Paul Davis said the results send a clear warning to Premier Dwight Ball and his Liberal government for the next provincial election.

"What [the Liberals] are doing to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador is simply not good enough, and I think that's the message they got tonight."

The seat, which used to include the former Waterford Valley and Kenmount districts, has been owned by the PC Party since 1993.

It has been dominated by huge PC wins in recent years, with Steve Kent winning with support exceeding 70 per cent of the vote on two occasions.