Nfld. & Labrador

Liberals sweep all 7 N.L. ridings in federal election

The federal Liberals made a clean sweep of Newfoundland and Labrador Monday night, with three incumbent MPs losing their seats to the red wave.

Seamus O'Regan, Nick Whalen upset incumbent NDP candidates in St. John's ridings

Liberal Nick Whalen is the new MP for St. John's East, as NDP incumbent Jack Harris concedes defeat. (Geoff Bartlett/CBC)

NDP incumbent Jack Harris has conceded defeat to Liberal candidate Nick Whalen in St. John's East, as the federal Liberals swept all of the seats in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

"I'm so fuddle duddle happy, I could fuddle duddle cry," Whalen told supporters at his campaign headquarters office, making light of a famous quote by former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, the father of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. 

"To the people of St. John's East who needed Jack Harris and needed his help, I'm here to help you, too," said Whalen, a young St. John's lawyer. 

Addressing NDP supporters, Harris said this election was about voters "taking democracy back" from Stephen Harper.

I'm so fuddle duddle happy, I could fuddle duddle cry.- Liberal Nick Whalen

"They didn't have to defeat me to get that change, because I represent that change as well," said Harris, suggesting that voters were keen to have a majority government form to replace the outgoing Conservatives.

It was a Liberal sweep across the province, with Liberal candidate Seamus O'Regan ousting NDP incumbent Ryan Cleary in St. John's South-Mount Pearl.

"Ryan, your commitment to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador is without question," O'Regan told a room of supporters at the Delta Hotel in downtown St. John's.

Seamus O'Regan ousted NDP incumbent Ryan Cleary in St. John's South-Mount Pearl, gaining the riding for the federal Liberals Monday night. (CBC)

"It's been a brutal campaign," Cleary told NDP supporters outside the Bella Vista, the hall that the party had booked for what it hoped would be a victory celebration.

Cleary added that he pushed his strengths during the campaign.

"This is not a job, this is a life," he said. 

Rural ridings stay red

The Liberals maintained their stronghold seats in rural Newfoundland and Labrador, and took back a seat that had been the centre of controversy 

Liberal candidate Ken McDonald beat out Independent incumbent Scott Andrews with a large lead in Avalon.

Andrews has been the Avalon MP since 2008 when he was elected as a Liberal, but he was ousted from the caucus in March following allegations around sexual misconduct and harassment.

McDonald also beat NDP candidate Jeannie Baldwin, Conservative Lorraine Barnett, Jennifer McCreath, who ran for Strength in Democracy, and Green Party candidate Krista Byrne-Puumala.

In Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame, Liberal incumbent Scott Simms was the first person declared elected by CBC's decision desk. 

Simms was running against Conservative candidate Kevin O'Brien, who resigned as a provincial MHA  and cabinet minister to run federally.

He also beat out NDP candidate Claudette Menchenton and Green candidate Elizabeth Perry. Simms has been the MP for the riding since 2004.

Easy majority vote for rural

Meanwhile, in Bonavista-Burin-Trinity Liberal incumbent Judy Foote was easily re-elected.

Foote, who was first elected as MP in 2008, beat out Conservative Mike Windsor, NDP candidate Jenn Brown and Green candidate Tyler Colbourne.

Liberal incumbent Yvonne Jones was re-elected after maintaining a wide lead in Labrador, well ahead of former MP Peter Penashue, who was once again seeking election in his former riding.

Penashue lost to Jones in a 2013 byelection, after he resigned his seat after a spending controversy related to a breakthrough 2011 campaign that saw him win the traditional Liberal seat. 

His former manager, Reg Bowers, pleaded guilty earlier this month to three charges laid under the Canada Elections Act.

In Long Range Mountains, where a new MP was guaranteed, newcomer Liberal candidate Gudie Hutchings has been elected.

Hutchings beat Conservative Wayne Ruth, Green candidate Terry Cormier and NDP candidate Devon Babstock.

During the historic 78-day marathon campaign, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau all made one stop each in the province.


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