NDP Leader Mike Redmond loses Montague-Kilmuir
Redmond finishes 3rd in his district behind Liberal Allen Roach and PC Andrew Daggett
Although the political future of NDP Leader Mike Redmond is now uncertain with his loss in Montague-Kilmuir on Monday night, a rise in his party's popular vote indicates he has brought it some measure of success from its previous showing in 2011.
Incumbent Liberal Allen Roach won Montague-Kilmuir with 1,060 votes, while the PCs' Andrew Daggett came in second with 785 votes.
Redmond trailed behind Daggett by exactly 200 votes.
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However, overall the NDP rose to 11 per cent of the popular vote in the election, a huge jump from its showing of 3.2 per cent in 2011, which had put them behind not only the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives, but also the Green Party.
In March, Redmond decided to change the district in which he was running from Charlottetown-Victoria Park (District 12), to Montague-Kilmuir (District 3), citing that he lives and runs his business in that part of the province.
That move may have spelled Redmond's downfall.
Close race in Charlottetown
Yet his focus on getting the NDP back into the P.E.I. legislature since winning the party leadership in 2012 has not been fruitless.
The only NDP member to hold a seat in P.E.I. was Herb Dickieson, who represented West Point-Bloomfield from 1996 to 2000. Dickieson has now set his sights on federal politics and will run in the federal riding of Egmont.
But under Redmond's leadership, the party has witnessed increases in voter support, and in 2013, moved into second place in public opinion polls ahead of the Progressive Conservatives — who were experiencing a state of internal turmoil — for the first time in the party's history.
Although mid-campaign polling numbers showed the NDP in third behind the Liberals and the PCs, the growth to 15 per cent of the popular vote in those polls was a massive gain.
The NDP's most significant showing in this election came in Charlottetown-Lewis Point (District 14), where first-timer Gordon McNeilly was overtaken by incumbent Liberal Kathleen Casey by 109 votes.
Roach, who won Redmond's district, was first elected as an MLA 2011 and was most recently minister of innovation and advanced learning under Liberal Premier Wade MacLauchlan.