Politics

Meet the Liberal comeback class of 2015

It's the political edition of return to the future. Fourteen former Liberal MPs staged successful political comebacks and will reclaim their seats in the House of Commons.

14 formerly defeated MPs staged successful return to Parliament Hill

Former long-time Liberal Bob Nault will be returning to Parliament Hill after defeating Conservative minister Greg Rickford in the northern Ontario riding of Kenora on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. (Jody Porter/CBC)

Even in politics, sometimes everything old is new again.

Fourteen former Liberal MPs staged successful political comebacks in the election campaign and are preparing to reclaim their seats in the House of Commons.

Some were defeated in past over fury from the sponsorship scandal and some lost their seats to Conservatives as that party won back-to-back governments, the last one a majority. Others were ousted when the NDP orange wave swept Quebec and other parts of the country in 2011.

They fought to win their old jobs back, and the red tide of 2015 is putting some of these Liberal ex-parliamentarians back to office. 

Omar Alghabra (Mississauga Centre)

After making two failed bids to return to Parliament Hill after his first election in 2006, this was third time a charm for the 45-year-old mechanical engineer. "I never expected for a day in my life not only to get elected once, but to have the opportunity to get re-elected once again to the House of Commons. This is a testament to Canada and to Canadians," he said during his victory speech

Larry Bagnell (Yukon)

Four years after losing the seat he had held for 11 years to Conservative Ryan Leef, Bagnell has reclaimed the riding, "Let's go to Ottawa and get our Canada back!" Bagnell told supporters at his victory rally Monday.

Larry Bagnell is reclaiming his seat in Parliament after winning back the Yukon riding he represented until his defeat in 2011. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

Navdeep Bains (Mississauga-Malton)

Bains had the distinct advantage of not having an official Conservative candidate in the race. Last election, he lost to then-Conservative Eve Adams, but this time he took back the riding after Jagdish Grewal was dumped by the Conservative party for writing an editorial defending therapies that claim to help gays go straight.

Sukh Dhaliwal (Surrey-Newton)

A two-term MP until he was defeated by the NDP's Jinny Sims in 2011. It was expected to be one of the tightest races in the Vancouver area, and this time, the businessman doubled his vote count against Sims.

Mark Holland (Ajax)

Holland had represented the riding (previously named Ajax-Pickering) from 2004 until he was defeated Conservative Chris Alexander in 2011. He took the riding back from Alexander, who had been embroiled in controversy over his handling of the Syrian refugee crisis.

Alexandra Mendes (Brossard–Saint-Lambert)

The Quebec MP who served a 2008-2011 and past president of the Liberal Party of Canada for Quebec has reclaimed her spot in the House. She took about 50% of the vote.

Bob Nault (Kenora)

He spent 16 years as an MP, including four years as Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development in Jean Chretien's cabinet until 2003. He took down Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford and former Ontario NDP Leader Howard Hampton to begin a fifth term in office.

Rob Oliphant (Don Valley West)

The politician and United Church minister is returning to Parliament Hill after winning the term from 2008 to 2011. The riding has traditionally been a close contest between the Liberals and Conservatives.

Joe Peschisolido  (Stevenston-Richmond East)

Peschisolido rode the red wave to win the new riding of Steveston-Richmond East . He began his political career with the Reform Party in 1993, but crossed the floor to join the Liberals in 2002

Denis Paradis (Brome-Missisquoi)

Paradis served 11 years as MP with a number of senior cabinet posts under Jean Chretien. He lost his seat in 2006 amid widespread Liberal casualties in Quebec.

Yasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East)

After serving as MP from 2004, Ratansi lost her seat in Parliament by 870 votes in 2011.On Monday, the accountant who was the first Muslim woman ever elected to the House of Commons won back the diverse and hotly contested riding.

Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier)

Veteran MP Pablo Rodriguez took back his old seat by a margin of nearly 21,000 votes. Between 2004-2011, he held a number of roles, including chair of the Quebec Liberal caucus and spokesperson for culture, languages and economic development.

Pablo Rodriguez is among 14 former Liberal MPs who were re-elected in the Trudeau sweep. ((Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press))

Anthony Rota (Nipissing-Timiskaming)

After seven years as MP, Rota lost by just 18 votes in 2011. The former chair of the Liberal caucus recouped the riding with a wide margin in the red sweep.

Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Centre)

Last election, it came down to 26 votes. Wrzesnewskyj lost the seat he had held since 2004, and after a prolonged legal battle, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Conservative Ted Opitz could keep the seat. Wrzesnewskyj fought to win it back - and on Monday, he won.

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