Pallister’s PCs re-elected with majority in Manitoba, solidifying bloc of conservative premiers opposing Trudeau
2019-09-10 from theglobeandmail.com
Brian Pallister’s Progressive Conservatives have won re-election in Manitoba in a victory that solidifies a bloc of conservative premiers who have lined up against the Trudeau government ahead of a federal campaign.
With 72 per cent of polls reporting, the PCs were projected to win a majority government, leading in 35 ridings and with roughly 50 per cent of the popular vote. The NDP were ahead in 19 ridings and the Liberals led in three.
Cheers rose through a rapidly growing crowd at PC headquarters on Tuesday night as the party painted most of Manitoba Tory blue, winning a majority of the province’s seats outside of Winnipeg. Within the capital city, a number of tight three-way battles were being fought among the Tories, New Democrats and Liberals.
While the PCs were projected to lose a handful of seats in the legislature, Mr. Pallister’s gamble to call the election one year earlier than prescribed under the province’s fixed-date election law looked set to return his party to power with another of the largest government caucuses in decades. The PCs had 38 seats before dissolution, while the NDP had 12 and the Liberals four. There were three Independents
The PCs won Tuesday’s election after a campaign in which Mr. Pallister pledged to relax the tight control he has exercised on the provincial budget since being elected Premier in 2016. The runner-up New Democrats, led by Wab Kinew, promised to undo cuts made to Winnipeg-area health-care centres by the Progressive Conservatives.
Mr. Pallister compared his party to the animal on Manitoba’s logo, the bison, several times on Tuesday night as he celebrated large back-to-back majorities. While admitting that his moves on health care have not been popular with some, he said his victory showed widespread support for the austerity he has imposed on the province over the past three years.
“We inherited a massive responsibility, some would call it a mess,” said Mr. Pallister, as he was flanked by his wife and a number of legislators at a hotel in Winnipeg.
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