Gerry Byrne hangs on to Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte

Gary
Gary Kean
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Liberal Gerry Byrne raises his arm in victory in the district of Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte Monday. — Photo by Geraldine Brophy/The Western Star

Corner Brook — Just before the first poll reported, Gerry Byrne said he wasn’t sure how Monday’s election was going to go. It didn’t take long for the Liberal incumbent in Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte to feel more confidence.

The first poll showed Byrne leading Conservative party candidate Trevor Taylor by a margin of 38-11 and that trend held as Byrne cruised to victory  nearly 9,600 votes ahead of Taylor.

Byrne finished with more than 57 per cent of votes in the riding, was projected the winner within half an hour after the polls closed.

“What always surprised me is the polling numbers themselves don’t always equate to what’s going to happen on election night,” he said.

Taylor, acknowledging distrust of Conservative Leader Stephen Harper  in the riding, said he had hoped his experience and record as a provincial cabinet minister would help him mount a stronger challenge.

“Gerry has been in for 15 years and I haven’t been able to find anybody who can point to anything substantive he has done for the riding,” said Taylor. “Apparently, they like the fact he hugs people and gets on open line and shoots off his mouth.”

New Democratic Party candidate Shelley Senior finished third. Senior said she will seek the nomination again when the next election rolls around.

While she didn’t win, Senior was “over the moon” with how the NDP did elsewhere in the nation, particularly in Quebec where the NDP essentially wiped out the Bloc Quebecois.

Independent candidate Wayne Bennett, who finished a distant fourth, was just happy to see the big-name Conservatives like Taylor, John Ottenheimer, Loyola Sullivan and Fabian Manning — get shut out.

“I’m ecstatic that none of them won,” he said. “It shows you can’t con people in Newfoundland and break promises and not be held accountable.”

Robin Gosse who ran for the Green Party finished fifth.

Byrne said Penashue’s victory in Labrador means a likely inclusion in Stephen Harper’s cabinet. That combined with Premier Kathy Dunderdale’s support for Conservative candidates, had better translate into good things for the province.

“I will give Minister Penashue a full opportunity to prove himself and deliver for Labrador and for Newfoundland,” said Byrne. “We will expect this government to deliver on behalf of the province.”

The Western Star

Organizations: New Democratic Party, Green Party

Geographic location: Humber, Corner Brook, Newfoundland Quebec Western Star

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  • R.S.
    May 03, 2011 - 14:22

    I agree with David. Most politicians and those running for office have the decency to say something gracious, or poignant or even respectful when they lose. Politicians, after all, are artists at putting a spin on even the worst news. Funny, how Taylor was too lazy to do that. His snarky half-insult to Byrne's mediocre political sytel, and to the electorate (for lapping up Byrne's mediocre political style) is also a half-insult to himself: despite having to deal with mediocrity, Taylor was still woefully defeated. Funny how he failed to mention that his track record as a provincial politician falls short of the limelight. Too many disgruntled people in his own provincial disctrict from (a) fisheries decisions that left many a fisherperson without adequate work, (b) bowing out of politics just months before the air ambulance fiasco, and (c) telling his electorate less than 2 years ago that he was quitting politics, and that he would not run federally smacks me now as a very mercenary move. Funny, how your own political baggage did not bring you down to earth...only Byrne's mediocre political campaign, and the mediocre electorate who ate it all up. I would normally say better luck next time....except I hope there is not political 'next time'. And this is from someone who did not vote for Byrne.

  • David
    May 03, 2011 - 09:12

    Trevor Taylor: with such a petty, classless comment in defeat, you have added even more confirmation to the majority's voting wisdom...thank you for that.