Red tide floods Newfoundland and Labrador

Staff ~ Transcontinental Media
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As the early results started to flow, it was clear that away from the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland and Labrador was seeing red on election Tuesday.
From the first returns after the polls closed, polling stations across the province began to show vote counts heavily in the Liberals' favour.
Heading into the election the Liberals held five of the province's seven federal seats and the Tories held two. Tory veterans Norm Doyle and Loyola Hearn and Liberal Bill Matthews had announced they would not be seeking re-election.
While there were tight races in Avalon and St. John's South-Mount Pearl, elsewhere in the province the results were far more one-sided.

Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte
First elected in 1996, Liberal incumbent Gerry Byrne made it five straight victories, this time collecting 17,943 of the 26,419 votes (67.9 per cent).
The Anything But Conservative campaign appeared effective in this province as no Conservative candidate was successful. Byrne said it wasn't as big a factor in his riding as it was elsewhere, but couldn't deny it was a factor.
"That was a major impact on people's decisions during the campaign," he said. "They want a prime minister who not only respects and understands our province, but is prepared to make and keep commitments not make and break promises. That's exactly what happened here.
"What is important for each and every one of us is results and, quite frankly, the (Stephen) Harper administration was not providing any results for this province. For whatever reason, Mr. Harper has no respect or understanding for us as a people or as a province, and I don't think that will change under any circumstance - minority Conservative government or Conservatives in opposition."
Mark Kennedy of the NDP Party secured the second most votes with 4,703. He was pleased with the result, both personally and from a party perspective.
"I thought it was an excellent showing and I feel very positive about the results," Kennedy said. "In some ways, I didn't expect so much support.
"I think it is indicative of the way people are feeling right now. They feel the same way I do; that they are not quite pleased with the way things are and their votes are reflective of that."
The other two candidates in the race were less enthusiastic about their lackadaisical results. Conservative candidate Lorne Robinson earned 2,806 votes and Wayne Bennett of the Newfoundland and Labrador First Party claimed 967 votes.
Robinson said the result was not what he expected.
"It is disappointing to see where our province is to now, and it is challenging to see where that leaves us as a province," he said. "The premier has really gotten what he has asked for, what he was looking for, the people have listened to that.
"It's squarely left on the premier's shoulders now, how we are going to be represented in the province. My fear is where that has left us because we have no representation on the federal side and the premier has cut ties, for the most part, with Ottawa."
Bennett said he also felt hindered by the premier's stand. He said ABC in this riding meant vote Liberal or NDP.
"I am a little bit disappointed that my biggest opponent in the election was the premier and not Mr. Robinson or Mr. Byrne," he said. "It was a strategic vote, it wasn't a vote for the best party or the best person."

Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor
It was not a long wait for the celebration at the Simms' house in Bishop's Falls last night.
Liberal incumbent Scott Simms was the first candidate in Tuesday's federal election to be declared victorious, his third election win in the riding of Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor.
"To be the first declared in the country has not sunk in yet, but perhaps years from now I will be able to look back and I can look at it as a bit of a gem," he said. "All I can say is thank you to the people of Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor. I am speechless. For a former broadcaster that is not good, but I am over the moon."
Simms said he was never certain he would win this time around, but is confident of the mandate he has been given by the voters of the riding.
"There has always been a bedrock Progressive Conservative support here, but whether that translated into Conservative support I did not know," he said from his father's house in the central Newfoundland community. "They are Conservative, but they are not progressive."
Simms finished with a commanding win, earning 20,089 votes to Conservative Andrew House's 4,354, 3,577 votes for the NDP's Jason Holley and 568 for the Green party's Robert Karl O'Connor.

Random-Burin-St. Georges
In the province's largest federal riding, former provincial politician Judy Foote kept it red with a win for the Liberals, holding the seat last held by Bill Matthews, who had announced his retirement earlier this year.
To a jubilant crowd of supporters Tuesday night, Foote said she will be the "eyes, ears and voice" for Random-Burin-St. George's in Ottawa.
"I have the experience and I think that's what people saw tonight, someone who has delivered in the past and someone who will deliver again," she said.
Foote also served notice to the Harper Tories.
"You can be sure that all of the MPs of Newfoundland and Labrador, all those Liberal MPs, will make sure that Mr. Harper knows where Newfoundland and Labrador is and that we count," she said. "We matter, Mr. Harper."
Foote was another big winner, polling 12,557 votes. The riding was also another example of the NDP making great strides. NDP candidate Terry White finished second with 5,553 votes, outpacing Conservative Herb Davis who had 4,791. The Green party's Kaitlin Wainwright rounded out the slate with 462 votes.
In second place, White said he was pleased with the result.
"I put 10,000 kilometres on my vehicle, knocked on about 5,000 doors and put about 150 miles on my feet," White said. "People were very receptive and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart."
White congratulated both his opponents, and noted that Herb Davis, the Conservative candidate worked very hard for the votes he received.
"With the small amount of funding I got ... up against the two big machines that had money galore, and yet I was able to finish second," he said. "Some of my votes were possible because of Premier Danny Williams' 'Anybody But Conservative' campaign, but I believe if I had verbal support from the provincial legislature people in the riding, I would have done a lot better," he said.

Labrador
Labrador MP Todd Russell kept his seat comfortably Tuesday night, cruising in to win with 5,426 votes over his nearest rival, the NDP's Phyllis Artiss with 1,378 votes.
In fact Russell was declared victor before 10 of the 65 polling stations had their numbers written on the whiteboard at the Liberal Headquarters in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
In his victory speech, Russell stressed his main priority in Ottawa was serving the people of Labrador.
"There are so many faces of people I see who need something," he said, adding he remains focused on all that he needs to try and accomplish for the people at home.
"I'm a son of Labrador. I will remain a son of Labrador, and I am so proud of the sons and daughters of Labrador."
Also in the race were Conservative Lacey Lewis, who finished a distant third place with 615 votes, followed by the Green party's Nyssa Christine McLeod in fourth with 302 votes.

With files from The Advertiser, The Western Star, The Southern Gazette and The Labradorian

Organizations: NDP, NDP Party, Newfoundland and Labrador First Party Conservative Andrew House The Green

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Avalon, Ottawa Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor Grand Falls St. George's Happy Valley Goose Bay Western Star

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Recent comments

  • Huh
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    So it's a 'red tide' when voter turnout is at a record low? Is this article like rice - just a filler?

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I can't believe the number of mistakes in the telegram over the past 2 days.
    Yesterday it had the polling times wrong and today in this story it has the liberals holding 5 seats in NL before this election. Someone needs to start checking their facts before writing.

  • Lloyd
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    My congratulations to Todd Russell for his third consecutive win in this riding.
    Not a bad showing for the NDP either especially considering that the candidate is not from around here. While I have been a supporter of both Mr Russell, and Mr O'Brien before him, on the basis of their dedication to Labrador issues, I am always disappointed in the lack of good competition for this seat, or any seat. That is the only way to have good discussion the issues and for the contituents to 'push' candidates in the directions they want.
    The provincial abc campaign was irrelevant here did not affect any outcome here, but appears to have discouraged more participation by other parties. In my opinion the Bloc and their supporters did us all a favour here.

  • Huh
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    So it's a 'red tide' when voter turnout is at a record low? Is this article like rice - just a filler?

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    I can't believe the number of mistakes in the telegram over the past 2 days.
    Yesterday it had the polling times wrong and today in this story it has the liberals holding 5 seats in NL before this election. Someone needs to start checking their facts before writing.

  • Lloyd
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    My congratulations to Todd Russell for his third consecutive win in this riding.
    Not a bad showing for the NDP either especially considering that the candidate is not from around here. While I have been a supporter of both Mr Russell, and Mr O'Brien before him, on the basis of their dedication to Labrador issues, I am always disappointed in the lack of good competition for this seat, or any seat. That is the only way to have good discussion the issues and for the contituents to 'push' candidates in the directions they want.
    The provincial abc campaign was irrelevant here did not affect any outcome here, but appears to have discouraged more participation by other parties. In my opinion the Bloc and their supporters did us all a favour here.