:: Got a News Tip?

Call the PoliticsWatch
tip-line at 613.232.0516

:: ElectionWatch 2006

ElectionWatch: Keep an eye on Newfoundland on election night  

[PoliticsWatch posted 4:39 p.m. December 5, 2005]

Prime Minister Paul Martin campaigns in St. John's on Monday, December 5. 

With the 2006 federal election campaign under way, PoliticsWatch  examines the races in all 308 ridings across the country. In the seventh instalment, PoliticsWatch looks at the 7 ridings in Newfoundland and Labrador.     

Newfoundland and Labrador

Seats: 7

2004 Seat Results: Lib 5 (+1); Con 2 (-1); NDP 0

The Conservatives lost support here in the 2004 election, as voters didn't warm up to the merger of the Alliance and PC parties. The Tories lost one riding and held on to their two St. John's strongholds by margins of less than 2,000 votes. Outside of those two ridings, the Liberals have dominated here since Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949. The NDP has only won one riding here once in 1979 and finished second in just one of the seven ridings in 2004. As of December 5, the party had only nominated one candidate here. 


Solid Seats: 4

Dream Seat Scenario: Lib 7(+2); Con 0 (-2); NDP 0

The Grits win the two Tory strongholds in St. John's knocking the party off the electoral map in Newfoundland. 

Nightmare Seat Scenario: Lib 4 (-1); Con 3 (+1); NDP 0

The Grits lose Bonavista -- Gander -- Grand Falls -- Windsor, the one seat they picked up in 2004. 


Solid Seats: 0

Dream Seat Scenario: Lib 4 (-1); Con 3 (+1); NDP 0

See Liberal nightmare. 

Nightmare Seat Scenario: Lib 7 (+2); Con 0 (-2); NDP 0

See Liberal dream

The Big Picture: The province's voting trends are well established, with St. John's traditionally voting Tory and places outside the city voting Liberal. That's the situation right now. So a change in seats is significant. If the Liberals win in St. John's then they could be on their way to a majority. If the Conservatives can take the Bonavista Exploits riding then that could be an early sign of a Conservative minority.

Liberal Siobahn Coady came within 1,451 votes of defeating Tory MP Loyola Hearn in 2004. 

Ridings to Watch (3)

St. John's South -- Mount Pearl

Known best as former cabinet minister John Crosbie's old riding, this riding has sent Tories to Ottawa in all but one federal election since 1968. The only time a Liberal was elected was in 1993 when the Tories were wiped out nationally. Conservative MP Loyola Hearn won the riding by just 1,451 votes in 2004 compared to an 8,000-vote margin in 2000. Siobahn Cody, the Liberal who almost defeated Hearn, will get another shot at in 2006. 

Analysis: Conservative stronghold the Liberals could take away

St. John's East

Conservative parties have controlled this riding for the most part since the late 1960s. Since 1968, Tories have won this riding in nine of 11 federal elections. The only time the Liberals made a breakthrough was when the Tories were wiped off the map in 1993. Since 1997 Conservative MP Norman Doyle has held the riding. But Doyle had his closest race in the 2004 election with a 1,730 margin of victory over Liberal Walter Noel. Paul Antle has the nod for the Liberals this time around. If the early results show the Conservatives losing this riding then it could turn out to be a long election night for the Tories. 

Analysis: Conservative stronghold the Liberals could take away

Bonavista -- Gander -- Grand Falls -- Windsor

The Liberals lost this riding in a 2000 by-election to the Tories, but regained it in the 2004 federal election. Liberal MP Scott Simms narrowly won on election night with a margin of 2,184 votes. The Conservatives are running former Hill staffer Aaron Hynes this time in a riding that has historically been Liberal. Since 1949, the Liberals have won 16 of 18 federal elections in this riding. This includes eight election wins for former Liberal MP George Baker (1974 to 2000) and six victories for former Liberal MP John Pickersgill (1953 to 1965). The last time the Conservatives won the riding in a federal election was in 1972. 

Analysis: Liberal stronghold the Conservatives could steal.

Solid Ridings (4)

Rookie Liberal MP Tood Russell. 


Ambrose Peddle is the answer to a trivia question in this riding. He's the only non-Liberal to win an election here since 1949. Interestingly, while the country was caught up in Trudeaumania, Labrador ousted its Liberal incumbent and elected Peddle the Tory. Peddle was beaten in 1972 by Bill Rompkey who went on to win seven election campaigns up to 1993. Liberal MP Todd Russell won the riding in a high-profile May by-election with 51 per cent of the vote. 

Analysis: Liberal stronghold since 1972

Humber - St. Barbe - Baie Verte

This riding has voted Liberal in every election dating back to 1980. Since then residents have sent Brian Tobin and Gerry Byrne to Ottawa in seven elections. Byrne narrowly won the riding in 1997 but has seen his margin of victories increase in subsequent elections. In 2004 Byrne won 11,282 votes ahead of the Conservative candidate, with 63 per cent of the total vote. Although a Liberal stronghold, the riding was held by the Tories in 1968, 1972 and 1974 and the NDP in 1979. This is the only riding in Newfoundland the NDP or CCF has ever won. 

Analysis: Liberal Stronghold


This riding has voted Liberal in 16 of 18 federal elections since Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949. The last time the Conservatives won here was in 1984 during Brian Mulroney's record majority. This riding was held by former Fisheries Minister John Efford, who stepped down shortly before the election because of his battle with diabetes. Efford easily won the riding in 2004 receiving double the votes of the second-place Conservative candidate and 58 per cent of the total vote. As of December 5, the Liberals have yet to select a candidate for this Liberal stronghold. The Conservatives are running Fabian Manning. 

Analysis: Liberal stronghold 

Random - Burin - St. George's

The Liberals have won this riding in 16 of 18 federal elections. The last time the Tories won here was in 1997 when MP Bill Matthews won, but the Tory rule didn't last for long as Matthews soon after crossed the floor to become a Liberal. Matthews has won the riding in the past two federal elections. The NDP finished second in this riding in 2004 due to the campaign of Des McGrath, who finished 3,586 votes behind Matthews. The NDP has not nominated a candidate here as of December 5. 

Analysis: Liberal stronghold

:: PoliticsWatch Election Archive

> ElectionWatch 2006 

© PoliticsWatch 2004. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PoliticsWatch content, including by framing, copying, linking or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Public Interests Research and Communications Inc. PoliticsWatch is registered trademark of PIRCINC.

> More PoliticsWatch Features...


PoliticsWatch Home  |  News   |  News Services  Voter Resources  |  Research Base

PoliticsWatch™ | Canada's Political Portal™
Reproduction of material from any PoliticsWatch.com pages without written permission is strictly prohibited.
2000 - 2001 Public Interests Research and Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
85 Albert Street, Suite 1502, Ottawa ON K1P 6A4 |  phone: 613.232.0516
news@politicswatch.com  |  Terms of Service, Copyright, Trademarks, and Disclaimers Statement