Long-serving leftist NDP government ousted in Manitoba: TV

Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:57pm EDT
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By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Manitoba's New Democratic Party, Canada's longest-serving provincial government, lost its nearly 17-year grip on power after being defeated by the right-leaning Progressive Conservatives, CBC TV projected on Tuesday.

The network projected the Conservatives, led by former school teacher Brian Pallister, had won a majority in the Prairie province. The party had held a large lead in opinion surveys throughout the campaign.

"Manitobans tend not to like political dynasties - we tend to look for a change of government roughly every decade," said Kelly Saunders, an associate professor of politics at Brandon University.

The NDP government, Manitoba's longest-serving in 73 years, broke that norm temporarily, but in this campaign the theme of change has been compelling for Manitobans, she said.

In 2011, the NDP won 37 of Manitoba's 57 electoral districts.

The victory by Pallister is the second this month for a right-leaning Canadian party, after the Saskatchewan Party's landslide win in neighboring Saskatchewan.

Left-leaning parties govern most provinces, however, and Stephen Harper's Conservatives lost power nationally last year to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals.

The NDP has governed the farm, mining and manufacturing province since 1999. The NDP premier, Greg Selinger, who took office in 2009, had lost the support of much of the province and some members of his party after raising Manitoba's sales tax in 2013 despite earlier promises to the contrary.   Continued...

Manitoba premier Greg Selinger (2nd R) speaks with Stephen McNeil, premier of Nova Scotia, during a meeting at the Council of the Federation summit in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, August 29, 2014.  REUTERS/Christinne Muschi