Federal election 2015: A red tide in Atlantic Canada

Early results suggest Liberal sweep of Atlantic Canada claims Jack Harris, Megan Leslie, Bernard Valcourt and Peter Stoffer

    EDMUNDSTON, N.B. – New Brunswick’s political map turned red Monday night as the province reflected a surge of support for the Liberals that was felt right across Atlantic Canada.

    Before the election, the Conservatives held eight of the province’s 10 seats while the Liberals and New Democrats each had one.

    With just one riding to be decided, the Liberals had won nine seats and were leading in Fundy Royal, where well-known Tory MP Rob Moore was in a tighter race with Liberal Alaina Lockhart.

    Among those to go down to defeat was Bernard Valcourt, the minister of aboriginal affairs and northern development. He was in third in Madawaska-Restigouche where he might have faced a backlash over his support for the Harper government’s changes to Employment Insurance.

    Among the Conservative MPs to lose were Keith Ashfield, who was seeking a third term in the bellwether riding of Fredericton. The former federal fisheries minister excused himself from cabinet in June 2013 to battle the first of two bouts with cancer, but earlier this year he announced the cancer was in remission.

    New Democrat Yvon Godin chose not to seek re-election in the riding of Acadie-Bathurst after holding the seat since 1997. The riding had traditionally been a Liberal stronghold before that and returned to the party fold as Serge Cormier held off a challenge from NDP candidate Jason Godin, the mayor of Maisonette.

    Conservative incumbent Robert Goguen won Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe in 2011, the first time a Conservative had captured the riding in 23 years, but lost to the Liberals’ Ginette Petitpas Taylor.

    Voter turnout was reported as steady across the province Monday.

    According to Elections Canada, just over 113,000 of the 570,000 eligible voters in New Brunswick cast their ballots during the advance polls, an increase from about 71,000 who voted early in 2011.

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