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Tories, NDP make gains in Atlantic Canada

The Liberal bastion of Atlantic Canada was breached Monday with the New Democrats and Tories each the benefactors.

The Liberal bastion of Atlantic Canada was breached Monday with the New Democrats and Tories each the benefactors.

The NDP picked up two seats in the region as did the Tories. All were at the expense of the Grits.

Former journalist Ryan Cleary easily won the riding of St. John's South-Mount Pearl in Newfoundland in what was expected to be a tight race. He defeated Liberal incumbent Siobhan Coady and Tory candidate Loyola Sullivan, a former provincial cabinet minister.

Cleary's victory builds on a solid base of NDP support in the province's capital city, where NDP MP Jack Harris was re-elected in St. John's East.

“We did it, Jack! We did it!” Cleary yelled standing alongside Harris at a rally.

“Can you feel the winds of political change sweeping across Newfoundland and Labrador?

“Those winds are stirring a sea change in Canadian politics -a sea change that begins here.”

In Nova Scotia, where the first NDP government in Atlantic Canada was elected two years ago, star NDP candidate Robert Chisholm won Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, unseating Liberal Mike Savage. Savage, the son of a former Nova Scotia premier, held the riding since 2004.

Chisholm came within a seat of forming the province's first NDP government in 1998.

Bernard Valcourt, who served in cabinet under former prime minister Brian Mulroney, won the New Brunswick riding of Madawaska-Restigouche.

Native leader Peter Penashue dealt a setback to the Liberals in Labrador, taking that riding for the Tories in an upset. Todd Russell had held that riding for the Liberals since a 2005 byelection.

Liberal MP Scott Andrews held off Fabian Manning, a former federal Tory who left the Senate to run for the party again in the Newfoundland riding of Avalon.

Andrews also beat Manning in the 2008 election, aided by former premier Danny Williams's so-called Anyone But Conservative campaign.

Conservative cabinet ministers Peter MacKay, Gail Shea and Keith Ashfield were re-elected.

The Liberals have won the most seats in the region in every federal election since 1997.

The federal election comes five months before two provincial elections in the region. Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island have scheduled votes in October.

At dissolution throughout the region, the Liberals held 17 seats, the Tories had 11 and the NDP four.

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