Conservatives make inroads in Atlantic Canada, but Liberal fortress remains strong

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HALIFAX — Voters in Atlantic Canada loosened Justin Trudeau's grip on the region Monday by delivering a handful of new seats to the Conservatives, signalling a mild rebuke of the Liberal leader's decision to call an election during the pandemic's fourth wave.

In the six years since Trudeau won a majority government in 2015, the Liberals' dominance on the East Coast has slipped from controlling all 32 seats after that election to 26 seats in 2019 — and the slide continued on Monday.

With the vote counting winding down across the region, Liberals were elected in 23 of the region's ridings, the Tories had won seven seats — a gain of three — and the NDP lost its only seat: St. John's East in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The outcome in the two New Brunswick ridings remained uncertain.

The Conservatives, led by Erin O'Toole, held on to their traditional strongholds in southern New Brunswick, and the party scored gains in two Liberal-held ridings in Nova Scotia and one in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Meanwhile, Jagmeet Singh's New Democrats were expected to do well in the Halifax area, but Singh's steady popularity in the polls didn't translate to votes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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