Recount gives NDP historic seat total

The New Democratic Party has captured one more seat in Quebec after a judicial recount of ballots from the May 2 federal election determined its candidate upended a Conservative incumbent by nine votes.

Conservative Bernard Généreux was declared the winner on election night in the eastern Quebec riding of Montmagny–L'Islet–Kamouraska–Rivière-du-Loup, with a 110-vote lead over the NDP's François Lapointe.

But a tabulation error awarded about 100 NDP votes to the Green Party, and when the results were validated the next day, Lapointe came out on top by five votes.

The narrow victory margin prompted a judicial recount that began Wednesday and concluded Friday evening with Lapointe being confirmed the winner by the nine votes.

Elections Canada calls in a judge every time the margin of victory is less than a thousandth of the total votes cast.

With Lapointe's triumph, the Official Opposition NDP have 59 seats in Quebec and 103 overall. The governing Tories now have five in the province and 166 overall.

The extra seat ties the NDP with Joe Clark's Progressive Conservatives from 1980 as the largest ever Official Opposition to a majority government.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was said to be waiting for the results of the recount before settling on the composition of his next cabinet. He now has fewer options for ministers from Quebec.

Elections Canada said Friday that there would also be a judicial recount in Winnipeg North, where Liberal incumbent Kevin Lamoureux defeated New Democrat Rebecca Blaikie by just 45 votes on May 2. That recount will start Monday.

Automatic recounts were already slated for Etobicoke Centre in Toronto, where Conservative Ted Opitz leads Liberal incumbent Borys Wrzesnewskyj by 25 votes, and the Ontario riding of Nipissing–Timiskaming, where Tory candidate Jay Aspin holds a 15-vote lead over Liberal Anthony Rota.

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