Wab Kinew, leader of the Manitoba NDP, was grinning in defeat as he conceded the 2019 provincial election. The Progressive Conservatives are on track to form a majority government, likely with at least 34 seats.
“I don't think we were defeated tonight,” the NDP leader said to open his speech inside the Met Hotel in Winnipeg.
The NDP had strong gains in the north, flipping two ridings, flipping one riding from the PCs and one from the Manitoba Liberals.
Kinew hammered his healthcare message, claiming the projected seat gains the NDP has made show support for his brand.
“There will be tough times ahead,” Kinew said.
“Mr. Pallister called this election early because the full impact of his cuts to healthcare have not yet been felt. We will be there each and every day, holding him accountable and asking him to do better when it comes to health care, because the seat pickups we gained tonight show Manitoba wants much better from their healthcare system than they've seen.”
As of 10:20 p.m., NDP candidate Tom Lindsey was well in front, ahead of PC challenger Theresa Wride. Liberal James Lindsay and Green Saara Murnick are well behind the two frontrunners.
“Over the next four years, we are going to work hard every day,” Kinew said.
“Four years from now, we are going to take Manitoba back and form an NDP government.”