Lindsey keeps Flin Flon NDP orange

132 votes the difference as Progressive Conservative wave fails to reach constituency

New Democrat Tom Lindsey has been elected MLA of the Flin Flon constituency, narrowly surviving a Progressive Conservative surge that swept across much of Manitoba.

With all polls reporting, Lindsey finished election night Tuesday with 33 per cent of the popular vote. His 1,080 votes put him 132 tallies ahead of Angela Enright of the Progressive Conservatives, who garnered 948 votes, or 29 per cent.

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In third place with 917 votes (28 per cent) was Leslie Beck of the Liberals. Independent incumbent Clarence Pettersen was a distant fourth with 355 votes (11 per cent), ending his career in provincial politics after a single term. Pettersen had earlier lost the NDP nomination to Lindsey.

Brian Pallister's PCs were elected in 40 ridings. That gave the right-leaning party a strong majority in the 57-seat legislature, where 29 seats are required for a majority.

The NDP was elected in 14 ridings. The party will form the official opposition, ending a 16-and-a-half-year run in power. The Liberals took three ridings, but leader Rana Bokhari failed in her bid to win a seat.

NDP losses included its former northern Manitoba strongholds of Thompson and Keewatinook. PC Kelly Bindle took Thompson away from veteran MLA and cabinet minister Steve Ashton while Liberal Judy Klassen snagged Keewatinook from Eric Robinson.

In The Pas, NDP incumbent Amanda Lathlin beat back a serious challenge from Doug Lauvstad of the PCs, winning by 185 votes.

Greg Selinger has resigned as NDP leader, a position he assumed in 2009. Selinger had led the NDP to its highest seat count ever in 2011, but his government's decision to raise the PST two years later marked the start of a controversy from which he never recovered.

The Reminder will have much more on the election, including reaction from the candidates, in our Friday print edition.

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