OTTAWA — The Liberals are dominating early returns in Atlantic Canada but it’s not quite the sweep that painted the entire region red in 2015.
Early results have the Liberals leading in 25 of the region’s 32 ridings, the Conservatives in five, the NDP in one and, in something of a surprise, the Greens in one: Fredericton.
However, only a handful of polls are reporting in some ridings and some of the races are extremely tight.
The Liberals had never expected to repeat their 2015 sweep of Atlantic Canada. But they can’t afford to sustain many losses and hold onto power.
Polls have suggested that the Liberals and Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives finished the 40-day campaign in a dead heat, with neither in position to win a majority of seats in the House of Commons.
So far, it appears that five Liberal cabinet ministers in the region are headed for re-election: Newfoundland and Labrador’s Seamus O’Regan, New Brunswick’s Dominic LeBlanc and Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Nova Scotia’s Bernadette Jordan and Prince Edward Island’s Lawrence MacAulay.
The Liberals are ahead in six of the seven ridings in Newfoundland and Labrador, where polls closed half an hour before they did in the rest of the region. In the seventh, St. John’s East, former New Democrat MP Jack Harris is convincingly ahead of Liberal Nick Whalen.
The Liberals are also leading in all four of P.E.I.’s ridings.
In New Brunswick, the Liberals are ahead in five ridings, the Tories in four, while Green candidate Jenica Atwin is leading in Fredericton.
In Nova Scotia, the Liberals are leading in 10 to the Conservatives’ one.