Labrador accepts Peter Penashue’s resignation

One explanation for the Liberal victory: the return of a decent number of party members


With 84 of 91 polls reporting, Liberal Yvonne Jones leads Peter Penashue 51.2% o 28.5%. Turnout is already at 53.5%, slightly above the 2011 election.

All things considered, the Liberals should have won here: a traditionally Liberal riding and a Conservative incumbent forced to resign amid election-spending unpleasantness. But the Liberals gain a new voice and the Conservatives suffer another bit of bad news. The real test for Justin Trudeau will come if, as expected, Denis Coderre resigns and a by-election in Bourassa is called. That would put in play a Montreal riding where the New Democrats finished a strong second in 2011.

Update 10:59pm. A statement from the Conservative party, celebrating a victory in Labrador.

As we know, majority governments do not usually win by-elections.

In fact, Liberals have won the riding of Labrador in every election in history except for two, so we are not surprised with these results.

What is surprising is the collapse of the Liberal support during this by-election.  When this by-election was called the Liberals had a 43-point lead in the polls.  Since electing Justin Trudeau as leader and having him personally campaign there, they have dropped 20 points in Labrador.  That’s a significant drop in only a few weeks.  Labradorians were able to see firsthand how Justin Trudeau is in over his head. 

I’m not sure how the Conservatives can claim the Liberals dropped 20 points in the riding. The final count gives Yvonne Jones 48.2% of vote, which is about 15 points off what Abacus gave her a month ago.

In terms of actual votes, Mr. Penashue lost 334 votes between election day in 2011 and today, this despite Stephen Harper’s assessment that Mr. Penashue was “the best member of Parliament Labrador has ever had.” Yvonne Jones, conversely, received 1,637 more votes than Todd Russell did in 2011.

Total turnout increased by 1,315 votes.

One possible explanation for tonight’s vote: a decent number of Liberal voters who stayed home in 2011 came back to the party tonight.

Update 11:58pm. Of course, given their previous comments on this by-election, Stephen Harper and Pierre Poilievre will be terribly disappointed in the Conservative party’s response.


Labrador accepts Peter Penashue’s resignation

  1. Congrats to Yvonne Jones! And good for Labrador.

  2. Peter Penashue’s such a loser he couldn’t even buy an election. Good riddance to bad Conservative rubbish.

    • I beg to differ.. he could buy an election. And apparently did.
      When prevented from doing so, however…. that’s when things fell apart for him.

  3. The Conservative response is hilarious, although predictable. Sounds like it’s pretty much hot off of Byrnes desk. It has her trade mark uber partisan stamp on it.

  4. 2006 Election: There
    was no appropriate consequence for the Conservatives (Reform Party) breaking
    Canada’s election law. Harper spent $1.3
    million more than allowed to by law, “won” the election, and paid a
    penalty of $52,000 (granted this was the highest penalty the courts were
    allowed to charge Harper with, but still, pretty low sum).

    The reward? Gaining
    access to the levers of power and deciding how to spend the Government of
    Canada’s $270.5 billion dollar budget.


  5. Giddy-up! Another win for the for democracy and Liberal’s!

  6. I love the way the Conservatives’ spin things. Have to plead guilty of election fraud and pay a large fine?. Claim victory. First bi- election under Justin Trudeau and his candidate has a resounding win? Talk about it being a loss for Justin Trudeau. I’m totally surprised they didn’t claim a Brazeau victory after Justin whipped his a**in the boxing match. Or did they? I probably just missed that email.

    • The reflexive lie at this point is just a conservative knee-jerk reaction. It’s like Rob Ford simply lying that he was ever at a hockey game yelling like an idiot. where people saw him. And took pictures.

    • “I’m totally surprised they didn’t claim a Brazeau victory after Justin whipped his a**in the boxing match”

      Whoa, not so fast there! whipped his a**? Did you ever think of how sore Justin’s knuckles must have been after that? Quite a bit, I’ll bet!

  7. So the conservatives are sticking with the mantra that Justin Trudeau is “in over his head”. Based on the results of yesterday’s bi-election in Labrador that might be an more enviable position that where Harper is in relation to alligators!!!!

    • They will say this over and over for the next two years, they will keep putting out new attack ads on that meme, and yes, some Canadians will define Justin Trudeau through those ads and talking points. But sooner or later, Canadians will be sick and tired of the Nasty Government, and some Canadians will make their own judgements and not accept the attack ads and talking points. But they will not back down on this, and in all likelihood, we can look forward to the nastiest election in history, whenever harper decides to pull his own legislated plug and call an election (it will NOT be at the legislatedt time). He either will decide to step down by the end of the year to avoid losing to a Trudeau and give time to a new CPC leader to find legs, or he will start in (and he has already) on what will be a vicious campaign, and will likely happen sooner rather than later (ie before 2015).

  8. Re the CPC press release: Classy as always, I see!
    When you strip away the spin, the message seems to be We actually expected to lose by a bigger margin. Which is understandable, given the illegal and possibly criminal behaviour of Penashue during the previous election.
    As to the 15-point drop: Maybe some of it is due to Trudeau. I suspect the bulk of it comes from people overcoming their initial outrage and returning to their party of choice, despite Penashue’s behaviour. Some may have returned for the promise of a cabinet minister; some due to the threats of what Labrador might not get if Penashue was re-elected; some simply because of the “My party right or wrong” attitude found in core supporters of all parties.
    The only real way to know is to identify the voters who switched choices during the campaign, and poll them as to why.

  9. Such an absolutely graceless concession statement as this suggests that Trudeau really is giving the Cons a bad case of the yips.

  10. The diversity of opinion on this comment thread is impressive.

    • Then offer a dissenting opinion. Add to the diversity.

      • I said that the diversity is impressive. Therefore, why would a dissenting opinion of any sort be requried?

        • My mistake, I assumed you were being sarcastic.

          You’re NEVER sarcastic.

          • I expect when you’re a right-wing forumite, this actually does seem to be a diverse set of opinions.

    • Well I for one congratulate the Conservatives on their victory last night. Indeed, Peter Penashue will continue to be a strong presence in cabinet.

  11. When I was a young city hall reporter in a small city, I possessed a wonderful power not, sadly, shared by the Ottawa media. I didn’t have to report outright lies and total craziness. I could just say, “I can’t be bothered doing a story on that”, and nobody ever questioned it.

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