Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Pallister wins Fort Whyte byelection in convincing style

  • Print

Tory Leader Brian Pallister won the Fort Whyte byelection in convincing style last night leaving the competition in the dust.

Mostly.

Only rival Liberal Bob Axworthy managed to nip at his heels early in the vote count.

Pallister finished with 2,450 votes; Aworthy 1,620 votes. The NDP finished a distant third with 548 votes with 50 of 54 polls reporting.

The victory means the 58-year-old Pallister will have a front-row seat in the legislature when the Premier Greg Selinger’s NDP government recalls the House this fall.

It also means Pallister now has his work cut out for him if he wants to convince the rest of the province that he should be Manitoba’s next premier. The NDP have been in power since 1999.

"I’m deeply honored to have the opportunity to represent the great people of Fort Whyte," Pallister said in a short victory speech to his supporters. "I really appreciate their support very much, but I must tell all of them that tomorrow morning I will represent everyone in Fort Whyte to the best of my ability as if they were a supporter."

Pallister has time on his side as the next provincial election is scheduled for Oct. 6, 2015. Should Canada see a federal election at the same time, however, Manitobans will instead go to the polls April 19, 2016.

Pallister was the lone candidate for his party’s leadership. He assumed the post on July 30. He replaced Hugh McFadyen, who announced immediately following the Conservatives’ poor showing in last October’s general election that he would step down as leader. McFadyen resignation as Fort Whyte MLA took effect July 30.

Liberal candidate Bob Axworthy took consolation at finishing second.

"The results aren't over but we beat the NDP tonight," he told a small but noisy reception at the Caboto Centre.

"We showed Manitobans what a true Liberal party can do in this province. And we will continue to do that."

Pallister’s win comes as no surprise as voters in Fort Whyte have consistently, if not overwhelmingly, voted Tory since the riding was created in 1999.

Pallister doesn’t live in the constituency, but that didn’t bother most Fort Whyte voters.

Pallister and his wife Esther live in neighbouring Charleswood with their two daughters, Quinn and Shawn.

He’s also no stranger to politics. He was an MLA and cabinet minister in former premier Gary Filmon’s PC government until 1997 and served as an MP for Portage-Lisgar before resigning in 2008 to focus on his family and financial business.

Pallister’s website says before he left office he championed legislation to protect the rights of women on First Nations, public safety initiatives for railway cars, guidelines to empower employee service improvements and balanced budget legislation to protect taxpayers.

Before politics, he was a high school teacher in Gladstone and served as union rep for the Manitoba Teachers Society.

An avid curler, his rink won the Manitoba mixed curling championship in 2000.

NDP candidate Brandy Schmidt, 30, finished a distant third. She said she knew going into the race that she was in for a tough fight.

"We knew it was a Conservative riding coming in. We were just looking to have a strong showing and to show the folks that there was a choice," she said after speaking to a gathering of close to 100 NDP supporters at a restaurant in the constituency.

The former community engagement manager for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada in Manitoba said she would be willing to represent her party again in a future election.

History

Updated on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 8:45 PM CDT: Updates with half of polls reporting

8:56 PM: Adds with Pallister winning seat

9:12 PM: Updates with final tally

9:36 PM: Updates with Schmidt reaction

9:49 PM: Adds Pallister quotes

9:56 PM: Adds quotes from Bob Axworthy

10:12 PM: Updates photo

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Your top TV picks for this week - December 8-12

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 070619 LIGHTNING ILLUMINATES AN ABANDONED GRAIN ELEVATOR IN THE VILLAGE OF SANFORD ABOUT 10PM TUESDAY NIGHT AS A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS PASSED NEAR WINNIPEG JUST TO THE NORTH OF THIS  SITE.
  • Hay bales sit under a rainbow just west of Winnipeg Saturday, September 3, 2011.(John Woods/Winnipeg Free Press)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on the Jets so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google