May 23, 2015


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Polls close in Fort Whyte

Polls have closed in the Fort Whyte byelection in Winnipeg, in which Manitoba's new Opposition leader hopes to secure a seat.

Fort Whyte is considered a safe Tory seat and the party is running its new leader, Brian Pallister, against the NDP's Brandy Schmidt and the Liberals' Bob Axworthy, and Donnie Benham for the Green Party.  Darrell Ackman is also on the ballot as an Independent candidate.

John Cianflone casts his vote in the Fort Whyte byelection at the Linden Woods Community Centre polling station Tuesday morning.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

John Cianflone casts his vote in the Fort Whyte byelection at the Linden Woods Community Centre polling station Tuesday morning. Photo Store

Pallister was acclaimed as the party's new leader in July.

Former Progressive Conservative leader Hugh McFadyen stepped down in July after failing to improve Tory fortunes in last year's election, leaving the Fort Whyte constituency open.

There are currently 37 New Democrats, 18 Progressive Conservatives, one Liberal and the vacancy in the Manitoba legislature.

The NDP has held a majority in Manitoba since 1999.

On the ballot

Brian Pallister (Progressive Conservative) Pallister is the new leader of the party and a former MLA and MP. Before taking the reins of the PC party, he was a financial consultant based in Portage la Prairie.

Brandy Schmidt (NDP) A relative newcomer to politics, Schmidt works for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada as manager of community engagement.

Bob Axworthy (Liberal) The younger brother of former Manitoba Liberal MP Lloyd Axworthy, he's a businessman and longtime Liberal activist.

Donnie Benham (Green party) Benham, son of former Winnipeg city councillor Donald Benham, ran in Tuxedo in the 2011 provincial election. He works in security at the airport.

Darrell Ackman (Independent) Ackman was charged earlier this year with recruiting girls to appear in porn and work in the sex trade. He is out on bail with a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and is prohibited from contacting women under 18.

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