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

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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.

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.