Newfoundland and Labrador NDP Party files for recount after losing seat—by just 53 votes
Alison Coffin, leader of Newfoundland and Labrador's NDP, has requested a recount in her district after losing her seat in the provincial election by just 53 votes. The party has been reduced to just 2 seats in the province.
Coffin lost her seat to Liberal John Abbott in the St. John's East-Quidi Vidi district, which has been an NDP stronghold for sometime; Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi, the riding's predecessor, shows strong NDP support from as early as the 1990s.
"Whether or not it makes a difference in terms of the result, it's important for the sake of democracy that we verify the result," said Party president Kyle Rees.
The Newfoundland election was controversial from the beginning. The province's chief electoral officer, Bruce Chaulk, cancelled in-person voting one day before the scheduled Feb. 13 election, instead making mail-in ballots mandatory.
The Canadian Press reports how the NDP raised concerns about an "unprecedented" number of ballots being labelled as spoiled, nothing that those who hadn't signed their declarations in cursive writing, or had written "I vote for" before the name of their chosen candidate were tossed aside.
Rees said the recount will reveal whether such concerns were justified. "We believe they will," he said.
Ches Crosbie, the Conservative leader, also lost his seat in Windsor Lake to Liberal candidate John Hogan. He resigned as head of the party this week.
Although not as comfortable a majority as initially expected, Liberal Leader Andrew Furey won 22 of the province's 40 seats.