Rural Manitoba’s commitment to the Progressive Conservatives wasn’t shaken this election, but the north was a different story with an NDP sweep, according to CBC News projections.
Historically, most rural Manitobans have voted blue.
The north is a different story, though. In 2016, voters in Keewatinook elected Liberal MLA Judy Klassen after decades of NDP leadership. But Klassen has moved on to run federally for the Liberals in the riding of Churchill-Keewatinook Aski.
CBC News projects the NDP candidate Ian Bushie will take the seat. He faced Jason Harper with the Manitoba Liberals.
In Thompson, CBC News projects New Democrat Danielle Adams will triumph over PC candidate Kelly Bindle.
In The Pas-Kameesak, CBC News projects the NDP candidate Amanda Lathlin will take the seat over opponent, PC candidate Ron Evans.
Christopher Adams, a political analyst with the University of Manitoba, believes the NDP solidified its hold on northern Manitoba. It also took back some other key places from the last election such as St. James, St. Vital and Transcona, while keeping the Liberals and Greens at bay.
“We have the centre-left in this campaign fragmented across three parties… NDP should feel happy about they outcome tonight,” he said.
Meanwhile, the City of Brandon is split into three different ridings — Brandon East, Brandon West and Spruce Woods and CBC News projects the Tory candidates will take them all.
Tory incumbent Reg Helwer in Brandon West defeated Nick Brown of the NDP, Robert Brown of the Greens and Liberal Sunday Frangi.
CBC projected a close race in Brandon East. The NDP held the seat prior to 2016, and have recruited a popular city councillor, Lonnie Patterson. In 2016, PC candidate Len Isleifson defeated his NDP opponent by just 1,135 votes.
In Spruce Woods, the newest Brandon riding, Cliff Cullen of the PCs ran against New Democrat Justin Shannon, Liberal Jennifer Harcus and Green candidate Gordon Beddome.
Ministers defending seats
A number of Progressive Conservative cabinet ministers are projected to win their rural seats.
In the riding of Red River North, Tory Jeff Wharton of the PCs is projected by CBC News to defeat New Democrat Chris Pullen and Liberal Noel Ngo.
CBC News projects Tory incumbent Cameron Friesen will be re-elected in Morden-Winkler. The other candidates vying for the riding were Robin Dalloo of the NDP, Liberal David Mintz and Mike Urichuk of the Greens.
In Steinbach, Kelvin Goertzen of the PCs is projected to keep the riding he’s held since 2003.
All but one Tory cabinet minister will be back at the legislature, save for Colleen Mayer, who lost in St. Vital to the New Democrat Jamie Moses.
Graydon running as Independent
Cliff Graydon, the embattled southern Manitoba MLA who was ousted from the Manitoba Progressive Conservative caucus in 2018, ran as an independent this time.
In the newly named riding of Borderland, formerly known as Emerson, CBC News projects Graydon will lose to PC Josh Guenter. He was also up against Liz Cronk of the NDP, Liberal Loren Braul, and Ken Henry with the Green Party.