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Kinew keeps seat, NDP set to be official opposition

Last Updated Sep 10, 2019 at 11:27 pm CST

WINNIPEG – NDP Leader Wab Kinew has been re-elected in the constituency of Fort Rouge in the Manitoba election.

The seat south of downtown Winnipeg has long been an NDP stronghold.

The New Democrats were on track to improve on the 14 seats won in 2016, remaining as the official opposition and winning back some of the core support that had abandoned them three years earlier.

Kinew spoke to party faithful from the NDP election headquarters, telling them he had congratulated PC Leader Brian Pallister on winning a second majority government in Manitoba. Kinew said the phone call to Pallister was a “local call”, poking fun at the premier for his vacation home in Costa Rica.

“I’m feeling pretty good tonight,” Kinew told supporters. “The people of Manitoba have given us an awesome job.”

Kinew said the extra seats are a message of support and a shot across Pallister’s bow.

“The seats that we took back made it very clear that Manitobans want us, the New Democrats, to not only be the conscience of Manitoba, not only to be the opposition of Manitoba but to be the progressive voice for Manitoba,” he said to cheers.

Kinew ran on a promise of more money for health, education, infrastructure, and social programs and accused the PCs of implementing health changes that made the system more chaotic.

He said his party will set its sights on working hard for the province over the next four years and looking to earn an NDP government come the next election.

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The election broke new ground for diversity. Manitoba has never had a black MLA but that changed Tuesday when the NDP’s Uzoma Asagwara won in the riding of Union Station.

The party’s Jamie Moses stole the hotly-contested riding of St. Vital, booting PC cabinet minister Colleen Mayer.

Kinew will face a mandatory party leadership review.