Polls have closed in Atlantic Canada and results from the region's 32 seats are starting to pour in from Elections Canada. Voting continues in other areas of the country as Canadians take part in this unprecedented pandemic election.
The Atlantic region has been a Liberal stronghold for the last two election cycles — the party swept every seat there in 2015 and dropped only five in 2019.
Results from Newfoundland and Labrador and the Maritimes could signal how Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and his team will fare elsewhere tonight.
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole, who has appointed a number of Maritimers to senior roles in the party, is on track to do better than his recent predecessors in this region. Former prime minister Stephen Harper was shut out of Atlantic Canada in 2015 while his successor, Andrew Scheer, picked up only four seats in the 2019 contest — three in New Brunswick and one in Nova Scotia.
O'Toole, who pitched a more moderate form of conservatism than previous Conservative leaders, has already outperformed both Harper and Scheer in Atlantic Canada.
According to the CBC News Decision Desk, Conservative candidates have been declared elected in five of the region's ridings. The Conservative candidate in Cumberland-Colchester, Stephen Ellis, has defeated Liberal incumbent Lenore Zann.
With about 300,000 ballots counted so far, the Liberals have 43 per cent of the ballots cast, the Conservatives have about 34 per cent and the NDP has nearly 17 per cent of the vote share. The Green Party has captured two per cent of the ballots cast so far, while the People's Party of Canada (PPC) has more than four per cent of all votes.
The first projected winner of the 44th general election was Liberal incumbent Seamus O'Regan, who serves as natural resources minister in Trudeau's cabinet. Dominic LeBlanc, another Liberal cabinet minister, has also been projected as the winner in his Beauséjour riding in New Brunswick.
Another prominent Liberal, Sean Fraser, the parliamentary secretary to the finance minister, has held off his Conservative challenger in the riding of Central Nova, a seat that was once held by former Progressive Conservative leader Peter MacKay.
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