New Brunswick voters shun Premier Bernard Lord

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Voters in the Canadian province of New Brunswick narrowly defeated the Progresive Conservative government of Premier Bernard Lord giving Shawn Graham's Liberals a narrow upset victory in yesterday's general election.

While the Tories edged the Liberals in the popular vote by a margin of 47.65% to 47.00%, the Liberals will form a majority government having won 29 seats to the Conservatives' 26 while the New Democratic Party was shut out. Graham, 38, will become premier displacing Lord, 40, who held the office for two terms. Lord becomes the first New Bruwnswick premier to fail to win a third term since the 1950s.

"Welcome to a new era for our province," said Graham in his victory speech. "It is with great humility tonight that I accept this mandate from the people of New Brunswick."

"But the first thing we will do is bring back the pride of New Brunswickers," he said. "Today, New Brunswickers made a choice and that choice was change. You have chosen hope. We can not wait another day. We have worked to earn your trust and now we will work to keep your trust."

Lord accepted the result telling his supporters that "serving as Premier for the last seven years has been an honour and a privilege. I was hoping that we had the energy [to win] but in the end I accept the decision of the people of New Brunswick."

In the election, the Liberals picked up two seats from the Tories in northern New Brunswick where the government had made several controversial hospital closings.


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