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Fogo Island-Cape Freels swings blue with PC candidate Jim McKenna’s win

The Newfoundland and Labrador general election was held May 16. (Lukas Wall/CBC - image credit)

The Newfoundland and Labrador general election was held May 16. (Lukas Wall/CBC – image credit)

The Newfoundland and Labrador general election was held May 16.

The Newfoundland and Labrador general election was held May 16.

The Newfoundland and Labrador general election was held May 16. (Lukas Wall/CBC)

PC candidate Jim McKenna has won the Fogo Island-Cape Freels byelection, flipping the seat from red to blue.

According to Elections N.L.’s numbers, McKenna received 3,290 votes, defeating Liberal candidate Dana Blackmore who received 2,244 votes — securing 58 per cent of the vote to Blackmore’s 39 per cent.

In a distant third was NDP candidate Jim Gill, who garnered just 169 votes, accounting for three per cent of the vote.

The byelection was called after the district’s former MHA, Liberal cabinet minister Derrick Bragg, died in mid-January, after announcing in mid-2023 that he had been diagnosed with tongue cancer.

Bragg had been MHA of the district since it was created in 2015 with parts of former districts Bonavista North, Lewisporte and the Isles of Notre Dame as well as part of the Terra Nova district.

The district includes Fogo Island and the Change Islands, communities on Newfoundland’s northeast coast from Cape Freels to Hare Bay, as well as the Dog Bay and Gander Bay areas.

Polls were open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. NT.

Earlier this year, Fred Hutton, a former journalist and advisor to Premier Andrew Furey, won a byelection for the Liberals in Conception Bay East-Bell Island, a seat that was vacated after former interim PC leader David Brazil announced he was leaving politics for health reasons.

Heading into Monday’s byelections, the Liberals held 22 of the 40 seats in the House of Assembly. The Progressive Conservatives held 11, the NDP held three seats, and Independents held two.

Apart from Fogo Island-Cape Freels, one other seat is vacant. Brian Warr, a Liberal who represented Baie Verte-Green Bay, announced his retirement in February.

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