The Brian Pallister victory was thorough and his victory for the Progressive Conservatives shows the party is strong not only in rural Manitoba but suburban Winnipeg.
Key suburban ridings won in 2016 stuck with Pallister in Decision Manitoba 2019.
If Winnipeg is a dart board, the ridings on the edge of the city continued to turn Tory.
This has already been established in southwest Winnipeg for several elections but in the vote-rich ridings of Riel, Seine River and Southdale, the PCs prevailed this time around too.
Same story in the north and northeast where redistribution of Manitoba ridings has married the wealthier areas of East and West St. Paul to neighbourhood growth in the city’s north and northeast.
It means more votes for Progressive Conservatives and likely why Shannon Martin (PC) won McPhillips.
This trend almost prevailed in Transcona where the NDP margin of victory was only 125 votes.
David McLaughlin, campaign manager for the Pallister campaign, says a key promise to solidifying that vote is to reduce the reliance of education on property taxes.
For suburban homeowners, taxes matter, and McLaughlin says it was a key to the campaign now and for holding those seats in the years to come.
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The NDP victories in St. Vital, Fort Garry and St. James helped retain and regain their base toward the centre of that target.
Two Winnipeg School Trustees won for the NDP in Wolseley (Lisa Naylor) and Fort Garry (Mark Wasyliw). But that’s it. If the NDP are to win again they need to appeal to suburban voters where childcare, taxes, and education are key issues.
The Liberals have three strong local candidates – including Leader Dougald Lamont – holding St. Boniface, but their popular vote in Winnipeg was still not high enough to achieve the four seats needed to retain official party status in the Manitoba Legislature.
Outside Winnipeg, the two ridings of Dauphin and Swan River are key holds for the Pallister team, as is winning both Brandon ridings.
NDP Leader Wab Kinew has his work cut out for him to connect with these rural voters if he hopes to become premier.
The north is a natural stronghold for the NDP and they were able to take seats back after Tory and a Liberal victory in 2016.
But unless Kinew can find a way to connect with some rural voters and win seats in suburban Winnipeg, he will be destined to remain Leader of the Opposition in the Manitoba Legislature.
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