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Conservative supporters watch as election results come in night in Calgary, Alta, Monday, May 2, 2011. (JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Conservative supporters watch as election results come in night in Calgary, Alta, Monday, May 2, 2011. (JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Winnipeg an easy win for Tories Add to ...

The winds of change that swept the nation last night slowed to a mild breeze in Manitoba, where the Conservatives maintained their dominance of the province's rural southern ridings.

Of 14 ridings, only two were not easily won by an incumbent and both went to the new majority government.

In Winnipeg South Centre, incumbent Liberal MP Anita Neville appeared to be unseated by Joyce Bateman, a former Liberal who switched to the Conservative Party.

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And in Elmwood-Transcona, NDP incumbent Jim Maloway lost to Conservative candidate Lawrence Toet.

Rebecca Blaikie, whose father, Bill, was an NDP MP from 1979 to 2008, narrowly lost the riding of Winnipeg North to Liberal Kevin Lamoureux, who had held the seat since a by-election last year.

"People appreciate hard work," said Mr. Lamoureux.

He said his campaign suffered from the Liberal's poor showing across the country, but praised his constituents for prioritizing local issues.

"In an ideal world it would be great if the Liberal popularity was at 50 per cent," he said. "I wasn't going up against Rebecca Blaikie, it was the NDP. They've always been my competition."

Ms. Blaikie said she had been honoured to participate in such a historical election for the NDP, during which her father canvassed on her behalf.

"He's been putting up signs and knocking on doors. It's a bit of a role reversal," she said.

Mr. Blaikie said he was enjoying his party's surge across the country, although he had been focused on Winnipeg North both "politically and parentally."

"I wish it had happened earlier," he said of the NDP's success nationally. "But I'm just happy it's happening."

Other well-known names across the province easily maintained their ridings.

Vic Toews, who served as Minister of Public Safety in the most recent Conservative government, held his seat in Provencher, as did Steven Fletcher in Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia.

NDP Pat Martin held on to Winnipeg-Centre while his party colleague Niki Ashton easily won the large northern riding of Churchill.

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