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Recount confirms NDP win in Quebec riding

New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jack Layton speaks during a news conference in Toronto, May 3, 2011. Layton will form the official opposition party to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's majority win in Monday's federal election.

MIKE CASSESE/REUTERS

A judicial recount confirmed an NDP victory by a nine-vote margin in the Quebec riding of Montmagny-L'Islet-Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup Friday evening.

The day after the May 2 election, Conservative incumbent MP Bernard Généreux was declared defeated by NDP candidate François Lapointe after the first vote count.

Mr. Généreux had initially been declared the winner on election night, with a 110-vote lead over Mr. Lapointe. But the next day, when the result was to be validated, the NDP newcomer appeared to have won, outpacing the Conservative incumbent by just five votes.

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That miniscule margin prompted a vote-by-vote recount of the 48,225 ballots. That process started Wednesday morning at the Rivière-du-Loup court house.

Mr. Généreux was first elected to the House of Commons in a November. 2009 by-election.

Elections Canada calls in a judge every time the margin of victory is less than a thousandth of the total votes cast.

The Prime Minister was likely awaiting this result before making a final decision on the composition of his cabinet, which has not yet been announced.

Without Mr. Généreux, Stephen Harper has only five Quebec MPs from whom to choose ministers.

The riding is a smattering of rural areas and small towns on the south shore of the St. Lawrence river, 200 kilometres northeast of Quebec City.

Also on Friday, Canada's chief electoral officer says there will be a judicial recount in a Winnipeg riding the Liberals won in last week's federal election.

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Incumbent Kevin Lamoureux edged out New Democrat Rebecca Blaikie by just 45 votes in Winnipeg North.

Elections Canada says the recount will start Monday under the direction of a judge from Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench.



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