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The power of incumbency: Political leaders in Canada keep getting re-elected

Since 2011, most of Canada's first ministers have been re-elected - even if the polls made it seem unlikely. In the last two years, eight of nine first ministers were re-elected.

1 of 9

May 2, 2011. Let's start at the top. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was re-elected two years ago - this time with a majority, after two short minority governments. The Conservatives had steadily improved in seat count in each election since 2006.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

2 of 9

Oct. 3, 2011: Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz was re-elected, only losing a couple of seats in the process. His Liberals still hold nearly every seat in the legislature since they first won power in 2007.


3 of 9

Oct. 4, 2011: The next day, Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger's NDP is re-elected. (To be fair, though, it was Mr. Selinger's first election as leader.) The party has been in power since 1999.

Trevor Hagan/The Canadian Press

4 of 9

Oct. 6, 2011: And only a couple of days later (it was a busy week), Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is re-elected. The Liberals were one seat shy of getting a majority, though, and Mr. McGuinty resigned a year later. The Liberals have been in charge since 2003.


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Oct. 11, 2011: And a week later, the Progressive Conservatives were re-elected in Newfoundland and Labrador. The 2011 contest was Kathy Dunderdale's first as leader, after her predecessor's successes in 2003 and 2007.


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Nov. 7, 2011: Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and his Saskatchewan Party were re-elected. The man who is consistently voted the country's most popular premier first won office in 2007.

Chad Hipolito/The Globe and Mail

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April 23, 2012: Alberta Premier Alison Redford fought and won her first election as party leader, but her Progressive Conservatives have reigned for more than 40 years. Polls had consistently put them far behind the opposition Wildrose, but you know what they say - the only poll that counts is the one on election day.


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Sept. 4, 2012: Oops, wrong list. Former Quebec premier Jean Charest failed to win re-election in 2012 (the only party to lose government in the last two years). But his Liberals did do better than polls had suggested, keeping the Parti Québécois to a minority amid student protests and scandals.

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

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May 14, 2013: B.C. Premier Christy Clark's Liberals were re-elected. The party, which has been in power since 2001, hadn't led in polls in more than a year, but no one told the province's voters.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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