It wasn’t long after the polls closed across the island that it became clear Dwight Ball, the premier-elect of Newfoundland and Labrador, was going to win the district of Humber-Gros Morne by a landslide.
By 9:30 p.m., the Liberal candidate had 2,898 votes, compared to 631 for the PC’s Graydon Pelley and 252 for NDP candidate Mike Goosney.
Pelley spoke confidently to the media during the election campaign, stating Ball could be defeated in his own district. Monday night, Pelley insisted the confidence was real, and not just campaign talk.
“Like I said before, I would never have entered this race if I never thought there was an opportunity for me to win,” said Pelley. ”I guess we’re going to look at it and say people wanted change, and change is what they voted for.”
Goosney, like his PC counterpart, expressed disappointment.
“It’s the people who make the decision and that’s where you leave it,” said Goosney. “You regroup and wake up tomorrow and start again.”
Going into election night, Goosney thought the NDP had a realistic chance at nabbing seven of the 40 seats. At the end of the night, however, the party only nabbed two: Gerry Rogers in St. John’s Centre and Lorraine Michael in Quidi Vidi.
Like most voters in Humber-Gros Morne, Judy Moores of Cormack voted for Dwight Ball. Moores, however, doesn’t consider herself a staunch Liberal supporter and votes for the individual rather than the party.
As a senior, Moores said she is concerned about seniors issues in her district, such as health-care needs.
“I’m hoping that new hospital gets on the go down in Corner Brook,” said Moores.
But Moores doesn’t think a large majority government is good for Newfoundland and Labrador.
“You need more of an opposition to ask questions,” said Moores. “But I’m starting to think it doesn’t matter, because right from here to B.C. is Liberal anyway.”
Linda Bailey from Deer Lake was more enthused about Ball’s win.
“Wahoo! He won,” she said, but adding she is “more for the man than the party.
“I just like the way he’s so forward; I can understand him,” said Bailey. “He makes me feel good when I listen to him talk … it gives me hope for the future.”
Bailey is also a senior citizen, and thinks the new Liberal government needs to look at the cost of living for the province’s aging population.