Liberal leader officially loses seat

Jennifer Pelley
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

The province's Liberal leader has lost his seat in the legislature after a judicial recount showed that he racked up even less votes than had originally been counted.

Supreme Court Judge Kendra Goulding ruled late last week in Grand Falls-Windsor that Gerry Reid lost the seat for The Isles of Notre Dame to Tory Derrick Dalley by 12 votes - five more than had been noted immediately following the Oct. 9 election.

George Murphy, representing Tory Derrick Dalley, and Alonzo Stringer with the chief electoral office, are pictured in the Supreme Court in Grand Falls-Windsor with the boxes containing the ballots from 39 polling stations for The Isles of Notre Dame.

The province's Liberal leader has lost his seat in the legislature after a judicial recount showed that he racked up even less votes than had originally been counted.

Supreme Court Judge Kendra Goulding ruled late last week in Grand Falls-Windsor that Gerry Reid lost the seat for The Isles of Notre Dame to Tory Derrick Dalley by 12 votes - five more than had been noted immediately following the Oct. 9 election.

"You can relax now," said Mr. Dalley's lawyer, George Murphy, talking to his client via Blackberry after court was adjourned. "You won by 12 votes. The ironic thing is that if they had counted that way on election night, we wouldn't have had to go through this process."

The process Mr. Murphy was referring to is the automatic judicial recount that is required in instances when there is a margin of 10 votes or less between candidates. After Oct. 9, it was reported Mr. Dalley won 2,371 votes, while Mr. Reid received 2,364.

It was determined Wednesday that Mr. Dalley won 2,376 of the votes cast, while Mr. Reid received 2,364. Thirty-nine ballot boxes were recounted, as were several hundred special ballots.

"I think it is clear from my rulings that Derrick Dalley is the winner, especially since most of my decisions (related to ballots of potential concern) were in favour of Gerry Reid," said Judge Goulding.

Mr. Dalley's win marks one of the only times since Confederation that area of the province has voted Tory. In 1982, the then-district of Twillingate elected a Progressive Conservative, and in 1989 the then-district of Fogo did the same.

Since the union of both districts in 1996, Mr. Reid has held the seat.

Mr. Reid's upset leaves the floundering provincial Liberal Party, which won only three out of 48 seats, with a leader who is basically a bystander in the House of Assembly.

Court proceedings for a judicial recount are tedious but Mr. Murphy said there weren't any mayor surprises. In this particular case, about 4,500 ballots were counted and examined over the course of a day-and-a-half.

"Derrick Dalley has waited a long time to be declared the MHA, but this process had to happen," said Mr. Murphy.

Neither Mr. Dalley nor Mr. Reid was present in court on Grand Falls-Windsor during the recount. Mr. Dalley was working at the Inter-Island Academy in Summerford, where he is principal and was represented in court by his lawyer and campaign manager, Ross Kendall.

No legal counsel or Liberal representatives were present on behalf of Mr. Reid.

Judge Goulding indicated both candidates had been notified by the court that they were entitled to attend, and in their absence they could send up to three scrutineers to represent them.

This election marked the second time the two candidates met, the first being in 2003 with very different results. Mr. Reid won that election by about 600 votes.

Organizations: Supreme Court, Liberal Party, Inter-Island Academy

Geographic location: Grand Falls-Windsor, Notre Dame, Twillingate Fogo Summerford

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments