by Shayn T. Furthur

The Prince Edward Island Liberal Party cruised to an easy victory last night, defeating the governing Progressive Conservatives. They won 23 seats to the PCs 4.

When asked by reporters whether he expected a win as large as the one voters gave to him, Liberal leader and premier-elect Robert Ghiz admitted he was surprised by the turn-out but that he had felt the need for change grow throughout the campaign. Last night’s election overturned Pat Binn’s long-serving government.

“We’re going to move this province forward over the next four years to make sure that all Islanders get equal treatment,” Liberal Leader Ghiz told party faithful in his victory speech.

The polls swung in the campaign, originally favouring the PCs but a surprisingly confident Liberal team managed to succeed in winning over the public’s trust by the middle of the campaign. They ran on promises to increase the amount of doctors on the island and to spend more on education.

Political commentators on all sides of the spectrum found fault in the PCs platform of big capital expenditures that were not well defined and murky on what their cost would be.

Voter turnout, typically one of the highest of Canada’s provincial elections, was 83.4%, up one point from the last election. The final numbers were the Liberals with 23 seats at 52.93% of the vote, the PCs with 4 seats at 41.43% of ballots cast, the Greens with no seats at 3.04% of the vote, and the NDP with 1.96%.

Ghiz will be sworn in as the province’s 37th premier on June 13. PC leader Binns has made no comment about his political future to date.

For more information, please go to the Elections PEI website.

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