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Progressive Conservatives claim victory in PEI election

PEI becomes the fifth province in Canada to elect a right-of-centre government in the past year, with Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Alberta all preceding Tuesday's vote.

Canada’s smallest province will see a new government after the PEI Progressive Conservatives won the most seats, ending 12 years of Liberal government.

This result comes amid a huge surge in support for the Green Party of PEI, which lifted them from a minor third party to official opposition — knocking the Liberals down to third place for the first time ever.

The Progressive Conservatives, led by rookie leader Dennis King, took 12 out of 27 seats in the legislature.

“Welcome to a new day in Prince Edward Island!” King said.

“Welcome to a new era of Island politics. Welcome to the tremendous honour and the tremendous responsibility of governing.”

The Greens, led by veteran leader Peter Bevan-Baker, made history by securing 8 seats, up from just one in 2015.

“Islanders responded (to us) by granting us a record number of seats — by far the most seats ever by a Green party in Canada,” Bevan-Baker said.

The Liberals, led by incumbent Premier Wade MacLauchlan, won only 6 seats, reducing the Liberals to third-party status.

MacLauchlan and six cabinet ministers lost their own seats. MacLauchlan has since stepped down as Liberal leader.

The PC victory comes after months of polls suggested the Greens had a huge lead, significantly different than the unofficial results which report that the PCs got 36.5% of the popular vote, the Greens 30.6%, and the Liberals 29.5%.

King has indicated that he intends to not seek a coalition with the other parties for the time being.

Voting did not come without its difficulties. One district has had its election postponed due to the death of a candidate — another saw a bomb threat close the only polling station for several hours.

PEI becomes the fifth province in Canada to elect a right-of-centre government in the past year, with Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Alberta all preceding Tuesday’s vote.

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