Byrne baby Byrne; Liberal incumbent Gerry Byrne glides to seventh straight election victory

Gary Kean
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CORNER BROOK — Just before the first poll reported, Gerry Byrne said he wasn’t sure how Monday’s election was going to go.

It didn’t take long for the Liberal incumbent in Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte to feel much more comfortable.

The first poll that came in showed Byrne leading Conservative Party of Canada candidate Trevor Taylor by a margin of 38-11 and that trend held as Byrne cruised to a victory that would see him finish about 9,600 votes ahead of Taylor.

Byrne, who finished with more than 57 per cent of the votes cast in the riding, was projected the winner within a half-hour after the polls closed.

“I am always surprised and humbled,” said Byrne, who won more than 68 per cent of the vote in the last election in 2008. “I never expect those kind of results but it is consistent with what has happened over the last number of elections. What always surprised me is the polling numbers themselves don’t always equate to what’s going to happen on election night.”

Byrne took a shot at the provincial government, which threw its support behind federal Conservative candidates, for having held a press conference in Corner Brook earlier in the day. Byrne took that as a sign that Taylor and his camp thought the race was tighter than it was.

“Either they were going to get it wrong or we were going to get it wrong,” said Byrne. “I knew we had it right.”

Taylor, acknowledging the distrust of Conservative Leader Stephen Harper was palpable in the riding, thought his experience and record as a provincial cabinet minister would help him mount a stronger challenge.

“People get the representation they deserve ... Gerry has been in for 15 years and I haven’t been able to find anybody who can point to anything substantive he has done for the riding,” said Taylor. “Apparently, they like the fact he hugs people and gets on open line and shoots off his mouth.”

New Democratic Party candidate Shelley Senior finished third, despite giving up a lot of campaign time so she could keep a commitment she made to vacation in Florida with her granddaughter. Senior, who said the trip had been planned long before the election call was made, said she will seek the nomination again when the next election rolls around.

While she never won, Senior was “over the moon” with how the NDP did elsewhere in the nation, particularly in Quebec where the NDP essentially wiped out the Bloc Quebecois.

“I think that shows Quebec wants to be part of this great country,” said Senior. “If nothing else, if Jack Layton manages to crush the Bloc Quebecois, he would have done us all a huge favour because we should not have separatists in our halls of parliament.”

Robin Gosse, who ran for the Green Party and finished fifth, was not surprised at the results in the riding and figures he could have done better if he actually had a budget.

“I had no illusions from the beginning but, because I even participated for the Green Party, that’s a win for us,” he said. “I knew I wouldn’t win, but that is proof that I was only doing it for the right reasons.”

Independent candidate Wayne Bennett, who finished a distant fourth and only slightly ahead of Gosse, was just happy to see the big-name Conservatives who ran in Newfoundland and Labrador — like Taylor, John Ottenheimer, Loyola Sullivan and Fabian Manning — get shut out.

“I’m ecstatic that none of them won.” he said. “It shows you can’t con people in Newfoundland and break promises and not be held accountable.”

The Conservatives did win one seat in the province this time around with Peter Penashue gaining the seat in Labrador. Byrne said Penashue’s likely inclusion in Stephen Harper’s cabinet, combined with Premier Kathy Dunderdale’s government support for Conservative candidates, had better translate into good things for the province.

“I will give minister Penashue a full opportunity to prove himself and deliver for Labrador and for Newfoundland and we’ll go from there,” said Byrne. “Kathy Dunderdale put her credibility in the hands of Stephen Harper ... There are no more excuses for anything any more. We will expect this government to deliver on behalf of the province.”

Organizations: New Democratic Party, Conservative Party of Canada, Bloc Quebecois Green Party Conservatives

Geographic location: CORNER BROOK, Humber, Newfoundland and Labrador Quebec Florida

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Recent comments

  • Geoff
    May 05, 2011 - 09:27

    Gerry always seems to get the crappy end of the stick when it comes to support from other politicians. Remember when Brian Tobin and the provincial liberals tried to oust him out of the district, I guess the provincial PC's tried the same. Good try Trevor, but the sour grapes just seemed to spill all over your shirt. Maybe Stevie will give you a nice seat in the Senate, now that your other buddy was idiotic enough to give it up! Do us a favor and do what you did when you didn't get your own way with Danny and quit!

  • Mary
    May 04, 2011 - 06:32

    Trevor Taylor is a classless act. In his defeat Trevor Taylor insulted every person in his district. The lineup of Tory hopefuls in this election was pathetic. All out for themselves. Trying to get that big paying job with a handsome pension. To think the provincial goverment was supporting these candidates. Congratulations to Ed Buckingham for not endorsing any of them . It will be interesting to see how many of these politicians get re-elected in October. By the way I have always been a big supporter of our provincial PC government. But I must say I question their judgement on endorsing the Harper regime! But the opposition in Nl is also pathetic.

  • Chris
    May 04, 2011 - 01:45

    First of all let me say that I am impressed with the way that some of these comments went after the idiocies of trevor......well done all...this guy is not someone that should stay in politics or at least not enter before he get out of his teenage years (idiot)....... One other thing....the NDP lady there that went on vacation during the election campaign?......yes I know with her grandaughter and all........... another one that should not enter into politics, you must understand Madame....... you say "I'm going to Disneyworld"...... after you win not before....(idiot). Other than that happy to see Gerry is back home and back to work.........CONGRATS..... NOW GO PEEVE OFF THE CONS.

  • Just sayin'
    May 03, 2011 - 21:10

    The Canadian Democratic Process insists that a person be deemed mature before one is allowed to vote...luckily for Mr. Taylor it doesn't insist on the same standard from one who is running for office...'Sore Loser' doesn't even begin to cover his reaction to his sound defeat. If, as Mr. Taylor stated, Mr. Byrne is such a bad representative, and if, as he also stated, we got the representation we deserved, then it logic dictates that Mr. Taylor could be paraphrased as follows...this riding doesn't deserve good representation in the first place. Take a look at the final vote count, Mr. Taylor, the lack of respect you held for this riding's electorate was obviously mutual...good bye!

    • bill
      May 04, 2011 - 22:26

      You should also look at Byrnes tactics during the election. His whole campaign was fear mongering and misleading people. Too bad he couldn't relay the real facts. One of those days people will learn. You do certainly get the representation you vote for. The only smart people in the province during this election were the people in Labrador, they voted strategically! They will end up getting the Mustrat Falls deal, 5 wing Goose Bay, and possibly road money. What will the people of HSBVB get...Bryne on the radio complaining that someone on the Northern Pen cant get enough weeks for EI. Not a thing he can do about it! Not sure if the people commenting here realize that Byrne is not even in the official opposition...he will be in the nose bleed section of the House of Commons. And for those of you condemning...go look at some of Gerry's tweets, something wrong with him for sure!! Gerry is the type who will say one thing in front of your face and say something completely different behind your back. The hug at the local Foodland or a fishcake flipper is the representation you will get...enjoy it!!

  • Joesports
    May 03, 2011 - 20:38

    Sore loser Taylor. Goes to show. You really Are a turd. Congrats Gerry.

  • duke
    May 03, 2011 - 17:46

    He is happy now, he will have a job for the next 4 years, you won't hear a peep from him until the next election. The people in this riding don't have a clue and they do deserve what they get .

  • cbrookrob
    May 03, 2011 - 16:28

    Unless Trevor Taylor actually said something gracious that didn't get printed, his comments have convinced me that we made the right choice. He basically insulted the voters of this district and took no personal responsibility for his defeat. Hope he doesn't have the b*lls to run again. Shame on him.

  • Dean
    May 03, 2011 - 16:21

    Trevor... the way we lose says everything about a person. Regardless of anything Byrne has or has not done, " people get the representation they deserve..." Go back to where you have hiding for the last couple of years Trevor, you are clearly not wanted in politics.

  • disappointed
    May 03, 2011 - 15:37

    I was very disappointed to read the quote from Mr. Taylor concerning Gerry Byrne's re-election . "People get the representation they deserve..." “Apparently, they like the fact he hugs people and gets on open line and shoots off his mouth.” This is very insulting to the electorate of this riding...the very people he had hoped would elect him. With a leader other than Harper I am quite sure that I WOULD have given Trevor Taylor my vote. Now, however, it appears he is a very poor loser. Perhaps I should give him the benefit of the doubt that he made other, more gracious, comments concerning Monday night's results and only the most damaging ones were reported. I'm not sure. I AM sure that THESE left a very bad taste in my mouth.

  • David
    May 03, 2011 - 15:01

    BTW, Trevor...what does "I stand on my record." actually mean? I would have thought that the purpose of saying that was to indicate, and this is just my political ignorance showing here, that you were going to let people make up their own minds about your abilities and previous accomplishments and live with their decision....but I guess I must have that totally wrong, becasue that is certainly NOT what your comment indicates at all. This comment indicates that you think the electorate got it wrong, that they are stupid, and that you do not accept their judgement in the least. And you also think that Harper (who was widely known to be the party leader when you decided to run, if I'm not mistaken) was a problem for your campaign, too. Politics is a really hard for regular folks like me to follow...please keep trying to save us from our irritating stupidity.

  • David
    May 03, 2011 - 14:03

    Trevor Taylor......a classless, petty,childish comment, in the tradition of Jacques Parizeau, 1995. If you have that much regard for the choice of the people voting in a democracy, perhaps you need to examine other areas of interest. There might even be a government grant to upgrade your skills --- ask your MP about it.

  • diane
    May 03, 2011 - 11:14

    Lets hope Harper pours lots into Labrador...they were the strategically smart people in this election! For the rest of us we get what we vote for!!! But the important thing in Humber St Barbe Baie Verte... we will still hear when the ferry is

  • Too Funny
    May 03, 2011 - 08:00

    Where are these guys from? Taylor, bitter as always when he doesn't get his way, or Byrne, who's upset that the PCs supported the Cons but seems to have forgotten what the PCs did for his party the last time around.