Labrador (electoral district)

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Labrador
Flag of Newfoundland and Labrador.svg Newfoundland and Labrador electoral district
Labrador, riding.png
Labrador in relation to other Newfoundland and Labrador ridings
Federal electoral district
Legislature House of Commons
MP
 
 
 
Yvonne Jones
Liberal
District created 1949
First contested 1949
Last contested 2013
District webpage profile, map
Demographics
Population (2011)[1] 26,728
Electors (2011) 20,251
Area (km²)[1] 269,135.59
Pop. density (per km²) 0.1
Census divisions Division No. 10, Division No. 11
Census subdivisions Cartwright, Charlottetown, Division No. 10, Subdivision A, Division No. 10, Subdivision B, Division No. 10, Subdivision C, Division No. 10, Subdivision D, Division No. 10, Subdivision E, Division No. 11, Subdivision C, Division No. 11, Subdivision E, Forteau, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Hopedale, Labrador City, L'Anse-au-Clair, L'Anse-au-Loup, Makkovik, Mary's Harbour, Nain, Natuashish, North West River, Pinware, Port Hope Simpson, Postville, Red Bay, Rigolet, Sheshatshiu, St. Lewis, Wabush, West St. Modeste

Labrador (formerly known as Grand Falls—White Bay—Labrador and Grand Falls—White Bay) is a federal electoral district in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, that has been represented in the House of Commons of Canada since 1949.

The riding covers all of Labrador and with just 26,000 people located in the riding it is the least populous in Canada.[2] From 2005 to 2011, the riding was represented by Liberal MP Todd Russell. He was defeated by Conservative Peter Penashue in the 2011 federal election. Following allegations of irregularities in his campaign spending, Penashue announced on March 14, 2013 that he would resign his seat and run again as a candidate in a new by-election.[3][4] Penashue subsequently lost the by-election to Liberal candidate Yvonne Jones.

Demographics[edit]

This riding is the least populous in Canada. Citing the region's highly distinct identity and seeing it as a community of interest they have the legal duty to respect, successive electoral boundary commissions have used their ability to make exceptions to the general electoral quotient to maintain Labrador as a separate riding.

In earlier representation orders, it was joined with communities on the Great Northern Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland.

Ethnic groups: 65.1% White, 34.9% Native Canadian
Languages: 90.0% English, 1.7% French, 7.3% Other
Religions: 67.4% Protestant, 28.4% Catholic, 3.4% No affiliation
Average income: $27 138

Geography[edit]

The district includes all of Labrador, including Belle Isle, North and South Aulatsivik Island.

The neighbouring ridings are Nunavut, Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, Manicouagan, and Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte.

According to Elections Canada, the boundaries of this riding for the 39th General Election (2006) are:

"Consisting of all that part of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador known as Labrador, including Belle Isle."

See the map of the Labrador riding.

History[edit]

The electoral district was created in 1949 upon the admission of Newfoundland to Canada. Between 1949 and 1988, this district was attached to the Island of Newfoundland, where more than half of its electorate resided. Liberal MP Bill Rompkey held the seat from 1972 till his appointment to the Canadian Senate in 1995. Lawrence O'Brien was later elected in a by-election and held the district until his death in 2004.

A by-election was held on May 24, 2005, with the result tipping the balance of the evenly split 38th Parliament. The Liberal candidate, Todd Russell, who was heavily favoured, ended up winning, but with a reduced percentage from the 2004 election.

Members of Parliament[edit]

This riding has elected the following Members of Parliament:

Parliament Years Member Party
Grand Falls—White Bay
21st  1949 − 1953     Thomas Gordon William Ashbourne Liberal
Riding renamed — Grand Falls—White Bay—Labrador
22nd  1953 − 1957     Thomas Gordon William Ashbourne Liberal
23rd  1957 − 1958
24th  1958 − 1962     Charles Granger Liberal
25th  1962 − 1963
26th  1963 − 1965
27th  1965 − 1966
 1966 − 1968     Andrew Chatwood Liberal
28th  1968 − 1972     Ambrose Peddle Progressive Conservative
29th  1972 − 1974     Bill Rompkey Liberal
30th  1974 − 1979
31st  1979 − 1980
32nd  1980 − 1984
33rd  1984 − 1988
Riding renamed — Labrador
34th  1988 − 1993     Bill Rompkey Liberal
35th  1993 − 1996
 1996 − 1997     Lawrence O'Brien Liberal
36th  1997 − 2000
37th  2000 − 2004
38th  2004 − 2004
 2004 − 2005     Vacant
 2005 − 2006     Todd Russell Liberal
39th  2006 − 2008
40th  2008 − 2011
41st  2011 − 2013     Peter Penashue Conservative
 2013 − Present     Yvonne Jones Liberal

Election results[edit]

Grand Falls—White Bay, 1949 - 1952[edit]

Canadian federal election, 1949
Party Candidate Votes %
Liberal Thomas Gordon William Ashbourne 12,301 86.75
Progressive Conservative James Pond 1,879 13.25
Total valid votes 14,180 100.00

Grand Falls—White Bay—Labrador, 1952 - 1987[edit]

Canadian federal election, 1953
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Thomas Gordon William Ashbourne 13,653 73.26 -13.49
Progressive Conservative Henry George Hicks 4,984 26.74 +13.49
Total valid votes 18,637 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1957
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Thomas Gordon William Ashbourne 11,681 75.41 +2.15
Progressive Conservative George Bloomfield 3,810 24.59 -2.15
Total valid votes 15,491 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1958
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Charles Granger 16,328 61.72 -13.69
Progressive Conservative David Gordon Decker 10,129 38.28 +13.69
Total valid votes 26,457 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1962
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Charles Granger 16,401 65.55 +3.83
Progressive Conservative Wolfred Nelson 6,057 24.21 -14.07
New Democratic William Joseph Gillies 2,561 10.24
Total valid votes 25,019 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1963
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Charles Granger 18,233 70.66 +5.11
Progressive Conservative Cyril C. Pelley 6,545 25.37 +1.16
New Democratic Kitchener Pritchett 1,025 3.97 -6.27
Total valid votes 25,803 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1965
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Charles Granger 17,933 70.96 +0.30
Progressive Conservative Thomas Fenwick Pitcher 5,779 22.87 -2.50
Social Credit Harold W. Parsons 1,560 6.17
Total valid votes 25,272 100.00
Canadian federal by-election, 19 September 1966
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
On Charles Granger's resignation, 1 August 1966
Liberal Andrew Chatwood 9,754 73.04 +2.08
Progressive Conservative Thomas Fenwick Pitcher 2,515 18.83 -4.04
New Democratic Lorne Campbell Snell 1,086 8.13
Total valid votes 13,355 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1968
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Progressive Conservative Ambrose Peddle 10,322 50.40 +31.57
Liberal Andrew Chatwood 9,587 46.81 -26.23
New Democratic Austin Scott 571 2.79 -5.34
Total valid votes 20,480 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1972
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Bill Rompkey 14,274 57.64 +10.83
Progressive Conservative Ambrose Peddle 8,968 36.21 -14.19
New Democratic Earle R. Boone 1,523 6.15 +3.36
Total valid votes 24,765 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1974
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Bill Rompkey 12,689 54.82 -2.82
Progressive Conservative Jim Corp Janes 5,433 23.47 -12.74
New Democratic Donald J. Head 5,026 21.71 +15.56
Total valid votes 23,148 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1979
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Bill Rompkey 13,639 46.09 -8.73
New Democratic Bryan Blackmore 12,538 42.37 +20.66
Progressive Conservative Calvin Osmond 3,418 11.55 -11.92
Total valid votes 29,595 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1980
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Bill Rompkey 15,530 52.67 +6.58
Progressive Conservative Ray Hawco 7,375 25.01 +13.46
New Democratic Ern Condon 6,582 22.32 -20.05
Total valid votes 29,487 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1984
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Bill Rompkey 12,938 45.13 -7.54
Progressive Conservative Peter J. Walsh 12,114 42.26 +17.25
New Democratic Ern Condon 3,616 12.61 -9.71
Total valid votes 28,668 100.00

Labrador, 1988 - present[edit]

Labrador, 1988-2004[edit]

Canadian federal election, 1988
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Bill Rompkey 7,126 53.50 +8.37
Progressive Conservative Joseph Goudie 4,400 33.03 -9.23
New Democratic Evelyn Riggs 1,508 11.32 -1.29
Independent Ern Condon 286 2.15
Total valid votes 13,320 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1993
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Bill Rompkey 8,724 77.11 +23.61
Progressive Conservative Wayne Piercey 2,146 18.97 -14.06
New Democratic Barry Knight 444 3.92 -7.40
Total valid votes 11,314 100.00
Canadian federal by-election, 1996
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Lawrence O'Brien 4,032 40.47 -36.64
Reform John Michael McGrath 3,027 30.38
New Democratic Randy Collins 1,974 19.81 +15.89
Progressive Conservative Darlene Gear-White 867 8.70 -10.27
Independent Alain Roy 63 0.63
Total valid votes 9,963 100.00
Called on Bill Rompkey's appointment to the Senate.
Canadian federal election, 1997
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Lawrence O'Brien 6,182 50.62 +10.15
New Democratic Randy Collins 4,615 37.79 +17.98
Progressive Conservative Mike Patton 842 6.89 -1.81
Reform Stephane Girardin 573 4.69 -25.69
Total valid votes 12,212 100.00
Canadian federal election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Lawrence O'Brien 7,153 68.99 +18.37
New Democratic Amanda Will 1,284 12.38 -25.41
Progressive Conservative Hayward Broomfield 1,254 12.09 +5.20
Alliance Eugene Burt 677 6.53 +1.84
Total valid votes 10,368 100.00
Changes for the Canadian Alliance are based on the 1997 results of its predecessor, the Reform Party.
Canadian federal election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Lawrence O'Brien 5,524 62.23 -6.76 $36,687
Conservative Merrill Strachan 1,400 15.77 -2.85 $17,280
Independent Ern Condon 919 10.35 $63
New Democratic Shawn Crann 856 9.64 -2.74
Green Lori-Ann Martino 178 2.01 $135
Total valid votes/Expense limit 8,877 100.00 $73,792
Majority 4,124 46.5
Turnout 8,877 44.8
     Liberal hold. Swing -2.0
Conservative Party change is based on the combination of Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative Party totals.

Labrador, 2005 by-election[edit]

On December 16, 2004, MP Lawrence O'Brien died of cancer, the next year Prime Minister Paul Martin called a by-election for May 24, 2005. There was a possibility the by-election would not be held because of a non-confidence vote the week prior. The non-confidence vote would have toppled the government sending Canadians to the polls, which would have superseded the by-election. However, the motion failed by one vote, ensuring the by-election.

Issues[edit]

The seat has traditionally been a Liberal stronghold, and O'Brien always carried the riding with comfortable pluralities. However, the federal Liberals had lost popularity in Atlantic Canada since the 2004 federal election largely due to disputes with the Progressive Conservative provincial governments of these provinces, especially that of Newfoundland and Labrador over the relationship between offshore oil revenues and equalization payments.

Historically, governing parties fare poorly in federal by-elections. However, this by-election was especially significant due to the make-up of the 38th Canadian Parliament. Following the 2004 election, the Liberals and the New Democratic Party held 154 seats together, or exactly half of the 308-seat House of Commons. After Liberal MP Carolyn Parrish was expelled from that party, the two parties' combined total (prior to O'Brien's death) had been reduced to 153 (or 152 who are eligible to vote since the Speaker was elected as a Liberal). The Liberals were anxious to retain the seat, as its loss would have left the opposition Conservative Party of Canada or the Bloc Québécois as the only viable partners for the Liberals to get legislation passed in the House. Former Liberal MP David Kilgour had left the party, further reducing its strength.

Since the general election, it had been suggested that the New Democratic Party refrain from contesting by-elections in seats where the Liberals were strong but the NDP are not, to avoid splitting the vote and thus help improve the chances securing a better position for the NDP in the House. Labrador would certainly be a prime example of such a seat — the NDP finished a distant fourth in the 2004 election. However, historically the NDP has been adamant in contesting all by-elections, and NDP leader Jack Layton showed little interest in any such proposal. The NDP nominated Frances Fry on April 23 feeling it had a chance in this seat due to the Liberal fall in polls and the fact that the provincial NDP had one of its two seats in Labrador.

Results[edit]
Canadian federal by-election, 24 May 2005
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Todd Russell 5,438 51.48 -10.75 $62,063
Conservative Graham Letto 3,415 32.33 +16.56 $74,924
New Democratic Frances Fry 1,045 9.89 +0.25 $26,121
Independent Ern Condon 598 5.66 -4.69% $254
Green Jason Crummey 68 0.64% -1.37 $78
Total valid votes/Expense limit 10,609 100.00 $74,995
Majority 2,023 19.1
Turnout 10,564 54.1 +9.3
Liberal hold Swing -13.6
Called on the death of Lawrence O'Brien, 16 December 2004

In the end, the Liberals picked up an easy victory, as expected, but while their actual vote total did not go down by much, their percentage of the vote went down over 10 points from the previous election as turnout was over 9% more than in the 2004 election. This high turnout is virtually unheard of for by-elections which normally have extremely poor turnouts. The additional voters appear to have been brought out by the tense national political situation and mostly voted for the Conservatives who picked up nearly 17 percentage points and the New Democrats who also increased their vote total.

Labrador, 2006-present[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Todd Russell 5,768 50.53 -0.95 $41,579
Conservative Joe Goudie 4,528 39.67 +7.34 $63,382
New Democratic Jacob Edward Larkin 1,037 9.08 -0.81 $165
Green Gail Zwicker 82 0.72 +0.08 $0
Total valid votes/Expense limit 11,415 99.55 $75,653
Total rejected ballots 52 0.45
Turnout 11,467 58.4 +4.6
     Liberal hold. Swing -4.1
Change is from the 2005 by-election
Canadian federal election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Todd Russell 5,426 70.28 +19.75 $26,887
New Democratic Phyllis Artiss 1,378 17.85 +8.77 $5,886
Conservative Lacey Lewis 615 7.97 -31.70 $15,728
Green Nyssa Christine McLeod 302 3.91 +3.19
Total valid votes/Expense limit 7,721 99.15 $81,667
Total rejected ballots 66 0.85 +0.40
Turnout 7,787 38.60 -19.8
Eligible voters 20,175
     Liberal hold Swing +5.49


Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Peter Penashue 4,256 39.81 +31.84 $82.385.01
Liberal Todd Russell 4,177 39.07 -31.21 $30,016.49
New Democratic Jacob Larkin 2,120 19.83 +1.98 $14,205.89
Green George C.R. Barrett 139 1.30 -2.61 $0.00
Total valid votes/Expense Limit 10,692 100.0   –   $ 84,468.09
Total rejected ballots 52 0.48 -0.37
Turnout 10,744 53.44 +14.84
Eligible voters 20,104    
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +31.5%

Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada


Canadian federal by-election, May 13, 2013
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Yvonne Jones 5,812 47.99 +8.92 $76,859.63
Conservative Peter Penashue 3,924 32.40 -7.41 $70,866.91
New Democratic Harry Borlase 2,324 19.19 -0.64 $81,475.53
Libertarian Norman Andrews 50 0.41   $236.16
Total valid votes/Expense Limit 12,110 100.0   –   $ 89,852.84
Total rejected ballots 27 0.22 -0.26  
Turnout 12,137 59.93 +6.49  
Eligible voters 20,251      
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +8.17
Called on the resignation of Peter Penashue, March 14, 2013
Source: "By-election May 13, 2013". Elections Canada. May 13, 2013. Retrieved December 14, 2013. 


Future[edit]

The 2012 federal electoral boundaries redistribution concluded that the electoral boundaries of Labrador should be preserved as-is for future elections.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°07′07″N 61°08′07″W / 54.1187°N 61.1353°W / 54.1187; -61.1353