Paul Edwards (politician)
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In 1988, Edwards was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba for the Winnipeg riding of St. James, defeating Progressive Conservative Jae Eadie by about 600 votes. He joined 19 other Liberals in forming the official opposition to the minority government of Progressive Conservative Premier Gary Filmon.
The 1988 election was a landmark for the Manitoba Liberal Party, in that it had previously been reduced to a marginal presence in the province. The unpopularity of Howard Pawley's New Democratic government in 1988 had given the party the support of many centre-left voters, and many[who?] believed that the Liberals had a chance to form government in the next election.
This did not occur. The New Democratic Party recovered under Gary Doer's leadership, and the Liberals were reduced to only seven seats (out of 57) in the election of 1990. Edwards was re-elected in St. James, this time defeating Progressive Conservative candidate Joanne Thibault by about 300 votes.
Liberal leader Sharon Carstairs was blamed by many in the party for squandering a chance to form government, and resigned as party leader in 1993. Subsequently, Edwards defeated MLA Kevin Lamoureux to become the party's new leader.
The Liberals initially appeared to have a reasonable chance of winning the 1995 election, placing a strong second to the Tories in early polls. They ran a poor campaign, however, and were overtaken by the NDP well before election day. The Liberals fell to three seats in the election of 1995, Edwards's not being one of them. He was defeated by New Democratic candidate Mary Ann Mihychuk, and announced his resignation as party leader later in the year. He formally resigned in 1996, and subsequently returned to a legal practice.
Edwards is married to Anne MacKay. They have four children: Beth, Evan, Wynn and Adam.