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Liberals continue to dominate Eastern Ontario

The political map remains unchanged across Eastern Ontario, with incumbent parties holding on to their ridings during Thursday's election.

In Ottawa, the majority of ridings remained Liberal, despite observer's predictions of close races.

One of those ridings was Ottawa South, where incumbent John Fraser pulled ahead of Progressive Conservative Matt Young by more than 8,600 votes to secure his seat.

"I think the voters have sent a very clear message, which is take care of those things that are important to our families, our schools, our hospitals, health care, public transit," said Fraser.

"I think we did. We did fail as a party," said Young. "Anytime you fight in an election and you fail to form government, you fail. You fail to connect with voters, you fail to make them understand that ours was the right course, the right way to get back on track. You fail to combat the unions effectively and they spread their lies and fear."

Another riding that was projected to be a close race was Ottawa-West Nepean, where it was believed NDP candidate Alex Cullen could pull some of the vote from incumbent Bob Chiarelli and possibly lead Randall Denley to a Progressive Conservative win.

Chiarelli ended up winning with a 5,788 vote lead over Denley. Cullen came in a distant third.

"I want to thank the voters of Ottawa-West Nepean who participated in this election," said Chiarelli during his victory speech at Tailgators on Merivale. "It was clearly one of the most difficult elections for voters. I recognize that and to them I pledge, with hopefully every other MPP elected ... to do better and that we'll do the best to my abilities to raise our collective performance as elected officials, because people expect us to reach the level of esteem that they expect of their politicians. So that is my first commitment coming out of this election."

Following his loss, Denley said he would not run for office again, saying he believed voters would be sorry for giving the Liberals a majority government.

He had a warning for the Liberal Party.

"They wanted the job, they've got the job. Well they'd better damn well do the job," said Denley.

"Bob took nothing for granted and he ran all out and he earned it," said Cullen. "I have to say I'm very pleased that our vote went up and we're building, so onwards and upwards."

Ottawa-Orleans was the only riding in the city without an incumbent running for re-election, as Phil McNeely decided to retire from politics. The popular vote, however, still went to the Liberals and political newcomer Marie-France Lalonde.

"I've been part of this community, like I always said, and when I met with constituents for the past few years, businesses, city councillors, you know (the) City of Ottawa has one priority - it's to bring the LRT Phase 2 to Place D'Orleans, and I hope to be able to help and work with all level of governments to do that," said Lalonde.

Lalonde handily defeated runner up PC Andrew Lister by over 11,000 votes.

In Ottawa Centre, it was a landslide victory for Liberal Yasir Naqvi, who defeated NDP candidate Jennifer Mackenzie by 16,709 votes.

"Ontarians have spoken very loudly and clearly that they want to build Ontario up not down," said Naqvi. "They spoke against cutting essential public service jobs and the results are very clear. They want to focus on a long-term vision, a 10-year plan that Kathleen Wynne and the Liberal Party has been talking about."

PC incumbent Lisa MacLeod easily won re-election in Nepean-Carleton, but the election did not bring the victory she was hoping for for her party.

"I'm still digesting it," she said. "I'm quite shocked. From everything we were seeing at the doors, particularly here in Nepean-Carleton, things were going quite well. There was a lot of anger. We were up against 20 public sector, private sector unions, who in an unprecedented campaign against our party ran attack ads almost relentlessly, so those are some of things we will be looking at."

Tim Hudak, despite being re-elected, resigned from his role as Progressive Conservative leader following the election.

MacLeod would not say whether she would consider replacing him as leader of the party.

Eastern Ontario winners:

  • Bob Chiarelli, Liberal, Ottawa-West Nepean

  • Steve Clark, PC, Leeds-Grenville

  • Grant Crack, Liberal, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell

  • Randy Hillier, PC, Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington

  • Marie-France Lalonde, Ottawa-Orleans

  • Jack MacLaren, PC, Carleton-Mississippi Mills

  • Lisa MacLeod, PC, Nepean-Carleton

  • Jim McDonell, PC, Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry

  • Madeleine Meilleur, Liberal, Ottawa-Vanier

  • Yasir Naqvi, Liberal, Ottawa Centre

  • John Yakabuski, PC, Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke

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