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Prairies: Tories dominate

Globe and Mail Update

Voters have delivered western Canada to the Conservative Party, ballot results show.

The party won the ovewhelming majority of Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well as more than half of Manitoba.

The Conservatives waltzed away with 26 of the 28 ridings at stake in Alberta, spiritual home of the western alienation that drove formation of the Reform Party. The party took a decade of twists and turns to morph into the new Conservatives.

Deputy PM Anne McLellan won one of the other ridings, Edmonton Centre, by less than 700 votes. The race of fellow cabinet minister David Kilgour was even tighter, with Mr. Kilgour edging to victory in Edmont-Beaumont with a lead of only 32 votes out of more than 40,000 cast.

The Tories also won 13 of the 14 ridings up for grabs in Saskatchewan. A Liberal cabinet minister — Treasury Secretary Reg Alcock — won in Wascana, his Regina-area riding.

None of the two high-profile independents running in Saskatchewan managed to win seats. Former premier Grant Devine ran second behind the Conservative candidate in Souris-Moose Mountain. Former Tories Jim Pankiw and Larry Spencer ran fourth in their ridings, neither race draining enough votes to threaten the Conservative winner.

The Tories also took more than half of the Manitoba ridings, though the electorate there was much more sharply divided between the three major parties. The Conservatives took seven of the 14 seats, the NDP in four and the Grits picking up three.

Two prominent Liberal candidates did not come through Monday. Glen Murray, the former mayor of Winnipeg, did not win his seat, nor did Rey Pagtakhan, the former cabinet minister ousted by NDP veteran Judy Wasylycia-Leis.

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