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Robert Morrissey elected as Liberal candidate for Egmont


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WOODSTOCK – Robert Morrissey said he was calm and relaxed while waiting for the preferential ballots in the Egmont Liberal nomination meeting to be counted.

But when it was announced Saturday evening at Hernewood Intermediate School that he had emerged the victor on the third count he said he was surprised with the results.

It marked the first time on P.E.I that a preferential ballot was used to choose a political candidate and the process proved both interesting and tiring.

Some voters arrived prior to the doors to the school opening for 10 a.m. voting, and many of those were still in attendance when the outcome was finally announced at 6:25 p.m.

Morrissey could be going up against Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea in the Egmont election. So far, however, his West Prince neighbour has not confirmed whether she will be re-offering.

Even before hopping onto the podium to give his victory speech, Morrissey, who has extensive experience in provincial politics, hugged his three opponents and expressed his desire to have them be part of his team during the upcoming federal election campaign, a campaign that he said will focus on taking down the federal Conservative government.

In his campaign speech, Morrissey said his sole reason for getting back into politics is “to make a difference for ordinary Islanders and Island families for the people of Egmont at a crucial time in our history.”

He told a crowd of about 400 that Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have taken Canadians down the wrong road.

“It is a road they have chosen for us, but it’s the wrong road,” he insisted, suggested Harper’s policies have reduced the ability of the federal government to help low and middle income earners.

His speech might not have had much of an impact on the outcome, though, as more than 1,300 Liberals had voted before the meeting part of the process was held.

Voters showed up by the busload Saturday morning and for a while the lineup of people wanting to get in to register and vote stretched into the school’s parking lot.

Morrissey actually won the Egmont Liberal nomination seven years ago but subsequently pulled out of the race. There was speculation that decision would haunt him this time around. In the end, he won the nomination by 38 votes.

The actual results of the first two vote counts were not disclosed, only that no candidate had received a clear 50 per cent plus one majority.

There were 1,550 votes examined in the first count and 10 of those were declared spoiled. First place votes cast for Robert Gallant, the lowest vote-getter were then re-examined and the second-place votes redistributed among the remaining three candidates.

Nineteen of those ballots were deemed exhausted (having no second place candidate indicated) .

With no candidate receiving the 762 votes needed for victory in the second round of counting, with 1,552 votes counted, the third place candidate, Tina Mundy, was eliminated from the count and her second place votes redistributed between Morrissey and Gilles Arsenault.

In the third count there were 1498 votes counted, with 750 needed for a majority. Morrissey took the nomination with a 768 to 730 count.

The victor was overheard reassuring the 41 year-old Arsenault, the youngest of the four candidates, that he has a bright future in politics. The president of the P.E.I. Teachers Federation, who had said he’d resign from that position if he won the nomination, suggested afterwards his political ambition has not been quenched. “I’m hoping he’s right,” Arsenault responded. “They’ve chosen a candidate who has a lot of experience in politics, but I’ve really enjoyed my stint with the political side of things, and you might be seeing more of me some day.”

Morrissey assessed his experience in politics and his understanding of the issues are what put him over the top Saturday.

 

WOODSTOCK – Robert Morrissey said he was calm and relaxed while waiting for the preferential ballots in the Egmont Liberal nomination meeting to be counted.

But when it was announced Saturday evening at Hernewood Intermediate School that he had emerged the victor on the third count he said he was surprised with the results.

It marked the first time on P.E.I that a preferential ballot was used to choose a political candidate and the process proved both interesting and tiring.

Some voters arrived prior to the doors to the school opening for 10 a.m. voting, and many of those were still in attendance when the outcome was finally announced at 6:25 p.m.

Morrissey could be going up against Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea in the Egmont election. So far, however, his West Prince neighbour has not confirmed whether she will be re-offering.

Even before hopping onto the podium to give his victory speech, Morrissey, who has extensive experience in provincial politics, hugged his three opponents and expressed his desire to have them be part of his team during the upcoming federal election campaign, a campaign that he said will focus on taking down the federal Conservative government.

In his campaign speech, Morrissey said his sole reason for getting back into politics is “to make a difference for ordinary Islanders and Island families for the people of Egmont at a crucial time in our history.”

He told a crowd of about 400 that Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have taken Canadians down the wrong road.

“It is a road they have chosen for us, but it’s the wrong road,” he insisted, suggested Harper’s policies have reduced the ability of the federal government to help low and middle income earners.

His speech might not have had much of an impact on the outcome, though, as more than 1,300 Liberals had voted before the meeting part of the process was held.

Voters showed up by the busload Saturday morning and for a while the lineup of people wanting to get in to register and vote stretched into the school’s parking lot.

Morrissey actually won the Egmont Liberal nomination seven years ago but subsequently pulled out of the race. There was speculation that decision would haunt him this time around. In the end, he won the nomination by 38 votes.

The actual results of the first two vote counts were not disclosed, only that no candidate had received a clear 50 per cent plus one majority.

There were 1,550 votes examined in the first count and 10 of those were declared spoiled. First place votes cast for Robert Gallant, the lowest vote-getter were then re-examined and the second-place votes redistributed among the remaining three candidates.

Nineteen of those ballots were deemed exhausted (having no second place candidate indicated) .

With no candidate receiving the 762 votes needed for victory in the second round of counting, with 1,552 votes counted, the third place candidate, Tina Mundy, was eliminated from the count and her second place votes redistributed between Morrissey and Gilles Arsenault.

In the third count there were 1498 votes counted, with 750 needed for a majority. Morrissey took the nomination with a 768 to 730 count.

The victor was overheard reassuring the 41 year-old Arsenault, the youngest of the four candidates, that he has a bright future in politics. The president of the P.E.I. Teachers Federation, who had said he’d resign from that position if he won the nomination, suggested afterwards his political ambition has not been quenched. “I’m hoping he’s right,” Arsenault responded. “They’ve chosen a candidate who has a lot of experience in politics, but I’ve really enjoyed my stint with the political side of things, and you might be seeing more of me some day.”

Morrissey assessed his experience in politics and his understanding of the issues are what put him over the top Saturday.

 

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