April 19, 2016 9:30 pm
Updated: April 19, 2016 11:05 pm

Manitoba NDP collapse after nearly 17 years in power, Greg Selinger resigns as leader

WATCH: Greg Selinger resigns as Manitoba NDP leader

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After nearly 17 years, Manitoba’s New Democrat Party is no longer in power and Greg Selinger has resigned as leader of the party.

“I do take responsibility for the election outcome. That is the responsibility of the leader,” Selinger said Tuesday evening.

“In a democracy friends, the people are always right.”

WATCH: Greg Selinger speaks after disappointing election for the Manitoba NDP

“It was an excellent, well executed campaign,” Selinger said after thanking the candidates and volunteers involved.

Brian Pallister and his Progressive Conservative party pushed out Greg Selinger and the NDP, making Pallister the 22nd premier of Manitoba with a majority government.

Greg Selinger was able to hold onto his seat in St. Boniface.

Heading into the 2016 provincial election the NDP faced an uphill battle.

According to a December 2015 Angus Reid poll, Selinger was the least liked premier in Canada for the third time in a row and multiple polls showed the NDP trailing 20 points or more behind the PCs heading into the election.

It’s commonly believed the beginning of the NDP’s fall in approval was after the party’s controversial raising of the sales tax in 2013. This led to a leadership contest and further drops in Selinger’s approval.

WATCH: Greg Selinger wins re-election in St. Boniface


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Here’s a breakdown of those events leading up to the 2016 Manitoba election:

Sales tax

Selinger’s government raised the sales tax to eight per cent in April 2013.

This broke a previous campaign promise and sidestepped a requirement to hold a referendum on tax increases. The party faced public backlash and outrage after the increase.

This event was a frequently used weapon by opposing parties on the 2016 campaign trail.

Rebel five

A year after the sales tax was raised, many within Selinger’s party felt he should resign as leader, and came forward during a caucus retreat in Brandon, Manitoba. Selinger refused to step down and continued on as leader.

On Oct. 27, 2015 the infamous ‘rebel five’ cabinet ministers – Theresa Oswald, Jennifer Howard, Stan Struthers, Erin Selby and Andrew Swan – went public, speaking out against Selinger. They said he should step down for the good of the party. Selinger once again refused.

Days later, the five senior ministers resigned their portfolios and were replaced in their roles.

Leadership contest

In November 2014 Selinger asked the NDP executive to hold a leadership contest for the fractured political party to solve the dispute.

The contest was approved and the vote took place on March 8, 2015 at the party’s annual convention.

During the contest an opinion poll done by Angus Reid showed Premier Greg Selinger’s approval rating at an all-time career low.

READ MORE: Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger’s poll numbers drop to all-time low

In the end Selinger remained premier and leader of the party, beating runner-up Theresa Oswald by just 33 votes.

A poll coming out of the leadership race showed support for the party stable at 29 per cent, still trailing far behind the PC’s at 44 per cent of decided voters.

RELATED: Manitoba NDP support steady after fractious leadership race: poll

The NDP have been able to maintain roughly the same amount of support in the last year, unable to pull their numbers back up from the pre-PST hike controversy.

Unfortunately for the NDP, remaining steady wasn’t what they needed to catch the PCs and stay in power.

With Selinger out of office, Rachel Notley in Alberta is the only NDP premier left in the country.

RELATED: Global’s extensive 2016 provincial election coverage. 

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