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Conservatives lead Manitoba byelections

Manitoba's Tories appear poised to hang onto two Conservative strongholds in provincial byelections tonight.

With about half of polls reporting, Shannon Martin in Morris and Doyle Piwniuk in Arthur-Virden are leading easily.

The byelections are the first since Premier Greg Selinger raised the sales tax to eight per cent from seven last July.

Since then, opinion polls have suggested that the NDP has sunk to its lowest level of support since taking power in 1999.

Voter turnout is quite low tonight, in part because of bitterly cold weather with temperatures in the —20s and wind chills even lower.

Meanwhile, people in some parts of Morris are just getting their heat back after a natural gas pipeline explosion on Saturday.

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