I am very surprised the NDP did as well as they did in this by-election.
The NDP only ran once before in Cartwright-L'Anse au Clair and that was in the 2011 election when the party garnered all of 44 votes, though this riding has only been around since the 1996 election .
In the federal riding of Labrador the NDP strength is not in the Cartwright-L'Anse au Clair part of the riding, but in Labrador City and Happy Valley/Goose Bay. In the recent Labrador by-election the NDP held their ground but did no better which gave no reason to expect the NDP to do particularly well in this by-election.
Party Candidate Votes % +-% change from 2011
Liberal Lisa Dempster 1,141 53.54% -17.78
NDP Jason Spingle 703 32.99% +30.93
PC Dennis Normore 287 13.47% -13.32
One important impact of this by-election was that whomever out of the NDP or Liberals won the seat also would be the Official Opposition. By holding onto the seat the Liberals retained their Official Opposition. It should concern the Liberals that the NDP did as well as they did. If the NDP are this strong a factor here where the party has no history of any strength of any sort the NDP could very well be a threat to be government in Newfoundland after the next general election.
The NDP seems to have gained equally from the Liberals and the PCs.
One interesting quirk, the total valdid vote was 2,131, which is exactly the same number of votes in the 2011 general election.