Paul Edwards (politician)

Paul Edwards (born February 21, 1961) is a Manitoba politician[1] and lawyer. He served as leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party between 1993 and 1996.

Paul Edwards
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba for St. James
In office
Preceded byAlvin Mackling
Succeeded byMary Ann Mihychuk
Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party
In office
Preceded bySharon Carstairs
Succeeded byGinny Hasselfield
Leader of the Second Opposition in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba
In office
Preceded bySharon Carstairs
Succeeded byDougald Lamont (2018)
Personal details
Born (1961-02-21) February 21, 1961 (age 58)
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Political partyManitoba Liberal Party

Edwards was born in Kingston, Ontario and was educated at Trent University and Queen's University. He later worked as a barrister and solicitor.

In 1988, Edwards was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba for the Winnipeg riding of St. James, defeating Progressive Conservative Jae Eadie by about 600 votes. He joined 19 other Liberals in forming the official opposition to the minority government of Progressive Conservative Premier Gary Filmon.

The 1988 election was a landmark for the Manitoba Liberal Party, in that it had previously been reduced to a marginal presence in the province. The unpopularity of Howard Pawley's New Democratic government in 1988 had given the party the support of many centre-left voters, and many[who?] believed that the Liberals had a chance to form government in the next election.

This did not occur. The New Democratic Party recovered under Gary Doer's leadership, and the Liberals were reduced to only seven seats (out of 57) in the election of 1990. Edwards was re-elected in St. James, this time defeating Progressive Conservative candidate Joanne Thibault by about 300 votes.

Liberal leader Sharon Carstairs was blamed by many in the party for squandering a chance to form government, and resigned as party leader in 1993. Subsequently, Edwards defeated MLA Kevin Lamoureux to become the party's new leader.

The Liberals initially appeared to have a reasonable chance of winning the 1995 election, placing a strong second to the Tories in early polls. They ran a poor campaign, however, and were overtaken by the NDP well before election day. The Liberals fell to three seats in the election of 1995, Edwards's not being one of them. He was defeated by New Democratic candidate Mary Ann Mihychuk, and announced his resignation as party leader later in the year. He formally resigned in 1996, and subsequently returned to a legal practice.

Edwards is married to Anne MacKay. They have four children: Beth, Evan, Wynn and Adam.

Election resultsEdit

1988 Manitoba general election: St. James
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Paul Edwards 3,939 40.14
Progressive Conservative Jae Eadie 3,360 34.24
New Democratic Allan MacDonald 2,171 22.13
Confederation of Regions Fred Debrecen 137 1.40
Progressive Charles Lamont 74 0.75
Libertarian Dennis Rice 69 0.70
Western Independence Merle Hartlin 62 0.63
Total valid votes 9,812 100.00
Rejected ballots 29
Turnout 9,841 78.54
Eligible voters 12,530
Source: Elections Manitoba[2]
1990 Manitoba general election: St. James
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Paul Edwards 3,014 35.09 -5.05
Progressive Conservative Joanne Thibault 2,719 31.66 -2.58
New Democratic Len Sawatsky 2,586 30.11 +7.98
Progressive Charles Lamont 148 1.72 +0.97
Confederation of Regions Fred Debrecen 122 1.42 -0.02
Total valid votes 8,589 100.00 -
Rejected ballots 22
Turnout 8,611 73.37
Eligible voters 11,737
Source: Elections Manitoba[3]


  1. ^ Brodbeck, Tom (21 September 2010). "Poll not all good for PCs". Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
  2. ^ "Candidates: 34th General Election" (PDF). Elections Manitoba. April 26, 1988. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  3. ^ "Candidates: 35th General Election" (PDF). Elections Manitoba. September 11, 1990. Retrieved 30 September 2018.