The Northwest Territories, despite its plural name, is one territory in Canada. It recently held an election for members of its Legislative Assembly. The incumbent Premier Bob McLeod chose not to run for re-election. Because of this, the election had a 'wide open' aspect to it.

Politics work a little differently in the Northwest Territories, according to Macleans. Members of the Legislative Assembly are elected as independent individuals. There are no party affiliations and candidates' platforms are their own.

Members of the federal Parliament from the N.W.T. are elected more traditionally. The Premier is selected by the entire Assembly, rather than by the ruling party. In recent years, anti-establishment feelings have toppled multiple political parties. Despite the independent nature of the N.W.T., a similar pattern may have struck there as well.

Incumbents did not fare well

After the conclusion of voting in the N.W.T., many familiar names there had lost their seats. As things currently stand, more than 60 percent of the next legislature will be new members.

Some of this is because of retirements. Premier McLeod opted to step down. Other also stepped down, including the deputy premier with almost the exact same name in Robert C. McLeod. But others just simply didn't perform well in the vote tallies. That includes sitting Cabinet members.

Louis Sebert had a particularly rough time. Sebert had been minister of lands, among other titles, in the most recent government. He finished in a distant fourth place, registering less than 100 votes. But the biggest upset might have been the unseating of Wally Schumann, another Cabinet minister.

Schumann had overseen industry, tourism, investment, and infrastructure in the N.W.T.. After McLeod's retirement, it was thought that Schumann was a legitimate contender to be the new premier. He instead lost to Rocky Simpson Sr. Simpson's son, R. J., has been a member of the Assembly since 2015.

More changes could be coming still

Three races finished close enough to trigger an automatic recount, according to the CBC. Two of them initially showed the incumbents winning re-election. One of the incumbents is Kevin O'Reilly.

As of now, he seems to have defeated Dave Ramsay. Ramsay is a former member of the Assembly and of the Cabinet.

But many are paying attention to results for Caroline Cochrane. If the results stand, she would be the only member of the most recent Cabinet remaining. She is also a potential premier. But less than 20 votes separated Cochrane and her challenger, Hughie Graham. When it's all said and done, the entire N.W.T. Cabinet could be out of government.

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