Newfoundland voters Thursday threw out the Conservative government that had ruled Canada's easternmost island province for 17 years and gave the Liberal Party a majority of seats in the provincial legislature.

Led by corporate lawyer Clyde Wells, the Liberals won 29 of the 52 seats in the provincial legislature, while the Conservatives captured only 23 seats.Wells lost to the Conservatives in his own district but said he would ask one of the successful Liberal candidates to step aside so he could take a seat in the legislature.

When Conservative leader Tom Rideout, the son of a fisherman, called the election on March 30, his party held 33 of the seats, compared to the Liberals' 14 and the New Democratic Party's 2. Three seats were vacant.