Baillie wins Cumberland South byelection

Interim Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie has won a seat in the Nova Scotia legislature.
Former Cumberland South MLA Murray Scott (left) greets Jamie Baillie at his victory party Tuesday. ((CBC))
Interim Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie has won a seat in the Nova Scotia legislature.

Baillie emerged as the winner of the Cumberland South byelection Tuesday, beating Liberal candidate Ken Jackson and New Democratic candidate Scott McKee.

According to unofficial results from Elections Nova Scotia, Baillie won the race with 57 per cent of the vote, followed by Jackson with 38 per cent and McKee with five per cent.

There were 43 polls, with a total of 5,738 votes.

"From my family and from me, we are humbled. We are feeling great humility," Baillie told cheering supporters at his victory party in Springhill.

"The fact that they’ve turned to the PC party here as the best alternative to the NDP is a very good thing for the PC party and, I hope, some day for all of Nova Scotia," Baillie said.

Polls closed at 7 p.m. in Cumberland South, which includes Oxford, Parrsboro and Springhill within its boundaries.

The seat had been vacant since longtime Progressive Conservative MLA Murray Scott resigned on Sept. 8.

His resignation cleared the way for Baillie to win a seat as Cumberland South is considered one of the safest PC seats in the province.

When Baillie arrived at the victory party with his family just before 8:30 on Tuesday, Scott was the first person to greet him with a handshake and a hug.

"The people of Cumberland South have spoken in a loud voice and that voice is so loud that it's ringing in [Premier] Darrell Dexter's ears," Baillie said

Baillie, 44, left his job as president of Credit Union Atlantic to run for the Tory leadership earlier this year. As the only candidate, he was acclaimed as leader on Aug. 16. He will officially become the party leader after a convention this weekend in Halifax.

The interim leader grew up in Truro and lives in Halifax, and has since bought a second home in Cumberland South.

Standings in Nova Scotia's 52-seat legislature after the byelection are: 31 New Democrats, 12 Liberals, eight Conservatives and one Independent.