Former Tory cabinet minister Ernie Fage has lost his bid to be re-elected to the Nova Scotia legislature.

New Democratic Party candidate Brian Skabar was declared the victor for the electoral district of Cumberland North, unseating Fage who held the seat since 1997.

However, Fage, who ran as an Independent, was able to capture more votes than Tory candidate Keith Hunter on election night Tuesday.

The former Nova Scotia human resources minister declared that he would seek re-election as an independent shortly after he was expelled from the Tory caucus in December 2007 after being found guilty of leaving the scene of a minor accident.

Fage had been sitting as an "independent Tory" since he was temporarily kicked out of the caucus in February 2007, shortly after he was charged. He resigned as minister of human resources not long after images from the night of the accident, captured on a cellphone, and aired on CBC-TV.

During the trial, several witnesses testified that Fage was in a downtown Halifax pub drinking before the fender-bender at the corner of Sackville Street and Bell Road on Nov. 24, 2006.

The driver of the car that Fage rear-ended said the politician reeked of alcohol.

Fage maintained he was not impaired but said he left the scene before police arrived because he felt threatened by a photographer and feared for his safety.

The judge fined Fage $920, which included an $800 fine and victim surcharge.

In 2006, Fage was involved in another controversy that led him to resign from cabinet.

Nine months before the fender-bender, he stepped down as minister of economic development after admitting he was in a conflict of interest over a government loan to a potato farm that leases land from his family.