New Democrat incumbent and long-time MP Peter Stoffer has gone down to defeat as the NDP vote collapsed across Nova Scotia in the wake of a Liberal surge on Monday night.

Stoffer, the NDP's veterans affairs critic, lost Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook to Darrell Samson, the superintendent of schools for Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, the province's French school board.

Stoffer said it's clear voters in his riding wanted to get rid of Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, and they tapped the Liberal Party and its leader, Justin Trudeau, to do that.

"We worked very hard," Stoffer told CBC News on Monday night. "We did everything we had in all previous campaigns. And it wasn't just meant to be.

"Mr. Trudeau was always, always a very good candidate and good leader. They ran a very good campaign. You've got to give them credit for it."

Stoffer said he hopes to work with Samson to make the transition smooth.

"Frankly, I feel OK," he said. "Because this is what democracy looks like. You win some you lose some. And tonight, obviously, wasn't my time or that of my NDP."

It's a result that seemed near-impossible at the beginning of the campaign in August when the New Democratic Party was riding high in the polls and Stoffer, a popular MP, seemed assured of re-election.

While Stoffer narrowly won in 1997, he's held his seat with comfortable wins in subsequent elections.

In 2008, he took more than 61 per cent of the vote. The following election he won with 54 per cent.