The votes are in from more than 18,000 Nova Scotia public school students who voted in a mock election today, and they've decided to hand Jamie Baillie's Progressive Conservatives a minority government.

As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, 163 schools, representing 50 of 51 electoral districts, had reported results. 

Students decided PCs should form a minority government with 25 seats and 36.4 per cent of the vote. The NDP becomes the Official Opposition with 13 seats and 25.9 per cent of the vote.

The Liberals won just 11 seats and 26.2 per cent of the vote. One Green Party candidate, Leader Thomas Trappenberg, was elected. The Greens received 8.7 per cent of the vote.

Each leader of the three main parties won their respective seat. Baillie won Cumberland South with 35.9 per cent of the vote; the NDP's Gary Burrill won Halifax Chebucto with 38.7 per cent of the vote; and the Liberal's Stephen McNeil won Annapolis with 41.1 per cent of the vote.

Thirteen-year-old Kaileigh Waugh, a Grade 8 student from Eastern Passage Education Centre, voted NDP. 

"I think it's really cool that we get to take part in something [like this] — even though it's not official," said Kaileigh.

"I do think it's important to vote because a lot of other countries don't get that right and it is one of our rights and we're basically choosing who we want to represent us."

'Very exciting'

She said the issue of education is most important to her, given that school will be a big part of her life for the next few years. Perhaps longer if she decides to pursue a career in the field of medicine.

Alivia Driscoll, an eight-year-old at John W. MacLeod school in Purcells Cove, voted for Liberal incumbent Lena Diab in her riding. She said she liked the election and found it "very exciting." 

In the lead up to the mock election, students learned about the electoral process, researched parties and platforms, and held debates about the future of the province. They then used that knowledge to choose a candidate from their local district. 

A total of 18,929 ballots were cast, with 743 rejected.

The Student Vote program was put on by CIVIX, which according to its website is a non-partisan national charity.