The riding of West Nova continued its tradition of swinging back and forth between the Tories and Liberals. Liberal candidate Robert Thibault squeaked past Tory incumbent Mark Muise, winning the seat with only a 700 vote margin.
Canadian Alliance candidate Mike Donaldson played the role of spoiler, coming in third with approximately 6,500 votes. The party had high hopes for a breakthrough in West Nova, but it didn't materialize. Even Thibault was surprised.
"I thought he'd do better," Thibault said. "He didn't do as well as the Reform candidate did in the last election in this area."
The Alliance initially thought its candidate had a good shot at winning West Nova mostly due to the native fishing dispute. But Thibault says the fishermen obviously did not blame the Liberal government for the situation.
"I think our fishermen are intelligent people," Thibault said. "They knew what the Alliance was telling them could not happen and people recognized that we were telling them the truth, that we were being straight forward with them."
In fact Thiabult says getting non-native fishermen to the negotiating table with Ottawa and the native bands is his number one priority as the new MP for West Nova.