Turfed Conservative Casey back as Independent

Nova Scotia has elected its first Independent MP since 1874.

Nova Scotia has elected its first Independent MP since 1874.

Voters in Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley made it clear they wanted to send Bill Casey back to Ottawa for a fifth consecutive term.

Casey, 63, was declared the winner a half-hour after the polls closed. He ended up with 69 per cent of the vote, a staggering 22,000 votes ahead of his closest challenger, New Democrat Karen Olsson.

"It was a wonderful campaign and a wonderful result," Casey told CBC News. "I like to think of it as a people's campaign because there was no party involved in my campaign. To me, it was the perfect example of democracy."

Casey said he encountered many people on the campaign trail who want federal politicians to stand up for voters.

The longtime MP made headlines last June when he voted against his party on a budget bill, saying it denied Nova Scotia benefits promised in an offshore deal. He was promptly kicked out of the Conservative caucus.

That didn't lose Casey any support at home. Many local Conservative party members quickly came out to say they still endorsed him.

The Conservatives parachuted in a candidate from Ottawa to run against Casey. Joel Bernard, from New Brunswick, works for the minister of public safety in Ottawa.

The Greens decided not to field a candidate as a show of support for Casey.

Casey was first elected to the House of Commons in 1988. He was defeated in 1993, but re-elected in 1997, 2000, 2004 and 2006.

He's one of two Independents elected Tuesday. André Arthur won a close vote in the Quebec riding of Portneuf-Jacques Cartier.