Nova Scotia·RIDING PROFILE

Canada election 2015: Halifax West and what's at stake

Liberal Geoff Regan can be forgiven if election night gives him a bit of the jitters. In the 2011 election, early results made it look like his opponent, New Democrat Gregor Ash, would take the Halifax West seat.

'It will be a cakewalk' for Geoff Regan, says political scientist

The candidates for Halifax West include, from left, Joanne Hussey (New Democrat), Mike McGinnis (Conservative), Geoff Regan (Liberal) and Richard Zurawski (Green). (NDP, Submitted by Mike McGinnis, The Canadian Press, Green Party)

Liberal Geoff Regan can be forgiven if election night gives him a bit of the jitters.

In the 2011 election, early results made it look like his opponent, New Democrat Gregor Ash, would take the Halifax West seat. At one point, CBC News declared victory for Ash. By 11 p.m., the dust had settled and voters once again sent Regan back to the House of Commons.

Regan, who has called that night "a roller-coaster ride," can put away the Gravol this time around, predicts one political scientist.

"Regan will win," said Jeff MacLeod, a political science professor at Mount Saint Vincent University. "It will be a cakewalk."

The New Democratic Party has chosen Joanne Hussey, the owner and operator of Common Knowledge Research & Consulting, to carry the orange banner.

Mike McGinnis is the Conservative candidate and Richard Zurawski will run for the Green Party. 

MacLeod said the poll results in the Fairview part of the riding are typically weaker for the Liberals, but stronger in Bedford. He said in the last election, the Fairview area polls likely came in first, giving the New Democratic Party the early lead — but eventually the victory went to Regan.

'Who is going to defeat him?'

While his fortunes changed that night in 2011, Regan wasn't as lucky in 1997.

The son of former premier Gerald Regan was first elected as a rookie MP in 1993. But in the next election, he joined the other Nova Scotia Liberals swept out of office amid anger over Ottawa's attempts to reform employment insurance.

Voters elected New Democrat Gordon Earle for one term before returning Regan back to office in 2000. He has won every election since.

MacLeod said one issue that may put a damper on the Regan campaign this time is the cuts the provincial Liberals made to the film tax credit. Regan's wife is Nova Scotia cabinet minister Kelly Regan.

MacLeod said there could be some so-called broken glass voters — those who are so upset about an issue that they will walk across broken glass to vote against a party. He said they may express their dissatisfaction with the provincial Liberals by casting their votes against Regan.

"That's going to hurt them a bit," MacLeod said. "But who is going to defeat him?"

The riding of Halifax West includes Hammonds Plains and Fairview. (Elections Canada)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After spending more than a decade as a reporter covering the Nova Scotia legislature, Amy Smith joined CBC News in 2009 as host for CBC Nova Scotia News as well as Atlantic Tonight at 11. She can be reached at amy.smith@cbc.ca or on Twitter @amysmithcbc

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