Nova Scotia·RIDING PROFILE

Canada election 2015: Kings-Hants and what's at stake

Whether he's been a Liberal or Tory, voters in Kings-Hants have been loyal to Scott Brison — and one political observer said that is unlikely to change this October.

'Kings-Hants will return to the Liberals,' says political science professor Jim Bickerton

The candidates for Kings Hants include, from left, Scott Brison (Liberal), William Cooper (Green), Hugh Curry (New Democrat) and David Morse (Conservative). (The Canadian Press, Green Party, NDP, Conservative Party)

Whether he's been a Liberal or Tory, voters in Kings-Hants have been loyal to Scott Brison — and one political observer said that is unlikely to change this October.

"I don't think it's even a question," Jim Bickerton, a political science professor at St. Francis Xavier University, said in a recent interview.

"Kings-Hants will return to the Liberals."

The Conservatives have once again nominated former provincial Tory cabinet minister David Morse, who came second to Brison in 2011.

The New Democrats have found a new candidate following Morgan Wheeldon's resignation, after controversial comments he allegedly made about the Middle East on Facebook appeared as a screen grab circulated by the Conservative Party. Wheeldon said he was the victim of a "shameful and dishonest" smear campaign.

The NDP announced on Sept. 16 that winery worker Hugh Curry will run for the party in the riding. 

The Greens have nominated William Cooper, an artist and Department of Natural Resources employee.

'I'm not second guessing him'

But Bickerton said he thinks it's Brison who will come out on top.

"I'm not second guessing him on that at all," he said.

The riding takes in Hants County and part of Kings County, and includes the village of New Minas and the towns of Kentville, Windsor and Wolfville. Acadia University and the Indian Brook, Cambridge and Horton reserves are all within its boundaries.

Brison was first elected to represent the rural riding in 1997 when he was a Progressive Conservative. In July 2000, he stepped aside briefly to allow Joe Clark, the party leader at the time, to run in a byelection there. Brison regained the seat in the November general election that same year.

But it was in 2003 that Brison made his riskiest political move. He left to join the Liberals after fellow Nova Scotia MP Peter MacKay helped unite the right with the merger of the Progressive Conservatives and the Canadian Alliance.

'He took the votes with him'

At the time, Brison said the Progressive Conservative party he grew up in no longer existed.

He went on to become minister of public works in the Paul Martin government, making him the first openly gay federal cabinet minister. Brison successfully ran under the Liberal banner in 2004 and the elections that followed.

In 2007, Brison married Maxime St. Pierre and became the first federal politician to marry his same-sex partner.

Bickerton said Brison's nearly two decade long run as MP for Kings-Hants he has to do more with the man himself, than the party he represents.

"When he switched to the Liberal party, he took the votes with him," Bickerton said.

The riding takes in Hants County and part of Kings County, and includes the village of New Minas and the towns of Kentville, Windsor and Wolfville. Acadia University and the Indian Brook, Cambridge and Horton reserves are all within its boundaries. (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

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now