Nova Scotia

Federal N.S. picture largely unchanged

Nova Scotians largely chose to re-elect their incumbents in Monday's federal election, with the sole exception of an upset in the riding of Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.
Conservative MP Gerald Keddy speaks to reporters from his South Shore-St. Margaret's riding. (CBC)

Nova Scotians largely chose to re-elect their incumbents in Monday's federal election, with the sole exception of an upset in the riding of Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

With New Democrat Robert Chisholm's victory over Liberal Mike Savage in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, the NDP now hold three seats in the province, while the Liberals and Conservatives have four each.

Savage said his team knew there was a national trend moving in favour of the NDP in the dying days of the election, but they remained optimistic until the bitter end.

"You don't have to be a political genius to sense that," he said Monday.

"There's no question that in an area that has some traditional NDP support, that they were able to tap into that."

But Conservative MP Gerald Keddy said he didn't think the NDP surge had a large impact in rural Nova Scotia.

"The provincial NDP have been strong in metro. They certainly, I believe, ignored most of rural Nova Scotia and we've proven that tonight with the four federal seats that we've re-elected MPs in."

Keddy secured his sixth election win in the riding of South Shore-St. Margaret's with just over 43 per cent of the vote. His closest competitor, the NDP's Gordon Earle, took 36 per cent of the vote.

The Conservative MPs joining Keddy in the House of Commons are: Scott Armstrong for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, Greg Kerr for West Nova and Peter MacKay in Central Nova.

MacKay — who was re-elected Monday night for the sixth time in 14 years — defeated his competitors by a landslide with 56.82 per cent of the vote.

"There is no greater honour than to be elected in this country, to be elected to represent your peers, your community and your family and friends," he told his crowd of supporters.

"Here in Central Nova, I take this honour very humbly. This is a big, diverse riding."

NDP gain one, Liberals lose one

The New Democrat MPs who held their seats in Nova Scotia were Megan Leslie for Halifax, who won 51.63 per cent of the vote, and Peter Stoffer for Sackville-Eastern Shore.

Stoffer — who created a stir when he voted to save the long-gun registry despite being personally opposed to it — was cautious to take credit for his win as the votes were being counted on Monday.

"It looks promising but I can assure you, we don't wait until much, much later, OK? The reason being that anything can happen in this regard, so thank you for your mild applause but we'll have to wait until later on, alright?" said Stoffer, as his supporters laughed.

In the end, he had nothing to worry about — Stoffer won 54.07 per cent of the vote and won his seat by nearly 10,000 votes.

The Liberals, who nationally placed a distant third behind the Conservatives and the New Democrats, lost one seat in Nova Scotia but managed to hang on to four.

Rodger Cuzner was re-elected in Cape Breton-Canso and Mark Eyking held on to his seat in Sydney-Victoria, while Geoff Regan narrowly defeated Conservative Bruce Robert Pretty and New Democrat Gregor Ash to hold on to his seat in Halifax West.

Scott Brison also held on to his seat in Kings-Hants, defeating Conservative candidate David Morse by a margin of 1,173 seats.

"I tell you, when the prime minister comes to your riding the Saturday night before the election, you know they're out to get you, they are targeting you," Brison said Monday night, referring to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit over the weekend.

"My only regret is that Mr. Harper hadn't spent an extra day for me to take him around to meet more people."