Nova Scotia

Lisa Roberts wins Halifax Needham byelection for Nova Scotia's NDP

The byelection was to replace retiring New Democrat MLA Maureen MacDonald. The area has been an NDP stronghold for 18 years.

Halifax Needham has been an NDP stronghold for 18 years

Lisa Roberts won a byelection for the New Democratic Party in Halifax Needham on Tuesday night. (CBC)

Lisa Roberts won the Halifax Needham byelection on Tuesday, maintaining what has been a stronghold for Nova Scotia's New Democratic Party for 18 years.

Roberts is the executive director of Veith House and a former CBC journalist. She replaces long-time New Democrat MLA Maureen MacDonald, who retired from politics in April.

Shortly after the NDP projected her win, Roberts greeted her constituents with a big grin and a can of orange Crush pop.

"I'm just really grateful, I'm really grateful for the voters and the support of the campaign team that got me here and the support of my family that have enabled me to take this step," said Roberts.

Roberts received 2,519 votes of 4,942 — or more than half the total votes.

Liberal candidate Rod Wilson has the second highest number of votes at 1,662 votes. Progressive Conservative candidate Andy Arsenault had 600 votes. Green candidate Thomas Trappenberg had 161 votes.

'Strong opposition'

Wilson declined to comment on election results so he could thank his supporters.

Roberts said she thinks voters chose to keep a strong opposition at Province House.

"Maureen MacDonald did a great job of representing this riding and the concerns of residents in it and I think the McNeil government requires a strong opposition," said Roberts.

Thirty-four polling stations in nine polling locations opened at 8 a.m. and closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Voting at advance polls was up five per cent over previous provincial elections in Halifax Needham, an electoral officer​ for Nova Scotia said.

According to Elections Nova Scotia, voter turnout overall was 32.5 per cent.

With files from Steve Berry