Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia byelection sees 2 seats go to Liberals, 1 to NDP

Two of the three vacant MLA seats in Nova Scotia will be held by Liberals when the legislature sits next, with the NDP taking the third seat.

Byelections in Cape Breton Centre, Sydney-Whitney Pier go to Liberals and Dartmouth South goes NDP

NDP supporters gather at Pilot's Pub in Dartmouth to hear the byelection results. (Jean Laroche/CBC)

Two of the three vacant MLA seats in Nova Scotia will be held by Liberals when the legislature sits next, with the NDP taking the third seat.

The electoral districts of Cape Breton Centre, Sydney-Whitney Pier and Dartmouth South went to the polls Tuesday in a byelection.

The unofficial results saw Cape Breton Centre, Liberal David Wilton winning the seat over the NDP's Tammy Martin by 522 votes. 

The Liberals had an even better showing in Sydney-Whitney Pier with candidate Derek Mombourquette winning the seat by 1,462 votes.

Almost three hours after the polls closed, Dartmouth South was still too close to call, but just before 11 p.m., the NDP's Marian Mancini had the unofficial win by only 81 votes over Liberal Tim Rissesco. Rissesco had been leading most of the night.

The Independent candidate, Charlene Gagnon ended up with 7.5 per cent of ballots cast.

The Progressive Conservatives were third in all three electoral districts.

Political observers have called this the first test of Stephen McNeil's Liberal government since its majority victory in the 2013 election.

The Cape Breton ridings were previously held by the New Democratic Party, while the Dartmouth riding had been vacant since the death of Liberal member Allan Rowe in March.

All three parties in the legislature fielded candidates. The Green Party had no candidates running and there was one independent candidate running in Dartmouth South.

Voter turnout was down sharply in the advanced polls and on election day.

In Dartmouth South, voter turnout Tuesday was 38 per cent. Sydney-Whitney Pier saw 42 per cent voter turnout and Cape Breton Centre had the highest with 47 per cent.

Read a recap of CBC's Jean Laroche live blogging the results.

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