Nova Scotia

Peter MacKay's former riding goes to Liberal Sean Fraser

The riding held for 18 years by Peter MacKay is no longer Conservative after a significant swing by voters in Central Nova that turned one of the safest Tory seats in the province Liberal.

Fraser defeats former Conservative political operations director Fred Delorey

Peter MacKay held the riding of Central Nova in Nova Scotia for 18-years before announcing earlier this year he would not run for re-election. Liberal Sean Fraser won the seat. 1:04

The riding held for 18 years by Peter MacKay is no longer Conservative after a significant swing by voters in Central Nova that turned one of the safest Tory seats in the province Liberal.

Lawyer Sean Fraser has won the riding for the Liberals, defeating Fred Delorey, the Conservative Party's former director of political operations.

MacKay's decision to step down earlier this year created political opportunity in Central Nova, where there was little or none before.

MacKay, a cabinet minister in Stephen Harper's government, was part of a Conservative legacy that stretched back more than 40 years and included a lengthy stint in Parliament by his father, Elmer MacKay, who served in previous Tory cabinets.

On Monday night, Mackay said there is an ebb and flow to politics and it was "resonant" across Atlantic Canada that voters were looking for something different.

"What it means — and politics is personal here in Nova Scotia, as elsewhere — is a big change in people's lives," he told CBC News.

Peter MacKay (left) and Conservative candidate Fred Delorey (centre) congratulate Liberal Sean Fraser. (Paul Emile d'Entremont/Radio-Canada)

"A lot of incumbents and a lot of new elected MPs will experience what I got to experience. And that was the wonderful sense of participating in democracy, being part of your community, representing it in the House of Commons.

"It's healthy for our country."

In 2011, MacKay took 56 per cent of the vote. The third place Liberals received just 14 per cent of the votes at the time.

As leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, MacKay was instrumental in the 2003 merger with the Canadian Alliance that created the Conservative Party. He says he remains proud of it.

"It produced a competitive democracy," he says. "I don't think anybody can disagree with that. And the Conservative Party is resilient. We're the party that started the country and we'll be around to govern again."

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