Voters in Nova Scotia gave the Liberals headed by Stephen McNeil a majority victory over the ruling New Democratic Party(NDP) of Darrell Dexter. Four years ago Dexter won a historic victory for his party.
The Liberals have not been the government in Nova Scotia for 14 years. Dexter was the first NDP leader ever to win government in any Atlantic province. Now he has the misfortune of being the first government in 131 years to not win a second term in Nova Scotia.
At dissolution the NDP had 31 seats, the Liberals 12 and the Conservatives 7. As of 9:25 Eastern Standard Time (Oct. 8) the Liberals had won or were leading in 33 seats, the Conservatives in 11 and the NDP in only 7 giving the Liberals a clear majority government.
Several NDP cabinet ministers lost their seats and even Dexter the premier lost his Halifax area seat. Since he lost his seat by only 31 votes perhaps there will be a recount. The Conservative leader Jamie Baillie won his riding. His campaign emphasized tax cuts and freezing of power rates. McNeil promised to reduce the number of health districts, to cap classroom size, and to reduce spending each year by one per cent except for Health and Education. The popular Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau helped in the Liberal campaign.
Dexter inherited a huge deficit and a fragile economy. To increase government revenues he broke his campaign promise and raised the sales tax two percentage points to increase revenues. He also failed to balance the budget as often as he had promised. Finally, several key cabinet ministers left the government. The result was a huge decline in popular support reflected in recent polls which had correctly predicted the Liberal comeback.