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Tories win narrow minority in Nova Scotia...

Or so the CBC predicts, with 70% of the votes counted. The numbers so far (with 2003 results in brackets) are:
PC - 23 (25)
NDP - 20 (15)
Lib - 9 (12)

For Rodney MacDonald, the leader of the Progressive Conservatives, while he holds onto a minority government, this has to taste like defeat. He obviously wanted to ride his selection as John Hamm's successor and the largely positive press on his budget proposal into a majority and it appears that he will most likely instead have an even narrower minority.

For Darrell Dexter, this is also not entirely good news, for he gets to play second fiddle still longer, although in a somewhat stronger position. My quick reading of the results shows that most of the NDP gain came from inside and around Metro, so the party still has not managed to make the rural break that it needs.

If possible, this should make for even more cautious non-governance for the province.

Oh, and it looks like Francis Mackenzie, leader of the Liberals, has lost his bid for a seat. Does this presage the return of Danny Graham to provincial politics?

One question - I didn't follow the Tory Leadership race, but did anyone else but Rodney MacDonald run for the leadership? If so, you have to wonder when the 'I could have done better' whisper campaign is going to start?

There were two others - Bill Black and Neil Leblanc. I believe that Black was the favorite in the lead-up to the convention. For the record, I believe Black lost in halifax-citadel tonight.

Okay, good to know - purely on an intellectual level of course. Still, this can't have strengthened Rodney's position as Tory leader.

Bill Black did lose his race to NDP Leonard Preyra.

Yes, I think Rodney's gonna have a lot of 'splainin' to do. The Tory popular vote was up, and they still have their minority, but that's the only good news they can take from this. And for the Tories, that's not usually good enough.

Not quite accurate to say the NDP gains were mostly from Metro. Three of the five seats the NDP gained (Queens, Pictou East and Shelburn) came from the rural mainland.

I was surprised to see another minority government. However, since I had moved to Alberta, I have not kept up with the NS politics.
Out of curiosity, has there ever been consecutive minority governments, federal or provincial, before?
Haven't the NDP had a large hold on metro over the past couple of decades?
A thought to ponder for our blogging faithful, with this new government and in the light of the Barrington Street Superstore pulling the same stunt as Pete's Fruitique (legally opening on Sunday) how soon do you think the Sunday shopping idea will be put on the floor again?

The Queens pickup for the NDP may not be as significant as it looks. That was the riding where the Liberals were MIA (they had no candidate).

Shelburne and Pictou are significant, though. Pictou has toyed with close NDP runners-ups in the past, both Federally and Provincially, so it's nice to see them get over the tipping point there. I never would have predicted Shelburne two months ago, but the NDP sent in some heavy hitters to campaign there (including Layton), so the Party must seen some favourable signs during or before the campaign.

Add Hants East to the list, too. I'd call that a rural riding.

Anyway, this has all gone more or less how I predicted when Rodney called the election. Same government, and hopefully the compromises which follow will include a number of key NDP initiatives. Let's hope that the Liberals and PCs don't wake up today and realize that they really are the same party, just with different road contractors.

A hearty goodbye to Francis MacKenzie, who shall ever be known as Captain Footnote.

Flash - I'm not sure that you won't see Rodney follow suit not too long from now. In every way aside from him losing his own seat, this is a loss for him.

The really hopeful thing for the NDP that I see here is not so much that they grabbed a couple outside Metro, which is nice, but that they placed second in 15 ridings.

Dexter might have had a right to hope for more, but the results are not bad at all.

At least it's not long now until I find out who my boss is...

I don't know about consecutive minorities, but it would be interesting to know.

I think that there is no doubt that the Sunday shopping issue is going to rise again. The Superstore has already said that the opening was successful enough that they are going to do it with a few other stores and I'd be really surprised if Sobey's doesn't follow suit. They aren't as proactive on the Sunday issue because they own the Needs chain and therefore enjoy selling a limited selection of their own products at greatly inflated prices on Sunday already.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the Needs on Prince Albert if the Braemar Superstore opens on Sunday.

(I love being able to say this) The Deputy Minister told me that he expects pretty much status quo for cabinet ministers that got re-elected. Look for a change in Speaker.
For what it's worth.

My prediction is that the empty cabinet spot will be offered to Ernie Fage.

As for the Sunday Shopping issue - I'd like to see an honest plebescite question put to the electorate: Give them 2 choices,

1. Sunday shopping, or

2. Everything is closed on Sundays - gas stations, drugstores, Tim Hortons, the lot.

For the record, Hants East has been an NDP riding since 1998, in the capable hands of John MacDonell, a farmer and (former) high school teacher, (neither a lawyer nor a doctor).

I knew that, MRx, but it's still a rural mainland riding in my view. Mt. Uniacke and some closer communities may be partially bedroom towns for HRM, but certainly the communities further out on Beaverbank Road, along the Kennetcook river, and dotting the Bay of Fundy are still as rural as rural can be.

Actually, it would be interesting to see the poll breakdown for Hants East, just to see if there's a suburbab/rural split there.

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