Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil was seeing red last night, and that’s not a bad thing, since it means his Grits got enough votes to move up from the third place party to become the province’s Official Opposition.
In total, the Liberals walked away with 11 seats in the provincial legislature, up from the nine seats they had when the Tory government dissolved last month.
“I’m very pleased with the seats we’ve gained,” McNeil, 44, said over the phone from the Bridgetown Curling Club last night, where he celebrated with supporters.
“We were at a low point in our political history, and this is moving in the right direction,” he said of his party earning 27 per cent of the popular vote. “Our party base is energized and we’re going to continue to build on it.”
McNeil said he planned to fully enjoy last night's festivities before diving into his new role as Opposition leader.
“We’ll start thinking about that tomorrow,” he said, over the noise of excited Liberal revellers, adding his party will continue to lay out “positive, constructive ideas for the problems we face.”
During his speech, McNeil said he’s also “very proud” to be re-elected as MLA for the Annapolis riding. The Liberals re-elected several other MLAs in northwestern Nova Scotia, including Wayne Gaudet, Harold Theriault Jr. and Leo Glavine.
Andrew Younger has officially stepped up to provincial politics, winning the Dartmouth East seat. That means he'll soon step down from his position on the HRM council.
“It’s a good team,” he said when asked about being part of a small Liberal caucus. “The Liberals didn’t do as well as we would have liked, but we still did well.”
with notes from Jon Tattrie, for Metro Halifax