Liberal Darren Fisher won a second term in Parliament from Dartmouth-Cole Harbour voters Monday, holding off a challenge from the NDP’s Emma Norton.
Fisher ended the night with 45 per cent of the vote with two polls left to report, down from more than 58 per cent in 2015. Norton improved on the NDP’s previous showing with 27 per cent.
“I feel super. I’m so proud of the team that we put together that worked their fingers to the bone for this riding, for the people in this riding,” said Fisher in a post-victory interview. “I gotta tell you, I haven’t had a second yet to enjoy this with the team, but my God, they worked so hard.”
Early in the evening, Norton, 29, was briefly in the lead, sparking cheers and celebration from her supporters.
At her election night party, the television broke when the results were first announced, leaving attendees in the dark about Norton’s loss for several minutes.
But as Fisher pulled ahead, Nova Scotia NDP provincial secretary Jamie Masse stayed positive.
“Let’s remember where we were, right? For the last two years, we’ve been told how we’re going to be dead… and I think Jagmeet has captured the imagination and hope of so many people,” said Masse, referring to the federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.
Norton—a graduate of the University of King’s College—had hoped to take the seat, which the NDP held from 2011 to 2015. Her campaign focused jointly on clean energy and social programs, with policy proposals resembling the “Green New Deal” recently proposed by legislators in the United States.
“We need to take a moment to feel proud of what we’ve done,” she said during her concession speech. “We have inspired Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. I’ve talked to so many people on their doorsteps. They were so excited to vote for us. It was really amazing.”
Fisher, meanwhile, is a former Halifax city councillor who decided to run for federal office after becoming frustrated in his attempts to lobby for new laws addressing mercury pollution in landfills. He has promised to advocate for local clean tech companies during his second term.
“I want to move so far forward on environment. There’s so many amazing companies in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour doing amazing things with clean energy and clean tech, and I want to see those companies succeed,” Fisher told The Signal.
News of his victory was met with jubilation at his election night party at the Mic Mac Amateur Aquatic Club.
“I’m excited for Darren, who is my buddy and my neighbour, and is a really really good member of Parliament,” said Halifax Mayor Mike Savage, who was a Liberal MP for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour from 2004 to 2011. “I’m surprised. I didn’t think that the Liberals would hold as much as they did in Atlantic. Just looking at the results, they did really well in Nova Scotia.”
Conservative candidate Jason Cole, a pastor at City Heights Church, suffered his second punishing loss in two elections. He won 16 per cent of the votes, up two points from his 2015 results in the same riding.
Lil MacPherson of the Green Party—a restaurateur and sustainable food activist who previously ran and lost for Halifax mayor, won 10 per cent of the vote last night.
“I hope that all the people that get elected really keep an eye on climate change, and do everything that they need to do together to have a better Canada and a better future,” she told the Signal.
Michelle Lindsay of the People’s Party trailed with 1.8 per cent of the vote.
The results come in the wake of a hard-fought national campaign marked by scandals and deeply unpopular party leaders.
On Thursday, a Forum Research poll found that more than half of Canadians surveyed disapproved of both incumbent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.
New Democrat leader Singh fared better. Half of the respondents said they approved of him and only about a quarter said they disapproved.
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