Nova Scotia Liberal Party

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Nova Scotia Liberal Party
Active provincial party
Leader Stephen McNeil
President Dr. John Gillis
Secretary Janet Becigneul
Founded 1883
Headquarters 5151 George Street
Suite 1400
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 2T3
Youth wing Nova Scotia Young Liberals (NSYL)
Ideology Liberalism
Political position Centre-right[1]
National affiliation Liberal Party of Canada
Colours Red
Seats in House of Assembly
27 / 51
Website
Official website

The Nova Scotia Liberal Party is a socially liberal, fiscally conservative[2] political party in Nova Scotia, Canada. The party currently forms government in Nova Scotia, under the leadership of Premier Stephen McNeil. It has held power in the province since the 2013 election, and the current government led by Stephen McNeil was the first in Nova Scotia to win 2 consecutive majorities since the government of John Buchanan,[3] after the victory in the 2017 Nova Scotia election.

Origins[edit]

The party is descended from the pre-Confederation Reformers in Nova Scotia who coalesced around Joseph Howe demanding the institution of responsible government. The Liberals (Reformers) formed several governments in the colony between 1848 and 1867.

The party split during the debate on Confederation, with Howe and most other Liberals forming an Anti-Confederation Party, while supporters of confederation joined Tory Charles Tupper's Confederation Party. Howe, himself, initially opposed Confederation, but accepted it as a reality after initial attempts to scuttle it failed.

In 1868, Howe joined the pro-Confederation forces, serving for a time in the federal Cabinet of Sir John A. Macdonald.

The Anti-Confederation Party took most of Nova Scotia's seats in the House of Commons of Canada in 1867, as well as forming the government of the new province under William Annand. The new, post-1867 Liberal Party was organised by Annand and his anti-Confederate forces, while the Conservative Party was organised by Tupper and supporters of Sir John A. Macdonald's coalition in the province.

Prior to 1956, the Nova Scotia Liberal Party had ruled the province for 76 of its 89 years, most of that time with fewer than 5 opposition members. It had also ruled prior to confederation, and was responsible for bringing the first responsible government to North America. From 1882 to 1925, the Liberals held power for an unbroken 43 years, the second longest serving political dynasty in Canadian history, behind the Alberta PCs.[4]

The party in recent years[edit]

From 1956 the Tories gained significant ground with Robert Stanfield's reformation of the "Progressive Conservatives", and have successfully challenged the Liberals for control of the government. The Liberals faltered in the province at the beginning of the 21st century, and for a time were the third-largest party in the House of Assembly, behind the Tories and the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party. After the Nova Scotia Liberal Party's dismal performance in the 2006 election (and failing to win his own seat), leader Francis MacKenzie announced his resignation.[5] He was succeeded by Stephen McNeil. In the 2009 election, the Liberals moved out of third-party status and formed the official opposition once again. In the 2013 election, the Liberals won a majority government, their first since the 1993 election under John Savage, and took office for the first time in 14 years.[6]

The Nova Scotia Liberals are the provincial section of the federal Liberal Party of Canada. The two parties have a shared membership, and Liberal Members of Parliament often become Liberal Members of the Legislative Assembly, and vice versa. Gerald Regan, for instance, became leader of the provincial party after serving as a Liberal MP. He joined the federal Liberal government after serving as premier of Nova Scotia. Angus L. Macdonald, the province's most storied Liberal premier, split his term into two by spending five years as a federal Liberal cabinet minister in the wartime government of William Lyon Mackenzie King.

Current elected members[edit]

Name Riding Year elected
Stephen McNeil Annapolis 2003
Patricia Arab Fairview-Clayton Park 2013
Karen Casey Colchester North 2006
Zach Churchill Yarmouth 2010
Keith Colwell Preston 2003
Randy Delorey Antigonish 2013
Lena Diab Halifax Armdale 2013
Rafah DiCostanzo Clayton Park West 2017
Mark Furey Lunenburg West 2013
Leo Glavine Kings West 2003
Lloyd Hines Guysborough–Eastern Shore–Tracadie 2013
Bill Horne Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank 2013
Tony Ince Cole Harbour-Portland Valley 2013
Keith Irving Kings South 2013
Ben Jessome Hammonds Plains-Lucasville 2013
Labi Kousoulis Halifax Citadel-Sable Island 2013
Suzanne Lohnes-Croft Lunenburg 2013
Hugh MacKay Chester-St. Margaret's 2017
Geoff MacLellan Glace Bay 2010
Brendan Maguire Halifax Atlantic 2013
Margaret Miller Hants East 2013
Derek Mombourquette Sydney-Whitney Pier 2015
Kevin Murphy Eastern Shore 2013
Chuck Porter Hants West 2006
Iain Rankin Timberlea-Prospect 2013
Kelly Regan Bedford-Birch Cove 2009
Gordon Wilson Clare-Digby 2013

Party leaders[edit]

Election results[edit]

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
1867 William Annand 58.6
36 / 38
Increase 21 Increase 1st Majority
1871 52.2
24 / 38
Decrease 12 Steady 1st Majority
1874 Philip Carteret Hill 55.0
22 / 38
Decrease 2 Steady 1st Majority
1878 45.1
6 / 38
Decrease 16 Decrease 2nd Opposition
1882 None 51.8
24 / 38
Increase 18 Increase 1st Majority
1886 William Stevens Fielding 54.7
28 / 38
Increase 4 Steady 1st Majority
1890 52.2
29 / 38
Increase 1 Steady 1st Majority
1894 51.9
25 / 38
Decrease 4 Steady 1st Majority
1897 George Henry Murray 55.0
34 / 38
Increase 9 Steady 1st Majority
1901 56.7
36 / 38
Increase 2 Steady 1st Majority
1906 53.2
32 / 38
Decrease 4 Steady 1st Majority
1911 51.1
26 / 38
Decrease 10 Steady 1st Majority
1916 50.4
31 / 43
Increase 5 Steady 1st Majority
1920 44.4
29 / 43
Decrease 2 Steady 1st Majority
1925 Ernest Howard Armstrong 36.3
3 / 43
Decrease 26 Decrease 2nd Opposition
1928 William Chisholm 47.2
18 / 43
Increase 15 Steady 2nd Opposition
1933 Angus Lewis Macdonald 52.6
22 / 30
Increase 4 Increase 1st Majority
1937 51.0
25 / 30
Increase 3 Steady 1st Majority
1941 Alexander Stirling MacMillan 52.6
22 / 30
Decrease 3 Steady 1st Majority
1945 Angus Lewis Macdonald 52.7
28 / 30
Increase 6 Steady 1st Majority
1949 51.0
27 / 37
Decrease 1 Steady 1st Majority
1953 49.0
22 / 37
Decrease 5 Steady 1st Majority
1956 Henry Hicks 48.2
18 / 43
Decrease 4 Decrease 2nd Opposition
1960 42.6
15 / 43
Decrease 3 Steady 2nd Opposition
1963 Earl Wallace Urquhart 39.7
4 / 43
Decrease 11 Steady 2nd Opposition
1967 Gerald Regan 41.8
6 / 46
Increase 2 Steady 2nd Opposition
1970 46.1
23 / 46
Increase 17 Increase 1st Minority
1974 47.9
31 / 46
Increase 8 Steady 1st Majority
1978 39.4
17 / 52
Decrease 14 Decrease 2nd Opposition
1981 Sandy Cameron 33.2
13 / 52
Decrease 4 Steady 2nd Opposition
1984 129,310 31.3
6 / 52
Decrease 7 Steady 2nd Opposition
1988 Vince MacLean 186,007 39.6
21 / 52
Increase 15 Steady 2nd Opposition
1993 John Savage 243,298 49.7
40 / 52
Increase 19 Increase 1st Majority
1998 Russell MacLellan 158,620 35.3
19 / 52
Decrease 21 Steady 1st Minority
1999 128,795 29.8
11 / 52
Decrease 8 Decrease 3rd Opposition
2003 Danny Graham 128,417 31.5
12 / 52
Increase 1 Steady 3rd Opposition
2006 Francis MacKenzie 94,872 23.4
9 / 52
Decrease 3 Steady 3rd Opposition
2009 Stephen McNeil 112,160 27.2
11 / 52
Increase 2 Increase 2nd Opposition
2013 190,112 45.7
33 / 51
Increase 22 Increase 1st Majority
2017 157,541 39.5
27 / 51
Decrease 6 Steady 1st Majority

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Canadian Press; The Chronicle Herald. Liberal Premier Stephen McNeil: Nova Scotia's soft-spoken fiscal hawk. 
  2. ^ "New cabinet, same position on labour negotiations for McNeil government". CBC. 2017-05-01. Retrieved 2017-12-03. 
  3. ^ "Nova Scotians elect Stephen McNeil's Liberals to second straight majority government". Global News. Retrieved 2017-12-03. 
  4. ^ "Alberta keeps Tories". The Chronicle Herald. April 24, 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-12. 
  5. ^ "MacKenzie steps down as Liberal leader". CBC News. June 20, 2006. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  6. ^ "Stephen McNeil leads Liberals to majority in Nova Scotia". CBC News. October 8, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 

External links[edit]