Progressive Conservative Association of Nova Scotia leadership elections

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The Progressive Conservative Association of Nova Scotia, Canada, has held seven leadership elections since World War II. The last was in the October 2010, following the resignation of Rodney MacDonald.

1922 leadership convention[edit]

(Held June 29, 1922)

(The vote totals were not released)

1925 leadership election[edit]

Edgar Nelson Rhodes was elected at a meeting of the party executive and nominated candidates on May 21, 1925.

1940 leadership convention[edit]

(Held October 9, 1940)

1948 leadership convention[edit]

Party President Robert Stanfield won this convention handily defeating C. Fred Fraser 246-76 on November 10, 1948. Stanfield would go on to become premier from 1956 to 1967. In 1967, he won the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and led that party for another nine years.

1967 leadership convention[edit]

With Stanfield's election as federal leader, the provincial leadership and premiership opened up. His long-time right-hand man, G.I. (Ike) Smith, ran for the leadership and was acclaimed on November 4, 1967.

1971 leadership convention[edit]

Three candidates, all in their thirties, ran for the leadership of the opposition Tories. Two former cabinet ministers, Gerry Doucet, the 33-year-old MLA for Richmond, and John Buchanan, the 39-year-old MLA for Halifax Atlantic were running against the 36-year-old mayor of Dartmouth, Rollie Thornhill.

(Held March 6, 1971)

First ballot[edit]

Second ballot[edit]

Thornhill personally supported Buchanan, but "released" his delegates to support either candidate.

1991 leadership convention[edit]

After a couple of decades, including 12 years as premier, John Buchanan resigned the party leadership when he was summoned to the Senate.

Four candidates fought to succeed him as premier. Rollie Thornhill, from the 1971 race, would make a second run for the leadership, this time after sitting in the House as the MLA for Dartmouth South for 17 years. Caucus colleagues running were Donald Cameron, the MLA for Pictou East who entered the House when Thornhill did; and Tom McInnis, the 13-year MLA for Eastern Shore. Rounding out the field was Clair Callaghan, the principal of the Technical University of Nova Scotia (now part of Dalhousie University), and a candidate in the 1988 general election.

(Held February 9, 1991)

First ballot[edit]

  • Donald Cameron 754
  • Rollie Thornhill 736
  • Tom McInnis 680
  • Clair Callaghan 178

Second ballot[edit]

  • Donald Cameron 801
  • Rollie Thornhill 775
  • Tom McInnis 762

Third ballot[edit]

  • Donald Cameron 1,201
  • Rollie Thornhill 1,058

1995 leadership convention[edit]

(Held October 28, 1995)

In a one member one vote telephone election, John Hamm was elected on the first ballot:

  • John Hamm 1,594
  • Jim White 1,107
  • Michael MacDonald 284

2006 leadership convention[edit]

(Held February 11, 2006)

First Ballot:

(Note: There were three spoiled ballots)

Second Ballot (LeBlanc eliminated, supports MacDonald):

(Note: There were 12 spoiled ballots)

2010 leadership convention[edit]

Jamie Baillie was acclaimed leader on October 30, 2010.[1]

Next leadership election[edit]

On November 1, 2017, Jamie Baillie announced that he is stepping down as leader.[2]


  • Beck, J. Murray, Politics of Nova Scotia, vol.2. Four East Publications, 1988.
  • Carty, Kenneth R., et al., Leaders and Parties in Canadian Politics: Experiences of the Provinces. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Canada, 1992.
  • Stewart, Ian and Stewart, David K., Conventional choices : Maritime leadership politics. University of British Columbia Press, 2007.