BY ADVERTISER and REGISTER STAFF
Kings County Advertiser/Register
Scott Brison was right to take nothing for granted in Kings-Hants. The Liberal incumbent will return to Ottawa for the sixth time, but with a much slimmer margin of victory. With all 217 polls reporting, Brison had 15,887 (39.6 per cent) to David Morse’s 14,714 (36.6 per cent.) NDP Mark Rogers had 8,043 at 20 per cent of the vote. Sheila Richardson has 1,520- 3.8 per cent of the vote.
For the first few polls, it looked like it could be even tighter, but Brison took a slim lead after 25 of the polls were in. He was one of few Liberals left standing when the night was done. Before midnight, it was clear the Conservatives would form a majority government, with the NDP as official opposition.
Brison joined supporters at the Tempest Restaurant in Wolfville around 10 p.m.
When they bring the Prime Minister in the Saturday night before the election, he said commenting on the squeaker victory, you know they're out to get you.
He called the voters of Kings-Hants progressive in rejecting Stephen
Harper's vision of Canada. Brison promised to be out on Highway 101 May 3 to thank those who elected him yet again.
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"It's an honour and a privilege to represent Kings-Hants," he said,
adding he had heard loud and clear on the campaign how many families are hurting.
"I am going to go back to Ottawa," Brison said, "and fight for them.
"They've got part time work, they're afraid they can't afford to pay
their heat and light bills."
"I've never met so many people who are caring for their children and their parents," he said. "There are more vulnerable families than there were three years ago."
The Cheverie resident first ran as a Progressive Conservative in 1997, then stepped down in 2000 to allow leader Joe Clark to win a by-election seat. Brison re-won the seat in the 2000 general election. He left the party after its 2003 merger with the Canadian Alliance, crossing the floor to the Liberals. He then won the riding for the Liberals in 2004, 2006 and 2008.
Former provincial cabinet minister Morse gave Brison a much tougher run for his money than 2008 contender Rosemary Segado.
"I'm pleased with my campaign. We closed the gap, but on the other hand, we ran to win, not just close the gap,” Morse said after joining supporters at the Kentville Legion.
"I don't feel personally there's anything more I could have done, or done differently," he said, "or that my campaign team could have done differently. They all worked their hearts out."
"Scott has a personal base out there that stuck with him through a tough election campaign. I congratulate him."
NDP Mark Rogers failed to capitalize on the NDP momentum, finishing third, but said he was pleased the NDP wave of support was built on a platform of respect and policy without stooping to negative political tactics.
With supporters at Lew Murphy’s Bar and Grill in Coldbrook, Rogers said, “It was one of the most inspiring, interesting things I’ve done for a long time.”
Rogers added he was glad to see so many people become interested in politics during the campaign and, with voter apathy high in recent elections, the more who turn out to the polls the better.
Voter turnout was slightly higher in Kings-Hants than in 2008 at 61.9 per cent, but not as high as anticipated after astounding advance poll numbers came in last week.