HALIFAX—Voters in Nova Scotia dumped the NDP on Tuesday after giving Darrell Dexter a historic election victory four years ago, turning this time to Liberal Stephen McNeil, who swept to power on promises to bring soaring electricity rates under control while putting an end to corporate handouts.
It’s been 14 years since the Liberals were in government and McNeil returns the party to its glory years of the 1990s with a majority.
Dexter lost his seat in Cole Harbour-Portland Valley by 31 votes after a tight battle in the Halifax-area riding, an area he represented in the legislature for 15 years. Several of his top cabinet ministers also went down in defeat.
McNeil, 48, overcame a barrage of attacks ads from the NDP who questioned whether he had what it takes to be premier with the tagline: “Stephen McNeil, Not Worth the Risk.”
The former owner of an appliance repair business, who was easily re-elected in his riding of Annapolis, led the Liberals to victory after falling well short in 2009, when the party won 11 seats as the NDP swept the province.
Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie, who won his riding of Cumberland South, made tax cuts and frozen power rates the central commitments of his campaign. This was the first election as leader for Baillie, a 47-year-old chartered accountant who was once chief of staff to former Tory premier John Hamm.
McNeil ran a safe campaign, offering no great spending initiatives in a platform that promised to chop the…