TRURO – The red tidal wave that swept across Nova Scotia on Tuesday was not enough to wash the orange from the Truro zone.
© HARRY SULLIVAN - TRURO DAILY NEWS
Lenore Zann is greeted by well-wishers including her father Paul last night in Bible Hill. Harry Sullivan - Truro Daily News
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"I'm feeling very emotional. I feel very bad for my colleagues who've lost their seats," a victorious Lenore Zann said, moments after her NDP seat had been declared the winner in the riding of Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook Salmon River..
Zann's victory was a rarity for the NDP who were swept from power by an overwhelming Liberal majority across the province. Even former Premier Darrell Dexter felt the voters’ angst when he lost his Cole Harbour-Portland Valley seat by 31 votes to Liberal Tony Ince.
While Zann felt her party did not deserve the rout handed down by the voters, she felt her own efforts were recognized by the local electorate.
“I think personally it’s unfair to a certain degree to the hard work that we all did and some of the very difficult decisions that we had to face and some of the huge challenges in these last four years,” she said.
"But obviously I feel I've worked very, very hard for my people here in Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River and they came through for me tonight."
After the results of all 49 of the riding’s polls had been reported, Zann was declared victor by nearly 500 votes. She garnered 3,165 votes compared to 2,682 for Liberal Barry Mellish and 2,470 for Progressive Conservative Charles Cox.
“I think in this particular case it was a vote for the person and I heard that on the doorsteps,” she said. “And they know that I’m full of integrity, I’m honest, I’m hard working, I love my community and I will do anything I can for my community and I think that rings through loud and clear.”
And Zann also said she felt more of a sense of vindication with this election win than during her first campaign in 2009.
“In a way I think this win shows all the work that I did. The first win was partly due to the whole NDP sweep and obviously there’s been a whole Liberal sweep this time,” she said. “So, the fact I’m still standing makes me feel very, very grateful, very humble and very pleased that I am going to be able to continue my political career.
First-time Liberal candidate Mellish was disappointed with the defeat but expressed great pride in his campaign team.
"It was a really positive experience," he said. " I was pleased with the reaction I was getting at the doors."
Mellish described the campaign as "cordial" with all candidates behaving in a professional manner.
"The people of Truro decided they did not want a Liberal or PC candidate in, they wanted to keep Lenore."
And he wondered what it will mean for the community with a NDP MLA in the legislature.
"The returning MLA won't even be on the side of the opposition," Mellish said.
Cox, who had also tried his first run at provincial politics, said he was strangely "content" despite placing third in the riding.
"Actually I'm feeling pretty good," he said. "Don't ask me why."
Cox said he was pleased with the effort his team put into the campaign and with the new friends he made along the trail.
"The people have made their choice," he said. "But I don't feel I've lost anything."
And he also credited his opposition candidates with running a clean campaign.
“There were no dirty shots,” Cox said.
Click here for the results from the Colchester North riding, and here for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley results. For the story on the new Liberal government, click here; see comments from the leader of the official opposition here; and comments from NDP leader Darrell Dexter here.
Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River candidates and riding info:
NDP (incumbent) - Lenore Zann - 3,165
Liberal - Barry Mellish - 2,682
Progressive Conservative - Charles Cox - 2,470
2011 population: 20,144. Electors - 15,656