Nova Scotia Liberal Party leadership election, 2007

Nova Scotia Liberal Party leadership election, 2007
McNeil makes his acceptance speech Saturday, at the Dartmouth Sportplex, after winning on the second ballot.

The Nova Scotia Liberal Party held a leadership election on April 27, 2007 at the Dartmouth Sportsplex, following the resignation of Francis MacKenzie, shortly after failing to win a seat in the 2006 election. This was the third leadership convention for the Liberals since 2002. It was won by Annapolis MLA Stephen McNeil.

The Liberal Party is a centrist political party in the Province of Nova Scotia, Canada. It is, with the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia and New Democratic Party of Nova Scotia, one of three parties that have formed a government in the province. The Liberal Party of Nova Scotia has controlled the government for much of the province's history, having been in power from Canadian Confederation in 1867 to 1878, 1882 to 1925, 1933 to 1956, 1970 to 1978 and 1993 to 1999. However, from the 1999 election until the 2009 election it was relegated to third party status behind the Progressive Conservatives and the New Democratic Party of Nova Scotia. In 2009, under McNeil's leadership, the party returned to official opposition status as the second largest party in the legislature.

The new leader was chosen by a full delegated convention, the first in the party since 1986, after which time the party had adopted a one member one vote system used in the 1992 and all subsequent leadership contests.

Michel Samson was the interim leader of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia, and leader in the House of Assembly for the third place party.



The party issued a 78 page document, outlining the rules, on January 15, 2007.[1]


Mike Smith
Diana Whalen
Kenzie McKinnon
Stephen McNeil

Various members of the party announced that they would not seek the leadership. Among them were interim leader Michel Samson, Dartmouth physician John Gillis,[6] and Liberal MPs Geoff Regan,[6] Scott Brison, and Michael Savage,


The following is a list of high-profile endorsers for each of the candidates; the list includes MLAs, MPs, and Senators, as well as former MLAs, Premiers, and Lieutenant-Governors.

MacKinnon (3)

McNeil (9)

Smith (13)

  • Aldric d'Entremont, Warden, Municipality of Argyle
  • Lloyd Hines, Warden, Municipality of the District of Guysborough
  • Glenn Horne, President, St. F.X. Young Liberals
  • Dennis James, former President NS Young Liberals, Chief of Staff to Premier John Savage, Former Federal Candidate
  • Dr. Ed Kinley, former MLA for Halifax Citadel
  • Ed Lorraine, former MLA and provincial Minister of Agriculture
  • Kenneth MacAskill, former MLA and provincial Minister of Natural Resources
  • Richie Mann, President of Dartmouth Cole Harbour, former MLA, former Minister of Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development
  • Duart McAuley, Warden, Municipality of the County of Inverness
  • Traci-Lyn McMenamon, VP Hants East Liberal Association
  • Eleanor Norrie, former MLA Truro-Bible Hill, former Minister of Natural Resources, Housing and Consumer Affairs, and Status of Women
  • Lorraine Sheppard, Cape Breton South, Past Member of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party Management Committee
  • Gordon Thompson, President, Yarmouth Liberal Association
  • Floyd Tucker, former MLA for Colchester North

Whalen (9)

Caucus members who did not endorse a candidate

Party general meeting

In addition to the leadership convention, the party will hold its Annual General Meeting including the election of officers, adoption of policies and potential constitutional amendments.


Stephen McNeil, winner of the Liberal Leadership race.

First Ballot

Candidate Votes Percentage +/-*
Stephen McNeil 571 40.9% -
Diana Whalen 402 28.8% -
Mike Smith 255 18.3% -
Kenzie MacKinnon 169 12.1% -
Total 1,397 100.0%

Spoiled Ballots: 0


  • Kenzie MacKinnon is eliminated with the lowest vote total. He gives his support to Diana Whalen.
  • Mike Smith chooses to withdraw and support Whalen.

Second Ballot

Candidate Votes Percentage +/-*
Stephen McNeil 718 52.5% +11.6%
Diana Whalen 650 47.5% +18.7
Total 1,368 100.0%

Spoiled Ballots: 0


  • Stephen McNeil wins the 2007 Liberal Leadership race.


  • January 10: Mike Smith, the mayor of Colchester County, becomes the first registered candidate, launching his campaign in Truro.[4]
  • January 12: Interim leader Michel Samson announces that he will not run for party leadership.[8]
  • January 18: Halifax-Clayton Park MLA Diana Whalen becomes the second and highest profile candidate in the race, launching her campaign in Halifax.
  • January 19: Kenzie MacKinnon announces that he will enter the leadership race.
  • January 30: Annapolis MLA Stephen McNeil becomes the second MLA to enter the race; he is the first to have endorsements from current MLAs.
  • April 28: Stephen McNeil elected for leader.

See also


External links

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