Nova Scotia’s new government is mostly made up of veteran politicians

Out of 55 seats in the legislature, 31 are filled by incumbents returning to office.

The brand-new totally different but mostly exactly the same members of Nova Scotia’s historic legislature are sworn in this week.

This week, the 55 people who won the recent provincial election get sworn into office, and Progressive Conservative Party leader Tim Houston officially becomes premier Houston, leading a PC majority government. The swing from Liberal to PC might seem like a major message of change coming from the electorate—which turned out in pretty typical numbers at just over 55 percent of eligible voters casting a ballot according to Elections Nova Scotia, not the 35 percent figure that’s been bandied about on social media.

But the brand-new 64th General Assembly of Nova Scotia’s legislature features a group of MLAs made up mostly of incumbent politicians. Out of 55 provincial ridings, including four introduced in this election, 31 seats went to candidates who’d already been serving in office. The bounty of utterly new MLAs representing peninsula Halifax is the exception in Nova Scotia, not the rule. Here is a chart of all the people elected into the new legislature, incumbents marked in yellow. Some of the incumbents’ riding names may have changed in the redrawing of the electoral map, so we’ve noted the former ridings where applicable.

MLAs elected in Nova Scotia’s 2021 provincial election

District Riding name MLA Party Incumbent’s former riding (if name changed)
1 Annapolis Carman Kerr Liberal
2 Antigonish Michelle Thompson PC
3 Argyle Colton LeBlanc PC Argyle-Barrington 
4 Bedford Basin Kelly Regan Liberal Bedford 
5 Bedford South Braedon Clark Liberal
6 Cape Breton Centre-Whitney Pier Kendra Coombes NDP Cape Breton Centre 
7 Cape Breton East Brian Comer PC Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg
8 Chester-St. Margaret’s Danielle Barkhouse PC
9 Clare Ronnie LeBlanc Liberal  
10 Clayton Park West Rafah DiCostanzo Liberal
11 Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley Larry Harrison PC
12 Colchester North Tom Taggart PC
13 Cole Harbour Tony Ince Liberal Cole Harbour-Portland Valley
14 Cole Harbour-Dartmouth Lorelei Nicoll Liberal
15 Cumberland North Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin Independent  
16 Cumberland South Tory Rushton PC
17 Dartmouth East Tim Halman PC
18 Dartmouth North Susan LeBlanc NDP  
19 Dartmouth South Claudia Chender NDP  
20 Digby-Annapolis Jill S. Balser PC
21 Eastern Passage Barbara Adams PC Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage 
22 Eastern Shore Kent Smith PC
23 Fairview-Clayton Park Patricia Arab Liberal  
24 Glace Bay-Dominion John White PC
25 Guysborough Tracadie Greg Morrow PC
26 Halifax Armdale Ali Duale Liberal
27 Halifax Atlantic Brendan Maguire Liberal  
28 Halifax Chebucto Gary Burrill NDP
29 Halifax Citadel-Sable Island Lisa Lachance NDP  
30 Halifax Needham Suzy Hansen NDP  
31 Hammonds Plains-Lucasville Ben Jessome Liberal  
32 Hants East John A. MacDonald PC
33 Hants West Melissa Sheehy-Richard PC  
34 Inverness Allan Gerard MacMaster PC  
35 Kings North John Lohr PC  
36 Kings South Keith Irving Liberal  
37 Kings West Chris Palmer PC  
38 Lunenburg Susan Corkum-Greek PC  
39 Lunenburg West Becky Druhan PC  
40 Northside-Westmount Fred Tilley Liberal  
41 Pictou Centre Pat Dunn PC
42 Pictou East Tim Houston PC  
43 Pictou West Karla MacFarlane PC  
44 Preston Angela Simmonds Liberal  
45 Queens Kim Masland PC Queens-Shelburne
46 Richmond Trevor Boudreau PC  
47 Sackville-Cobequid Steve Craig PC  
48 Sackville Uniacke Brad Johns PC Sackville-Beaver Bank 
49 Shelburne Nolan Young PC  
50 Sydney-Membertou Derek Mombourquette Liberal Sydney-Whitney Pier
51 Timberlea-Prospect Iain Rankin Liberal  
52 Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River Dave Ritcey PC
53 Victoria-The Lakes Keith L. Bain PC  
54 Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank Brian Wong PC  
55 Yarmouth Zach Churchill Liberal