Voters in Pictou West prepare to cast ballots in Nova Scotia byelection

Today voters in the rural Nova Scotia electoral district of Pictou West will take to the polls in a riding that voted decisively Tory in the 2021 provincial election. Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston speaks to reporters at the Nova Scotia legislature in Halifax, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese.

Voters in the rural Nova Scotia electoral district of Pictou West will head to the polls for a byelection today to replace the recently retired legislative speaker.

Progressive Conservative Karla MacFarlane announced her retirement last month, and two weeks later Premier Tim Houston called the byelection to fill the seat she had held since 2013.

She easily retained the seat for the Progressive Conservatives in the 2021 general election, taking nearly 64 per cent of the vote, but the riding that includes the town of Pictou had gone to the NDP for a decade before MacFarlane’s election.

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The PCs are being represented in today’s byelection by Marco MacLeod, who runs a small custom lumber mill on his family farm.

Also vying for the seat is Liberal candidate and member of Pictou County council Mary Wooldridge-Elliott, who finished a distant second to MacFarlane in 2021, the NDP’s Melinda MacKenzie, who is on Pictou town council, and Green Party candidate Clare Brett, who also ran in 2021.

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Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published May 21, 2024. 

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