Tory leader shares lessons learned on campaign trail
SPRINGHILL – It was the kind of win Jamie Baillie was looking for.
Not only did the incumbent retain his seat in Cumberland South, he held on to his role as leader of the Progressive Conservatives and the satisfaction of watching his party become the official opposition to the new Liberal government lead by Stephen McNeil.
“There are a few things I learned in this campaign. The first one is that the polls are wrong,” Baillie told the crowd of supporters that gathered at the Springhill Legion.
Leading into the election pollsters placed the PCs third under Darrell Dexter’s NDP. But as the poll results started rolling in, it was the NDP who fell to third-choice, with Dexter and a slew of cabinet ministers losing their seats as the Liberals swept into a majority government.
“The second lesson is that when you believe strongly in your ideals it is never difficult to say what you will do because it comes naturally when you really believe in yourself, in your own plan in the future of Nova Scotia,” Baillie said. “That is why we are standing here tonight as a strong and united Royal Opposition.”
Baillie and PCs stuck to a simple campaign message during the election: lower taxes, freeze power rates and create jobs. Albeit, the Tories re-acted to NDP and Liberal promises during the election, their position fell in line with the campaign stance.
“The third thing I’ve learned – it this is the important one – no matter what we do, no matter how hard we fight, no matter how the campaign goes family comes first.”
Crisscrossing the province as the PC leader while campaigning to retain Cumberland South, Baillie said he could not have done it without the support of his wife Sandra and daughters Alex and Hannah.
“For all those Nova Scotians who struggled to pay their bills at the end of month, for those who visit with their grandchildren or their children on Skype as they work or are raised in another province, for all those Nova Scotians who wonder if there is a future for them here at home: tonight is not the end of the campaign,” Baillie said “This is just the beginning.”