The NDP's 34-year stronghold in the Sackville-Cobequid riding is over after the Progressive Conservatives won a tight race in Tuesday's byelection.
It was a two-horse race as HRM councillor Steve Craig edged NDP candidate Lara Fawthrop by just shy of 200 votes.
According to Elections Nova Scotia, the unofficial numbers show Craig tallied 2,655 votes while Fawthrop got 2,472. Liberal candidate Michel Hindlet pulled in 658 votes, Anthony Edmonds tallied 488 for the Greens and David Boyd got 43 votes for the Atlantic Party.
Speaking to reporters shortly after his victory, Craig said he believes this sends a strong message to the Liberal Government.
"I think the government really, seriously has to take a look at the Progressive Conservative Party and that we are an absolute threat to form the government in 2021," said Craig.
PC leader Tim Houston echoed similar sentiments, saying this doesn't bode well for the McNeil Liberals.
"People are turning their back on Stephen McNeil and they're turning their back on his policies and they're looking to who they think can be the next alternative to the government," said Houston.
Meantime, NDP leader Gary Burrill called the loss a disappointment for his party and said he believes Craig's status as an regional councillor played into Tuesday's result.
"Mr. Craig has had a lot of recognition through his role in the council and has been familiar to people and that clearly has played a big role in the outcome of the byelection," said Burrill.
Fawthrop was not available for comment.
The official count will take place Thursday morning.