Riding to Watch: South Shore–St. Margarets NS
WATCH ABOVE: CPAC’s Martin Stringer reports from South Shore–St. Margarets
Rural Economic Development Minister Bernadette Jordan won a resounding 2015 victory for the Liberals in this rural riding that stretches from just south of Halifax to Nova Scotia’s southern tip. Included are communities such as Bridgewater, Chester, Liverpool, Lunenberg, and Shelburne.
But South Shore–St. Margarets has been a Conservative stronghold for decades, most recently with longtime MP Gerald Keddy (1997-2015). Since 1968, only one other election has gone to the Liberals (Derek Wells in 1993).
Challenging for the Conservatives is Rick Perkins, a former vice-president of the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation and Mulroney-era political aide in Ottawa.
Jessika Hepburn, an entrepreneur and social activist, is running for the NDP. Thomas Trappenberg, a Dalhousie University computer science professor who also serves as provincial Green leader, is on the ballot as well. And Robert Monk is the People’s Party candidate.
South Shore–St Margarets has a high percentage of seniors (24%) and one of Canada’s lowest proportions of residents age 15 to 24 (8.2%). Average household income is in the bottom quarter of all ridings and nearly 20% are living below the poverty line. The population fell nearly 1% between 2011 and 2016.
Bernadette Jordan (Liberal) won in 2015 with 56.9% support — and a 34.4% margin of victory (18,140 votes) over Conservative runner-up Richard Clark.
Voter turnout was 69.6%.
South Shore–St. Margarets was the 284thclosest race out of all 338 ridings.
THE RIDING IN NUMBERS (CENSUS 2016)
SIZE: 8,475.0 km2
POPULATION: 91,830 people in 2016: a change of -0.8% from 2011. The average age is 46.5, with 13.3% age 14 and under and 23.8% 65 and older.
CITIZENSHIP: 98% are Canadian citizens. 5.2% are immigrants. 5% indicated Aboriginal identity. 1.7% are visible minorities 5.8% are 1st generation Canadians. 6.2% are 2nd generation. 88% are 3rd generation and older.
HOUSING: The average home value in 2016 was $236,729. Renters paid an average of $784 per month, with 12.7% in subsidized housing. 86.0% of dwellings are single-detached houses; 1% are condos. 3.6% of all homes were built between 2011 and 2016.
INCOME: Median total income in 2015 was $30,392. 17.1% of people were classified as low-income (after tax) — 20.1% of children and 20.9% of seniors.
IDENTITY: Top reported ethnic origins are Canadian: 43645 / English: 25525 / German: 21160 / Scottish: 19095 / Irish: 14950
IMMIGRATION: United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Europe-Other, Netherlands are the top birth origins for immigrants. United Kingdom is the top origin for recent immigrants (2011 to 2016).
LANGUAGE: German, Spanish, Dutch, Arabic, and Mandarin are the most common non-official languages. Official Mother Tongues: 96.38% English / 1.28% French
EDUCATION: 24.5% have no degree, diploma, or certificate. 16% have a university bachelor’s degree or above.
-Compiled by Andrew Thomson