The bad news came early for the Liberals as two of their Atlantic Canadian incumbents fell by wide margins to New Democrats and a third came close to losing his seat.
But mid-campaign predictions of a giant-killing NDP candidate in Central Nova proved wildly off-base. Conservative incumbent Peter MacKay easily fought off his challengers to re-take the seat by more than 10,000 votes.
"You know, Atlantic Canada has had the experience of an NDP government now here in Nova Scotia and I think the blossom is off the orange blossom in this province," Mr. MacKay said after his victory was secured.
He conceded there would be a lot of close races in the region. It quickly became clear, though, that his party was not the one facing the voters' wrath. The Liberals had a disappointing night, giving up ground to the NDP in several ridings.
NDP candidate Ryan Cleary won a resounding victory on his second attempt in the Newfoundland riding of St. John's South-Mt. Pearl, beating Liberal Siobhan Coady by 20percentage points. And former provincial New Democrat Robert Chisholm handily toppled Liberal Mike Savage in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, a Nova Scotia seat the Grit had held for three terms.
The Liberals did win a tight battle in Halifax West, returning Geoff Regan in a race that stayed close until the last polls were being counted. And they held onto Avalon, a Newfoundland riding won by Scott Andrews during the anti-Tory mood led in 2008 by former premier Danny Williams.
In the end, the Tories kept a firm grip on all of their seats considered in play in the region. Gerald Keddy re-took his Nova Scotia riding, South Shore-St. Margaret's, and Keith Ashfield and Rodney Weston were returned in New Brunswick.