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Election day: Monday Aug. 5

Number of ridings: 52

Main campaign issues: Soaring auto insurance premiums, income tax cuts, health care for seniors, tax rebates, government spending, student debt relief, class sizes.

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Last general election (July 27, 1999): Progressive Conservatives won 30 seats (39 per cent of popular vote); New Democrats 11 (30 per cent); Liberals 11 (30 per cent).

Standings at dissolution

Conservatives 31

NDP 11

Liberals 7

Independent 1

Vacancy 2

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Party leaders

John Hamm

Conservative Leader, age 65

First elected to Nova Scotia legislature in 1993, re-elected in 1998. Elected Leader of the Nova Scotia Tories in 1995. Won election in 1999. Grew up in New Glasgow, N.S. Early career in family medicine at Aberdeen Hospital in New Glasgow. Wife Genesta, two sons John and Jeffrey, and daughter Jennifer.

Darrell Elvin Dexter

NDP Leader, age 45

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First elected to N.S. legislature in 1998, re-elected in 1999. Elected party leader in June 2002, after a year as interim leader. Elected to Dartmouth city council in 1993. Grew up in Halifax and Milton, N.S. Early career in print and radio journalism. Partner in Dartmouth, N.S., law firm since 1989. Wife Kelly, son Harris, 12.

Danny Graham

Liberal Leader, age 41

Won party leadership in April 2002. Grew up in Antigonish, N.S., and Sydney N.S., one of 10 children of Senator Al Graham, a former federal Liberal Party president. Has worked in business and commercial real estates, and practiced as a corporate and defence lawyer. Wife Sheelagh Nolan, sons Patrick, Andrew and Colin.

The history of summer elections

Federal and provincial elections held during July or August for which outcomes are known:

R: retained power

D: Defeated party in power

Con. - Conservatives, Lib. - Liberals, SC - Social Credit, DNP - New Democratic Party, U.F. of Alta - United Farmers of Alberta, PC - Progressive Conservatives, U.F. of Man. - United Farmers of Manitoba, UN - Union Nationale

Federal

1867 - Con.

1872 - Con. R

1930 - Con. D

1953 - Lib. R

1974 - Lib. R

B.C.

1928 - Con. D

1969 - SC R

1972 - NDP D

Alberta

1921 - U.F. of Alta. D

1935 - SC D

1944 - SC R

1948 - SC R

1952 - SC R

1971 - PC D

Sask.

1908 - Lib. R

1912 - Lib. R

Manitoba

1888 - Lib. D

1892 - Lib. R

1903 - PC R

1910 - PC R

1914 - PC R

1915 - Lib. D

1922 - U.F. of Man. D

1936 - LP R

Ontario

1943 - PC R

Quebec

1871 - PC R

1875 - PC R

1931 - Lib. R

1936 - UN D

1944 - UN D

1948 - UN R

1952 - UN R

N.B.

1925 - PC D

1944 - Lib. R

N.S.

1920 - Lib. R

1933 - Lib. R

1999 - PC D

P.E.I.

1897 - Lib. R

1919 - Lib. D

1923 - PC D

1931 - PC D

1935 - Lib. D

Nfld. and Lab.

1959 - Lib. R

SOURCES: CANADIAN PRESS / CANADIAN PARLIAMENTARY GUIDE

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