The Liberals now hold 33 seats in the provincial legislature. Progressive Conservatives have 11 and the NDP are down to 7 from their previous 31 seats.
Liberals also won the majority of the popular vote, with 45.52 per cent. The NDP came second at 26.9 per cent and the Progressive Conservatives were third at 26.39 per cent.
The NDP loss means there is only one NDP-led provincial government in the country — and it could signal future trouble for NDP support nationally.
Traditionally, there has not been a strong connection between provincial and federal wings of political parties, Nanos told Power & Politics host Evan Solomon Wednesday. But of all the federal parties the NDP are most likely to "have their act together in terms of cooperation."
Which is why the recent and surprising NDP loss in the British Columbia election in May and the loss in Nova Scotia this week will be disappointing for Mulcair, Nanos said.
The polling Nanos Research did during the last federal election found a correlation between NDP support federally and provincially. Former NDP Leader Jack Layton actually managed to increase support in some provincially held NDP ridings, Nanos said.
Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau might have had the same affect for Nova Scotia Liberals during this election — Trudeau took the risk of taking a high profile role and being active in a provincial campaign and it paid off, Nanos said.
But the move was a big risk because if the Liberals "had a massive lead and lost the election, it would have been bad news for Justin Trudeau," Nanos said.
New Nanos Party Brand Index
There was more good news for the Liberals on Wednesday, in the form of a new tracking survey by Nanos Research.
Every Wednesday, Nanos Research will release a new Party Brand Index score. It is combination of measurements of federal party brands, based on four questions about the party and its leader, including:
- Canadians' first and second choice of parties.
- A question on whether Canadians would consider voting for a particular party.
- First and second choice for Prime Minister of the current leaders.
- And leadership scores for each of the party leaders.
The score is on a scale between zero to 100 for each party.
This week, the Liberals came out on top with 59. The Conservatives were second at 52, and the NDP third at 48. The Green Party got a score of 33 and the Bloc was last at 26.
Nanos said he has been tracking these numbers throughout the summer and the Bloc has taken a hit, which could be fallout from the controversial Quebec charter of values and the expulsion of one of its MPs.
The Nanos Party Brand Index is based on random telephone (cell and land-line) interviews with 1,000 Canadians using a four-week rolling average of 250 respondents each week. The sample of respondents may be weighted using latest census information. This data is based on a four-week rolling average ending Oct. 4 and is accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Nik Nanos digs beneath the numbers with CBC News Network's Power & Politics to get to the political, economic and social forces that shape our lives. Recognized as one of Canada's top research experts, Nanos provides numbers-driven counsel to senior executives and major organizations. He leads the analyst team at Nanos, is a Fellow of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association and a Research Associate Professor with SUNY (Buffalo).
Also on HuffPost