40th New Brunswick general election

The 40th New Brunswick general election is scheduled to take place on or before October 17, 2022. The October 17 date is the result of an amendment made to the Legislative Assembly Act in 2017, causing an election to be held every four years, on the third Monday in October, beginning after the planned September 22, 2018 election.[1] However, due to the current minority situation in the legislature, an election could occur sooner.

40th New Brunswick general election

On or before October 17, 2022

49 seats in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick
25 seats needed for a majority
 
LIB
Leader Blaine Higgs Kevin Vickers
Party Progressive Conservative Liberal
Leader since October 22, 2016 April 24, 2019
Leader's seat Quispamsis Running in TBA
Last election 22 seats, 31.89% 21 seats, 37.80%
Current seats 21 20
Seats needed 4 5

 
PANB
Leader Kris Austin David Coon
Party People's Alliance Green
Leader since June 5, 2010 September 22, 2012
Leader's seat Fredericton-Grand Lake Fredericton South
Last election 3 seats, 12.58% 3 seats, 11.88%
Current seats 3 3
Seats needed 22 22

Incumbent Premier

Blaine Higgs
Progressive Conservative


Background

The 2018 provincial election resulted in the first minority government in New Brunswick since the 1920 provincial election. On election night, Blaine Higgs claimed victory for the Progressive Conservative Party, saying his team had received a mandate from New Brunswickers; however, Brian Gallant stated his intention to remain in office by securing support on a vote-by-vote basis.[2] The following day, Gallant met with the lieutenant governor, Jocelyne Roy-Vienneau, and received permission to continue in office and attempt to seek the confidence of the legislative assembly.[3] On September 27, 2018, Higgs met with the lieutenant governor and was told that if Gallant was unable to secure the confidence of the house, he would be called on to form government. Shortly afterwards, Higgs called on Gallant to either resign or immediately recall the legislature: “[Gallant] does not have a mandate to govern and he is prolonging the inevitable, and it’s unfortunate that that’s the case. If he refuses to resign, he should do what is right for New Brunswick and immediately call the legislature back, so the province has a stable and functioning government.”[4]

After the election, both Kris Austin of the People's Alliance and David Coon of the Green Party were noncommittal in their support. Austin pledged to work with any party willing to work with him, but said his party would not sacrifice its “values and ideals” to do so.[5] Coon said his caucus would take time to figure out how they would align themselves, but would not be able to work with anyone uncommitted to rights for linguistic minorities or combatting climate change.[6] Gallant opted to pursue a partnership with the Green Party, ruling out any arrangement with the Progressive Conservative Party or People's Alliance because they were perceived as not sharing the Liberal Party’s “values.”[7] Higgs initially ruled out any formal agreements with other parties, but later said that a four-year agreement like in British Columbia would be ideal for stability.[8]

On September 28, 2018, Austin agreed to provide stability for a Progressive Conservative minority government on a “bill-by-bill basis” for 18 months. Austin said, “We want to give New Brunswickers some confidence that, as we’ve said all along and we continue to say, we will work with Mr. Higgs and the PC party to go on a bill-by-bill basis to promote stability in government for 18 months.” Higgs said he spoke to Austin about stabilizing the government but made no formal agreement. On October 10, 2018, Coon announced that the Green Party would not formally side with either party. When the legislative assembly sat on October 23, 2018, the Liberal member from Restigouche-Chaleur, Daniel Guitard, was acclaimed Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, thereby reducing the government caucus to 20 seats.[9][10] On November 1, Coon indicated that his party would vote for the throne speech.

On November 2, 2018, the legislative assembly voted 25-23 for a motion, introduced by the Progressive Conservatives, to amend the throne speech to declare no confidence in the government. Subsequently, Gallant indicated his intention to resign the premiership and recommend to the lieutenant governor that Higgs be given the mandate to form government: “I will go see the lieutenant governor at her earliest convenience to inform her that I will be resigning as premier, and I will humbly suggest to her honour to allow the leader of the Conservative Party to attempt to form a government and attempt to gain the confidence of the house.” People's Alliance leader Kris Austin said he would work with the new government “in the areas we agree on,” and reiterated his promise to support the Progressive Conservatives on confidence votes for a period of 18 months. Green Party leader David Coon said he would start working with the Tories in an attempt to ensure his party's issues were on the government's agenda.[11]

On November 15, 2018, Brian Gallant announced his resignation as leader of the New Brunswick Liberal Association. Gallant said he planned to remain as opposition leader until the party chooses his replacement: “In these uncharted waters of a minority government I will stay at the helm of the party to provide some stability while the party chooses its next leader for the next election.”[12]

On November 20, 2018, the lieutenant governor delivered the second speech from the throne in a month. During debate on the speech, Brian Gallant introduced an amendment to the throne speech motion calling for the fracking moratorium to stay in place. The government responded with a sub-amendment that would exempt “communities in and around the town of Sussex.” On November 30, the sub-amendment passed 26-22, with all three People's Alliance members and lone Liberal Gerry Lowe voting with the government. The amendment, with that new language, also passed 26-22, and the main motion, a confidence vote in the Blaine Higgs’ government, passed 25-23. On the final vote, Lowe voted with his party against the government.[13]

On March 15, 2019, Kevin Vickers announced he would run to succeed Brian Gallant as leader of the New Brunswick Liberal Association.[14] On April 16, 2019, after the only other contender, René Ephestion, dropped out of the race, the Liberal Party's executive board acclaimed Vickers on the recommendation of the leadership convention's steering committee.[15][16] Vickers formally assumed the party leadership effective April 24, 2019.[17]

The PC minority government's seat total dropped to 21 on September 10, 2019 upon the death of Progressive Conservative MLA Greg Thompson.

Opinion polls

Polling Firm Last Day of Polling Link PC Liberal PA Green NDP
Narrative Research November 1-22, 2019 HTML 37 31 3 21 7
Narrative Research August 2–23, 2019 PDF 36 29 8 18 6
Narrative Research June 13, 2019 HTML 42 25 6 18 8
MQO Research May 6, 2019 PDF 40 30 5 20 3
24 April 2019Kevin Vickers becomes leader of the Liberal Party
Corporate Research Associates February 19, 2019 PDF 42 29 9 14 6
MQO Research February 10, 2019 PDF 46 32 8 11 3
Mainstreet Research January 15, 2019 HTML 40.2 27.3 12.4 15 4.5
Corporate Research Associates November 24, 2018 PDF 30 35 12 17 6
9 November 2018Blaine Higgs is sworn in as Premier of New Brunswick leading a PC minority government, following the resignation of Brian Gallant and his Liberal minority government.
MQO Research November 5, 2018 PDF 36 29 11 21 3
2 November 2018Premier Brian Gallant's Liberal minority government loses a non-confidence vote
Mainstreet Research November 2, 2018 HTML 33.7 33.7 12.7 15.7 3
Election 2018 September 24, 2018 HTML 31.89 37.80 12.58 11.88 5.01

References

  1. Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick. "An Act to Amend the Legislative Assembly Act". Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  2. MacDonald, Michael (September 24, 2018). "New Brunswick Tories win most seats, but Liberals will try to stay in power". CTV News. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  3. Fraser, Elizabeth (September 25, 2018). "Liberals and PCs continue battle over who will govern N.B." CBC News. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  4. "New Brunswick Tory leader Blaine Higgs calls on Premier Brian Gallant to resign". The Canadian Press. September 27, 2018. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  5. Donkin, Karissa (September 24, 2018). "People's Alliance wins 3 seats in 'significant breakthrough'". CBC News. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  6. Fraser, Elizabeth (September 24, 2018). "David Coon will head back to house with 2 other Green MLAs". CBC News. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  7. Fraser, Elizabeth (September 26, 2018). "Liberals court Greens for governing partnership". CBC News. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  8. "Four-year deal between New Brunswick Tories, smaller party ideal for stability: Higgs". The Canadian Press. October 1, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  9. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-new-brunswicks-liberal-government-seeks-common-ground-in-throne/
  10. https://globalnews.ca/news/4585187/new-brunswick-legislature-opens/
  11. Brian Gallant's minority government defeated after losing confidence vote
  12. Brian Gallant resigns as N.B. Liberal leader after election loss
  13. Higgs wins confidence vote, set sights on speedy resumption of fracking
  14. Poitras, Jacques (March 15, 2019). "Kevin Vickers, retired sergeant-at-arms, seeks Liberal leadership". CBC News. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  15. Poitras, Jacques (April 9, 2019). "Kevin Vickers set to be acclaimed as New Brunswick Liberal leader as only opponent bows out". CBC News. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  16. Poitras, Jacques (April 11, 2019). "Kevin Vickers on his way to becoming next Liberal party leader". CBC News. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  17. "Kevin Vickers officially acclaimed as leader of New Brunswick Liberals". CTV News. The Canadian Press. April 17, 2019. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
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