Blaine Higgs has been re-elected as Premier of New Brunswick with a 27 seat majority win for the Conservative Party.
Following a highly contested election due to obstacles stemming from COVID-19 social distancing measures and a condensed campaign trail, Higgs has reemerged as premier for a second term.
“New Brunswickers voted for a team that is prepared to lead, a team with proven results to make the difficult decisions in a fair manner to allow our province to move ahead. ...Tonight we have a newfound commitment to each other, and our government’s plan. ” said Blaine Higgs.
Blaine Higgs has accomplished his goal of obtaining a majority government as the Progressive Conservative Party wins 27 seats, an increase from their previous 22 seat minority, in an election that many consider to be hasty and ill-advised.
“Come what may, in the months and years ahead, we know we will have that stability and experience leading us through these challenging times,” said Higgs.
A few contested ridings changed hands since the previous election in 2018, with the Liberal Party losing four seats from 21 in 2018 to 17, and the People’s Alliance dropping from three to two.
Higgs remained popular in his own riding, Quispamsis, with 68 percent of the vote.
“I want to thank the people of my riding of Quispamsis. You first elected me in 2010 and I’ve been honoured to be your voice in Fredericton over the last decade,” said Higgs.
Liberal Party leader Kevin Vickers did not see the same success, losing to People’s Alliance incumbent Michelle Conroy with 28 per cent. In response, Vickers states that he will be stepping down as leader.
“It’s time for another leader to step up and take the party forward,” Vickers told CBC.
Vickers’ campaign manager Don Arsenault spoke to Global News on Vickers’ behalf, in part referencing the widespread hesitation regarding this election.
“When Blaine Higgs called this unnecessary election that nobody wanted it was pure political opportunism. … But it was a good political strategic move,we get that,” said Arsenault.
Green Party leader David Coon was remained popular in his riding of Fredericton South finishing the night with 53 percent of the vote. The Green Party maintained their hold on the three seats they gained in 2018, Fredericton South, Memramcook-Tantramar, and Kent North.
The People’s Alliance of New Brunswick saw a one seat depletion from their previous caucus, with Fredericton-Grand Lake and Mirimachi both re-electing purple incumbents. Party leader Kris Austin was re-elected his riding of Fredericton-Grand Lake with 46 percent of the vote.
“I am very thankful to the supporters that chose to re-elect me for Fredericton-Grand Lake,” Austin told Global.
The New Democratic Party was unsuccessful in securing a seat this election.
On the subject of COVID-19, Higgs expressed his pride and faith in New Brunswick based on the province’s success thus far.
“We’ve seen innovation, we’ve seen perseverance, and we’ve seen passion. … I can only imagine what we will achieve because together we will look for those innovative ideas to move us forward.”
Ally Buchanan contributed reporting.