September 24, 2018 6:42 pm
Updated: September 24, 2018 11:34 pm

Kris Austin wins People’s Alliance party’s first seat in New Brunswick legislature

WATCH: Kris Austin elected in Fredericton-Grand Lake

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The People’s Alliance of New Brunswick has the first MLAs in its history, after party founder Kris Austin won out in the Fredericton-Grand Lake riding and Michelle Conroy took Miramichi.

Austin garnered 58 per cent of the vote with 12 out of 16 polls reporting, comfortably beating out Progressive Conservative incumbent Pam Lynch (27.3 per cent) and Liberal candidate Wendy Tremblay (9.5 per cent).

The victory marked an incredible turnaround in fortunes for Austin, who lost out to Lynch by just 26 votes in 2014; he says he’s ready to play ball in a minority government scenario.

Meanwhile, Conroy bagged 47 per cent of the vote in Miramichi to gain an upset victory over Liberal incumbent Bill Fraser.

WATCH: Michelle Conroy takes seat from Liberals’ Bill Fraser

Two other People’s Alliance candidates appear to have a chance of joining Austin and Conroy in the legislature. Rick Desaulniers was in the lead in Fredericton-York as of 9:45 p.m. AT, while Art O’Donnell was trailing PC candidate Jake Stewart by 0.7 per cent in Southwest Miramichi-Bay du Vin with 24 out of 26 polls reporting.

WATCH: New Brunswick election: People’s Alliance leader Kris Austin calls win ‘fantastic’

The People’s Alliance party’s “common sense” platform took aim at official bilingualism, saying the dual systems in health care and school busing are costing the province too much money.

Austin co-founded the party in 2010 amid widespread anger over the government’s failed plan to sell provincial utility NB power to Hydro-Quebec.

WATCH: One-on-one with People’s Alliance Leader Kris Austin

— With a file from the Canadian Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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