Elections New Brunswick prepares for snap election if necessary
Elections New Brunswick is already preparing for the possibility of a snap election if the province’s political parties are unable to form a government.
“We’ve already started thinking about some of the steps that need to be done due to the relatively unique situation now that it’s a minority government,” said Kim Poffenroth, the province’s chief electoral officer, on Tuesday.
Monday saw the province elect a minority government for the first time since 1920. As of Monday evening, we still don’t know who will form government.
Liberal leader Brian Gallant said on Monday that he plans to continue on as New Brunswick’s premier for the time being, despite earning only 21 seats in the legislature — one fewer than Blaine Higgs and the PCs.
Gallant will get the first kick at the can to form government, but what happens after that is anyone’s guess.
Poffenroth says that her team ready if a do-over election is necessary.
“Anything can happen,” she said.
“People will feel like they have gotten into a Delorean and gone back in time,” Poffenroth said. “It could feel just like ‘Groundhog Day’.”
Of the 49 seats at play in Monday’s election, five were won by a margin of less than 100 votes.
Some of the closest include Saint John Harbour, where Liberal candidate Gerry Lowe defeated PC rival Barry Ogden by just 10 votes.
Green candidate Megan Mitton defeated Liberal incumbent Bernard LeBlanc in Memramcook-Tantramar by eleven votes.
In Southwest Miramichi Bay Du Vin, PC candidate Jake Stewart defeated the People’s Alliance candidate Art O’Donnell by just 35 votes.
READ MORE: All our New Brunswick election 2018 coverage
Ridings decided by less than 25 votes trigger a judicial recount, although candidates will have to file documents for it to take place. They have until Friday to make that happen.
Poffenroth says that there has never been a recount that resulted in a riding switching hands.
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