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PCs in ‘pole position’ as New Brunswick election enters home stretch, political scientist says

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New Brunswick is seven days away from election day, and with the campaign in the home stretch, the province’s political parties are in a dogfight for seats.

University of New Brunswick political scientist Donald Wright says polls make it seem like the PCs will form government — but whether or not they’ll grab a majority is still unclear.

“To the best of my knowledge, we have not seen detailed polling by region or even by riding,” he says.

“But clearly by some of these polls, the PCs are, as the expression goes, in a pole position.”

READ MORE: Early voting soars in N.B. election as voters seek to avoid election day lineups

Wright says the Greens and People’s Alliance (PA) spent week three of the campaign working to convince voters to keep them in the minority, especially the PA, which went into the election with just a handful of seats.

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“Clearly, the People’s Alliance understands it’s not going to form the government, but it would like to be something of the kingmaker in any government or prop up a minority government,” he says.

“And I think David Coon made a very good point during the debate — democracy is hard work. Majorities are easy, but minorities — working with the other parties — that’s hard work.”

Wright says one seat held by the PA is at risk, with Liberal Leader Kevin Vickers running in that riding.

READ MORE:All our New Brunswick election 2020 coverage

As for NDP, Wright says they’re struggling.

“The NDP has lost the progressive vote, the left vote, the environmental vote, the feminist vote to the Green Party,” he says.

In New Brunswick, the NDP has failed to win a single seat in the legislature since 2003 — and has never had more than one since forming in the 1960s.

“It does not have a lot of room to grow right now,” Wright says. “It really is struggling to pay the light bill and soon I expect we’ll see a for sale sign up in front of its headquarters.”

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Elections NB says “just over” 63,000 New Brunswickers cast their vote Saturday in the first day of advance polls, up 20,000 from the same period in the 2018 provincial election.

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