New Brunswick held a general election as per its fixed election date law on Sept. 22. Because it’s a fixed-date election, none of the parties or candidates were surprised by the date of this election. The result? The New Brunswick Liberals, led by 32-year-old Brian Gallant, would oust the incumbent Progressive Conservatives led by David Alward and win a majority government.
In the riding of Saint John East, it was a very close battle but Liberal Gary Keating (pictured above) won by nine votes, a victory that only a judicial recount would certify. Keating scored 2,332 votes to incumbent Progressive Conservative MLA Glen Savoie who had 2,323 votes.
With just five full days of campaigning to go until New Brunswickers vote on Monday, Liberal Leader Brian Gallant will be struggling to recover from the worst media interview a politician ever gave in mid-campaign since Stéphane Dion got confused in the 2008 federal election.
But while Gallant’s mix-up, like Dion’s, involved a re-do, Gallant cannot blame his media interlocutor for a confusing, ill-worded question.
Killer report from Fredericton by our chief New Brunswick Election Correspondent Bryn Weese on New Brunswick’s archaic (barbaric, I say!) beer laws. Will the current provincial election change those laws? Don’t hold your breath …
Brian Gallant’s New Brunswick Liberal Party held a commanding lead over incumbent Progressive Conservative Premier David Alward as the province’s 38th general election opened, the first public domain poll of the campaign concludes.
Earlier this year, during the Quebec provincial election, two internal party polls were released to the media. They were widely reported on as much for their contents as they were for the selective nature of the data released and the motives for releasing the poll. Both internal polls were released by parties that were trailing in several media-sponsored public domain polls. The incumbent Parti Quebecois would be thumped at the polls on election day by Philippe Couillard’s Liberals while the third party Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) pretty much ended up where it started — well back in third.
Every media-sponsored public domain poll showed a steady march during the campaign of increasing voter support for the Liberals and a steady drop by the PQ.
The only late campaign poll to show that the PQ was leading was one the PQ itself released. The CAQ released its internal poll showing that it was closer to the leaders than public domain polls.
It was clear in both cases that the motive for both the PQ and CAQ to release what turned out to be over-optimistic (to put it politely) polls was to boost the morale of campaigns that, at the time of the release of these polls, was flagging. Successful campaigns need volunteers and money and both of those can be harder to come by if polls are showing a campaign is blowing up, as the PQ campaign, as it turned out, was. (Eric Grenier of 308.com does a nice job on the Quebec issue here.)
Today on the campaign trail, New Brunswick Liberal Leader Brian Gallant was talking about his job creation plan and hammering the government of incumbent Progressive Conservative Premier David Alward government because it “it lost 3,900 jobs since October 2010, lost, more specifically, 6,500 full-time jobs.”
That phrase “since October 2010” is an important qualifier but, in my view, an odd one as he and anyone else should be measuring the Alward government’s job performance record from September 2010, the month in which Alward was elected premier. In fact, as I point out in this review of the Alward government’s jobs record, the record is even worse if you start from September 2010 rather than October 2010.
On Saturday, federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will campaign with Gallant and one would assume both Alward will be thrashed with whatever sins Liberals are accusing Harper of committing these days.
The proposed changes in New Brunswick do not look, to my eyes, as radical a re-drawing as they do in Newfoundland though there’s a fascinating Twitter discussion happening as I write this around the #nbpoli hashtag.