Liberal Leader Brian Gallant appears to have won the New Brunswick election amid a vote-counting “fiasco.” With vote numbers still to be found and counted, it appears Gallant’s Liberals have won a majority government. Gallant told a small group of supporters who stuck it out until the early morning hours in Grande-Digue that “it is with a great deal of humility that I accept being the premier of our great, beautiful province.” At 12:30 a.m. AT, the Liberals had 42.7 per cent of the popular vote compared with 34.7 per cent for the Tories. The NDP had 13 per cent followed by 6.6 per cent for the Greens and 2.1 per cent for the People’s Alliance. The Liberals and Tories exchanged the lead in seats all night. The Liberals are now elected in 27 ridings, the PCs in 21 ridings and the Green Party in one riding. The vote-counting process ground to a halt mid-way through Monday night because of problems with the vote tabulation machines. There have been calls by some party leaders for the ballots to be manually counted.
Gallant said he believes in the final vote count despite the problems. “The count has been delayed, but not denied,” Gallant said.
“There is a reason we trust the counting of votes to an independent body, and we have faith in their ability to get it right in the end. We have won a convincing victory in the popular vote and I am pleased that we have won a clear majority of the seats.”
Gallant also thanked Progressive Conservative Leader David Alward for his service as premier. “I look forward to meeting with him in the coming days and I hope that what happened tonight does not stand in the way of a smooth transition,” Gallant said.