Who will win the 2020 New Brunswick election?
Just two years after the province last voted, New Brunswickers are heading back to the polls during a pandemic. Election rumblings began in the summer, and the race was on once the premier, Blaine Higgs, dropped the writ in August. New Brunswick votes in its 2020 election on September 14.
The Higgs government is of the minority version. The Progressive Conservatives finished first in 2018, ousting the first-term government of Liberal Brian Gallant. Once Gallant was unable to form a government, Higgs took over and ended four years of Liberal rule in New Brunswick. The Progressive Conservatives depended on the People’s Alliance in a confidence and supply fashion, but deaths and resignations depleted their numbers to a point where sustaining this minority government was more difficult.
Single-term governments had been exceedingly rare in this province. However, the last four elections in a row have changed the government. The Liberals replaced the PCs in 2006, PCs back in 2010, Liberals return in 2014, and then the PCs won in 2018. For New Brunswick, which also finds minority governments rare, a fifth-consecutive change election would be stunning. Nevertheless, the man most likely to do it is Liberal leader Kevin Vickers, the former Sergeant-at-Arms of the Canadian House of Commons famous for heroism during the 2014 Parliament Hill shooting.
Our predictions will appear below prior to the September 14 election, and then we do results.
2020 New Brunswick Election Results
2020 New Brunswick Election: Party Leaders
2020 New Brunswick Election: Current Prediction
Seat-by-Seat (By Region and Number)
NB Election Analysis, August 28
We currently predict that the Progressive Conservatives will be elected to a majority government. There is historical evidence to suggest this will continue the chain of “change elections,” but the opinion polling does not support that conclusion. In fact, some have the PCs at a sizable lead in contrast to 2018, when they lost the popular vote to the Liberals but won a plurality of seats.
Losing the popular vote looks less likely for the PCs this time. They are bound to do better in some central New Brunswick ridings, specifically near Fredericton, and could sweep the Saint John area if their vote share increases. The Liberals appear to have yet to find their electoral footing, though we will concede a Kevin Vickers win in Miramichi.
With the People’s Alliance vote possibly way down and the Green vote holding together (or even maybe expanding), the Liberals will have difficulty making inroads. In the midst of the pandemic, there does not seem to be an overarching sensation for change in New Brunswick just two years after defeating the prior government. It has happened before locally, however: Quebec voted in the PQ in 2012 and sent the Liberals packing, then brought the Liberals back in 2014 (before throwing them out again in 2018).