Smaller parties flex electoral muscle in New Brunswick campaign
Greens, NDP, People's Alliance and Independents earn 22.62% of popular vote in Monday's election
Green Party Leader David Coon was the only MLA elected on Monday from a smaller party, but third parties showed impressive results in the 2014 election.
Even though Brian Gallant’s Liberals are celebrating their largest election win in 19 years, earning 42.7 per cent of the vote, the Green Party, NDP, the People’s Alliance and Independent candidates compiled 22.62 per cent of the vote.
Tom Bateman, a political science professor at St. Thomas University, said he was struck by the strength of the third party vote on election night, which has been a non-factor in previous votes
"This is the beginning of the end of the two-party system I think,” he said.
Coon won his riding of Fredericton South with 30.7 per cent of the vote compared to Tory Craig Leonard, who received 26.2 per cent.
People’s Alliance Leader Kris Austin finished 27 votes behind Tory Pam Lynch in Fredericton-Grand Lake. Austin won 28.5 per cent of the vote in the riding.
Meanwhile, NDP Leader Dominic Cardy finished second in his riding of Fredericton West-Hanwell, collecting 29.6 per cent of the vote.
While the leaders were all competitive in their ridings, individual candidates also did well on Monday.
In Hampton, NDP candidate Bev Harrison, a former Tory MLA, won 26 per cent of the vote and finished second behind Tory Gary Crossman.
In Kent North, Rébeka Frazer-Chiasson of the Greens finished second behind the Liberals with 18.2 per cent of the vote.
Preliminary results show that although Liberals won a bigger majority government Monday than they did in 2006, the party received 17,000 fewer votes across the province.
The Progressive Conservatives fared even worse, losing 48,000 votes from their 2006 total.
Third parties gained 62,000 votes, which represents almost everything the main two parties lost.