New Brunswick general election, 1991

New Brunswick general election, 1991
Results of the 1991 election
Rendition of party representation in the 52nd New Brunswick Legislative Assembly decided by this election.
  Liberals (46)
  Confederation of Regions (8)
  Progressive Conservatives (3)
  New Democrats (1)

The 32nd New Brunswick general election was held on September 23, 1991, to elect 58 members to the 52nd New Brunswick Legislative Assembly, the governing house of the province of New Brunswick, Canada.

Though Frank McKenna's Liberals were expected to win a second term after sweeping all 58 seats in 1987, any of the other three parties were considered contenders for official opposition.

The New Democratic Party was led by Elizabeth Weir, who had been the strongest and most consistent voice of opposition to the Liberals since her election as party leader in 1988. In the ensuing three years, thanks to the lack of opposition members in the legislature (MLAs), her firebrand style had made her a well-known name in New Brunswick politics.

The fledgling Confederation of Regions Party had been created out of the ashes of the Hatfield Tories when the latter went from majority government to zero seats in 1987. CoR was running numerous former Tory MLAs and candidates, and even some former Tory cabinet ministers. Its base of support was in English-speaking regions of New Brunswick, where many conservatives had become alienated by Hatfield's close relationship with Acadians.

The Progressive Conservatives had been in power for the majority of years since confederation, and 17 straight years before 1987. Even so, the scandals of the final Hatfield years and the growing unpopularity of the federal Progressive Conservatives hindered their success. Additionally they had perceived internal problems having gone through four leaders since the last election: Hatfield, then two-year interim leader Malcolm MacLeod then Barbara Baird, and then Dennis Cochrane.

As expected, the Liberals won a large majority. Many were surprised that CoR formed the official opposition. Though they ran even with the PCs in popular vote, their concentration of support in rural anglophone ridings gave them considerably more seats. Weir's personal popularity and name recognition was not enough to give her party more seats as she, and the Tories, had votes relatively evenly spread around the province.


Party Party Leader # of
Seats Popular Vote
1987 Dissolution Elected % Change # % Change
     Liberal Frank McKenna 58 58 58 46 -20.7% 193,890 47.11% -13.28%
     Confederation of Regions Arch Pafford 48 * - 8 - 87,256 21.2% *
     Progressive Conservative Dennis Cochrane 58 - - 3 - 85,210 20.7% -7.89%
     New Democratic Elizabeth Weir 58 - - 1 - 44,384 10.78% +0.23%
     Independents 2 - - - - 850 0.21% -0.26%
*** Total 224 58 58 58 - 411,590 100.0% +0.75%

* CoR did not contest the 1987 election.

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