Voting irregularities alleged in New Brunswick election, court order sought

The struggle for control of the New Brunswick legislature moved to the courts Tuesday, ahead of potential recounts in two ridings, including one Saint John district where a lawyer for the Progressive Conservative candidate is alleging voting irregularities.

The party has asked the Court of Queen's Bench to throw out the 10-vote victory for the Liberals in the riding of Saint John Harbour, stating in an affidavit that party officials have found at least 40 electors who voted more than once.

If the allegations from riding president Peter Lawrence Josselyn and candidate Barry Ogden are upheld, the incumbent Liberals would hold two seats less than the Progressive Conservatives.

The Tories, led by Blaine Higgs, won 22 seats in the 49-seat legislature last week, one more than the Liberals led by Premier Brian Gallant.

Neither party has enough seats for a majority, and both leaders have been trying to gain support from the third parties holding the balance of power, with the Greens and the right-leaning People's Alliance each holding three seats.

A spokesman for the chief electoral officer said judicial recounts are planned for Wednesday for Saint John Harbour and the riding of Memramcook-Tantramar, which was won by the Green party by a margin of nine votes.