Two years ago, the People's Alliance pulled off a stunning election night feat in New Brunswick, increasing its vote total sixfold from 2014 and winning three seats.
There was a sense the party had successfully lured disgruntled Progressive Conservative voters to its side, even though figures clearly show it was former Liberal and NDP supporters who formed the backbone of the party's upswing.
"I personally gained a lot of support from traditional Liberal supporters," People's Alliance Leader Kris Austin said last month about what happened in his race in 2018.
Detailed results from Elections New Brunswick's official records of both the 2018 and 2014 campaigns back Austin's claim.
New Brunswick Votes 2020 Results: Watch returns come in live on our interactive results page.
Austin, in his own riding of Fredericton-Grand Lake, and party candidates Rick DeSaulnier in Fredericton-York and Michelle Conroy in Miramichi increased the People's Alliance vote by a combined 8,864 in the three seats it won in 2018.
Some of that was caused by higher turnout, but in the same three ridings, Liberal vote declined by 3,237, accounting for just over a third of the Alliance gains. The NDP vote was down by 2,575 and Progressive Conservative support fell by 1,669 votes.
The Green Party, in the three seats it won, attracted more PC voters from 2014 than the People's Alliance did.
"There's a lot of misconceptions out there when it comes to vote-splitting," said Austin.
Voters who are willing to switch their support from party to party are critical to the outcome of every election.
When Blaine Higgs decided to send New Brunswick back to the polls this summer it was in the belief Progressive Conservatives would benefit the most this time from those inclined to change their vote.
"A majority government over the next four years will ensure we don't get derailed and go back to petty politics," Higgs said at the close of a debate nearly two weeks ago. It was an appeal to those who did not support PCs in 2018 to deliver enough MLAs for a majority this time.
Vote-switching was widespread in New Brunswick in 2018, but it went in all political directions, eventually pushing the province into a minority government.
It's a given a certain number of voters will be on the move from party to party again in the current election, but whether they heed Higgs's call to support him, or do something else is the central question still to be answered.
"You switch parties for all sorts of reasons," said Western University political scientist Laura B. Stephenson, referring to what causes some people to stick with parties while others leave.
"I can tell you we know partisanship overwhelmingly is a force when it comes to determining or deciding who to vote for, but it's not absolute. There is some room for wiggle there.
"If you voted for a party in the previous election, well, that's a good indication of what you might do this time, but it's not absolute."
Definitive numbers are not available but it is likely between 50,000 and 100,000 New Brunswick voters of the 373,361 who cast a ballot in the 2014 election switched their support to another party in 2018.
There was a large move of voters from each of the major parties to both the Greens and People's Alliance, a dispersion of NDP supporters to every other party and even a significant trading of voters between the major parties.
Progressive Conservative Andrea Anderson-Mason gained 1,980 votes in Fundy-The Isles-Saint John West, most from people who had voted Liberal in 2014.
Liberal Jean-Claude D'Amours did the same thing in reverse in Edmundston-Madawaska Centre, gaining 1,245 votes, most from former 2014 supporters of the PCs.
Stephenson said when voters move they can go in a variety of directions for a variety of reasons.
"The right answer in terms of understanding how people vote is that all of these things come together. And for the most part, if we were to run a really comprehensive vote model to want to explain, you know, lots and lots of the vote outcome, then we would have all sorts of different elements into it."
Stephenson said a vote switch can be triggered by large or small events, depending on the voter
A person might like a local candidate or a new party leader, or they might despise the leader of a party they otherwise support. There can be a single issue, like child care or abortion or bilingualism, the voter feels passionately about.
As voters age, they can sometimes see their interests come more into line with a different party. As minor parties start to look more viable, voters can sometimes be attracted to that.
Voters can also be strategic and sometimes pass over their first choice when they cast a ballot because they believe their second choice has a better chance to win.
"If you think that your No. 1 preference is not going to win, then you might say, 'OK, I want to use my vote to affect the outcome,"' said Stephenson.
When activated, vote switchers can cause unexpected lurches in political direction. In New Brunswick, they have done that repeatedly, causing some of the province's most dramatic election results.
In 1987, Liberal leader Frank McKenna won every seat in the general election with an 88,000 vote upswing in support from 1982, most of those former PC voters.
In 1991, the upstart Confederation of Regions Party attracted 87,000 mostly Liberal and PC voters to form the official opposition in its first election. In its second election in 1995, it lost 60,000 of those back to the other parties and soon disappeared.
The 2018 election had a similar movement but in a variety of directions producing a minority government.
Tonight's outcome depends on how many voters have been persuaded to switch allegiance again this year, whom they leave and where they go.
Higgs is betting enough come his way to supply the majority he wants, but vote switchers are notorious for producing election night surprises.