Conservatives, Liberals duke it out for Fredericton riding

·2 min read
Fredericton candidates Liberal Jenica Atwin and Conservative Andrea Johnson have been running neck-and-neck most of the night. (Elections Canada - image credit)
Fredericton candidates Liberal Jenica Atwin and Conservative Andrea Johnson have been running neck-and-neck most of the night. (Elections Canada - image credit)

Fredericton voters have kept candidates on their toes on election night.

Liberal Jenica Atwin has pulled ahead in the race against Conservative candidate Andrea Johnson — but by a hair — after 135 of 154 polls reported.

At 12:50 a.m. Tuesday, Atwin was ahead with 13,856 votes, or 36 per cent, and Johnson had 13,718 votes, also at 36 per cent.

More than 2,000 local mail-in ballots won't even be counted until Tuesday, so it's possible a result won't be clear when people wake up Tuesday morning.

Johnson and Atwin have been neck-and-neck throughout the night and into the wee hours of the morning.

The Fredericton riding has drawn a lot of attention this federal election because Atwin, who made history as a winning candidate for the Green Party in 2019, switched to the Liberals three months ago.

"We've come through quite a journey together," she said as she addressed a crowd of about 40 people at her headquarters in downtown Fredericton on Monday night.

She thanked supporters for the their contributions to her campaign.

"I'm reminded every day that I made the right choice to join the Liberal Party of Canada."

In the 2019 election, Fredericton claimed the first Green seat outside of British Columbia.

Atwin said at the time that her move to the Liberals took a lot of thought, advice and guidance from others. But ultimately, she wanted to make sure her community had "what it needs."

Jacques Poitras/CBC
Jacques Poitras/CBC

Johnson said she's not surprised the race against Atwin has been close.

"In 2019 it was tight," Johnson said. "There were a lot of factors into play this time that weren't in play last time."

Greens land in 4th place

Atwin's former party, the Greens, were trailing in fourth place late in the night, behind the NDP, represented by Shwn Oldenburg.

"We ran a good campaign," Green candidate Nicole O'Byrne said. "We ran a positive campaign, and it just didn't go our way this evening."

She said the Green Party has been in disarray for several months, and Green Leader Annamie Paul did not campaign in the riding.

"It was something we were just not able to overcome as a local campaign," O'Byrne said.

Jen Smith ran as an Independent, Brandon Kirby for the Libertarian Party of Canada and June Patterson ran for the Community Party of Canada.

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