Voters in two Miramichi-area ridings will send messages, positive or negative, to the Higgs government today when they cast ballots in two byelections.
They will choose new MLAs for the ridings of Southwest Miramichi-Bay du Vin and Miramichi Bay-Neguac.
The contests represent the first electoral test for Premier Blaine Higgs since his Progressive Conservatives won a majority in 2020.
The members for the two constituencies, Progressive Conservative Jake Stewart and Liberal Lisa Harris, resigned last August to run against each other in the federal election. Stewart won, but both ridings were left without representatives.
The Progressive Conservatives have nominated former MLA Réjean Savoie in Miramichi Bay-Neguac, hoping he can become the second francophone member of the PC caucus.
Other candidates in the riding are Liberal Shawn Wood, Green Chad Duplessie, Tom L'Huillier of the People's Alliance and independent Richard "Hoss" Sutherland.
In Southwest Miramichi-Bay du Vin, Mike Dawson is running for the PCs, Hannah Fulton Johnston for the Liberals, Julie Guillemet-Ackerman for the Greens and Larry Lynch for the People's Alliance.
The NDP failed to nominate candidates for either riding amid feuding within the party over the leadership of Mackenzie Thomason. Thomason announced last week he was quitting as leader.
The Alliance is fielding candidates in both ridings despite being de-registered in March when leader Kris Austin joined the PCs. The party was re-registered in May.
Polls are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.