It's official! Bernard Lord has resigned as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick.
No word yet on who will be the interim leader, but presumably Lord will not continue to lead the party until a successor is chosen as he has also announced he'll resign from the legislature on January 31.
This almost guarantees that the Liberals will improve their standing to 30-25 in the legisature very shortly. When one considers that the Liberals currently have a 38 point lead in the polls, Moncton East is traditionally the safest Liberal seat in southeastern New Brunswick and that Moncton will be keen to get more members into the government caucus, the Tories may as well not even field a candidate.
I will update this post as I learn more...
UPDATE: According to the CBC the Tories have not yet appointed an interim leader; presumably one will be chosen shortly. In 2001, after Thériault resigned as Liberal leader, the caucus elected a new leader the following morning. I am not sure what the procedures are for chosing an interim leader for the PC Party and whether it is an executive or caucus decision. Unforutnately their website is still down so I can't look at their constitution.
UPDATE 2: Thanks to The Way Back Machine, I have found a cached copy of the PC constitution. Apparently the Provincial Council has 30 days to meet and elect an interim leader. The Provincial Council is a large body which includes all riding presidents. Earlier media reports indicated that the council was meeting today, so one would presume they will elect an interim leader later today rather than wait to reconvene with Christmas holidays in the middle of their 30 days.
UPDATE 3: The wire is now reporting that the interim leader will be chosen at a caucus meeting on Tuesday. This seems to be inconsistent with the party constitution. Developing...