The seat, won narrowly in a 1998 by-election by then-new PC leader Bernard Lord will be contested by Chris Collins, a Moncton city councillor and the 2003 Liberal candidate here.
After Lord announced his resignation just before Christmas, there were a lot of names being thrown around but in the end, Collins did not face much opposition for the nomination.
- Collins 120
Daniel LeBlanc 80
Gilberte Losier 3
To my knowledge there are no names out there for the PC nomination, please let me know if I am missing something. In my "bandwidth-choking opus" of an eleciton prediction for 2006, I said that "if Collins runs here again in what was once the most reliable Liberal seat in Moncton, Lord will be in for a fight. If Collins runs and the government changes, Lord is done for sure. Right now it is too close to call." Therefore, it should be little surprise that I suspect this will be an easy pick up for the Liberals.
Shawn Graham is quoted as saying the election call will come "sooner rather than later". The earliest date, assuming a January 31, 2007 vacancy (the date Lord has said he will resign), would be March 5 (an election called on or before February 3 could be held on this date).
Interestingly, the Times & Transcript reports that Collins will not resign his council seat unless he wins the seat, this could be a handicap for him and it would seem to suggest that he is not as confident in victory as I am.