The latest on the New Brunswick provincial election

FREDERICTON — Here is the latest news on the New Brunswick election. All times local.

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11:05 p.m.

With all votes counted, Elections New Brunswick is confirming that the Progressive Conservatives have won 27 ridings and the Liberals have won 17.

The Green party captured three seats and the People's Alliance two.

The NDP, which fielded candidates in 33 of the province's 49 ridings, was shut out.

The threshold for a majority in the legislature is 25 seats.

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10:22 p.m.

Kevin Vickers says he's stepping down as leader of the provincial Liberal party.

The leader lost his bid for a seat in the riding of Miramichi and his party failed to regain power in the election, with unofficial results showing the Liberals winning 17 seats to the Progressive Conservatives' 27.

Vickers says it's time for another leader to take on the rebuilding of the Liberal party.

He says he came back to the province in hopes of uniting its French, English and Indigenous populations, and he feels he made progress towards that goal.

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10:15 p.m.

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says the majority win by his Progressive Conservatives will provide stability in challenging times.

Higgs joked about the packed hall as he gave his victory speech to roughly 50 supporters, who wore masks and stood two metres apart in a bingo hall in Quispamsis.

He said the smoothly run provincial vote has shown the country that democratic elections can be held safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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9:45 p.m.

The Green party made some gains in the popular vote and was poised to hold onto its three seats.

Leader David Coon, who won his seat in Fredericton South, says he was pleased that his party made gains in the number of votes it won in northern New Brunswick, even though they didn't translate into seats.

Coon says the results show there's a need for reform of the first-past-the-post electoral system.

The People's Alliance won back two of its three seats, with its leader Kris Austin keeping his seat in Fredericton-Grand Lake.

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9:15 p.m.

New Brunswick's Progressive Conservatives are headed to a majority government.

It's the first provincial vote in Canada to be called during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tory Leader Blaine Higgs' campaign repeated a message that his party had successfully guided the province through the pandemic's first wave.

It's a disappointing night for the Liberals, whose leader Kevin Vickers lost his bid for a seat in the riding of Miramichi.

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8:55 p.m.

The leader of the Liberal Party, Kevin Vickers, has been defeated in his bid for a seat in the legislature.

Early results showed People's Alliance candidate, Michelle Conroy, had held the riding of Miramichi.

Meanwhile, Progressive Conservative leader Blaine Higgs has won his riding of Quispamsis.

Higgs called a snap election four weeks ago, saying his 21-month-old minority government lacked stability at a difficult time for the province.

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8:43 p.m.

Less than an hour after the polls closed the Tories under Premier Blaine Higgs were leading in 25 ridings, the Liberals were leading in 18, the Green party was leading in four and the People's Alliance were leading in two ridings.

The early results were enough to confirm a Progressive Conservative win, the first time a government in New Brunswick has won two consecutive terms since Bernard Lord led the Tories to victory in 2003.

Higgs called a snap election four weeks ago.

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8:40 p.m.

The Progressive Conservatives of Blaine Higgs will form the next New Brunswick government.

It is the first time since 2003 that New Brunswickers have returned the incumbent party to power.

It remains unclear whether the Tories will form a minority or majority government.

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8:00 p.m.

Almost all polls have closed in the New Brunswick election.

Technical glitches at some polling stations meant they will be kept open past the 8 p.m. deadline.

At dissolution of the legislature, there were 20 Tories, 20 Liberals, three Greens, three People's Alliance members, one Independent and two vacancies.

At least 25 seats are needed for a majority in the 49-seat house.

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