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1978 New Brunswick general election

← 1974 October 23, 1978 1982 →

58 seats of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick
30 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Richard Hatfield Joseph Daigle John LaBossiere
Party Progressive Conservative Liberal New Democratic
Leader since June 14, 1969 May 6, 1978 1976
Leader's seat Carleton Centre Kent North Ran in Kent Centre (lost)
Last election 33 25 0
Seats won 30 28 0
Seat change Decrease3 Increase3 Steady
Percentage 44.39 44.36 6.48

Popular vote by riding. As this is an FPTP election, seat totals are not determined by popular vote, but instead via results by each riding.

Premier before election

Richard Hatfield
Progressive Conservative

Premier after election

Richard Hatfield
Progressive Conservative

Rendition of party representation in the 49th New Brunswick Legislative Assembly decided by this election. .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  Progressive Conservatives (30)   Liberals (28)
Rendition of party representation in the 49th New Brunswick Legislative Assembly decided by this election.
  Progressive Conservatives (30)
  Liberals (28)

The 1978 New Brunswick general election was held on October 23, 1978, to elect 58 members to the 49th New Brunswick Legislative Assembly, the governing house of the province of New Brunswick, Canada. Richard Hatfield's Progressive Conservative Party narrowly won its third term.

The result was the closest in New Brunswick history: the governing PCs won 30 seats to 28 for the opposition. The popular vote was very close: 146,719 votes were cast for Conservative candidates, and 146,596 for Liberals. In order to secure a workable majority following the election, Hatfield appointed Liberal Robert McCready as speaker of the legislature, despite strong objections from McCready's Liberal colleagues; McCready went on to seek re-election as a Conservative and served in Hatfield's cabinet.

The Parti Acadien had its best ever showing in the election, winning 12% of the vote in the ridings where it fielded candidates, and coming within 200 votes of electing Armand Plourde in Restigouche West.


In the lead up to 1978, the Opposition Liberal Party seemed destined to return to power. A number of scandals had been tied to the Conservatives and Liberal leader Robert Higgins was widely popular. In early 1978, Higgins believed he had tied some of the scandals directly to Hatfield himself. In a bold move, Higgins promised to resign should Hatfield prove that he was not tied directly to the scandal, which Hatfield promptly did. Higgins was forced to abruptly resign and was replaced by Joseph Daigle as leader. The Liberals mused that Hatfield had purposely ensured false information was leaked to the Liberals to lead them into making false accusations.

Higgins' resignation created Hatfield's best chance to go to the polls. He called an election shortly after Daigle became Liberal leader. Despite the lack of a direct link to Hatfield, scandal remained tied to his government and a close election result was assured.


Hatfield's government was not entirely clean, however. The Liberals pointed to the Conservatives' budgets, which no longer maintained a surplus. The Bricklin failure was also fresh on voters' minds. While campaigning in anglophone sections of the province, Hatfield accused Daigle of being an anti-monarchist for supporting Pierre Trudeau's constitutional reforms.


1978 New Brunswick Election Results
Party Leader Results
Seats % of votes cast
Progressive Conservative Richard Hatfield 30 44.39%
Liberal Joseph Daigle 28 44.36%
New Democratic John LaBossiere 0 6.48%
Parti Acadien Jean-Pierre Lanteigne 0 3.5%
Independents   0 1.27%
Total   58 100.0%
Popular vote
New Democratic
Seats summary

Results by riding


Consisting of Victoria, Madawaska, Restigouche and Gloucester county ridings.

Electoral district Candidates   Incumbent
  PC   Liberal   NDP Other
Victoria-Tobique J. Douglas Moore 2,763 Bruce Hoyt 2,032 Earl W. Christensen 727 J. Stewart Brooks
Grand Falls Joseph H. Rideout 1,063 Everard H. Daigle 2,779 Guildoi Pelletier 621 Everard H. Daigle
Madawaska-les-Lacs Jean-Pierre Ouellet 2,876 Nelson Bellefleur 2,071 Yves C. LeClerc (Parti acadien) 90 Jean-Pierre Ouellet
Madawaska Centre Léonard Plourde 1,352 Gérald Clavette 2,208 Aline Thérèse Gagnon (Parti acadien) 106 Gérald Clavette
Edmundston Jean-Maurice Simard 3,228 Donald D'Amours 2,470 Céline Couturier (Parti acadien) 194 Jean-Maurice Simard
Madawaska South Jean-Marc Violette 1,398 Héliodore Côté 1,832 Père Léo Theriault (Ind.) 659
Jacques Lapointe (Parti acadien) 137
Daniel Daigle
Restigouche West Jean Guy Ramond 1,576 Alfred J. Roussel 2,174 Armand Plourde (Parti acadien) 2,003 Alfred J. Roussel
Campbellton Fernand G. Dubé 2,734 J. H. Wilfred Senechal 2,467 Bryce Andrew 331 Paul Aubin (Parti acadien) 337 Fernand G. Dubé
Dalhousie Aubrey Brownie 2,201 Allan E. Maher 2,726 Léopold Arseneault 274 Réal Gendron (Parti acadien) 246 John Potter†
Restigouche East Guy Laviolette 1,402 Rayburn Donald Doucett 2,035 Gail Walsh 509 Roland Godin (Parti acadien) 217 Rayburn Donald Doucett
Nigadoo-Chaleur Roland Boudreau 2,346 Pierre Godin 2,960 Kevin O'Connell 387 Dr. Jean-Pierre Lanteigne (Parti acadien) 1,103 Roland Boudreau
Nepisiguit-Chaleur Hilaire Brideau 1,102 Frank Branch 3,156 Paul-Émile Mourant (Parti acadien) 858 Frank Branch
Bathurst John A. Duffy 2,075 Paul Kenny 2,667 Kevin Mann 2,176 Lucie Losier (Parti acadien) 560 Eugene McGinley
Caraquet Beatrice "Bibi" Doiron 2,809 Onil Doiron 3,925 Michel Blanchard (Parti acadien) 1,534 Onil Doiron
Shippagan-les-Îles Jean Gauvin 3,023 André Robichaud 2,476 Michel Haché (Ind.) 1,280
Laval Auclair (Parti acadien) 466
André Robichaud
Tracadie George McLaughlin 2,490 Doug Young 4,374 Alyre Morais (Parti acadien) 806 Adjutor Ferguson


Consisting of Carleton, York, Sunbury and Northumberland county ridings.

Electoral district Candidates   Incumbent
  PC   Liberal   NDP Other
Carleton North Charles G. Gallagher 2,397 Samuel J. "Sam" Perkins 1,694 Charles G. Gallagher
Carleton Centre Richard B. Hatfield 2,043 David Crouse 1,734 Richard B. Hatfield
Carleton South Steven P. Porter 2,317 Pat Saunders 1,776 Garth Brewer 389 A. Edison Stairs
York North Adelbert David Bishop 3,681 Richard Albert Carr 3,137 Albert Fraser MacDonald 741 Adelbert David Bishop
York South Leslie "Les" Hull 4,440 Blaine E. Hatt 3,036 Mark Allen Canning 444 Les Hull
Fredericton South J. W. "Bud" Bird 5,525 Stephen Patterson 4,252 Margo Dunn 643 Harry John Marshall (Ind.) 92 George Everett Chalmers
Fredericton North Edwin G. Allen 5,304 Carl Edward Howe 3,528 Christopher Devlin Hicks 662 Lawrence Garvie
Sunbury Horace Smith 3,045 Ted Rogers 2,233 Randy E. Brodeur 373 Horace Smith
Oromocto John Edward McKee 2,467 LeRoy Washburn 2,522 Jim Aucoin 283 LeRoy Washburn
Southwest Miramichi John Munn 2,578 Morris Green 2,725 Sterling Hambrook
Miramichi-Newcastle Douglas R. Woods 3,127 John McKay 3,200 John McKay
Chatham Greg Barry 2,019 Frank E. Kane 2,920 Lloyd Vienneau 379 Frank E. Kane
Bay du Vin Robert S. Lamkey 1,816 L. Norbert Thériault 2,515 Joseph Alban Mazerolle (Ind.) 101 L. Norbert Thériault
Miramichi Bay James Kenneth Gordon 1,750 Edgar LeGresley 2,232 Solomon Curry (Ind.) 1,524 Edgar LeGresley

South West

Consisting of Queens, Kings, Saint John and Charlotte county ridings.

Electoral district Candidates   Incumbent
  PC   Liberal   NDP Other
Queens North Wilfred George Bishop 2,059 Eva Andries 1,145 Wilfred George Bishop
Queens South A.P. Hetherington 1,446 Robert B. McCready 1,577 Charles Viger 202 Robert Corbett
Kings West John B. M. Baxter 4,047 Jack Stevens 3,023 George Little 1,132 John B. M. Baxter
Kings Centre Harold N. Fanjoy 3,284 David L. Nice 2,130 R. Harvey Watson 745 Harold N. Fanjoy
Kings East Hazen Myers 3,251 Gordon A. Lewis 2,135 Ernest A. Seedhouse 342 George Horton
Saint John Fundy Beverly J. Harrison 2,196 Kevin Kilfoil 1,370 Larry Hanley 932 William J. Woodroffe
East Saint John G.S. "Gerry" Merrithew 3,626 George Creary 2,220 Douglas Justason 1,143 Gerry Merrithew
Saint John Harbour E. Lorne Richardson 1,680 Louis E. Murphy 1,772 Harrison G. Harvey 625 John Turnbull
Saint John South Nancy Clark 1,622 John P. Mooney 1,543 David M. Brown 416 John P. Mooney
Saint John Park Garry Bona 1,677 Shirley Dysart 1,976 David T. Pye 551 Robert J. Higgins
Saint John North Eric J. Kipping 1,906 Harry G. Colwell 1,569 Henry Thomas Watts 430 Shirley Dysart*
Saint John West Rodman Emmason Logan 3,935 Delvan G. O'Brien 2,411 James William Orr 886 Rodman Emmason Logan
Charlotte-Fundy James Nelson Tucker 1,741 Bernard L. Moses 1,311 George Robertson 164 James Nelson Tucker
Charlotte Centre Robert D. "Bob" Lee 1,210 Sheldon Lee 1,404 DeCosta Young
Charlotte West Leland W. McGaw 1,815 Philip Earl Johnson 1,074 William C. Mosher 201 Leland W. McGaw
St. Stephen-Milltown Bill Cockburn 1,986 Sydney Holmes 1,238 Charles Roland Campbell 136 Bill Cockburn

South East

Consisting of Kent, Westmorland and Albert county ridings.

Electoral district Candidates   Incumbent
  PC   Liberal   NDP Other
Kent North Louis Arsenault 1,070 Joseph Daigle 3,156 Philippe Ouellette (Parti acadien) 358 Joseph Z. Daigle
Kent Centre Claude Giruan Warren 1,171 Alan Robert Graham 2,352 John B. LaBossiere 249 Pierrette Leblanc (Parti acadien) 121 Alan Robert Graham
Kent South Omer Léger 3,279 Bertin LeBlanc 4,276 Dolan Surette (Parti acadien) 138 Omer Léger
Shediac Régis Cormier Azor LeBlanc 5,342 Henri-Eugène Duguay (Parti acadien) 603 Azor LeBlanc
Tantramar Lloyd Folkins 2,019 James G. Purdy 1,232 Robert Arthur Hall 1,924 Lloyd Folkins
Memramcook Euclide Daigle 1,348 William "Bill" Malenfant 4,605 Joseph Eugene Guy LeBlanc 345 Donatien Gaudet (Parti acadien) 643 Bill Malenfant
Moncton East Raymond J. Thibodeau 2,006 Ray Frenette 3,921 John William Kingston 592 Simone LeBlanc-Rainsville (Parti acadien) 469 Ray Frenette
Moncton North Albert L. Galbraith 3,023 Father Mike McKee 4,362 Guy J. Richard 477 David Britton (Parti acadien) 225 Mike McKee
Moncton West Mabel DeWare 4,211 Donald A. Canning 2,831 Paul Hebert (Parti acadien) 230 Paul Creaghan
Petitcodiac C.W. "Bill" Harmer 4,911 Harold Alward 3,420 Ronald McGrath 621 Rev. C. Edward Pickett (Ind.) 556
Patrick D. Clarke (Parti acadien) 117
Bill Harmer
Riverview Brenda M. Robertson 4,443 W. A. "Bill" Payne 1,967 Brenda M. Robertson
Albert Malcolm MacLeod 2,669 Grant William Colpitts 1,289 Robert J. Candy 351 Malcolm MacLeod