Elections New Brunswick

This page contains information and material useful for individuals interested in becoming a candidate, the official agent, or the scrutineer of a candidate for a provincial election.

To be a candidate as a member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), one must be qualified to vote in New Brunswick. To vote, a person must be:

       • 18 years of age on or before election

       • a Canadian citizen;

       • ordinarily resident in the Province for at
         least 40 days immediately preceding the date of the election; and

       • ordinarily resident in an electoral district on the date of the election (but not
         necessarily the electoral district for which one is a candidate).

Any person who meets these requirements can become a candidate; however, prospective candidates who work for the provincial or federal government should discuss any employment related conditions before deciding to offer.

The first step in becoming a candidate in a provincial election is to seek the nomination of a registered political party in the electoral district where you intend to run.

If you intend to be an independent candidate, this step does not apply.

As required by the Elections Act, individuals seeking the nomination as a candidate of a registered political party in a provincial electoral district must register with Elections New Brunswick as soon as possible after being accepted as a “nomination contestant” by their party.

The exact process to become a nomination contestant varies by party, but the registration process is not complete until an authorized officer of the registered political party accepts the individual and files the form “Application for Registration as a Leadership Contestant or Nomination Contestant” with Elections New Brunswick.

An individual who is elected by acclamation in an electoral district is still considered a nomination contestant and must complete the registration process.

An individual who is appointed as a candidate of a registered political party without holding a nomination contest, however, is not considered to be a nomination contestant and, therefore, is not required to register.

As required by the Elections Act and the Political Process Financing Act, each nomination contestant must have an official representative to record all contributions, financing, and expenditures for his or her campaign.  A nomination contestant may act as his or her own official representative.

The official representative of a registered nomination contestant is required to file one or more financial returns disclosing the details of all contributions and other financing received in support of the nomination contestant.  In the case of a nomination contestant who received $2,000 or less in financial support, simplified financial reporting is provided.


The process to officially register with Elections New Brunswick as a candidate in an election can only be initiated after the writ of election is issued by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.  At that time, the returning officer for each electoral district is empowered to accept nomination papers from candidates.  The electronic versions of the documents found in a nomination kit provided by a returning officer are listed below.

Those independent candidates who intend to accept contributions, spend money to promote themselves outside an election period, or spend more than $2,000 to promote themselves during an election period must register with Elections New Brunswick and comply with all relevant provisions of the Political Process Financing Act regarding the financing of their campaigns.  In contrast, independent candidates who intend to spend $2,000 or less of their own money and only during an election period are not required to register.

Prior to the issuing of a writ of election, an individual who has been selected as the candidate of a registered political party in an electoral district may begin to present themselves to the public as a candidate for an upcoming election.  All election campaign finances, however, are subject to rules under the Elections Act and the Political Process Financing Act, including:

  • Contributions, loans, and other financing must be arranged by the candidate’s registered district association or registered political party;
  • “Pre-writ” advertising must be authorized by the candidate’s registered district association and is subject to an annual limit;
  • The candidate must appoint an official agent to authorize all election expenses of the candidate.  These election expenses are subject to a limit calculated by Elections New Brunswick for each electoral district; and
  • The candidate’s official agent must file an electoral financial return no later than 60 days following the return of the writ of election.

Details of these campaign financing rules are posted online.