Former finance minister Blaine Higgs is the new leader of New Brunswick's Progressive Conservative party.

He was chosen on the third ballot last night at a leadership convention in Fredericton.

Blaine Higgs/Facebook

There were seven candidates in the running to replace David Alward, who quit after the party lost the 2014 election to the Liberals.

The 62-year old former Irving Oil executive won 1,563 votes on the final ballot, beating former Saint John mayor Mel Norton.

The leadership convention was held at the Aitken Centre in Fredericton, with satellite voting stations in Moncton, Saint John, Bathurst, Saint Leonard, Grand Manan Island, Deer Island, and Campobello Island.

The Liberals have 26 seats in the legislature. The Progressive Conservatives have 22 seats. The Greens have one MLA seat.