10/17/2012 11:59 EDT | Updated 12/17/2012 05:12 EST

New Brunswick Liberals begin casting votes for next leader of the party

FREDERICTON - New Brunswick Liberals begin voting today for a new party leader.

Almost 19,000 people have registered to cast ballots in advance of the leadership convention in Moncton on Oct. 27.

The leadership contenders are farmer Nick Duivenvoodren (Dy-ven-vor-den), Moncton lawyer Brian Gallant and Mike Murphy, also a Moncton lawyer who served in the cabinet of former premier Shawn Graham.

Victor Boudreau has served as interim leader since November 2010 when Graham resigned as leader after his party's defeat at the polls.

The governing Conservatives have 42 seats in the legislature while the Liberals have 13.