HALIFAX -- Former Member of Parliament, Karen Ludwig is stepping back into the political arena -- this time on the provincial level. At a nomination convention during the weekend, she was officially chosen as the Liberal candidate for the riding of St. Croix, New Brunswick.

“This is a riding that could turn government,” says Ludwig. “All the more power to everyone that's running–but certainly, we need to fill this seat."

Ludwig served a four-year term as the MP for New Brunswick Southwest but was defeated in the last federal election. She says the issue of health care was one of the driving forces in her decision to seek the nomination.

"Centralizing lab services or even talking about that; that takes someone strong in the seat in the legislature to say ‘absolutely no way,’" says Ludwig.

It's a hotly-contested riding, with Kathy Bockus confirmed as the candidate for the Progressive Conservatives and Rod Cumberland running for the People's Alliance.

"Just the math behind the seats in the legislature make this byelection, once it's called, incredibly important to the balance of power, who can form government,” says political scientist, JP Lewis. “So that's why there's going to be a lot of attention."

The riding was formerly held by PC MLA and cabinet minister, Greg Thompson, but became vacant after he passed away in September.

Meanwhile, a byelection will also be held for the riding of Shediac Bay in Dieppe – which was held by former premier Brian Gallant before resigning his seat in the fall.

“It's a very safe Liberal riding,” says Lewis. “And you have the leader running in it. So, I mean, if Vickers were to lose that riding, it would be an incredibly historic upset–so that's why a lot more attention is on St. Croix."

Meanwhile, the two byelections have not yet been scheduled, but premier Blaine Higgs has said he's waiting until March before setting an official date.