With the finish line now in sight, provincial politicians and their handlers are strategizing and energizing for the final election push.
There’s a lot at stake after all including the possible fall Tuesday of a one-term majority government, something that hasn’t happened in this province in 131 years. At the very least a minority government may be in the offing and won’t that be interesting?
Close to home, all three local ridings present interesting senarios and plenty of questions.
Let’s start today, then, with Colchester North where former cabinet minister Karen Casey is attempting to win a third consecutive term, only this time as a Liberal rather than a Progressive Conservative.
Four years ago Casey was one of the few MLAs who survived the PC annihilation and she did it in grand style, garnering more votes than the NDP and Liberal candidates combined.
After a stint as interim party leader, however, she dramatically crossed the floor nearly three years ago, a move the PC camp has not been shy in reminding voters about during this campaign.
But there’s a theory nowadays that voters are less inclined to vote along party lines as their parents and grandparents; that they’ll support a particular candidate regardless of affiliation.
That theory will be tested here because the Liberals finished a distant third in Colchester North in 2009.
But Casey is a political heavyweight, the highest profile candidate to carry the party banner in this riding since Ed Lorraine complete his 11-year MLA run in 1999. She is, without a doubt, one of the most knowledgeable politicians in the province.
The question is how many PC votes will she bring with her? And will voters who rode the NDP wave in 2009 gravitate towards her camp as well? For some, it could even be strategic voting for if the Liberals win the election as some predict Casey figures to be a high-profile minister once again.
That could spell bad news for the Tories who desperately need to maintain a significant portion of their 2009 vote and hope the rest of the vote is fairly evenly split to stand a chance.
Their candidate, John K. MacDonald, has been working hard since earning the party nomination over a year ago and he has a very impressive track record of community work. NDP candidate Jim Wyatt has also been working hard to get his message out.
But stopping Casey, regardless of her political affiliation, seems a tall order.
(Tomorrow, we’ll look at the riding of Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River)