A tour to pump new energy into Newfoundland and Labrador's long-struggling Liberal party concluded this weekend, with organizers saying the renewal project will pave the way for victory in the next election.
"They're coming back in droves to say, 'how can we ensure the Liberal party is a viable alternative and has the policies and directions that will work well for Newfoundland and Labrador,' " Siobhan Coady, the former MP who co-chaired the renewal tour, told CBC News.
The Liberals have been rebuilding since squeaking by in the 2011 election with six seats, holding on to Official Opposition status by just one seat over the upstart New Democrats.
The Liberals have not held power since 2003, when Danny Williams led the Progressive Conservatives to a landslide victory.
The renewal tour launched last spring, and has made more than a dozen stops since.
Dean MacDonald, the St. John's businessman who himself has been the subject of leadership speculation, said the party is getting much stronger.
"There's a lot of unity within the party," he said.
"People really want to be active, they want to get engaged again, it's been a long time since the Liberal party has been in power. People want change."
In an interview, Coady said the party will need to build bridges with voters who are aligned with the party's point of view, but who didn't cast votes for its candidates in the last three elections.
"There's a lot of [people] who really believe in being fiscally conservative and socially progressive. They're very much Liberal-minded. There's a lot of people who are engaged in this process that want the Liberals to succeed," she said.
The provincial Liberals are poised to select a new leader in November 2013. Dwight Ball, the MHA for Humber Valley district, has been serving as leader since last fall's election.