For a politician who's not even running in Tuesday's federal election, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams has a lot riding on what voters decide.
Williams unveiled his "anything but Conservative" campaign last year, accusing Stephen Harper and his Conservative government of betraying written election promises to exclude non-renewable energy revenues from the federal equalization formula.
The dispute dated back to a meeting in October 2006, when a furious Williams told a convention of provincial Tories that "there better be a big goose egg" for the Conservatives during the next federal election if its equalization promises were not kept.
While the "goose egg" comment more than suggested that Williams is gunning for a Conservative washout in Newfoundland and Labrador, where the party held three of seven seats heading into the election, Williams said last week his ambitions were more straightforward: fewer seats, by any number.
"We feel it's appropriate that he not get any seats in this province," Williams told CBC News.
"But that decision rests with the people. We'll see what happens."
Only one Conservative incumbent, Avalon MP Fabian Manning, is running in this election campaign. Manning, though, is in a competitive race and is considered to have a decent shot of retaining his seat.
Campaign registered with Elections Canada
The ABC campaign proved to more than just a talking point for the premier in speeches, which targeted Harper as untrustworthy and harbouring a deep-right agenda.
The provincial Progressive Conservative party registered the campaign as a third party with Elections Canada, allowing it to buy ads — including a billboard near the Gardiner Expressway in downtown Toronto, the campaign's one prominent reach outside the province.
Craig Westcott, a Conservative candidate in St. John's East, accused the ABC campaign of stacking competing campaigns with cash and volunteers.
However, New Democratic candidate Jack Harris, considered the front-runner in St. John's East, said that's not the case, although he acknowledged he's picking up support from people who supported Tory and Liberal campaigns in the past.
"It's not really part of the ABC campaign at all," Harris said. "We're running an NDP campaign."
'Profound effect' seen as volunteers, donors stay home
Conservative organizers have said the ABC campaign could be felt well before the campaign even launched. The party had trouble recruiting candidates in some ridings until the last minute, and volunteers who would normally work on federal campaigns have stayed home.
"I think it had a pretty profound effect on this campaign," said David Cochrane, CBC's provincial affairs reporter.
"[It may not] have moved voters' intentions the way the premier was hoping, but it really eviscerated the political machine of the federal Conservatives."
Cochrane noted that three Conservative candidates in the province are on the party payroll.
The campaign sparked more than a little controversy. Federal Conservatives repeatedly painted ABC as a personal vendetta that Williams was waging against Harper. Numerous pundits across the country took aim at the campaign, and said it was inappropriate for a provincial premier to wade so directly into a federal election.
Williams had originally said he was open to speaking engagements around the country, but in the end declined speaking invitations in other provinces. Williams made two speeches in his home province — including one in Manning's riding — that vehemently attacked Harper.