Ontario New Democratic Party leader Andrea Horwath visits Ottawa for the first time in this election campaign Friday, hoping she can help her party make a breakthrough in the city for the first time in nearly two decades.

The closest an NDP candidate came in the city in the 2011 election was in Ottawa Centre, when Anil Naidoo received a little more than 29 per cent of the vote and finished a distant second to Liberal incumbent Yasir Naqvi.

The riding is again the target for the party in 2014, with Ottawa Carleton District School Board chair Jennifer McKenzie the NDP's new challenger to Naqvi.

Watch CBC TV at 6 as Lucy van Oldenbarneveld sits down one-on-one with NDP leader Andrea Horwath.

Evelyn Gigantes, who held the riding for the NDP in the 1980s and the 1990s, said McKenzie has a great shot at taking Ottawa Centre and says it is always a tug of war between the two parties.

"It's always been a contest between the Liberals and the NDP and I think we can build on what we've done in two recent elections," said Gigantes.

Paul Dewar

MP Paul Dewar has been helping out with local NDP candidate Jennifer McKenzie's campaign in Ottawa Centre. (CBC)

But Horwath, coming to the city a day after she unveiled her election platform, is not likely to find many other opportunities in the city according to Bruce Anderson, chairman of polling company Abacus Data.

The only other Ottawa riding where the NDP might make some noise is Ottawa West Nepean, where former city councillor and one-time Liberal MPP Alex Cullen is running against incumbent Bob Chiarelli and Progressive Conservative candidate Randall Denley.

Liberals favoured over NDP in Ottawa, says pollster

Anderson said Ottawa's high income median isn't a natural fit for the NDP and argues that while there is a large number of progressive voters in Ottawa, they are more centrist than further to the left.

"If I'm a progressive and I think the Liberals have a good chance at winning another election, why wouldn't I put my vote with them rather than with the NDP that I don't think has a chance," he said.

The numbers from 2011 bear out that sentiment. The NDP placed third in every other Ottawa riding and every other eastern Ontario riding except for Kingston and the Islands.

"If I'm a progressive and I think the Liberals have a good chance at winning another election, why wouldn't I put my vote with them rather than with the NDP that I don't think has a chance," he said.

The numbers from 2011 bear out that sentiment. The NDP placed third in every other Ottawa riding and every other eastern Ontario riding except for Kingston and the Islands.