If Coun. Percy Hatfield wins this week's provincial byelection in Windsor-Tecumseh, voters in his ward may have to go to the polls again.

Recent polls have predicted a victory for the NDP candidate, who also represents Ward 7 on Windsor City Council.

If he wins, council will have to decide whether to appoint a replacement or put the decision to voters.

Municipal byelections often cost between $80,000 and $90,000, which Coun. Drew Dilkens said is a good reason not to hold one.

"It may be wiser for council to to save money and appoint someone to that position," he said.

Coun. Alan Halberstadt said he would rather hold a byelection, despite the cost.

"It would be a bit of a blow to democracy" for city council to appoint someone to the post, he said.

"The message would be it's all politics at City Hall, and we're going to decide rather than the people," he said.

Turnout for municipal byelections typically comes in at about 30 per cent.

At Windsor's Market Square on Monday, shoppers were lukewarm about going to the polls again.

"It doesn't really matter to me, to be frank about it," said Brian D'hondt. "I'll leave it up to council to make that decision."

"I doubt if I'd vote," said Pat Grady.

Dilkens said he'd like to see "someone who, perhaps, has already done the job" take over for Hatfield if he wins Thursday.

That could mean former councillor Tom Willson, who has 21 years of council experience and says he would consider stepping in if Hatfield leaves.

Recent history shows that byelections can have big results at council chambers.

When Brian Masse left for a seat at parliament, coun. Ron Jones was elected.

Mayor Eddie Francis was elected to council when Rick Limoges left in 1999.

The Windsor-Tecumseh byelection is one of five provincial byelections taking place Thursday.