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Liberals still looking for 3 candidates in London area

There are vacancies in at least 3 ridings just days before the official start of the campaign

CBC News

May 04, 2018

(Chris Young/Canadian Press)

Liberals in the London area are scrambling to field candidates in the June 7 provincial election.

With just five days to go until the writ is dropped, the ridings of London-Fanshawe, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex and Sarnia-Lambton still have Liberal vacancies.

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A nomination meeting will be held for London-Fanshawe Saturday at 1 p.m. but there's no word on when candidates will be found for the other two ridings.

The Liberal candidate in London-Fanshawe will go up against NDP incumbent Teresa Armstrong and Progressive Conservative candidate Eric Weniger.

Not running to lose

"A lot of it has to do with the polls," said Jacquie Newman, assoc. professor of political science at King's University College, pointing to the CBC Poll Tracker that shows the likelihood of a Conservative majority at 92 per cent.  

"Why would you want to put yourself out as a candidate?" asked Newman. "Most people who run for the Liberal party are not interested in running to lose."

Two weeks ago, the Liberals nominated business consultant Jonathan Hughes to run in London-West against the NDP's Peggy Sattler, who has held the riding since she was elected in a by-election in 2013.

These Ontario Liberals have announced they will not be running in the June 7 provincial election: (Top row, L to R) Michael Chan, Tracy MacCharles, Grant Crack, Eric Hoskins; (Middle row, L to R) Liz Sandals, Dave Levac, Brad Duguid, Deb Matthews; (Bottom row, L to R) Monte Kwinter, Mario Sergio, Glen Murray. (Ontario Liberal Party)

PC leader Doug Ford created a stir when he unilaterally appointed former talk show host Andrew Lawton as the Tory candidate in London-West, bypassing two other candidates who had contested the nomination. One of them, Thames Valley District school board trustee Jake Skinner called the move a "brazen abuse of power."

Whoever the Liberals find to run in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex will face Conservative incumbent Monte McNaughton, who has held the rural riding since 2011.

And the eventual Liberal flag-bearer in Sarnia-Lambton will square off against Conservative MPP Bob Bailey, who has represented the region since 2007.

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