Manitoba election: 15 constituencies to watch

There are several hotly contested constituencies in the Manitoba election. CBC has compiled a list of ones to watch.

Manitobans head to the polls Tuesday, April 19

Manitobans head to the polls Tuesday to vote in 57 constituencies.

Here is a list of constituencies with interesting races to watch on election night.

1. Assiniboia

Former Conservative MP Steven Fletcher is running for the Progressive Conservatives. The seat was held by the NDP's Jim Rondeau, who was dropped from cabinet and is not running in this campaign.

2. Brandon East

This constituency has always been NDP, but may turn this time. Drew Caldwell has held the seat since 1999.

3. Fort Richmond

New Democrat Kerri Irvin-Ross is one of the only cabinet ministers to run in this election. She held the difficult portfolio of family services minister when it was discovered children in care were still being housed in hotels. That practice has now changed.

4. Fort Rouge

This constituency is really up for grabs. The NDP's Jennifer Howard, one of the "gang of five" ministers to unsuccessfully challenge Greg Selinger's leadership, recently announced she wasn't running. That made way for broadcaster and university administrator Wab Kinew to run for the NDP. He was challenged over misogynistic and homophobic comments in his tweets and lyrics that surfaced during the campaign. He is running against Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari, who's made a series of missteps this campaign, including losing six candidates. Audrey Gordon, a longtime civil servant in health care, is running for the PCs.

5. Gimli

The seat was left vacant after NDP's Peter Bjornson, MLA since 2003, stepped down. The constituency is about as close as it gets to a bellwether constituency, often electing someone who belongs to the winning party. 

6. Kirkfield Park

It was the one to watch during the last election. It was the tightest race; New Democrat Sharon Blady won by only 21 votes. This time, Blady, who was most recently in cabinet as health minister, is being challenged by Scott Fielding, who was a city councillor.

7. Riel

New Democrat Christine Melnick was once in cabinet, then was out of cabinet. She's been in and out of favour with the party and is now back in the NDP caucus. She's being challenged by the PCs' Rochelle Squires, who was once a party spokesperson.

8. River Heights

The only Liberal seat in the Manitoba Legislature has been held by Jon Gerrard since 1999. Gerrard was the Liberal Party leader before Bokhari took over.

9. Rossmere

New Democrat Erna Braun has held the seat since 2007. Historically, the seat swings back and forth between the PCs and the NDP. The seat was once held by former federal Conservative MP Vic Toews.

10. St. Norbert

St. Norbert was the second-tightest race in the last election, in 2011. The NDP's Dave Gaudreau won by 31 votes. Gaudreau recently cricitized Greg Selinger in a caucus meeting, saying the public didn't like him.

11. St. Vital

Former NDP cabinet minister Nancy Allan is not running again, leaving the seat more open to change. It was held by the PCs from 1990-99.

12. Southdale

NDP rebel cabinet minister Erin Selby, who was one of five to publicly challenge Selinger's leadership, resigned after her failed attempt to run federally. It was a tight race in 2011 and the seat was PC in 1999 and 2003.

13. St. James

The NDP's Deanne Crothers won in a tight race in 2011. Expect a challenge from the PCs' Scott Johnston.

14. St. Johns

Longtime cabinet minister Gord Mackintosh, who held the seat since 2003, didn't run this time. High-profile indigenous activist Nahanni Fontaine is running for the NDP. Liberal Noel Bernier is in tough, since the constituency has always been NDP.

15. Wolseley

The NDP's Rob Altemeyer has held the seat since 2003. The Green Party has come in second in the past three provincial elections. The Greens are optimistic candidate Dave Nickarz has a real shot at taking the party's first seat in Manitoba.

Watch election results live on CBC TV and radio at 8 p.m. and online on our Manitoba Votes page.