Tories, NDP sharpen focus on St. John's
The governing Tories and the fledgling New Democrats accelerated campaigning in key St. John's battleground districts Friday, in an indication of where there may be seat changes in Tuesday's election.
Toronto MP Olivia Chow, the widow of former NDP Leader Jack Layton, will be speaking to municipal leaders about public transit, but is also helping out local New Democrats who hope to stage a breakthrough next week.
PC Leader Kathy Dunderdale has returned to the metro St. John's region to campaign with local candidates, some of whom are in fierce battles to keep the city blue. NDP Leader Lorraine Michael is the only non-Tory incumbent in the area. [INTERACTIVE: Track where the three party leaders have been on the campaign trail.]
The NDP have strong chances in at least St. John's Centre and St. John's North, and are a contender in nearby St. John's South.
"I feel very positive about our chances here, one of the things we have to do is get our vote on election day, and again we're not taking that for granted," said NDP provincial president Dale Kirby, who is also the party's candidate in St. John's North.
"We're going to work very hard. I'll be out pulling the vote myself."
Bob Ridgley, the Tory incumbent in St. John's North, said the party is fighting for every vote.
"We just work as hard as we can. We've always worked hard," Ridgley told CBC News. "I have a reputation for being a hard working MHA and I have no intention on discontinuing that."
While orange signs are far easier to spot on the northeast Avalon during this campaign, St. John's South incumbent Tom Osborne — a former cabinet minister who is seeking his fifth consecutive term — is not worried about being toppled.
"I don't think it's had much of an impact in this district," Osborne said.
"They've picked up a little bit of wind from that, but for the most part our polling is showing and the people at the doors are saying they're very happy with the representation that I've provided."
St. John's Mayor Dennis O'Keefe agreed to campaign publicly Friday with St. John's Centre incumbent Shawn Skinner, who is facing a strong challenge from New Democrat Gerry Rogers.