NDP has fewest nominated candidates of five parties in Sask.
NDP have 6 of 14 candidates nominated for next month's election
With a federal election call around the corner, the NDP trail four other parties in nominated candidates in Saskatchewan.
The party has six candidates nominated in the province's 14 federal ridings.
As of Tuesday the number of nominations by party were:
- Conservative Party - 14.
- People's Party of Canada - 14.
- Green Party - 12.
- Liberal Party - 9.
- NDP - 6.
"I can tell you that we're going to have a full slate here in Saskatchewan. People are definitely interested in running. They're coming forward and we're just taking the steps to get the candidates in place," said NDP provincial secretary John Tzupa.
Nationally the NDP trails the aforementioned four parties in nominations. As of last Friday, the NDP confirmed 175 candidates out of 338 seats across Canada.
Tzupa said he expected the 14 Saskatchewan nominations to be filled over the next week.
On Friday, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh responded to the concern about a lack of nominations. He pointed to the party's effort to field a diverse slate of candidates.
"We know we've got to change the status quo," Singh said. "We want to get more women involved in politics. We want to get marginalized people in politics. And that takes work."
The head of the University of Regina's department of political studies, Jim Farney, says the NDP knew the election was coming and cannot simply claim vetting for diverse candidates is the reason it is behind the other parties.
"It seems to me that there is something wrong."
Farney said he thinks the party can reclaim the two seats it currently holds.
"[In Saskatchewan] they poll a quarter of the votes reliably year after year and so to not be able to put forward a full slate of candidates right off the hop says that there is something worrisome going on with the party."
Among provinces, Saskatchewan had the third highest percentage of NDP votes in 2015 trailing only B.C. and Quebec.
In 2015, the NDP broke through in Saskatchewan, grabbing three seats.
Tzupa said the party would like to hold those seats and grow from there.
NDP MP Georgina Jolibois is seeking re-election in Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River. Jolibois faces the well-known chief of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band, Tammy Cook-Searson, a Liberal. Jolibois narrowly edged Liberal candidate Lawrence Joseph by 82 votes in 2015.
NDP Deputy Leader Sheri Benson will look to regain her seat in Saskatoon West.
The third seat will be tougher. In 2015, Regina-Lewvan MP Erin Weir won the seat for the NDP by fewer than 150 votes, beating out the Conservatives. Weir was kicked out of the NDP caucus over allegations of harassment in 2018. The party did not reinstate him despite calls from local constituents and members of the riding association.
Businessman and political newcomer Jigar Patel won the nomination and has had about two months of campaigning. He faces Saskatchewan Party MLA Warren Steinley, who won the Conservative nomination for Regina-Lewvan.
"I can tell you the team there is working really hard, not taking anything for granted and has been really successful at recruiting a great team of people to be out part of that campaign," Tzupa said.
According to the NDP website, it has yet to nominate a single candidate in New Brunswick, P.E.I., Nunavut or the Northwest Territories.
On Tuesday, 14 disgruntled former New Brunswick NDP candidates announced they were defecting and throwing their support behind the provincial and federal Greens.
The CBC's Poll Tracker has the NDP polling at less than 13 per cent nationally, two points higher than the Green Party. The poll tracker combines Saskatchewan and Manitoba into one region and has the NDP at 14.5 per cent support.
with files from Catharine Tunney