10 races to watch on election night
The campaigns focused on 4 major centres where margins are expected to be tighter
If you need a hint as to where the Saskatchewan Party and the NDP thought election races were close, you just had to follow the campaigns.
Both parties used the majority of their time over the last month in Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw.
Neither party spent much time or leader resources more than 2 hours from the province's two largest centres.
The NDP is expected to hold its two northern seats.
In the southern and central parts of the province, the Saskatchewan Party painted the map green in 2011 and 2016.
In 2016, the Saskatchewan Party got at least 60 per cent of the votes in 30 of the seats it won outside Regina and Saskatoon. In the two cities, they won six by at least that margin.
Thirty-one seats are needed for a majority.
Here are 10 races to watch on election night:
NDP Leader Ryan Meili spent more time in Regina than Scott Moe during the month-long campaign. The NDP holds 5 of the city's 12 seats and has targeted at least three of those 12 for potential gains.
Regina Coronation Park
Candidates: SP: Mark Docherty, NDP: Noor Burki, Green Party: Irene Browatzke, PC: David Coates
2016 Margin: 147 votes
Storyline: Docherty of the Sask. Party won in 2011 and narrowly in 2016. He has been the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly since March 2018. Docherty faces Noor Burki of the NDP. Burki runs Wascana Driving School and won a contested nomination in May 2019. This riding was seen as a "safe" NDP seat until Docherty's breakthrough win in 2011. Kim Trew held the seat for the NDP from 1986 to 2011.
Candidates: SP: Muhammad Fiaz, NDP: Bhajan Brar, Green Party: Heather Lau, PC: Harry Frank
2016 Margin: 298
Storyline: Fiaz won in the new riding in 2016. The NDP challenger is Bhajan Brar. Moe kicked off his campaign outside Fiaz's campaign office. The area includes the relatively new subdivision of Harbour Landing, which according to the city's most recent census has the lowest median age at 29.9. Fiaz was one of only three Sask. Party incumbents that needed to win a contested nomination.
Candidates: SP: Tina Beaudry-Mellor, NDP: Aleana Young, Green Party: Tanner Wallace, PC: Debbie Knill
2016 Margin: 417
Storyline: This is one of several rematches from 2016. Moe and Beaudry-Mellor put up lawn signs together on day one of the campaign. Beaudry-Mellor is one of only a few recent cabinet ministers expected to be in a close race. Young is a member of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association executive and stepped down as a Regina Public School Division trustee to run. In 2016, the Liberal and Green candidates combined for 566 votes. The Liberals do not have a candidate on the ballot this year.
Regina Walsh Acres
Candidates: SP: Derek Meyers, NDP: Kelly Hardy, PC: Ken Grey (leader), Independent: Sandra Morin
Incumbent: Vacant (previously held by SP)
2016 Margin: 599
Storyline: The race here is wide open after former NDP cabinet minister Sandra Morin was not approved by the NDP after winning the nomination. Morin decided to run as an independent. There could be a vote split on both the left and right, as PC Leader Ken Grey is also running in this riding.
On paper, Saskatoon looks more like a battleground than Regina. Perhaps that is why Moe seemed to make a few more trips to the province's largest city. In 2016, the NDP won just three of 14 seats there. It has since won two by-elections, giving it five seats at dissolution. The NDP is running new candidates in three of those five ridings because the incumbents did not seek re-election.
Candidates: SP: Lisa Lambert SP, NDP: David McGrane, Gillian Walker (Green), John Lowe (PC)
2016 Margin: 934
Storyline: First contested in 2016, this riding combined areas that were strong for the NDP in the past. McGrane was named president of the Saskatchewan NDP in 2016 and is a political studies professor in Saskatoon. For the NDP to make a breakthrough in Saskatoon, it will need this seat.
Candidates: SP: Chris Guérette, NDP: Matt Love, Green: Jan Norris
2016 Margin: Sask. Party 971
Storyline: Guérette was helicoptered into this riding a week into the campaign after the resignation of Daryl Cooper. The seat is one of two that has been vacant for more than a year. Love will have the advantage of being selected much earlier than Guérette, who has name recognition as the head of the Saskatoon and District Home Builders' Association and former chair of the Conseil Scolaire Fransaskois. Love was a CBC Future 40 recipient and is a well-known teacher at Aden Bowman Collegiate.
Candidates: SP: Rylund Hunter, NDP: Ryan Meili (Leader), Green: Jacklin Andrews
2017 By-election Margin: 704
Storyline: Meili will attempt to be the first NDP Leader in the last three elections to win his seat. Dwain Lingenfelter lost in 2011 and Cam Broten lost in 2016. Both were defeated by rookie candidates. Meili is up against Rylund Hunter of the Sask. Party, who knocked off Guérette for the nomination. Meili won a by-election in 2017, but the Sask. Party won the two previous main elections.
Candidates: SP: Marv Friesen, NDP: Ashlee Hicks, Green: Delanie Passer
2016 Margin: Won by NDP 259
Storyline: Moe has made two stops in this riding, perhaps a sign the Sask. Party thinks it can gain this traditional NDP seat. Aside from 1982-86, the NDP has held this riding since 1967. It has been previously held by NDP Premiers Roy Romanow and Lorne Calvert. Danielle Chartier, who held the seat since 2009 for the NDP, is not running again. Friesen lost to Chartier in 2016 and is running again.
Moose Jaw Wakamow
Candidates: SP: Greg Lawrence, NDP: Melissa Patterson, Green: Abby Firlotte, PC: Darcy Jensen
2016 Margin: 695
Storyline: Once an NDP stronghold and the former seat of Lorne Calvert, Lawrence turned the tables in 2011. Both parties spent time in Moose Jaw during the campaign. Moe made an announcement there increasing the veterans' grant program alongside Lawrence, who was the government's military liaison.
Prince Albert Northcote
Candidates: SP: Alana Ross, NDP: Nicole Rancourt, Green: Sarah Kraynick, PC: Jaret Nikolaisen
2016 Margin: 261
Storyline: Like Moose Jaw, Prince Albert was a location of frequent campaign trips from Moe and Meili. The seat has flip-flopped in the last two elections, but had previously been held by the NDP from 1991to 2011. Issues like a new bridge and expansion of the Victoria Hospital are hot-button issues in the city.