MANITOBA VOTES: Kinew says NDP are only choice to topple Tories | Winnipeg Sun

The province’s NDP leader believes his own party is the only one that can overthrow the current Progressive Conservative regime.

On the final day of the campaign trail, Wab Kinew pled with voters who might tick their Liberal or Green Party candidate — or even potential Tories who oppose incumbent premier Brian Pallister — on their voter card on Tuesday to instead vote for the NDP.

“We are the team that has opportunity to form government on Tuesday,” Kinew said. “Right now, it’s a two-horse race.

“Tomorrow morning, Manitobans are going to wake up, and if you don’t want Brian Pallister as your next premier, then you have to vote for the Manitoba NDP, for my team.”

Kinew touted his party’s campaign on Monday, saying they’ve brought forth a fully-costed platform that’s strong on health care, strong on the environment, strong on infrastructure and job creation.

“Even if you may have thought about another party in the past, at this point, I think you can look at us and say, ‘I can vote for them, I can vote for my conscience and choose the Manitoba NDP,’ ” Kinew said. “I believe our plan allows you to do so.”

Meanwhile, Paul Thomas, a political analyst at the University of Manitoba, said people he’s spoken to who know Kinew said the party is being realistic about their chances in this election, and think of it as a two-election contest where the NDP would become a real contender in the next election, possibly against a new leader.

“They want to do well,” Thomas said Monday. “(Kinew) has been the subject of a savage personal attack on him that they had to anticipate and didn’t prepare very well by not dealing with some of the things left unspoken about his past. It could be worse for the NDP, so I guess their hope is they certainly don’t lose ground and that they rebuild, say, to get him close 20 seats and a better team of opposition MLAs that could conduct more challenges against as second-term Pallister government.”

Asked about weaknesses in the NDP, Thomas said Kinew has flaws and is asking voters to assume he’s a changed man. Thomas said there are still factions within the party who don’t like Kinew as a leader, including former rivals for the top job.

“They don’t have the funding, they don’t have the constituency strength they used to have, they don’t have as many credible candidates as they used to,” Thomas said.

Thomas said there was so much to be done and the process is incomplete since the NDP’s severe setback in 2016, which is likely why they’d be looking at the next election while asking the candidates from this time to stay around for the second time.

“It may come sooner rather than later if Pallister’s early retirement plans that are being speculated come true,” Thomas said.

sbilleck@postmedia.com

Twitter: @scottbilleck

This content was originally published here.

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