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Polls show the Newfoundland and Labrador Liberals and Tories are almost even, and the district races are tight

Bus driver Ivan Winsor is Liberal Leader Dwight Ball’s good luck charm.
Bus driver Ivan Winsor is Liberal Leader Dwight Ball’s good luck charm. - David Maher
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Ivan Winsor, from Triton, has been driving DRL buses for 17 years.

He drove the first DRL bus out of St. John’s all those years ago.

In 2015, he drove the bus for the Liberals when they first formed the government under Premier Dwight Ball.

When it came time to find a driver for the Liberals’ 2019 Newfoundland and Labrador election campaign, Ball requested Winsor by name.

Ball says he’s good luck.

If the polls are to be relied on, Ball will need all the luck he can get.

It’s going to be close, folks. There’s no two ways about it.

The broad opinion polls continue to show a slight edge for the Tories, at least in terms of overall popularity. But those numbers have consistently been within or close to the margin of error, meaning the popular vote is about as close as you can get.

The election is going to be a district-by-district nail-biter, right to the end.

The Liberals are going to lose some seats, there’s no question there. Harbour Main, Terra Nova, Grand Falls-Windsor and Exploits are currently held by Liberals, but could be up for grabs for the Tories.

The New Democrats run the risk of extinction. They’ll be competitive in St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi and St. John’s Centre, with an interesting race to watch in Labrador West, but if the wind blows the wrong way, there could be no third party in the House of Assembly.

Eddie Joyce is likely to be back in Humber-Bay of Islands, but what of Paul Lane in Mount Pearl-Southlands, facing three credible challengers?

The Telegram asked each party leader two questions on the last day of campaigning. One, what story did you tell during the election campaign? Two, why should voters vote for your opponents?

Full responses can be found at Here’s excerpts of what they had to say.

Liberal Leader Dwight Ball

What’s your closing message?

Our Liberal government stands on its record – we were faced with the worst fiscal crisis in the history of the province due to PC mismanagement and mistakes they made with Muskrat Falls. Despite those challenges, we made positive changes that benefit people’s lives while restoring balance to government finances.

Our campaign slogan is “Onward” because our government has moved our province onward from the mistakes of the past, and we want the people of the province to keep moving onward with us.

Why should voters vote for your opponents?

One good thing about the PCs is that they have publicly stated that “The Way Forward,” our government’s plan for improving life in Newfoundland and Labrador, has been effective over the last several years. They endorsed our plan when they copied much of it into their 2019 election platform. I appreciate their endorsement of our ideas, and I am glad they have publicly committed to continuing them. Also, people should vote PC if they liked receiving robo calls on Mother’s Day.

Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie

What is your closing message?
Newfoundlanders and Labradorians deserve jobs and hope, an affordable future and honest leadership. We need to make equalization fair, defend our offshore and tax Quebec power. Voters must decide whether they are better off after four years of Dwight Ball. Time for a change!

Why should voters vote for your opponents?
It takes guts to put your name on a ballot, and anyone who does so deserves respect. I believe one can disagree with an opponent’s ideas while respecting him or her. If a voter is happy with the last four years of Dwight Ball Liberal government, he or she should vote Liberal.

New Democratic Leader Alison Coffin

What is your closing message?

I love our province. I want to see it prosper. The N.L. NDP is the voice of change and we are committed to building a prosperous economy where everyone has an opportunity to get an education and a job. It is possible to have a living wage. It is possible to ensure everyone receives services when and where they need them. Every New Democrat elected to the House of Assembly will be a voice fighting for the issues that matter to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. We put people first.

Why should voters vote for your opponents?
Voters have a right to choose who they want to vote for. Do you want a government that continues giveaways to big, profitable corporations instead of investing in the services people of the province need? Do want to see cuts to your health care system and a government that refused to fix staff shortages in our health care system? Do you really want to reward the party that gave you Muskrat Falls or the party that did nothing about it? I would just caution voters to really think about the government they want before they cast their ballot.

Newfoundland and Labrador Alliance Leader Graydon Pelley

What is your closing message?

N.L. Alliance has been consistent with its message from the beginning. There are two parts to our message. The first part is the need for electoral reform and the second is the importance of getting our spending under control. Our province is in a very serious financial crises and the only way to start turning things around is to change the way we govern in this province. People are asking for change and the only way this will happen is to elect new people to the House of Assembly who will hold government accountable to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Why should voters vote for your opponents?

I believe it is good to have representation from all registered political entities in the House of Assembly. We have seen over the years how majority governments have not worked for the people of the province. Having multiple perspectives allows for constructive debate and conversations. This can allow for collaborative conversation and decisions being made through consensus. If elected officials work together for the good of all, then Newfoundland and Labrador will prosper.

Polls open at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. If you’re in line when polls close, stay there. Your vote will be counted.

Twitter: DavidMaherNL

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1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

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