New Westminster candidates close in on Monday's finish line

As New Westminster-Burnaby candidates head into the final weekend before Monday’s federal election, it’s anyone’s guess who is going to come out on top.

Several national polls suggest the Liberals and Conservative are neck and neck, with about 30 seats each, with the NDP hovering around 20 seats and the Greens polling in the single digits.

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While the riding boundaries have changed at different times, New Westminster has primarily been represented in the House of Commons by an NDP MP since 1972. From 1993 to 2006, Paul Forseth served as the city’s MP (New Westminster Burnaby – 1993 to 1997; New Westminster-Coquitlam-Burnaby – 1997 to 2004; and New Westminster-Coquitlam – 2004 to 2006) under the Reform, Canadian Alliance and Conservative banners.

NDP candidate Peter Julian, who has served as a New Westminster MP since 2004, is seeking his sixth term in the House of Commons.

“If you look at the prediction sites, it’s really neck and neck,” Julian said. “With the NDP rising, that will depend on turnout. We tend to run a good ground game. We are less influenced by polls than people getting out and knocking on doors.”

According to Julian, the latest polls show a three-way tie on who Canadians feel would make the best prime minister – Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

“What we normally find in the final days of an election campaign is people vote for who they feel will be the best prime minister,” he said. “That means some of the Liberal and Conservative vote will leave, and the NDP still has room to grow. So, it depends on local contests right across the country. It will depend on turnout. If younger people turn out, watch out because there is going to be some pretty fundamental shifts. I don’t have a crystal ball but I can say we are in a remarkable positon, and people are drawn to Jagmeet and the vision he has for a better country for everyone.”

New Westminster-Burnaby Green Party candidate Suzanne de Montigny believes the Green Party’s plan for addressing climate change has resonated with voters and will help generate votes, but she isn’t sure who will form the next government.

“This is Canada – anything can happen,” she said.

While New Westminster is traditionally NDP territory, Liberal candidate Will Davis thinks he has a lot to offer.

“I’m working every day as diligently and as hard as I can to make a difference,” he told the Record recently. “I am not a token candidate, I am here to win. It is a tough riding. He (Julian) is a very popular with his group.”

For voters who didn’t cast votes in advance voting polls, they will have their choice of eight candidates to choose from when they head to polls on Monday, Oct. 21: Will Davis, Liberal; Hansen Ginn, People’s Party; Peter Julian, NDP; Suzanne de Montigny, Green; Neeraj Murarka, Libertarian; Ahmad Passyar, Independent; Joseph Theriault, Marxist-Leninist; and Megan Veck, Conservative.

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