Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is set to visit the Saskatoon-West riding Friday, making him the third federal party leader to bring their campaign to Saskatchewan.
A common theme is emerging with the visits, they’re only going to Saskatoon.
“It’s pretty amazing to me. We’re passed the halfway point and only two leaders have touched down in this province. It’s pretty amazing,” Regina Leader Post political columnist Murray Mandryk said.
“There’s almost two tiers in campaigning right now. The Liberals and Conservatives have the money to fly around and everyone else doesn’t.”
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was first, scrapping original event plans and holding a town hall on Sept. 19 in the immediate wake of the blackface scandal.
Conservative leader and Regina-Qu’Appelle incumbent candidate Andrew Scheer came to his home province Sept. 28, holding a rally in Saskatoon-West. The Conservatives hope Brad Redekopp can win the riding and unseat NDP deputy leader Sheri Benson.
Most polls point to a tight race nationwide, with the Liberals and Conservatives neck and neck. Saskatchewan’s 14 ridings are largely expected to go blue.
Because of this, Mandryk sees electoral gamesmanship at play when planning stops.
“If there’s little chance for the Liberals winning why would Trudeau be here? Or Singh be here if there’s little chance for the NDP?” Mandryk pondered.
However, there’s a good chance the election yields a minority government. In this case, Mandryk said every seat counts so you can’t discount regions that seem like a lock.
“You do have to be cautious if you’re a federal campaign and a federal leader of taking a particular province for granted even if you look like you have a good lead in the case of Scheer and it seems to be your home province,” Mandryk said.
There’s a lot of electoral calculus that goes into a campaign planning, from chance of victory to budgeting travel.
Both Trudeau and Scheer have visited the vote rich greater Toronto area 19 times during the campaign, with single stops in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Trudeau has visited Alberta once, while Scheer has stopped in Calgary and Edmonton.
While the Conservatives are expected to gain seats in Saskatchewan, Mandryk sees an absent Scheer as being potentially problematic for the potential prime minister.
“Voters have a way of being a little cynical when they think they’re being taken for granted. And I wonder if that could potentially backfire on Scheer in some of the closer ridings,” Mandryk said.
“When you come to this province, when there’s issues in this province, you don’t answer questions and you just hold rallies – you’re not speaking to the people you’re appealing to come to your side and vote.”
With files from Global News’ Eric Sorensen
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