The next federal election is still eight months away, but in Central Nova parties are beginning to prepare.
Sean Fraser, the Liberal MP for Central Nova has already said he will run again and his nomination was formalized last November during a visit by federal cabinet member Chrystia Freeland. Both the Conservative and NDP constituencies say they are in the process of choosing a candidate and on Saturday Green Party Leader Elizabeth May will be in Pictou for an information session.
According to recent data from MQO research, the federal Liberals have strong support in Nova Scotia with 50 per cent of decided and leaning voters saying they would vote Liberal in the next federal election. The Conservatives were in second place in the poll with 30 per cent of those interviewed saying they’d support the Tories, while the NDP had 12 per cent. Support for the Green Party is at around 7 per cent.
According to Ryan Sharpe, President of the Central Nova Conservative Association four people have taken out information packets who are interested in running for the Conservative Party for Central Nova. To qualify, those interested must obtain 25 signatures and provide a $1,000 deposit. Once that is complete a nomination meeting will be held and members of the party will vote for their favourite candidate.
"It’s progressing really well and we’re pleased with the names coming forward,” Sharpe said.
Central Nova is target riding for the Conservative party, he said and they’re very confident they can have their successful nominee provide a strong challenge in the upcoming election, particularly after the momentum that’s built during Tim Houston’s provincial leadership campaign.
“I think our chances are going to be good,” Sharpe said.
Pat Thomson is chair of the candidate nomination committee.
“We're really excited about the process coming forward," he said. “It’s an exciting time already.”
In response questions from The News, the NDP Central Nova Association said a candidate search committee is carrying out its role in conformity with Party rules and that a date for the nomination meeting will be announced in due course.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who ran against Peter MacKay in the 2008 election in Central Nova, will be speaking on Feb. 16 at the Northumberland Fisheries Musuem at 10:30 a.m. She is currently the MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands.
The next federal election is Monday, Oct. 21, 2019.