(TGP) – The Canadian federal election is on Oct. 31, 2019, one day short of a year from the last municipal ballot and a year and a half after a provincial fight that made history in Guelph.
It was confirmed late last year that Lloyd Longfield would be the candidate once again for the Liberal Party, and will aim to seek incumbency this fall after winning the last election with 49 per cent of the vote.
The Liberals have held the Guelph riding for the majority of its existence since being founded when two nearby ridings came together in 1979, with the riding held by three consecutive grit parliamentarians since 1993.
The Conservatives are likely to send a representative again to give a half-hearted effort at cracking the red riding that rests surrounded by a sea of blue–the Tories got 26 per cent of the ballots in 2015 with Gloria Kovach.
Kovach spent just short of $60,000 on her campaign, well short of the $213,000 campaign of the Liberals. The modern united Conservative Party has never broken into Guelph and it is unclear who their candidate may be.
It is the Green Party that spent the most last election at some $222,000 with candidate Good Miller. It could happen again as the Greens made history with the June 7 provincial win with Mike Schriener last summer.
Political circles around Guelph are expecting the Greens to throw their all into the upcoming election. It has long been seen as the riding where they have an opportunity to get another Member of Parliament.
As for who could run, there are rumours of candidates that include prominent and longtime party members as well as newcomers to the political scene, including those empowered by the 2018 Schriener win.
The New Democratic Party was reeling from a tough loss in the provincial election last year, where their young female candidate garnered 21 per cent of the ballots–within a hundred votes of the Progressive Conservatives.
However, they started the new year by electing a new riding president and a majority-female executive committee, and are in search of a candidate to come out of the gate swinging.
The NDP never won federally in Guelph since the riding was created in 1979 but led the city provincially in the first half of the 1990s. The New Democrats also beat the Greens in the 2015 election by some 400 votes.
While it still remains to be seen how prominent they will be, new to the Guelph political scene this federal election is the People’s Party of Canada — Conservative outcast Maxime Bernier’s rebellious right-wing group.
Last year Bernier vowed to run a candidate in every riding across Canada, and it appears as though Guelph will be no different. No candidate has been confirmed yet, but there are rumours over who could run.
There are also the fringe parties. In 2015, the Libertarian Party’s Alex Fekri actually snagged 520 ballots for $40.20, followed by the Marijuana and Communist parties at 193 and 144, respectively.
The question for many is what parties will be considered serious contenders and allowed on the debate stages or invited as special guests to events, and whether history will be made again in Guelph.
Liberal MP Longfield and the candidates for the Conservatives, New Democrats and Greens are nearly confirmed to be on that list, but questions remain over the prominence of the People’s Party or the Libertarians.
As it stands, Guelph has current parliamentarian Longfield in the race as a confirmed candidate and everything else passed around political circles are rumours and estimates until party nominations are held.