How many parties are in this provincial election race? Depends who you ask.
As the campaign kicked off, Premier Rodney MacDonald declared it was a “two-horse race” between himself and Darrell Dexter’s NDP. A couple weeks later a poll showed the Liberals were ahead of the Tories in second place, with the NDP first.
That prompted federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff to agree it was a two-way race when he was in Halifax last weekend. But unlike MacDonald, Ignatieff said it was a race between the NDP and Liberals.
On Wednesday, MacDonald was sticking to his earlier decree.
“I believe this is an election that will come down to a choice between our party and the NDP at the end of the day,” he told reporters after speaking to business people in Dartmouth.
He also repeated a phrase he first said at last week’s leader’s debate.
“This is my fourth election. I’ve said it before that the other elections have gone to game seven. This one will go to overtime.”
If that’s the case, the Tories are down by a couple of goals, according to Stephen McNeil. The provincial Liberal leader said his party is very much in the race despite what MacDonald is claiming.
“The premier is the only person in Nova Scotia who believes that,” McNeil said.
However, McNeil didn’t echo Ignatieff’s statement. Instead he said all three parties are strong in different ridings.
NDP Leader Darrell Dexter had no interest in wading into the debate.
“If my opponents want to squabble over who’s in the race and who’s out of the race that’s up to them,” Dexter said. “I’m going to focus on my central message which is we need a province that is able to keep young people here to build their future.”