The provincial election campaign kicked off Tuessday between Rodney MacDonald’s Conservatives, Darrell Dexter’s NDP and … ‘whatsisname’?

According to Premier MacDonald, Stephen McNeil and the Liberals will not be a factor in the June 9 election.

“It’s very well recognized across the province that this is a two horse race between the NDP and ourselves,” MacDonald told reporters after a Tuesday Tory rally.

 

When asked who that is recognized by he explained, “It’s certainly my opinion and many others that I’ve spoke with.”

However, a March Corporate Research Associates poll that placed the Liberals in second place measured NDP support at 36 per cent, the Liberals at 31 and Tories at 30.

Once the margin of error of 3.5 per cent 19 times out of 20 was factored in, the Tories and Liberals were placed in a dead heat.

This was brought up to MacDonald, but he said the Liberals would only be competitive in some seats and had no chance provincially.

McNeil begged to differ.

“We’re the only party in recent time that is moving up in the polls. We are the party that Nova Scotians are turning to now in this economic crisis,” he said at a Liberal rally later in the day.

McNeil said past elections showed voters didn’t support either of the other parties enough to give them a majority government.

The Liberals currently have nine seats in the legislature to the Tories’ 21 and NDP's 20.

NDP Leader Darrell Dexter said he totally disagreed with the Premier’s statement.

“It strikes me as such a funny thing (to say) because you end up alienating a whole group of voters,” Dexter said.

“I take exactly the opposite view. I take the view that I have two very strong opponents.”