Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are heading to the polls today to decide their next government.
The provincial election was called April 17th, the day after the release of the provincial budget, and a full six months before the fixed October election date.
Overall, it’s been an uneventful campaign, but there have been a few sparks and some controversy, as election day drew closer.
Political polls released during the campaign showed varied results, leaving some to speculate that the vote could be closer than anticipated.
The polls close this evening at 8:00 Newfoundland time, and a half hour earlier in Labrador.
VOCM News will carry the election results live on the air this evening beginning at 6:00 p.m. NL time and continuing until the new government is declared with reporters across the province.
Only Two District Boast Reps from All Parties
Only two of 40 districts have a full slate with candidates from all four parties.
The Liberals are the sole party going into the election with a candidate in all 40 ridings. The PC’s came close with 38, one less than a week ago following heavy backlash after now-Independent candidate in Cartwright-L’Anse au Clair, Michael Normore, was removed from the party due to his own social views not aligning with the PC’s.
Following the early election call, the NDP struggled to get candidates in place, and when nominations closed the party had only 14 of a possible 40 candidates in the running, their lowest number in years. In 2015, the party ran a full slate. Alison Coffin only took over as the party leader just over two months ago on March 5th, and despite the low number of candidates, she remains confident in their chances.
Graydon Pelley and the newly-formed NL Alliance are making their first run in the provincial election with nine candidates after only becoming an official party recognized by ElectionsNL on April 12th, five days before the writ was dropped.
There are ten Independents in the running, including long-time former Liberal Eddie Joyce in Humber-Bay of Islands.
Premier Dwight Ball will be casting his ballot at the Roman Catholic Parish Hall in Deer Lake at 10 a.m., and PC Leader Ches Crosbie will cast his at the Hampton Inn and Suites on Stavanger Drive in St. John’s at 9:30.
NDP Leader Alison Coffin and NL Alliance Leader Graydon Pelley both voted in the advance polls last Thursday.