Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ten Things to Know about the Nova Scotia Election Campaign

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ten Things to Know about the Nova Scotia Election Campaign

Article excerpt

Ten things to know about the N.S. campaign

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HALIFAX - Ten things to know about the Nova Scotia election campaign, which ends Tuesday:

1. Polls forecast a Liberal advantage, but no sure thing.

Most polls have showed the incumbent Liberals in the lead throughout the race, but the Tories appeared to be closing the gap as the clock ticked towards Tuesday's election.

A Mainstreet/iPolitics poll released on Monday suggested a spike in the number of undecided voters and volatility in seat projections that could mean that an array of electoral outcomes -- from a second Liberal majority to a Progressive Conservative government -- are possible.

2. The Liberals have positioned themselves as the party of sustainable economic growth.

The Liberal platform includes more than $1 billion in spending commitments and tax cuts over four years, along with promises to do more for vulnerable Nova Scotians.

3. The Tories have vowed to keep province in the black with an "optimistic," pro-growth agenda.

The Progressive Conservatives have put forward a bullish plan to spur economic growth through millions in spending commitments without returning to deficit, according to the party.

4. The New Democrats have promised new spending at the expense of balanced books.

Leader Gary Burrill has pledged to make community college free; make day care more accessible; boost social assistance benefits; and spend $120 million over four years for new doctors and primary care givers. The cost: Deficits totalling $966 million over four years

5. The Tory leader frames the election as a "referendum" on Premier Stephen McNeil.

Jamie Baillie has pitched himself as a sunny alternative to the incumbent premier, but that hasn't kept him from dragging McNeil's name through the mud. The PCs issue a daily blast of anti-Liberal talking points, and Baillie has cast himself as cure to four years of "mean-spirited" governance.

6. McNeil took off the gloves in the final stretch of the campaign.

For the most of the election, McNeil brushed off his opponents' criticisms with policy-based rejoinders, but as the race has appeared to tighten, the Liberal leader has gone after Baillie for political "fearmongering" and trying to paper over a "$500-million hole" in the Tory platform -- a claim a PC party spokesperson has dismissed as baseless. …

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