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The constituencies to watch ahead of Manitoba's election

With the countdown on to election day in Manitoba, political experts say seats are up for grabs and could flip in and outside Winnipeg. Here is a look at some of the close battles and tight races to watch across the province.

In previous Manitoba elections, the south Winnipeg constituency of Fort Richmond has gone back and forth between the Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats. On October 3, the race here could be one to watch.

"I would say Fort Richmond is one right at the top of the list," said pollster Curtis Brown with Probe Research.

The constituency is currently held by the Tories, though former school trustee Jennifer Chen is trying to turn it NDP orange.

"People are ready for change in Fort Richmond, that's what I'm hearing every day at doorsteps," Chen said. "I talked to a lot of people, I've knocked on thousands of doors."

There is no incumbent. In June, PC Cabinet Minster Sarah Guillemard announced she was not running for re-election. So in her place, community centre executive and volunteer Paramjit Shahi is running as the PC candidate.

"I'm involved in this community for the last 20 years. It's lived experience in this riding which is giving me the upper hand," Shahi said.

Ernie Nathaniel is the liberal candidate in Fort Richmond, where the Liberals finished second in 2019, ahead of the NDP.

There is a feeling this could be a bellwether race.

"As this constituency goes, I say so goes the province," said Chris Adams, an adjunct professor of political studies at the University of Manitoba.

Political pundits and experts say there are other constituencies to keep a close eye on in Winnipeg where the race may come down to the Tory and NDP candidates.

Along with Fort Richmond in the south, there is Waverley, Seine River, Riel, and Southdale. To the west – Assiniboia and Kirkfield Park. And in the northeast, there is McPhillips, Rossmere and Radisson.

"There will be a struggle over the suburban seats as to which way it's going," said Adams.

The constituencies to watch outside Winnipeg include Brandon East as well as Dawson Trail, Dauphin and Selkirk – which don't have liberal candidates. In all of the races, the NDP are trying to gain the seats while the PCs are trying to hold on to them.

"For the conservatives, this is a very defensive campaign," Brown said. "This is about trying to defend the seats that you've won that would have voted NDP in the past."

The political observers CTV News spoke to say St. Boniface may be another constituency to keep an eye on as well. It's held by Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont, but in the past it was an NDP seat under former premier Greg Selinger. Top Stories

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