A buoyant NDP Andrea Horwath launched her final day on the campaign taking aim at Liberal rival Kathleen Wynne and boldly predicting New Democrats will boost their seat count in Thursday’s vote.
Despite polls that show the New Democrats in third place, behind the Tories and Liberals, Horwath insisted that her party will win seats on election day, adding to the 21 it already held.
“I do believe there is momentum growing across this province. I could feel it every day over the last couple of days,” she told supporters in Mississauga on Wednesday morning.
Challenged about her claim of momentum during a later stop in Brampton, Horwath said she’s been buoyed by the crowds she has seen in recent days.
“Everywhere we went there were more people, there was more excitement. There were literally crowds in places where we’ve never been able to pull out crowds before,” she told reporters.
“That says there is something happening on the ground,” she said.
That optimism includes Brampton, where Jagmeet Singh took the riding of Bramalea-Gore-Malton in 2011 and is contesting the riding again. NDP candidate Gurpreet Dhillon has high hopes he can have similar success in the adjacent riding of Brampton-Springdale.
“We’ve done a lot of door knocking and the experience we’ve got is that people are sick and tired of the corruption . . . they want change,” Dhillon said. “We feel very confident.”
In the campaign’s final days, Wynne has appealed to NDP voters to cast their ballots for the Liberals as the only way to stop a Progressive Conservative government.
On her own final day on the trail, Wynne was in Toronto, campaigning in ridings that had been held by New Democrats.
“Kathleen Wynne, instead of fighting Mr. Hudak, has decided to try and unseat hard-working, downtown NDP MPPs,” Horwath said during her first event of the day in Mississauga.
“I don’t know whatever happened to the Liberals who wanted to stop Hudak. I guess they’ve given up on that task,” she said. “But New Democrats have not given up on that task.”
Despite the Liberal focus on the NDP’s Toronto ridings Thursday, Horwath insisted that she wasn’t worried about losing the seats, saying the New Democrat record on Toronto issues would ensure her party’s success.
Those issues including fighting plans for “dirty diesel” trains planned for the new express link connecting Pearson airport and the downtown core as well as opposing jets at the Toronto island airport.
“We have very strong MPPs and very strong ridings,” Horwath said. “Our MPPs have clearly shown how well they can fight on behalf of the people of Toronto.”
And Horwath echoed her plea of recent days to voters “don’t let anyone tell you what to think or how to vote.”
At a stop in Toronto, Horwath exhorted her followers to use “every ounce of energy” to help get the vote out on election day.
“Make sure all those people who have said they like the NDP . . . you’ve got to get all of those people to actually put their ballots in the ballot box,” the NDP leader said.
“Then we will take all of these ridings,” Horwath said.
Horwath kicked off a marathon day of campaigning with an early morning stop in Mississauga, followed by stops in Brampton and then Toronto. She was then headed on to Belleville and Kingston, where federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair was planning to join her at a rally.