It is election day in Regina Northeast as voters in that urban constituency head to the polls.
Six candidates are vying to replace former finance minister, and Saskatchewan Party MLA, Kevin Doherty.
A recent poll by Mainstreet Research put the two major parties, neck and neck, with the NDP’s Yens Pederson holding the slight edge at 35.6 per cent over the Saskatchewan Party’s Gary Grewal at 31.0 per cent.
The byelection is not crucial and won’t change anything significantly in the Saskatchewan Legislature, but it is an indicator of where urban voters might be sitting two years before the next provincial vote.
“I don’t think it is automatic for either party,” maintained Jim Farney, Associate Professor and Department Head of Political Studies at the University of Regina.
“I would suspect some of that neck-and-neckness is people not having thought a lot about how they are going to vote.”
Both major parties have something to gain from victory. The Sask. Party government wants to show it can retain urban seats, the NDP wants to show they are a viable alternative with new leader Ryan Meili at the helm.
The government won three rural byelections this year, the NDP took urban Saskatoon seats in votes held in June and September last year.
Polls close at 8 p.m. and 980 CJME will have updates on the results throughout the evening.