Singh visits London North Centre, hopes to keep riding orange

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh campaigns in London for local provincial candidates on May 24th, 2022. (Craig Needles, Blackburn Media)

London New Democrats are hoping a political pinch hitting appearance can tilt London’s ridings in their favour.

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visited London North Centre on Tuesday – thought to be the closest of the ridings in the city.

Incumbent New Democrat Terence Kernaghan’s seat has been targeted by both the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives as a winnable riding for their parties. Singh’s visit was aimed at rallying supporters to keep the seat in the NDP’s column, but it will be hotly contested.

PC Premier Doug Ford visited the riding over the weekend, while Liberal leader Steven Del Duca visited Kate Graham’s campaign last week.

“We have great examples of what London MPPs have done, we’ve seen their work, we know what they do.” Singh said when asked why Londoners should vote New Democrat if they may have voted Liberal in the past. “You have fighters here who have already shown they can fight for you, I will ask people to consider giving their support to those who have already fought for you, who are in parliament, raising your concerns.”

Singh was campaigning on behalf of Horwath – who is currently getting over COVID-19. London West incumbent Peggy Sattler was also at the rally, along with London Fanshawe incumbent Teresa Armstrong.

Kernaghan won the riding by a wide margin in 2018, defeating Progressive Conservative Susan Truppe by more than 9,000 votes. Graham finished third, by more than 17,000 votes. Since then, Graham finished third in the Ontario Liberal Leadership race, and the party has targeted the riding as one they can pick up to rebuild their caucus.

“Right from the beginning of the campaign, we had hundreds of signs go up, we’re feeling such great energy and such support at the doors, looking forward to election day,” Kernaghan said when asked if he thought the race in the riding was close. “People thank me for their work in the community, we’re feeling so inspired, so motivated.”

Ontario’s election is on June 2nd.

Advanced polls are open now.