Voters in the Big Land today will go to the polls, forced to vote in a by-election that didn't need to be called if Peter Penashue wasn't such an inept, corrupt, and overall shameful representative.
The race features, as we all know, Penashue, Liberal candidate Yvonne Jones, NDP candidate Harry Borlase, and also Libertarian candidate Norman Andrews. Throughout the race, Jones has led Penashue and Borlase by a very wide margin, though that margin has now decreased to just being a 14-point lead for Jones over Penashue in the latest Forum poll.
Though the margin has decreased, I wouldn't necessarily mistake it as momentum for either Penashue or Borlase, who both jumped up in their own ways (Penashue, from 20% at the beginning of the campaign to 31% now, and Borlase from 21% in the first poll, 10% in the intermediate one, and now 24% in this one), but more likely as a settling of voter intentions based on 2011's numbers. Remember that Penashue is a star candidate, a locally popular leader in his own right before his election as MP and a cabinet member after. Jones, for all her popularity, built her base in an area where the Liberals already win big, and had to build in stronger Conservative and NDP areas like Labrador West and Happy Valley-Goose Bay (check out my post on the riding here to see what I mean). Her amazingly high support in those few polls was bound to get squeezed as more people became decided voters.
Yet Jones remains the candidate to beat, and we'll see tonight whether the other candidates can pull off a major upset. It is a by-election, and this is a small riding, so anything is possible, even the first Libertarian MP.