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St. Boniface getting ready for byelection on July 17 to replace Greg Selinger

Former NDP leader Greg Selinger spoke to media from his St. Boniface office after stepping down.
Former NDP leader Greg Selinger spoke to media from his St. Boniface office after stepping down. Walther Bernal / Global News

Advance voting is underway for the provincial byelection in St. Boniface.

Election Day is July 17 where residents will go to the polls to replace former NDP premier Greg Selinger, who was first elected as MLA for the riding in 1999.

READ MORE: ‘It gives everybody a chance to move on’: Greg Selinger stepping down

Four candidates are running: Blandine Tona from the NDP, Leader Dougald Lamont from the Manitoba Liberals, Mamadou Ka from the Progressive Conservatives and Françoise Therrien Vrignon from the Green Party of Manitoba.

University of Manitoba political science professor Christopher Adams says this is a crucial riding for the Liberals because the win would bring them up to full party status with four seats in the legislature.

“I would say the Liberals are the front runners right now if they can get the vote out,” he said adding that byelections often have lower turnout for voters.

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“You aren’t choosing a premier, you aren’t choosing your government you’re choosing your local candidate to represent your constituency in the assembly.”

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PC candidate Ka ran against Selinger in the 2016 provincial election coming in second place.

In 2016 Selinger pulled in about 42 per cent of the votes, while Ka captured 26 per cent. Liberal candidate Alain Landry took 19 per cent and Green Party candidate Signe Knutson received 12 per cent.

READ MORE: Manitoba Election 2016: St. Boniface riding

In February, Selinger stepped down saying the decision to resign his post came as a result of consultations with his constituents but admitted there was pressure for him to leave.

“Look, I’m leaving on my own initiative… but yes, there have been pushes of course, I understand that. There have also been pulls. Things move in all directions,” he said at the time.

Advance voting runs until Thursday, July 12 with Election Day on Tuesday, July 17.