Alongside Regina Wascana, the Regina Lewvan riding is one of the two completely urban ridings. However it’s demographics are quite unique.
With a population of 92,426 (Statistics Canada, 2016), it is the most populous riding in the province. It also has the highest median household income in Saskatchewan of $91, 470. This is significantly higher than the provincial average of $75,400 and the Canadian average of $70,300. Despite the high median household income, this riding that covers essentially all of west Regina is quite divided. Roughly 17 per cent of its residents identify as a visible minority.
Canada election results: Regina Lewvan
“It’s a riding where there is the affluent suburban neighborhoods that traditionally vote conservative and a lower income inner city that leans the complete opposite. This diverse riding is split into two regions of the city that don’t cross paths much.” said Murray Mandyrk, political analyst for Regina Leader-Post.
This divide was seen in the 2015 election when former NDP Erin Weir defeated Conservative Trent Fraser by a thin margin of 132 votes.
Weir was originally elected under the NDP banner but was kicked out of the party following harassment allegations. He remained in parliament, eventually declaring himself a Canadian Co-operative Federation (CCF) MP. Weir has decided not to seek re-election. A new MP will be chosen for this riding.
With Weir off the ballot, Jigar Patel took over as the NDP Regina Lewvan nominee in June 2019.
Despite a NDP win in the 2015 election, Weir’s unsuccessful run caused Patel to start this election race as an underdog. This riding, like the majority of Saskatchewan, traditionally leans Conservative. Prior to Erin Weir, Sheri Benson(Saskatoon West), and Georgina Jolibois (Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River) who were elected in as MPs in 2015, no NDP has held a seat in Saskatchewan since 2000. Currently Conservatives hold 10 of the province’s 14 seats.
However, the local campaign may benefit from the surge of NDP popularity on a national level. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw a significant NDP recovery because of a better national campaign,” said Murray.
According to Ipsos poll, conducted exclusively for Global News between Oct. 11 and 13, support for the NDP is up five percentage points since the previous week (at 20 per cent), while the Conservatives is down two percentage points (at 32 per cent) and the Liberals dropped five points (30 per cent). According to the latest Ipsos poll released October 20, the day before elections, support for the NDP has since dropped two percentage points to 18 per cent.
NDP: Jigar Patel
Much of the growth of NDP support across the nation is tied in with NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s popularity among diverse communities and his strong social media presence. Hashtags like #SinghUpSwing, #Jaggernaut and #UpRiSingh have trended across social media platforms.
Despite a strong national campaign, Murray still believes that Conservatives have the upper hand.
“They may have recovered slightly but I don’t think they’ve recovered nearly enough to win Regina Lewvan. I believe this riding is still going to go Conservative,” he said.
Conservative candidate Warren Steinley is not a new face to politics. First elected to legislature in 2011, Steinley is former Saskatchewan Party MLA, representing the Regina Walsh Acres. On September 11, 2019, he officially resigned from provincial legislature. He first announced his candidacy in April 2018, more than a year before NDP’s Jigar Patel and Liberal candidate Winter Fedyk entered the race.
NDP: Jigar Patel
Conservative: Warren Steinley
Liberal: Winter Fedyk
Green Party: Naomi Hunter
People’s Party of Canada: Trevor Wowk
National Citizens Alliance of Canada: Ian Bridges
Independent: Don Morgan