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This article was published 18/6/2015 (1582 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
OTTAWA — The election race in Winnipeg South Centre got a little more interesting Wednesday with the entry of NDP candidate Matt Henderson into the contest.
Henderson, a teacher at St. John’s Ravenscourt school, was acclaimed at a nomination meeting at Crescentwood Community Centre Wednesday night.
A popular teacher, he was the recipient in 2013 of a Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching.
He will add some intrigue into one of the most competitive races already in Manitoba. Conservative MP Joyce Bateman currently holds the seat, having won it in 2011 in an underdog victory over Liberal Anita Neville.
Neville had represented Winnipeg South Centre since 2000, and the seat had been Liberal since it was recreated from several other ridings in 1988. It was considered the strongest Liberal seat in Manitoba for many years.
This time the Liberals are running Jim Carr, former Liberal MLA and founder of the Manitoba Business Council.
Henderson ran in 2011 in Winnipeg South Centre but as an independent. He earned just 218 votes.
The NDP in 2011, who ran Dennis Lewycky, got almost 8,000 votes. The party has been up and down in terms of vote count in the riding, but has consistently finished third since 2000.
NDP sources are very excited about the addition of Henderson to their line up in Manitoba. Although the party had realistically envisioned Elmwood-Transcona as its best shot for a pick up in the province, with leader Tom Mulcair’s approval rising rapidly on the national level, there is renewed hope it could translate into more seats in Manitoba too.
The NDP currently hold two seats in the province — Churchill with Niki Ashton and Winnipeg Centre with Pat Martin.
There is a different dynamic in Manitoba however, as an unpopular and tired provincial NDP government that is rife with infighting could be a drain on NDP support federally.
Winnipeg South Centre has also changed slightly since the last election. Lindenwoods, a wealthy, Conservative-leaning suburb that used to be in Winnipeg South, has been moved into Winnipeg South Centre by the new boundary changes taking effect in this election.