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'It's never been this bad': NDP struggles to nominate candidates ahead of federal election

Last Updated Aug 30, 2019 at 12:55 pm MDT

FILE: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh listens while responding to questions after a three-day NDP caucus national strategy session in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday September 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The NDP appears to be struggling to nominate candidates ahead of the federal election this fall

A former NDP nominee says he's never seen the party in such an organizational mess: 'it's never been this bad'

New Democrats are struggling in the polls and having trouble fundraising

OTTAWA – There is less than two months to go before the federal election and the NDP is struggling to get candidates for a campaign that could start in days.

The New Democrats are well behind the other major parties when it comes to nominating candidates, with the CBC reporting the NDP has 175 people running so far in the 338 ridings. That’s 82 less than the Greens and the lowest number for the major parties.

“Never, it’s never been this bad,” says Sid Ryan, a former labour union leader who has run for the NDP twice under Jack Layton. “At this stage, it seems to be a campaign of ‘save the furniture.'”

He says this is the worst organizational mess he’s ever seen the party in. He’s bailed as a potential candidate because of that, and says he doesn’t know how anyone nominated now can put up a real fight.

“You don’t have an office, you don’t have any money, and you don’t have any infrastructure, any organization in place, no campaign manager — nothing,” Ryan says, adding he’s heard from frustrated New Democrats across the country.

“It’s Quebec, it’s B.C., Ontario, Newfoundland — it’s everywhere,” Ryan notes.

This comes at a time when the New Democrats are struggling in the polls and having trouble fundraising. Ryan points the finger of blame directly at Jagmeet Singh, saying the buck stops with the leader.

We have reached out to the NDP but have yet to hear back.

Meantime, Singh is expected to be acclaimed in his riding of Burnaby-South Friday evening.