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The result of the upcoming byelection in St. Boniface could mean big things or two of Manitoba’s three main parties.

That’s according to Christopher Adams, a political scientist based out of St. Paul’s College at the University of Manitoba.

Adams says this byelection is especially important for the Manitoba Liberal Party, which has nominated its leader Dougald Lamont.

Despite a lack of hard polling numbers, Adams is putting Lamont as the early front-runner because of what a win would mean for the Liberals.

“With a win, they would move into official party status,” Adams said. “That means better recognition in the legislature, a budget for office staff and other things like that.”

Adams says it’s almost vital for parties to have their leader sitting in the legislature so they don’t feel detached from their party and the issues being debated.

“I remember in the 1980’s when former Liberal leader Sharon Carstairs didn’t have a seat and was up in the visitor gallery,” Adams said. “You’re kind of taken out of action when you’re not a sitting leader.”

Adams says for the NDP, it’s not quite as vital they win this seat, but it could have important implications for the future.

Former NDP Premier Greg Selinger held the riding from 1999 until he resigned earlier in 2018. Adams says despite the NDP losing a lot of ground in the 2016 provincial election, St. Boniface’s history of NDP support could bode well for their candidate, Blandine Tona.

“There is a lot riding on this race for them," Adams said. "Wab Kinew has to show he’s able to win seats heading into the next election and for them to have a chance at winning that, they have to take back some of their seats in South Winnipeg and in St. Boniface.”

As for the Progressive Conservatives, Adams says he’d be surprised if their candidate, Mamadou Ka, finishes first or second in this race.

“The PC’s are a wildcard in this one,” Adams said. “It’s not as important for them and they haven’t traditionally done well in this riding.”

Françoise Therrien Vrignon is running for the Green Party of Manitoba.

Adams says it’s going to be a tough one to predict as byelections typically have low voter turnouts. He says that low turnout could sink even further because summer elections have notorious for low turnouts as well.

“There are surprises sometimes,” Adams said. “What benefits the Liberals is they can focus all of their resources on this and they also have a Liberal MP in the area in Dan Vandal who can help them out with his resources and membership database.”

Advance voting in St. Boniface ends today. The results of the byelection are expected on July 17, 2018.