Although his party has yet to nominate local candidates, B.C. Conservative party leader John Cummins is expecting strong showing in Prince George in the spring election.
"Prince George is a conservative area and I have no doubt come election time we're going to do very, very well," Cummins said.
The party has pledged to run candidates in both Prince George-Mackenzie and Prince George-Valemount, but have yet to set dates for nomination meetings in either riding. Wilderness outfitter Dan Brooks will be on the ballot for the Conservatives in Nechako Lakes.
The Conservatives are challenging the governing Liberals for the right-of-centre vote and had been doing well in public opinion polls through the first half of 2012. Their polling numbers have slipped in recent months, but Cummins believe the party is poised for an increase in support in the lead up to election day.
"We have the ability to grow and I would suggest that the Liberals don't have that ability," he said. "I would further suggest that the NDP have sort of outreached themselves with the polling numbers that they're now attracting. I just don't see that they can maintain that level of support going into the election."
With Liberal MLA Pat Bell announcing this month that he won't be seeking re-election due to a health condition, Cummins said the race in Prince George-Mackenzie could get more interesting.
"I think that anytime that there's not an incumbent can make it easier in broad general terms," he said. "Whether that's going to be the case in Prince George of course remains to be seen."
The only confirmed candidate in the riding is Bobby Deepak of the NDP. Retired RCMP officer Mike Morris is running for the Liberal nomination and if no one else comes forward by Thursday afternoon's deadline, he will be acclaimed.
The Conservatives don't currently have a member in the legislative assembly, but Cummins still expects his party will do well in Prince George on election day.
"My view, very clearly, is that by the time the writ is dropped is that it's going to be a three-way race between ourselves, the Liberals and the NDP," he said.