We are into the final week before members of the federal New Democratic Party hits the polls for first round voting.

And Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus feels he and his team is “exactly where we wanted to be” coming down the stretch.

“We’ve raised the money, we built the teams,” he said, “The big obstacle is I am up against three other really credible, and good, and fiery candidates.”

Angus is neck-and-neck with former Ontario MPP Jagmeet Singh in the race to replace Tom Mulcair.

According to iPolitics, the latest Mainstreet poll has Singh leading slightly at 27.3 per cent support.

But don’t count Angus out based on that poll.

He says he kept the focus on the ground, while Singh’s team ran a “very glitzy, big, big, big media campaign.”

And with that focus, Angus says the work his team put in over the last nine months put him in a good position.

“We know that we have a lot of on-the-ground support of people who will vote and we know we have a lot of second ballot support,” he said.

“This is not going to be decided in one weekend. So for us, we’re feeling if we just stick to our game and keep the puck out of our end, we’ll be fine.”

A second ballot vote has always been the strategy, according to Angus.

“We want to win on second ballot,” he said, “We want to win by having the support of people who support some of the other candidates, and that’s the way it’s going to be.”

Angus indicates a lot of support is coming right from Northern Ontario. He says people are motivated to vote and are counting on them to make their voices heard.

“We can win this from the support that we have across the North, and across other regions. We know these are people who are going to vote, they’re committed to voting and we want to have their vote.”

Across Ontario, there are 52,200 members eligible to vote out of the more than 124,000 in Canada. That represents roughly 42 per cent.

With Angus’ support in Northern Ontario and Singh’s support in Southern Ontario (he was an MPP for Bramalea-Gore-Malton, based in Brampton), the province could very well play a big part on deciding a winner.

All the national debates in the rear-view mirror, Angus says there’s still more work to be done and will be traveling “a lot more.”

It’ll lead up to a national showcase in Hamilton on Sunday.

A day later, first round balloting will begin. The results will be revealed October 1st.

Filed under: charlie-angus, Local News, ndp-leadership