POLITICS
10/04/2011 08:03 EDT | Updated 12/04/2011 05:12 EST

Horwath not giving up, says NDP can still win Thursday's Ontario election

SUDBURY, Ont. - The race for Ontario premier is still up for grabs and the New Democrats can rack up the support they need to win in the next few days, leader Andrea Horwath said Tuesday as she embarked on one final tour across the province.

"I'm still in this, not as a kingmaker but someone who's running to be in the top chair, and I think I provide a real alternative for folks," Horwath said in Toronto before taking off for Subdury and Thunder Bay.

"I do believe that a lot of people don't make up their minds until they hit the polling station and receive their ballot."

With the Liberals and the Tories in a tight race according to most polls, the most likely outcome for Thursday's election appears to be a minority government, which would leave the balance of power with the NDP.

Horwath outlined her key priorities over the weekend and has said she'd work with any other party to meet voters' needs, suggesting she was open to some sort of accord with one of the other parties.

On Monday, she blasted her two main rivals for putting their own desire for power over the needs of voters, saying that if Ontarians chose something other than a majority government, all parties would have to find a way to work together.

But with two days of campaigning to go, Horwath seemed to have switched strategies, dismissing talk of a possible coalition and going back on the offensive, saying she still had time to get people on her side.

"We're going to win by fighting really hard right till the end," she said.

"You guys talk about that M word minority, I talk about the M word momentum, and we still have it."

The Liberals and the Tories wasted no time attacking the NDP again on Tuesday, with PC Leader Tim Hudak warning that an NDP-Liberal coalition would result in higher taxes.

Hudak sidestepped questions about the NDP's chances however, saying families will decide who they want to be the next premier.

"What I think families should be concerned about is the Liberals and NDP getting together," Hudak said in Ottawa.

"We saw in Nova Scotia when the NDP got in, they increased the HST by two points despite promising not to. The NDP have a 50-year history of calling for higher and higher taxes. So what deal is Dalton McGuinty going to cut? What will he do? Because we know that the only job he cares about is his own job."

Horwath shrugged off the comments at a campaign stop in Sudbury, saying she's made it clear that the only tax change her party will make will be to restore the corporate tax rate to 14 per cent.

"Again, it's about the attacks and the accusations," she said. "Mr. Hudak knows my platform well, he's borrowed pieces of it."

Horwath also took a swipe at her rivals, saying some people are coming to the NDP because the Liberals and Tories have turned them off with their negative campaigns.

She dismissed Premier Dalton McGuinty's suggestion that in a minority situation, she'd force another election in 18 months.

"Again the premier putting words in my mouth," she said.

"I recognize that people are concerned about the future, people want stability in the province, and so whatever they decide on Oct. 6, I'll be working hard to give them that sense that we can move forward and make life better in this province."

After Tuesday's trip north Horwath will hit southwestern Ontario on Wednesday before wrapping the campaign in Hamilton on election day.