Candidates in key undecided ridings are hitting the campaign trail in preparation for a federal election in which British Columbia could play a major role.

Michael Byers, a political scientist at the University of B.C., says that uncertain outcomes in several ridings mean votes in this province could determine the results of the May 2 election.

"I think it will come down to British Columbia this time around," he told CTV News. "The rest of the country will have to stay up late to watch and be reminded that B.C. is in fact part of Canada out here on the West Coast, and that's a good thing. I think it should also make British Columbians care more about this election."

Several Metro Vancouver ridings are considered too close to call, including:

  • New Westminster-Coquitlam
  • Newton-North Delta
  • Surrey North
  • Vancouver Centre
  • Vancouver Kingsway
  • Vancouver South
  • North Vancouver

In Vancouver South, Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh is hitting the pavement hard, hoping to prevent a repeat of the last election, when he beat out his Conservative opponent by only 20 votes after a series of recounts.

"I've been working much, much harder since the near-death experience I had in the '08 election," he said.

He says it was complacency that almost lost him his seat.

"Many volunteers left us and went to other campaigns -- they felt I was safe. Many of the Liberals didn't come out to vote for us because of the carbon tax, because of other things and because I was safe, they thought."

After her near-victory in that vote, Conservative Wai Young is starting fresh, with a new campaign office. Her volunteers know how crucial it will be to get their message out.

"This time, I think with a 20-vote difference, people know that their vote counts," she said.

NDP candidate Meena Wong is running for the first time. She knows she isn't a frontrunner, but hopes voters will learn to see her as a viable alternative.

"Both candidates last time, I don't think they did very well. I don't think they reflect the constituents, the residents of Vancouver South," she said.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Bhinder Sajan