Matthew MacKay challenged in Canada election by, um, Matthew MacKay | World News

Voters on a small Canadian island face an unusual choice when they cast their ballots in the upcoming provincial election.

The election in Prince Edward Island, to the east of the Canadian mainland, is set for 23 April.

In the district of Kensington-Malpeque, one Matthew MacKay is being challenged by another Matthew MacKay.

The incumbent MacKay, who represents the Progressive Conservatives, is 37 and works as an estate agent.

He told Canada’s CTV News that the strange situation was the “talk of the community”.

His 64-year-old challenger has offered to use his middle initial, meaning his name will appear on the ballot as Matthew J MacKay.

Matthew J, who is standing for the Green Party, said the island’s Scottish settlers were partly responsible for the problem.

He said: “The Scots are very frugal people, we recycle everything – we even recycle names.”

The semi-retired graphic artist added: “There are a lot of MacKays and there are a lot of Matthews.

“We’re not really creative when it comes to new, trendy names. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened in PEI before.”

PEI’s news outlets call the men PC MacKay and Green MacKay after their parties, while Matthew J – or Green MacKay – calls himself “Old Matthew”.

He said: “It’s an ‘only-on-PEI’ story, in the sense that District 20 has only 4,000 voters and most of us know everybody here anyway.

“We [both] grew up here. We’re not separated at birth.

“We don’t look remotely similar. And most people would know who is who.”

Each candidate’s party and hometown will also be on the ballot.

The third candidate is Liberal Nancy Beth Guptill.

The Green Party currently has the lead on Prince Edward Island, according to a poll released earlier in March.

They are followed by the Progressive Conservatives and the Liberals, who have seen their support fall after 11 years in power.

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