Ottawa West-Nepean NDP candidate Marlene Rivier has run for office and lost four times. She's now going for her fifth try at the ballot box.

Rivier is up against Conservative political giant John Baird. Although she'd love a victory, she says she runs for office because there's more to politics than winning.

"I'm here to build a progressive constituency in the riding in which I've lived all my life. I'm not going anywhere," Rivier told CTV Ottawa on Tuesday.

"This is important work and if you need immediate gratification, it's probably not the job for you."

Between elections Rivier has worked against cuts to health care. She's also been involved in union activities, including the Ottawa and District Labour Council.

"As I like to say to people, I don't simply spring to life when the writ is dropped," Rivier said.

While there are candidates who face uphill battles on election day, others have been dealt consistent victories.

People in Ottawa-Vanier have voted Liberal in every federal election since the riding's creation in 1933. Usually, those victories are by wide margins.

Liberal candidate Mauril Belanger has easily triumphed in the riding in his last six contests there. Despite that, Belanger says he's leading an active campaign.

"Every time an election comes up, there's a decision to be made as to who they want to represent them. And all the candidates put forward their best foot and the people decide. And if you treat any election differently, you'll pay the price," said Belanger.

Voters head to the polls on May 2.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Norman Fetterley