The dynamics have changed. Where once Justin Trudeau shrugged off the NDP, insisting his opponent was Stephen Harper, the Liberal Leader has made the telltale decision to switch targets.
Now, the Liberals are campaigning like the third-place party, attacking Thomas Mulcair and the New Democrats rather than keeping their guns trained solely on Mr. Harper and the Conservatives.
That is driven by the reversal of fortunes for the two opposition parties in which the NDP has taken the lead in many polls, with the Liberals in third. But many Liberals are also feeling that the fall election is shaping up as a referendum on whether Mr. Harper and the Conservatives stay or go – and that those in the latter camp will coalesce behind whichever party seems mostly likely to displace them.
And if that is the case, they fear, Mr. Trudeau cannot afford to go into the official campaign too far behind Mr. Mulcair. So they are trying to knock him back in the weeks before the writ is dropped...
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Trudeau switches targets in bid to cut Mulcair’s momentum in polls
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This would have been a fantastic idea two years ago. When a government has been in office as long as Harper's has, the subsequent is always a referendum on the incumbent.
But, being an amateur, Trudeau bought the early polling that showed the election as being a mere formality. That turned out to be pretty stupid, especially in Quebec, where the Grits now trail even the Tories. If there are no significant Liberal gains there, there won't be a Liberal Party for very much longer. British Columbia is even worse and I predict that their polling is soon going to slip dramatically in Ontario.
like him or not, Muclair is a very, very smart man and an adroit politician. He also strikes me as the most temperamentally conservative of the three major leaders, not given to wild Hail Mary passes that could blow up in his face.
Putting someone like that sleep takes years of work, not less than three months.
On the other hand, Harper made the same mistake, directing all of his fire at Trudeau and ignoring the very real threat of the NDP.
I'm still a long way from predicting a Muclair victory, but I can see a pathway where it could happen, which I didn't just 60 days ago.
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