Ignatieff’s new target

After devoting much of last summer to a bus tour, and part of last fall to holding town-hall style meetings, Michael Ignatieff is hitting the road again to start 2011.

Ignatieff's new target

Aaron Harris/Bloomberg/Getty Images

After devoting much of last summer to a bus tour, and part of last fall to holding town-hall style meetings, Michael Ignatieff is hitting the road again to start 2011. But this time there’s a strategic difference: in an 11-day blitz of 20 ridings, the Liberal leader plans to visit only seats his party failed to win in the 2008 election. If that suggests he’s taking the fight directly to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, though, Liberal strategists are stressing a different adversary. Ignatieff’s mini-tour concentrates on ridings where they’re aiming to capture votes, not from the Tories, but mainly from the NDP.

Nine ridings on the tour are held now by Conservative MPs who could lose to Liberals if the NDP vote falls and moves to them, even if the Tory vote holds up. Another two are Bloc seats where an NDP stumble could easily elect a Liberal. And there’s some evidence for the Liberal view that they have a better chance of taking NDP votes in these battlegrounds than the other way around. Alice Funke of the website Pundits’ Guide points to survey data from the 2008 campaign, which shows that NDP supporters who said the Liberals were their second choice were more likely to make that switch by election day than Liberals who named the NDP as their second choice.

But Conservative backers are widely considered least likely of all to waver. Frank Graves, president of the polling firm Ekos, says Harper’s unshakable core support now stands at about 30 per cent, a few points below his party’s steady support range in the polls through 2010. The rest are theoretically up for grabs. “Michael Ignatieff’s challenge,” says Graves, “is somehow uniting those voters in their common distaste—and that’s too weak a word—for Mr. Harper.”

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Ignatieff’s new target

  1. Has anyone ever watched a car slowly heading off the road and just know the wreck is going to be awful … this is what watching the LPT of late has been like. I almost feel sorry for my old party – oh well – I wonder when Iggy is going to let Justin have a ' Critics ' file ? – hmmm he might want to reconsider if he is thinking about doing this soon as he will not be in the leader's seat much longer and no doubt the ol boys are grooming Justins for the spot – watch the car go off the road in slow motion yet – too bad so sad.

  2. iggy just retired .the house is full of clowns

  3. Ignatieff's new target

    John, I am disappointed that you (or your headline writer) choose to use such violent vocabulary that debases the political conversation, unfairly demonizes opponents, and risks enticing violent extremists to carry out deadly deeds. What's next — crosshairs on a map of ridings? Just where does the violent insanity end?

  4. Who cares, he is just spinning his square wheels. This man is so far removed from common sense that he is crazy scarry

  5. Iggy is known as 1 of the 3 Stooges the other 2 being Jack Layton and
    Gilles Duceppe.

  6. On the contrary, I thinkit is quite OK to report Frank Graves personal opiniom. The dishonest part is to portray him as just another pollster.

  7. I think Ignatief will pull off a win in the next election. I think Canadians are tired of Harper's divisive nasty politics and will opt for a refreshing change. Ignatief is better quicker and more incisive on his feet, ready and able to answer questions without cheat sheets and propose policy more akin to the mainstream: no fighter jets without a proper tender process, and no corporate tax cuts while struggling out of a recession.

    • Thank you for the talking points. Nothing new there. The fact is if Ignatieff is as good as you seem to think then why have none of the polls showed the Libs outpolling the Conservatives for five years. Tell me why Canadians in leadership polls show Ignatieff running behind Duceppe of all people, the man who wants to break up the country. We heard the same things about Dion. Many Libs said just wait until an election Dion will mop of the floor with Harper. Well we saw what happened in the 08 election and while Ignatieff may be able to speak English capably he is not winning the hearts and minds of Canadians. In fact I suspect Canadians being exposed to his snobbery and arrogance for 36 straight days will give a trouncing to the Libs.

  8. . Harper's Economy theme is a farce. With a deficit of nearly $56 Billion, he still wants to give corporate tax cuts of $6 Billion, Spend over $20 Billion on F-35 and have revenues less than Govt. expenses.It is clear that all the talk of deficit control is farce. If Canada wants a sound future, Canadians must topple Harper & give Liberals a majority Govt.

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