Tim Powers considers the importance of Peter Penashue and the Labrador by-election.
But there are other things at play here for Team Harper. This is also a caucus strengthening exercise. Many MPs will, if they haven’t already, take notice of how the Prime Minister has stood by his man Penashue in tough circumstances. That breeds loyalty and that matters when times get tough. Eventually they will for this Prime Minister and backing a vulnerable team member buys him some insurance when the worm turns on him.
Given the 2011 result and the NDP’s burgeoning strength in the province, it’s a by-election that three parties will think they can win—see Alice Funke’s analysis for more insight.