Tories set sights on majority

Conservatives said to be targeting 45 ridings in next election

In an effort to reach the 155 seats needed for a parliamentary majority, the Conservatives are focusing on 45 ridings across Canada where they came a close second to either the Liberals or the NDP in the 2008 election. Tim Powers, a Conservative strategist, says “there’s a whole confluence of different forces that make people think with the right approaches and right outreaches and so forth, you might be able to turn some of those seats.” The Tories are hoping to sway these ridings by hammering the electorate on wedge issues like the long-gun registry or the funding of the NHL arena in Quebec City, as well as by trotting out a number of star candidates, including former CFL commissioner Larry Smith in Lac-Saint-Louis and former New Brunswick premier Bernard Lord in Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe. Liberals flatly reject any suggestion the Conservative strategy will work. Liberal MP Mark Holland says there’s a “zero per cent chance” that his riding of Ajax-Pickering, one of the ridings targeted by the Tories, is up for grabs.

The Hill Times

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