Could the NDP win this seat?

Staff ~ The Amherst Citizen
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Mark Austin, our federal NDP candidate in the upcoming byelection for Cumberland-Colchester Musquodoboit Valley, is optimistic of his chances on Nov. 9, and rightfully so. After all, the NDP performed well here in the recent provincial election.

Sure, Cumberland North had unusual circumstances, with party loyalists and the Fage faithful splitting the traditional Conservative vote, thereby opening the door for a fresh face like Brian Skabar to win the riding.
That can't be said for Truro-Bible Hill, however, where NDP newcomer Lenore Zann took the riding formerly held by veteran Tory cabinet minister Jamie Muir, or Colchester-Musquodoit Valley, where Gary Burrill hammered the NDP flag into the former territory of another Tory cabinet veteran, Brooke Taylor.
But Austin would do well to not oversimplify the situation. Yes, the NDP were successful here provincially, but the federal scenario is a different scene altogether.
First, the provincial NDP won the Nova Scotia election for two main reasons: the popularity of leader Darrell Dexter, who Nova Scotians see as an affable everyman. and a sense of weariness with the Conservatives, who had been in power for 10 years. Federal NDP leader Jack Layton, a slick Toronto cosmopolitan, will never achieve that same level of connection with rural Canadians, and polls indicate that a change in power is not likely anytime soon in Ottawa.
While Casey's popularity became the issue here in the last federal election, no key issue is gripping voters this time around. The biggest challenge for all the candidates may be getting their supporters out to the polls at all. In the meantime, consider Cumberland-Colchester Musquodoboit Valley up for grabs.

Organizations: NDP, Conservatives

Geographic location: Cumberland-Colchester Musquodoboit Valley, Cumberland North, Colchester-Musquodoit Valley Nova Scotia Toronto Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • Moriarty
    March 09, 2010 - 09:30

    .....Minor correction: br br Skabar didn't win because of a vote split. He took 41% of the vote, Fage and the PCs took a **combined** 43%. that does NOT constitute a vote split.... br br But of course you know that, because you would have done your research before writing. br br On the popularity of the federal NDP in Nova Scotia: br br The NDP is polling higher in Atlantic Canada than anywhere else in the country. br br Is this because solidly Tory New Brunswick has had a sudden change of heart and turned to the NDP? br br Perhaps Newfounland and Labrador has decided that it's going to vote ABC*L* (Anything but Conservative & Liberal)? br br Maybe PEI is bucking almost an entire century of tradition overnight and switching allegiance to the NDP? br br I would suggest that NONE of these scenarios is the truth. br br The polling numbers in Atlantic Canada reflect an upsurge in support for the NDP, **everywhere** in the province. This is having an impact on the regional picture that so many polling firms are fond of producing. br br This seat is indeed up for grabs. br br For Mark Austin. br br It is his to lose. And he needs to squeeze every possible moment out of the rest of this campaign to talk to as many voters on as many doorsteps as he can. br br Good Luck mark and Team!