Jagmeet Singh believes that Quebec is a “breeding ground”, as in 2011
Jagmeet Singh believes that Quebec is still a “breeding ground” for the New Democratic Party – even if, in private, activists worry about the state of affairs, three months before the vote.
In an interview from Sherbrooke, Mr. Singh said he was “not worried” about the chances of the NDP in Quebec. He recalls that Jack Layton enjoyed similar support in the polls before the 2011 elections – and the historic “orange wave” that finally engulfed 80% of the counties of Quebec.
In this 2011 election – and after a remarkable performance by Jack Layton on “Tout le monde en parle” – the New Democrats elected 59 out of 75 MPs in Quebec; the Liberals elected seven, the Conservatives five and the Bloc Quebecois four. In the next election, the NDP, led by Thomas Mulcair, elected 16 members.
“I think there is a lot of support here” in Quebec, said Mr. Singh. “We are getting a lot of love. We have 14 members, so there is a lot of ground to take. We have many excellent candidates who have worked in their community. ”
Note that the NDP actually has 15 members in Quebec, according to the House of Commons website.
Mr. Singh, who was in Montreal on Monday, then traveled to Sherbrooke on Tuesday. The NDP is committed to connecting these two cities with a passenger train, as part of an investment in public transportation to combat climate change.
Singh announced the project, which would create nearly 400 “quality jobs” and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10,000 tonnes, along with the local NDP MP. Pierre-Luc Dusseault, elected during the “Orange Wave” in 2011, became the youngest MP in the history of the Commons – he had just turned 20 when he was sworn in.
This summer tour comes as NDP MPs and activists secretly wonder if the party will be competitive in the October elections, given its ongoing fundraising challenges and the morale of the troops, which has already been better.
Singh argued on Tuesday that the only poll that counts is the October 21 poll, and he is confident that people will be more attentive during the official election campaign this fall.
Better posture than in 2011?
Karl Bélanger, who was Thomas Mulcair’s chief secretary, agrees that political leaders should not be interested in polls and should focus on their central purpose: spreading the party’s message. But the team around Singh, she must be concerned about elections and ask how to rally more support. However, challenges are not lacking in Quebec, believes Mr. Bélanger.
“It’s mathematical: if you’re fifth in the polls, it will be difficult to win a lot of seats,” he says. That’s why Jagmeet Singh and his team planned this tour and focused on a region where they can get support. ”
Mr. Bélanger, however, believes that the NDP is in a much better position, in many ways, than under the late Jack Layton before the 2011 elections. By electing 16 New Democrats in 2015, Quebeckers sent the largest caucus provincial delegation.
“In this sense, there is a lot of strength in this,” said Mr. Bélanger, pointing out that outgoing MPs will have a challenge in the next election, but they will have the advantage of being MPs – an asset that the NDP did not have in Quebec in 2011, with the exception of Mr. Mulcair.