Muclair said he believes the NDP is on the right track to win Outrement, which has been a Liberal stronghold most recently held by former transport minister Jean Lapierre.
"One of the messages that is being sent to us is that a lot of dissatisfied federalists are taking a good hard look at Stephane Dion and there's a reason why he's at 10 per cent in the polls personally and we're doing better than the Liberals right now."
Mulcair said the NDP, which now has no Quebec seats, is heading into a real race in Outremont, one that be won by "the ones who work the hardest and we intend to be that party."
He represented Chomedy riding in nearby Laval in the Quebec legislature from 1994 until he quit the provincial Liberals earlier this year. Mulcair, who had been a cabinet minister since 2003, left cabinet in late 2006 because he rejected a switch from his environment portfolio to be minister of government services. He joined the NDP in April.
In the last election, the NDP ran third, ahead of the Conservatives, with a very respectable 20% of the vote. The Bloc, which ran second, had a high-profile candidate, which won't be the case in this by-election. The fact that Mulcair is a former Liberal cabinet minister, who left politics over the highly contentious Mont Orford Park privatization scheme, means that the NDP has a formidable candidate, with impeccable credibility.
I've seen Muclair in a couple of interviews, and he is very aggressive, quite critical in his critiques and generally impressive. I have no doubt the NDP will make a major push in this by-election, and if they were to succeed it could serve as watershed moment for the Liberals in Quebec. The last thing the party needs is another relevant federal player on the scene, particularly one that has a more natural fit on many of the issues. This by-election has the potential to be a watershed moment.
Another example of the Liberals problems in Quebec:
Next, we’d like to ask you some questions about the federal Liberal Party. In the next federal election, would you consider voting for the Liberal candidate in your riding?
Would consider- 34%
Wouldn't consider- 52%
If you had to guess, which province would have the worst numbers from a Liberal perspective. Intuitively, you would think Alberta, but nope it's Quebec:
Would consider- 35%
Wouldn't consider -52%
Would consider- 20%
Wouldn't consider- 67%
Now, mind you, that is province wide response for an online poll(hey Scott), but I see this finding as another ingredient in the potential poison stew brewing.
I suspect Liberal strategists appreciate the danger in Outremont and we will see a concerted effort to ensure the party holds on to one of the last bastions. Otherwise, and we can't underestimate Muclair who looks the right person at an intriguing time, this little by-election could have serious ramifications moving forward.