the NDP's much smaller signs are attached to almost every single post in Outremont and therefore Mulcair is hands down the winner of the sign war. Admittedly, these pictures were taken on the same street as Mulcair's campaign headquarters (pictured below). However driving through the riding would leave no doubt in the minds of the average voter that an NDP breakthrough is certainly within the realm of possibility, if not probability.
Quite simply, there is NO excuse for a supposed Liberal stronghold to play second-fiddle to anyone, particularly the NDP, when it comes to visual presentation. The casual voter, driving around the riding, is bound to think that the NDP is a force to be reckoned with, a marginal player no more. Just signs, but there is no doubt they are important cues that do influence.
Uncorrected Proofs also posted on a recent visit by Layton and Chow, which my count is 3 seperate visits to the riding by the NDP leader. That presence also sends a strong message that the NDP is in this race to win, not to mention the free press a leader's visit guarantees. You sense a measure of urgency in the NDP campaign, that quite frankly doesn't seem to be matched by the incumbent party. IMHO, this is a dangerous game, because this by-election will have aftershocks.
Fast forward to by-election night. The Bloc takes two seats, guaranteeing a good night. The Conservatives are likely shut out, hardly a statement of any momentum in the province. The NDP has the potential to steal the show, and I would submit even a narrow loss is a partial victory. If the Liberals win in a squeaker, we will hear whispers, people will talk about the last stronghold, now a competitive battlefield. A slim victory brings more questions, a loss disaster.
When I hear first-hand accounts such as the above, it makes me wonder (from the OUTSIDE) if Liberals don't quite appreciate the stakes. It would appear that the NDP is awash in energy and motivation, while the Liberals carry on like the old-guard, with a bit too much comfort for my liking.