The NDP must be counting their lucky stars that there are not a lot more like Kevin Lamoureux around to steal their safe seats. And Michael Ignatieff is probably hoping he had a hundred or more people like Kevin Lamoureux with as strong a electoral machine.
Looking at the comment sections of some media groups and some NDP supporters just can't seem to believe it. Some were confidently predicting Lamoureux would go down in defeat. Now, I don't know who they will blame. Surely not the media since this was a low key event.
However, they are not the only ones to get it so wrong. Here is the Winnipeg Sun today:
Three federal byelections -- one in Ontario, two in Manitoba -- will be fought Monday in the fog of Grey Cup aftermath, hangovers, missed flights and lost bets.
So we might as well predict our winners now.
In the Ontario riding of Vaughan, perched above Liberal-drenched Toronto: Conservative candidate Julian Fantino.
In the Manitoba riding of Winnipeg North: Conservative candidate Julie Javier.
And, in the Manitoba riding of Dauphin-Swan River: Conservative candidate Robert Sopuck.
Yes, we can hear the Liberals already -- as in what else would you expect from Sun Media, a right-leaning newspaper chain more prone to boot-licking the Harper government than booting it in the slats?
But that's always the left's default position.
The reason three Conservatives will win is because they are the best candidates, arriving at a time when the Liberals are spinning their wheels, and getting no traction from Michael Ignatieff, a truly hapless leader.
I wonder if the Winnipeg Sun really believes that the Conservative candidate was the best person for the party could choose. They really undermine whatever credibility they might have by bloviating on that type of grand scale.
Who are they going to blame for their candidate's poor showing? The media? The ethnic vote and big money?
The NDP made a mistake in saying this:
Just two days ago, NDP executive director Brad Lavigne was telling reporters that the trio of byelections Monday could be seen as referendums on each party's leader.
"If a leader loses momentum [Monday], they'll have a hard time gaining it back before the budget gets tabled in February," Lavigne told reporters.
And yet, it was NDP Leader Jack Layton who not only lost a seat, but saw his party lose thousands of votes in Vaughan.
In the Manitoba riding of Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette, the Conservatives easily held the riding, and the NDP vote total improved over the results of the 2008 general election.
If there is one thing a byelection proves it is that anything can happen if the the focus is on the local candidates and not on the national front.
I have no idea if the Liberals will lose their seat in Vaughn. It certainly looks like that even at this late hour. However, if they do, they can point to the fact that local candidates do matter in these type of elections.
And despite what the NDP said two days ago, I don't this reflects on the leaders save for the fact that they are the ones who help attract good candidates.
Still, I think the NDP in Manitoba are likely to be quite upset. They have been increasingly angry and frustrated as of late. They really can't understand when a vote like Winnipeg North goes against them like this. They will have to be careful how they react in the days ahead. If they lash out more and more, it could reflect poorly on them in the upcoming provincial election.