Will Tom Mulcair hold onto his seat in Outremont?
OUTREMONT – Canada is just hours away from the 2015 federal election and all eyes are on Montreal.
The leaders of three major political parties have their ridings in the city. One of them is Outremont, NDP leader Tom Mulcair’s riding.
The electoral district of Outremont is diverse, mostly well-off and has the youngest demographic in Quebec.
“I think I really represent the voters in this riding,” said Liberal candidate Rachel Bendayan. “I represent Outremont in terms of generations, their concerns and interests.”
Bendayan is seeking to recapture the long-time Liberal stronghold. It’s a tall order as she is going head-to-head against Mulcair, the incumbent who took the riding in a 2007 by-election.
Mulcair is a high-profile candidate, but during this campaign he has often been in other ridings across the country. That’s something Bendayan has chosen to capitalize on.
“We’ve made over 80,000 calls, I’ve knocked at over 12,000 doors,” said Bendayan. “Our outreach in the community has really paid off.”
Some polls have even shown Bendayan ahead.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of pollsters with egg on their face on Tuesday morning,” said Graham Carpenter, who manages Mulcair’s Outremont campaign.
He said the feeling he’s getting from voters is very different from what the polls are showing.
“She doesn’t mention the fact that Justin Trudeau doesn’t even live in Quebec anymore and certainly isn’t more present than him in his riding anymore,” said Carpenter.
“It’s fascinating that that’s the line that they’re using but of course it’s two-faced and it doesn’t hold water.”
The main issue for voters in Outremont seems to be change.
“To tell you the truth, the Conservatives are not something that interests me,” said Ahmad El-Mallah. “Liberals are okay but I’d like to try something new as the NDP.”
“I can’t say I’m the hugest fan,” added Sasha Kleinplatz. “I was a huge Jack Layton fan but I mean, we desperately need change.”
“I’d rather have some guy that has influence and be in my riding,” said Brad Munch. “I’m super happy that I have a potential leader in my riding as opposed to someone who might not have much impact.”
Whether or not Mulcair will help lead that change will be decided by voters come Oct. 19.
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