With the vote getting closer, NDP leadership candidates are turning against each other with increasing aggressiveness.
The relatively low-key NDP leadership race appears to be heating up. The campaign of Charlie Angus is accusing rival leadership contender Jagmeet Singh of lying about how many new party members he signed up.
As reported in the National Post, the co-campaign manager for Angus, Jesse Brady, says Singh’s claim to have signed up over 47,000 new members (out of 124,000 total eligible party members) can’t possibly be true.
“Looking back through the records of the updating of the party database, of the membership, we found that we are approximately around 41,000 around the end of March, as the party reported. However, by the beginning of May, the party had updated the database systems and the party list and we were at about 70,000 members at that point,” said Jesse Brady, a co-campaign manager for Angus.
What this means is that for Singh’s membership claims to be true, he would have had to sign-up 47,000 out of 54,000 new members during the leadership race. It’s tough to believe that one candidate signed up that many, while the other three candidates only managed to sign up 7,000 in that same time period.
The Singh campaign does not appear to be responding to the claims of dishonesty leveled by the Angus campaign.
Angus vs Singh
It is widely believed that the race will come down to Angus and Singh. While Singh is seen as able to win some of the younger voters who left the NDP for the Liberals in 2015, Angus can expect strong support among traditional NDP voters and working-class Canadians.
There is reason to believe a win by Singh could help the Conservatives. Trudeau would lose some younger voters to Singh (particularly in Ontario), while many working-class NDP voters could be up for grabs as Singh is seen as more on the progressive social justice side of the party.
By contrast, an Angus win would make it easier for the Liberals to hold younger voters, while making it tougher for the Conservatives to win over the working class voters I predict they’ll need to defeat Trudeau.
That’s why the Conservatives and Liberals will be closely watching the NDP leadership race. When the votes start coming in, we’ll know soon enough whether the Singh campaign lied about their numbers, or whether the Angus campaign are the dishonest ones.
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