The Mind of David Herle
He predicted the Liberals could win between eight and 10 seats in the Prairies and make "real gains" in Ontario, said the sources.
The Liberals now occupy three of 14 seats in Manitoba, one of 14 seats in Saskatchewan and one of 28 seats in Alberta.
Either David Herle is full of it, or he's been dipping into Sheila Martin's magic brownies. Here are the ridings in Manitoba where the Liberals lost, but were within 5,000 votes:
Charleswood—St. James: Star Candidate Glen Murray loses by 750 votes to Stephen Fletcher
Churchill: Bev Desjardins wins by 1,000 votes
Kildonan—St. Paul: Liberals lose by 280 votes
Winnipeg Centre: Pat Martin wins by 3,000 votes
Winnipeg North: Judy Wasylicia-Weis wins by 3,000 votes
And in nearly every other riding the Liberals lost by over 10,000 votes and were often in third place. With NDP numbers up, I really have a hard time seeing the three NDP incumbents losing. I think Fletcher is probably safe but let's give it to Herle - I can optimistically see two seats for the taking here.
Now, let's take a look at Saskatchewan:
Blackstrap: Tories by 4,000
Churchill River: Tories by 1,500
Palliser: Liberals were only 3,700 down here...in third place.
Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre: Libs lose 100, with the NDP right behind them
Regina—Qu'Appelle: Andrew Scheer beats Lorne Nystrom in a squeaker, with the Liberals well over 2,000 back.
Saskatoon—Humboldt: Liberals in third, 440 back
Saskatoon—Wanuskewin: Chris Axworthy 4,600 back
I just can't see NDP voters getting scared into voting Liberal in Saskatchewan after Dick Proctor and Lorne Nystrom fell to Conservatives last time due to the stupidest strategic voting in the history of politics. If a few three way races break right, I guess it's not impossible to pick up 3 or 4 seats.
Yet this still leaves us short of David Herle's bold 8 to 10 Prairie pick-ups for the Liberals. Which means...David Herle's election strategy is based on Liberal gains in Alberta! Oh boy.
And if there was any doubt as to what makes this guy tick, here's the money quote:
Senior insiders said David Herle, the national Liberal campaign co-chair and the party's pollster, characterized it as a "daunting task" but said "if I pull it off they won't talk about David Smith any more, they'll talk about me."
Mr. Herle, the architect of the 2004 campaign for the Liberals that resulted in a minority government, was referring to Jean Chrétien's campaign strategist, Ontario Senator David Smith, who helped the former prime minister win three consecutive majority governments.