Will be a challenge for Grit challenger to oust NDPer Layton
Liberal candidate Andrew Lang makes 2nd attempt win seat
(Written for Town Crier April 8.)
The Green Party’s Elizabeth May notwithstanding, it’s safe to say that federal party leaders easily win their seats in the House of Commons seat whether or not they’re present in their riding during an election campaign.
If that’s a given, then the Toronto-Danforth race is Jack Layton’s to lose. Not only is he party leader of the New Democrats, he’s an incumbent who’s represented the riding in some form or another since 1994. Still, Layton has challengers from all the major parties, including Liberal Andrew Lang, who ran unsuccessfully against Layton in 2008.
“The longer you are an incumbent the more people become comfortable with you,” says Nelson Wiseman, a politics professor at the University of Toronto. “The longer you are a party leader, the more it contributes to your credibility.”
Layton became party leader in 2003 and in 2004 he beat incumbent Toronto-Danforth Liberal MP Dennis Mills. Layton was re-elected in 2006 and 2008.
As expected, Layton has been criss-crossing the country since the election writ dropped on March 26.
“I am grateful for the understanding of my local constituents that I can’t campaign as often in Toronto-Danforth, but I make up for it between elections by being in my riding frequently for events,” Layton said from British Columbia on April 7.
Layton served on Toronto City Council and Metro Council from 1982 to 2003 before entering federal politics. Continue reading