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Cablegate: Federal Election Campaign: Liberals Maintain Support In

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HALIFAX 000164

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV CA
SUBJECT: FEDERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN: LIBERALS MAINTAIN SUPPORT IN
ATLANTIC CANADA

REF: HALIFAX 0159 AND PREVIOUS


1. In our meetings this past week with election-watchers,
pollsters, party officials and candidates themselves, the
consensus still appears to be that the Liberals will maintain
the majority of the 32 seats in Atlantic Canada in the June 28
federal election (reftel). With just a few days left in the
campaign our contacts are standing by their original predictions
that the Liberals will continue to take advantage of the general
trepidation towards Conservative leader Stephen Harper and the
reluctance of the electorate to move towards the third-place New
Democratic Party. Although Conservative candidates have had
some success in assuaging the fears that Atlantic Canadians have
over how Mr. Harper views economic development issues in the
Atlantic region, voters are not ready to abandon the Liberals
entirely. Consequently, and in spite of what our contacts
believe has been a poor campaign by the Liberals, the Liberals
will still prevail on election day. One of our contacts summed
up the campaign by saying that Atlantic Canadians will simply be
asking themselves, "Who can I trust, or who can I least
distrust?"

2. Comment: With their apparent agreement on who is going to
capture the 32 seats here, the focus has now drifted to the
national stage. Like their counterparts across the country,
each is coming up with a variety of scenarios for what will
happen in the event of a widely anticipated minority government
situation. While they have somewhat different views on what
party can form alliances with whom, the one point they do have
in common is that the country could very well be headed to the
polls in the next year, year-and-half time frame. End Comment


ROWLAND

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