Support of nikab sank NDP
NDP Leader says he takes responsibility for party’s third-place finish, but still wants to stay at the helm
By John Paul Tasker, CBC News Posted: Feb 13, 2016 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 13, 2016 3:37 PM ET
While admitting he is partly to blame for the NDP’s third-place finish, Mulcair insists he should be leading the party into the next election, and will take that message to party members ahead of April’s leadership review.
- Mulcair takes responsibility for failed election campaign in letter to NDP supporters
- NDP’s cautious change did not resound with voters in election: party report
- Tom Mulcair says he’ll work ‘tirelessly’ ahead of NDP leadership review in April
“There were shortcomings in that campaign, and of course I take full responsibility for it,” the Montreal-area MP said in an interview with Chris Hall on CBC Radio’s The House.
“[The niqab] hurt us terribly. It was measured. I can share with you that the polling we did showed we dropped over 20 points in 48 hours here in Quebec because of the strong stand I took on the niqab,” Mulcair said.
The party was riding high in the polls when former prime minister Stephen Harper called an election last August. Mulcair said a short-sighted desire to hold on to that lead made the party risk-averse.
“We were extremely cautious. We had never been at that level before heading into a campaign and didn’t know, perhaps, what to do to manage that lead,” Mulcair said. “There was a sense in the campaign team, which was ‘OK let’s hold on to what we’ve got.'”