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Winning Burnaby-South by-election a critical challenge for NDP leader Jagmeet Singh: researcher

Last Updated Dec 31, 2018 at 6:04 am PDT

FILE: Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh talks to reporters after accepting his party's nomination to run in the Burnaby-South byelection. (Taran Parmar, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

Burnaby-South is considered an NDP stronghold but a political researcher says it will be a tough race for Jagmeet Singh

Singh will face criticism for 'parachuting' in to the riding from out of province

BURNABY (NEWS 1130) — Despite being the leader of the federal NDP, a political researcher says winning Burnaby South will be no easy feat for Jagmeet Singh.

The riding vacated by former MP and now-Mayor of Vancouver Kennedy Stewart, has long been a stronghold for the NDP, but political researcher Megan Dias says it’s not going to be an easy race for Singh to win.

RELATED: Federal Liberals nominate Karen Wang to run in Burnaby-South by-election

She says that’s because a lot of voters aren’t keen on the idea of Singh ‘parachuting’ into Burnaby to run, although he does have name recognition on his side.

She sees this race as a chance for the federal leader to prove himself.

“It’s going to be a very important and symbolic in a lot of ways,” she says. “The stakes for Jagmeet are obviously the highest. I think it’s going to be a very bad situation if he doesn’t win this riding.”

RELATED: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh campaigning in Montreal ahead of federal byelections

She points out that if he isn’t able to win a federal riding it could be a serious problem for him and his party.

“Him not being able to win a riding in the house he has never actually sat in, and now saying he wants to run to be the Prime Minister of Canada, that wouldn’t be good optics,” she says. “I think the stakes are very high for him.”

RELATED: NDP’s Jagmeet Singh will have competition in Burnaby-South byelection

She expects Burnaby residents to start seeing a lot of campaign posters as the race for the seat takes off. The winning candidate will have to get a lot of support early to make it in this race.

The federal government hasn’t officially called for a by-election in the riding.