Paul Martin makes a point during a news conference at the Wanuskewin Heritage park in Saskatoon, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2006. (CP photo)

Liberal Leader Paul Martin chastised NDP Leader Jack Layton, claiming he had given up the fight against the Tory agenda to attack the Liberals.

"Jack Layton has been making some very strange comments during this campaign. He's attacked Liberals, not Conservatives. In fact, he's all but ignored Stephen Harper."

Martin said Layton would rather risk a Harper victory "than be faithful to his own party's principles."

Layton has asked Liberal voters to "lend" their vote to the NDP while the Liberals cleanse themselves of the sponsorship scandal.

"Jack Layton has taken a pass" on fighting the Conservatives, who will end the Kyoto climate-change deal, cut social programs and introduce a socially conservative agenda, Martin said on Tuesday, during a tour of a solar-power company in Burnaby, B.C.

Martin is calling for a "coalition of progressive voters," to unite behind Liberal candidates in order to deny the Conservative party an electoral victory.

CBC News reporter James Cudmore said the new attack on Layton marks a shift in Liberal campaign strategy – an acknowledgement that Martin is now facing a fight on two fronts.

He said that since the weekend, the mood in the Liberal camp has darkened.

A series of polls suggest the Tories are headed toward victory.