The House

The Insiders: Is Jagmeet Singh's victory a political game changer?

Insiders Jaime Watt, Kathleen Monk and David Herle join us to give us an idea of how the NDP, the Liberals and the Conservatives are bound to adjust in the aftermath of Jagmeet Singh's victory.
Jagmeet Singh celebrates with supporters after winning the first ballot in the NDP leadership race to be elected the leader of the federal New Democrats in Toronto on Sunday. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)
Listen11:37

"The NDP in choosing Mr. Singh have taken a gamble, I think it's a calculated and strategic gamble, but they're really reshaping their coalition," said David Herle of the Gandolf group.

Herle added the party has decided, whether consciously or not, "that the road ahead for them does not lie in reclaiming the once hallowed ground of Manitoba or Saskatchewan, nor does it primarily lie through Quebec as they thought for the last couple of elections, but it lies through urban and suburban Canada. That changes the battlegrounds for all the parties."

Herle said that a stronger NDP in those areas might weaken the Liberals, and lead to Conservative gains.

Something Kathleen Monk from Earnscliffe disagrees with.

"Liberals are used to having this fear mongering that we can't let the NDP get too strong because that elects Conservatives. I don't think that's true," she said.

"And I think you've got blinders on if you think that he can't have greater appeal beyond urban and suburban areas."

But for Jaime Watt of Navigator Ltd., there's no doubt the choice made by the members of the NDP could benefit Andrew Scheer's troops.

"I think the Conservatives hope this will trigger a bun fight on the left between the Liberals and the New Democrats," he said.

"I think the Conservatives hope that Jagmeet will eat into some of that young charismatic following that the Prime Minister has at the moment."

Insiders Jaime Watt, Kathleen Monk and David Herle join us to give us an idea of how the NDP, the Liberals and the Conservatives are bound to adjust in the aftermath of Jagmeet Singh's victory. 11:37

While Jagmeet Singh will likely spend a fair bit of time on the road and not in the House of Commons, the voice of the NDP in Ottawa will be that of MP, and defeated leadership candidate, Guy Caron.

Singh tapped the Quebec MP to be the party's parliamentary leader this week.

"His views will be heard in the House through my voice, while at the same time he will do the work that he said he would do, which is reconnecting with Canadians," Caron told The House.

Caron said Singh has brought energy back to the NDP caucus. MPs are "ready to go on the attack" after more than a year of wondering who would lead them next. 

"I'll be honest, it's been trying that year, when you're not sure exactly where we're going," he said. "It's not necessarily easy on the morale."

But Caron said the NDP team in Ottawa, under Singh's leadership, will be more effective leading up to the next federal election in 2019.

The NDP's new parliamentary leader discusses how things will work under Jagmeet Singh. 7:41