Federalist tide in Quebec shifting Conservative?

Two former federal Liberals in Quebec were to do battle for the Conservative Party nomination in Laval-Les Îles but one dropped out an hour prior to the contest. In the end, Agop T. Evereklian, a former chief of staff to a Liberal cabinet minister won the nomination against another challenger.

Stating that his conversion to Conservatism was a recent occurrence, Mr. Evereklian explained that he saw no possibility of advancement within Liberal ranks, “under the present circumstances.” I appreciate Mr. Harper’s leadership, he keeps his word. He respects the democratic process. There’s transparency. Even though I’m a newcomer to Conservative ranks, I had an equal chance of winning the nomination,” he stated.

The former chief organizer for the Liberal party of Canada in Laval-Les Îles, Mr. Evereklian believes the voters want change. According to him, voters support the candidate more than they support a particular party. If a candidate offers what the people are looking for, they’ll support him,” he stated in an interview the day after his nomination.

Prior to a writ drop that is all but scheduled for February, does this indicate that the Conservative Party represents the viable vehicle for federalist votes in an upcoming election? With Mr. Dion’s leadership numbers lacking, and abysmal in his home province of Quebec, is the Quebecois political class reading the tea leaves in that province?

There will be criticism of party hopping, but as a trend, this be the first signs of an even poorer showing in Quebec for the Liberal Party during the next election.

Granted, Evereklian faces a tough fight in Laval-Les Îles, as the incumbent Raymonde Folco received 20,849 votes (39.3%) to the Bloc’s 17,537 votes (33.1%) in the last election. The Conservative candidate in the riding received 9,055 votes (17.1%).

Despite this Evereklian can bank of one obvious advantage against Folco; he used to be a senior political advisor to the Liberal.