Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Liberal revival

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The latest Probe Research poll on the political landscape in Manitoba confirmed the NDP is in trouble and the Progressive Conservatives are holding onto a commanding lead.

That might suggest a two-way fight in the next election, except for the slow but steady increase in support for the Liberal party.

Since becoming Liberal leader last fall, Rana Bokhari has barely been heard over the squabbling between the NDP and the Conservatives. As well, she did not run in two byelections, which would have raised her profile even if she lost.

Ms. Bokhari now finds herself at the helm of a party that is supported by one in four voters in Winnipeg and 19 per cent of voters in rural Manitoba.

The Liberal support appears to be growing at the expense of the NDP, which is a story Manitobans have seen before.

In 1988, after years in the wilderness as Liberal leader, Sharon Carstairs became Opposition leader while the NDP was reduced to third-party status.

It's premature to predict outcomes for the next provincial election, but it is good news that Manitobans are ready to listen to what the Liberal party has to say.

The people are always better served with more than two parties, which tend to lead to polarizing views. More viable parties present a wider range of perspectives and alternatives.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 8, 2014 A6

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