While Justin Trudeau has been all but named winner of the Liberal leadership race according to Liberal MPs and common observers, Joyce Murray has seen a surge of support in the later weeks of the contest.
Murray, who has been campaigning in part on a pledge to work with other parties to defeat Stephen Harper’s Conservatives in 2015, has earned media coverage and support for her cooperation platform.
With a week of voting to finish on April 14, Murray has just over a month to overtake Trudeau’s juggernaut of a campaign.
Trudeau has pulled in more donations than all the challengers combined and has drawn a long list of endorsements, including a majority of the 35 Liberal MPs. His campaign team also claims he has signed up 150,000 supporters.
The Liberal leadership race will be decided by some 294,000 voters which includes a new “supporter” category. Supporters don’t need to be members of the party or make a donation, but must vow they are not members of any other political party.
Murray’s campaign has claimed tens of thousands of supporters in large part because she wants a one-time deal with the NDP and Greens during the next election to avoid vote-splitting in ridings where the Tories scored less than 50 percent of the vote in 2008 and 2011.
The parties would run a single candidate most likely to take the riding.
Murray’s surprising dash to the finish line has earned her support from broad-based advocacy groups Leadnow (225,000 members) and Azaaz (500,000-680,000 members), and environmentalists like David Suzuki.
Her strong surge mirrors that of Nathan Cullen, who also campaigned on cooperation and came from behind to take third place in the NDP leadership race in 2012.
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