Canadian Press: PM Harper’s Israel Visit May Boost Conservative Party’s Chances In Next Election


harperCanadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s high profile Israel trip last week may have brought some smiles on the face of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his right-wing partners, but overall it served the purpose of Mr. Harper’s own internal benefits, Canada’s The Hill Times writes.

The Conservative ruling party is in trouble in public opinion polls. They are running 10 to 12 points below their election 2011 level, keeping their heads above the NDP but trailing the Liberals by about six points, a review of recent polling shows. Harper’s personal approval has also been sliding throughout a Senate expense scandal.

The visit to Israel and the warm reception by the country’s leaders may therefore help Mr. harper and his party in at least 10 federal electoral districts that will likely be hard-fought battles in the next general election, Elections Canada records show.

The 10 districts include five in and adjacent to the city of Toronto that are held by Conservative MPs who barely won the 2011 election and who accompanied Prime Minister Harper in his historic visit to Israel. The five Conservative-held Toronto area ridings where Conservatives might benefit politically from the tour contain the largest concentrations of Jewish Canadians in the country. The Jewish vote could be decisive.

According to exit polls of the 2011 elections, the Conservatives won 53% of the Jewish vote.

Conservative MP Mark Adler disclosed part of the reasoning, as he was overheard on camera seeking a spot in PM Harper’s photo op at the Western Wall (Kotel). Globe and Mail reporter Campbell Clark recorded him exclaiming: “It’s the re-election! This is the million-dollar shot.” The district of York Centre, which he won with 48 percent of the vote to defeat Liberal incumbent and former NHL hockey star Ken Dryden, is also among the ridings that run through the Jewish communities of central Toronto, according to The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

Mr. Adler later said he was joking.

Three other Conservative MPs who were in Mr. Harper’s entourage also won the election in 2011 with less than 50 percent of the vote in ridings that include large segments of the Jewish population in the same vicinity of Toronto, The Hill Times notes.

Two other Toronto and area ridings currently held by Liberal MPs who narrowly won the seats in 2011, with barely reaching 40% of the vote, also have significant Jewish populations that could be pivotal for the Conservatives if the next federal election is as close in key ridings as the last one.

“The hope for the Harper Conservatives is that if they can stack up traditional Conservative bedrock support with those ridings with strong Jewish communities, it can put into play ridings that might naturally fall to the opposition parties,” Nanos Research pollster Nik Nanos told The Hill Times.

(Jacob Kornbluh – YWN)


  1. Mr Kornbluh should recognize that Canada is not NY. PM Harper has consistently supported Israel even though it has probably cost him support. Canada has suffered at the UN and other international forums because of his strong support for Israel. Most Canadians value their relationship with the UN and do not agree with PM Harper’s strongly pro-Israel stance.

    PM Harper supports Israel because he is a man if principle and not due to crass political motivations. He did not gain votes by expelling the Iranian mission to Canada. He did it because it was right the Jewish vote in Canada in negligible and many would vote liberal under any circumstances.

    PM Harper has consistently supported Israel. He deserves our Hakoras Hatov. He is not a Bill De Blasio, Hillary Clinton type that only become Pro Israel when it is the Politicly smart thing to do.