At a nomination meeting in Brandon-Souris last night, local Liberals voted to make Rolf “Ritalin Boy” Dinsdale their party’s candidate of record. In addition to being a wearer of bowler hats and the bassist in a punk band, Rolf is the son of Walter Dinsdale, who, as a Progressive Conservative, represented the riding from 1953 until his death in 1982 (winning 11 consecutive elections).
Rolf defeated the mayor of the Killarney-Turtle Mountain, who had been a Conservative, but who decided to seek the Liberal nomination after threatening to run as an independent after the Conservative contest became an acclimation when the former Conservative MP’s legislative assistant was disqualified over a mysteriously late application and a missing cheque.
Meanwhile, at least one poll has the Liberals up to 32% in Manitoba.
Does all that add up to a Liberal upset in Brandon-Souris? The odds still seem long. A Liberal has never received more than 35.3% of the vote in Brandon-Souris (and that was in 1953). And from 2004 to 2011, the Conservative share of the vote went from 51.2% to 54.4% to 57.1% to 63.7%.
Then again, here is one of the riding’s former Conservative MPs saying very nice things about Justin Trudeau. And Mr. Trudeau is in the riding again today, his second visit there already.