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Former NDP candidate predicts Harper majority

A former New Democratic Party candidate and economist says Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives will likely win a majority in the May 2 federal election.

"It's not something I want to see," said Paul Summerville, who ran for the NDP in 2006 in the St. Paul's riding in Toronto. "The chance to remove Harper was lost and I think Canadians have become used to Harper being their prime minister."

Summerville, an economist who worked for RBC Dominion Securities and other financial institutions, and former labour leader John Fryer spoke to reporters this morning in Victoria to endorse MLA John Horgan's bid to lead the provincial NDP.

Federal NDP leader Jack Layton, who has survived a battle with prostate cancer in recent years, underwent hip surgery in early March. "When I ran with Jack in '06 there was no harder campaigner than that man, but he's hobbled," Summerville said.

"In order to do the good work that Jack's done in the past you've got to be working at 110 percent," he said.

Nor did he think the Liberal Party would offer much challenge to Harper, he said. "Michael Ignatieff just doesn't connect."

Summerville placed third in 2006 behind Liberal Carolyn Bennett and the Conservative's Peter Kent.

Fryer managed federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May's campaign in Saanich-Gulf Islands until June, 2010 and said today he still supports her, though provincially he thinks the NDP is the best choice to defeat the BC Liberals.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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