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Layton tries out his new favourite words: 'prime minister'

NDP Leader Jack Layton, backed by his supporters, addresses a crowd in Winnipeg on April 27, 2011.

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

Jack Layton's humble-pie description of his expectations appear to have given way to visions of life at 24 Sussex Drive.

At a campaign event in Winnipeg on Tuesday, Mr. Layton pumped up the audience with assertions that he really can become prime minister, making repeated references to himself in the job.

When he began a section of his speech with the phrase "as your prime minister," the party faithful cheered.

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Mr. Layton responded: "Sounds like you like that phrase. I might repeat it," he said.

He did. Several times. And then came back to it again, in both official languages. "Starting Tuesday morning, as your prime minister … " he said later.

Mr. Layton has always said he's running to be prime minister, but only a few weeks ago it led his opponents, and many Canadians, to scoff. But he always insisted he would work with whatever mandate Canadians gave him, in a stay-humble attempt to argue his party could have an effect whatever the results.

Now, with polls placing the NDP in second place - but still far behind the Conservatives - the Layton campaign is clearly feeling euphoria, and Mr. Layton is peppering speeches with references to himself as the winner.

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About the Author
Chief political writer

Campbell Clark has been a political writer in The Globe and Mail’s Ottawa bureau since 2000. Before that he worked for The Montreal Gazette and the National Post. He writes about Canadian politics and foreign policy. More

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