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Struggling against NDP tide, Duceppe tacks through swing ridings

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe gives a morning radio interview on April 28, 2011, in Riviere-du-Loup, Que.

Jacques Boissinot/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Bloc Québécois is spending the last stretch of the campaign in ridings that have swung back and forth since 2006, banking on its organizational strength to outgun the Conservatives and stop the NDP.

Leader Gilles Duceppe is making three stops Thursday morning in the riding of Montmagny-L'Islet-Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup, which was in Bloc hands from 1993 until a by-election defeat at the hands of the Conservatives in 2009.

He then heads out to the riding of Beauport-Limoilou that switched from the Bloc to Tory Sylvie Boucher in 2006. He'll end the day in Gatineau, which the Bloc took from the Liberals five years ago and where the NDP candidate is leading in the polls.

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Mr. Duceppe said the political upheaval underway in Quebec, created by the rise in NDP support, makes it hard to predict how things will turn out.

"For now, we have to mobilize our troops. We'll see what it actually changes when the final results come in," he said.

He hopes that the Bloc's long-standing organization in Quebec, including the support from unions and the provincial Parti Québécois, will have an impact on May 2.

"It's always a good thing to have the troops, to have the people organized to win D-Day," Mr. Duceppe told reporters. "We have people working very hard to convince people to go out and vote."

The Bloc campaign will stop at a cabinet-making facility in the riding of Beauport-Limoilou, in the Quebec City area. The leaders of the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party will all be in the region on the same day.

"There is a fight in Quebec City, three of us are there, which means there is something happening there. It's a very hard fight for each of us," Mr. Duceppe said.

The Bloc is spending the night in Gatineau, where it will hold campaign events Friday morning.

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Editor's note: Sylvie Boucher won the Beauport-Limoilou riding in 2006, not Arthur André. This article has been corrected.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Daniel Leblanc studied political science at the University of Ottawa and journalism at Carleton University. He became a full-time reporter in 1998, first at the Ottawa Citizen and then in the Ottawa bureau of The Globe and Mail. More

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