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Hampstead mayor calling on Liberal MP Housefather to cross floor to Conservatives


Hampstead Mayor Jeremy Levi is predicting that the federal Liberals could lose much of the Jewish vote in the Mount-Royal riding and go Conservative in the next federal election.

The riding has been a Liberal stronghold since 1940, but Levi believes Justin Trudeau's party's hold on the riding has been put into question because of the last six months and an NDP-led vote on Palestinian statehood last week.

MP Anthony Housefather currently holds the seat that Irwin Cotler held before him and Pierre Elliot Trudeau before him.

"With Anthony on a Conservative ticket, I believe it would be a Conservative riding," said Levi. "This riding is now a swing riding and if we push it the right way, I believe it will go blue, it will go Conservative."

Housefather said recently he's now reflecting on his future with the Liberals and Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre visited the riding on Sunday. Poilievre got a rousing reception when he spoke to a packed Congregation Beth Israel Beth Aaron in Cote-St-Luc.

"We will continue to stand up for the right of Israel to defend itself," said Poilivre during his speech. "We will reject any motions and resolutions before the United Nations that unfairly target the Jewish state."

He said when he visits mosques, he tells the people that he is a friend of the state of Israel and that "we can no longer have this business of saying one thing to one group and a completely different thing to another group."

The crowd of around 1,400 repeatedly cheered throughout his speech.

For Levi, a Conservative win under Housefather would mean more prominence for the riding in the next government.

"I think what will resonate with a lot of people is that if Anthony does cross the floor, nobody can tell the future, but from public perception, that seems like it would be an obvious fit for a cabinet position and everybody would love to have an MP in their riding in cabinet."

The poll monitoring site has the Liberals with a 46 per cent to 31 per cent lead of the vote in the riding, but if Housefather crosses the floor, as Levi is urging him to do, that could change. Top Stories

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