If the NDP, the Liberals, or the Tories win the by-election in Toronto-Danforth, Parliament will get another back bencher and the balance of power won’t shift one iota. But if the Greens win, they’ll immediately double their presence on the Hill.
The odds aren’t great. It was only last year that a careful riding choice and a skillful concentration of scarce party resources helped leader Elizabeth May become the first Green elected to Parliament. Toronto-Danforth isn’t likely to be the site of the party’s next success: it being the riding of the late NDP icon Jack Layton, it has been an NDP stronghold since 2004.