Layton scandal not likely to sway supporters: Prof

NDP leader Jack Layton greets supporters while holding an election campaign rally in Burnaby,...

NDP leader Jack Layton greets supporters while holding an election campaign rally in Burnaby, British Columbia April 30, 2011. Canadians go to the polls in a federal election on May 2. REUTERS/Andy Clark

Jenny Yuen, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:29 PM ET

TORONTO Ė Being caught by cops at massage parlour suspected of being a bawdy house probably won't turn NDP voters against Jack Layton, says a political science professor.

Whether the incident affects Layton's campaign depends on how Canadians feel about it, said York University's Robert Drummond.

"It may have some detrimental effect in some quarters, but others will say it's not a big deal," he said.

Layton's reaction will also play a part in how his campaign continues the last few days before voters cast their ballots on Monday, Drummond said.

"It matters to some and probably doesn't help you if you're in a campaign where you've been gaining support and then something like this emerges and slows down things for him," he said.

"It depends on how he reacts. I think people who planned on going out and voting for him are less affected by it than those who weren't planning to vote for him in the first place."

Layton labelled the story a "smear campaign" and said there was no wrongdoing.

The Sex Professionals of Canada, which represents sex workers and fights for decriminalizing prostitution laws, agreed with Layton.

"We probably won't be commenting on it and it seems like a non-incident," said SPOC spokeswoman Julie Grant. "(The incident) is so old and it's coming out three days before an election, we don't want to participate in a smear campaign."

Drummond also brought up former U.S. president Bill Clinton's White House scandal as a reference.

"It didn't hurt Clinton's image, particularly with those who supported him," he said. "I don't know how it would play. Canada is a little different, but it happened 15 years ago."

jenny.yuen@sunmedia.ca


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