Liberals say they'll fly again despite a new poll suggesting they've had their wings clipped.
The same Ipsos Reid survey says a majority of NDP and Liberal supporters suggested a merger would be the best route to defeat the Conservatives.
The poll, conducted June 5 and 7, found 56% of Canadians -- 19% strongly, 38% somewhat -- agreed with the statement the Liberal Party is a "party of the past, not a party of the future." Among Liberal party supporters, 79% said their party will rebound.
As well, the poll of 1,010 Canadians found 41% of respondents would be OK with the NDP and Liberal merging into one party. For party supporters, that number jumped with 64% of Liberals, and 57% of NDPers saying they'd support a merger.
But both parties denied they'd be willing to discuss such a cozy relationship.
David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data, said he's not surprised supporters would favour a merger, which is different from party activists.
"Why would New Democrats want to get in bed with a party whose brand is so weak?" Coletto said. "They have just come off an historic breakthrough. I'd say they'd want to try winning on their own before they give up on the dream."
With the NDP statistically tied with the Conservatives, the Liberals are counting on decisions Wednesday by the party's executive to set rules for a five-month leadership race many hope will breathe some life into the brand.
Bob Rae has been babysitting since Michael Ignatieff quit after the 2011 election drubbing.
It's expected Rae will be permitted to run, but he'll have to break a promise last year not to campaign. The executive is expected to nudge him to step down almost immediately if he runs.
This would allow caucus to pick his replacement before MPs scatter at the end of next week when Parliament goes on hiatus.
Liberals are counting on a race to build excitement and momentum for a party in need of a jolt.
Many put on a brave face when asked about the Ipsos Reid poll.
"I wouldn't be here if I thought the Liberals were a party of the past," House leader Marc Garneau said. "I am a Liberal to the core and I do believe that while we've made some mistakes in the past that we are very much a party of the future as well."