With Louise Harel throwing her hat into the ring for this fall's mayoral race, the stage is set for a nasty war between nationalist francophones on one side and a rainbow coalition of francophone federalists, ethnics and anglos on the other side.
The first straw poll taken by Montreal's CFCF channel 12 last night indicated that the battle lines are clear. Harel is going to get zero support in the anglo and ethnic communities.
If Mayor Tremblay plays his cards right and convinces the ethnics and anglos to vote en masse , he'll overcome his disastrous performance of late. For the mayor, Mme. Harel is like manna from heaven, he couldn't ask for a better opponent.
This election will the most negative campaign ever undertaken in Montreal, complete with attack ads and dirty tricks.
There will be but one central issue. Will the sovereignists or the federalists run the city. Nothing else will matter.
Municipal elections have historically low voter turnout rates. The winning side will be the one who convinces their constituency that the sky is falling.