I must first say that it has been a pleasure in the past few weeks to follow some threads here, packed with their excitment & astonishment.
When the Layton-in-the-massage-parlour thing hit, I figured it would help him. Nanos seems to agree at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/gap-between-tories-ndp-narr... .
So the physical body of Jack Layton seems to be at the centre of this amazing campaign. His hip thing, his prostate, his moustache, his smile & demeanour, now his nakedness, and maybe above all, with his prop, his holding of the cane. (One is reminded of the successful broom imagery in Toronto ex-mayor David Miller's first campaign. What could have been props for the other leaders...?)
With health care somehow in the background generally, as well as general Canadian favouring a guy physically down but making his way up again, the body image focus has oddly done the trick.
The Harperion early anti-Ig stuff served not so much as actual personal character assassination, as reinforcement of general Canadian unease with intellectuals. While it's not anti-intellectual here as in the US, it's decidedly non-intellectual. This created further opening for a physical appeal, such as Layton's.
At the debates, which turned out to be decisive, there were really 5 participants, despite May's exclusion (and it was I believe to help the Liberals that she was excluded; her absence also much diminished potential distraction from Layton). The 5th was Layton's partner -- the cane. Note well, that Eliz. May had also undergone recent hip surgery, and hobbles...she was at the debates in a way then, wasn't she.
It is to be hoped that this will actually lead to an immediate shake-up of federal politics, not one delayed by a dreadful if still plausible majority outcome. And how might this all benefit Andrea Horwath's NDP in upcoming elections in Ontario?