Has it ever been so good to be a New Democrat?

- June 16th, 2012

I can’t think of a time in the party’s 50-year history when it’s likely  been more fun to be a New Democrat. And by “fun”, I mean holding the levers of power or being close to holding the levers of power. I realize there are some New Democrats who believe the federal party are becoming a bunch of vendus, that under Thomas Mulcair the party is ready to sacrifice its founding socialist principles just to form a government.

But I’ll leave that debate for the next NDP convention.

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair in the House of Commons

YES, PRIME MINISTER? A new poll shows NDP leader Thomas Mulcair would be PM if a vote were held today. In this picture, he receives a standing ovation from his caucus during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa June 12, 2012.(REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

In the meantime, there’s a poll out from Forum Research this morning that has some remarkable results. Forum’s survey indicates that, if an election were held today, 37 per cent of those surveyed would vote NDP, that’s a full seven percentage points ahead of the 30 per cent support enjoyed by Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and well ahead of the leaderless Liberals who are at 22 per cent.

The poll of 1,529 Canadians was done by phone on Thursday, the day the The Great Budget Battle of 2012 would end.

[UPDATE FRI JUN 22: Ipsos Reid is out with a poll that shows the same trend albeit with some slightly different numbers. Ipsos online poll found NDP support at 38 per cent -- higher than Forum -- but found Tory support at 35 per cent, much higher than Forum. Meanwhile, Ipsos found far fewer Liberals -- 18 % -- than Forum. ]

The National Post this morning in presenting Forum’s results also presents a seat prediction based on its polling and here’s the breakdown (You’ll have to buy a hard copy of the Post and flip to page 4. Forum has its numbers posted here.)

 Forum Research seat projection graphicNow, already on Twitter, some are chirping at me that this is no big deal, that the next general election is four years away, that no party is in campaign mode and that the Liberals don’t even have a permanent leader. All that is certainly true and is important context. But take a look at this poll and consider all that you’ve heard in the last week or month about how the Conservatives are unbeatable unless the Liberals and NDP merge. Now take a look at the seat projection. Do you still think that the NDP can’t get the job done on its own?
And remember the last time we saw one side of the political spectrum merge in order to present a more credible threat to the other side? That would have been the days of the Reform/Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives. Anyone point me to any poll which showed the Reform or Alliance 7 points up on Jean Chretien’s Liberals at any point in time? Exactly. Reform back then peaked at about where the Liberals are today. And they were the dominant or more popular right-wing party!
So I would suggest polls like this that continue to show the NDP ahead of or tied with the federal Conservatives make left-wing merger talk irrelevant to the point of silly.
And it’s not just all peaches and cream at the federal level.
Forum this week also released a poll about how British Columbians are feeling about who should be running the show in Victoria. Answer: Adrian Dix and the BC NDP by a long shot. In fact, Forum found that 50 per cent of those polled in B.C. would vote NDP and that would give Dix 78 of the legislature’s 87 seats. The B.C. Liberals, led (for now) by Premier Christy Clark would lose official party status in this scenario. That Forum poll was followed up by a poll from Ipsos Reid which found similar levels of support for Dix and the BC NDP (48%) although Ipsos found slightly more encouraging results for the BC Libs, pegging them at 29 per cent.
And, of course, New Democrats have majority governments in Manitoba and Nova Scotia. In Ontario, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath may even win her game of chicken with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal minority government and even out on The Rock, the NDP is, for the first time ever, a whisker away from being the Official Opposition to Premier Kathy Dunderdale’s Progressive Conservatives.

Categories: Politics

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17 comments

  1. Observant says:

    Since most of the Liberal soft lefty “Red Grits” have swung over to the NDP over the last 8 years, all that’s left in the lugubrious Liberal party is opportunists and Blue Grits who are too confused to identify with the Conservatives.

    Perhaps the Blue Grits will flip over to the Tories once they come to the grim realization that the NDP could form the next government and Canada again controlled from Quebec.

    After the long running Liberal governments, Canada has had a dose of Conservative rule. Will they rebel and flock over to the NDP for a dose of socialism?

    Conservative right, socialist left… PTDs… Politically Transmitted Diseases? Oh for the healthy comfort of the Liberal nothing centre!

  2. “(This makes) left-wing merger talk irrelevant to the point of silly.” I don’t see what’s so silly about insuring these Cons don’t have another 5 years in government. I’d support a merger w/ the Rino party if I thought if would free us from Harper’s shackles…

  3. Kate says:

    This is very much what the legislature would have looked like had the Harper party not cheated in three consecutive elections.

  4. Anne Streeter says:

    At last – something to get excited about! Wonderful news.

  5. Dale says:

    Has it ever been so good to be a NDP??? Well. How about 1986 when Gallup reported the NDP at 40%, number one in the polls? That was when Maclean’s magazine had a feature article with a picture of Ed Broadbent and the headline “Canada’s next PM?” And another article on who would be in Broadbent’s cabinet. The national press gallery seems to have a short memory or suffers from bad research. Two years later in 1988 Broadbent had to unpack the 24 Sussex moving vans when the PC’s won a majority government and the Liberals finished in second place, NDP third. But don’t let some historical context get in the way of a sensational story!

  6. Lynn farmer says:

    We are in deep trouble if the NDP get to form our gov’t. We will end up like Greece, Spain and all the ones that have a socialist gov’t. Personal taxes out of control, debt that will passed onto our children. Big Unions.

    NO TO A NDP GOV’T!!!!

  7. Frederick Oliver says:

    I’d support a merger of the left with Elizabeth May as it’s leader.

  8. J_J says:

    All this speculation and glee about the poll results amuses me.

    I seem to remember how a week before the election, the media were happily speculating about Prime Minister Layton and who would be in his cabinet. But we all know what really happened on May 2, 2011.

    Sure, the NDP *might* have a 7 point lead or advantage of some sort. But 3 years is a long time. The CPC could drop further down. OR, as we have seen many times, incumbent parties regaining strength later on.

    I think one of Harper’s assets is that he’s so often underestimated. I remember talking to a Liberal who told me, Harper will never win government. He won a minority in 2006. Then it was: Harper will never win a majority. He got it in 2011.

    Will Harper win another term in 2015? Count him and the CPC out at your own mistake.

  9. ed says:

    He mentions Manitoba having a majority NDP but fails to mention that Manitoba is the highest taxed province west of quebec with stagnant growth , record structural deficit, uinion friendly, anti-business policies and high crime. They only won majority because the The PC didn’t differentiate themselves and tried to out do the NDP in the election buy outspending. Manitoba is a perpetual have-not province that relies on handouts from Otttawa to balance its budget. If you want to see how an NDP government would run a country than look at Manitoba.

  10. Dennis says:

    I’ll be damned to believe 1050 ppl polled in quebec and bc are the pulse of the whole country. I am very disappointed by david promoting a bogus poll

  11. Jim says:

    If the NDP ever get into a majority in Ottawa,God help this country.If you think things are bad now wait until after 4 or 5 years with them in power.

  12. Ryan Painter says:

    It certainly feels great having worked hard on so many campaigns against really long odds to finally have hit the right note with Canadian voters. They see in our party a willingness to listen to Canadians and therein lies the difference between the NDP on one side and the governing Conservatives on the other. We offer a party that is inclusive and allows debate and fundamentally BELIEVES in democratic values. The governing party on the other hand believes in secrecy, doesn’t trust the electorate and seems to be portraying parliament and the democracy for which it stands is a nuisance. Yes, 2015 will be a heck of a battle, but one the NDP will win.

  13. Nick J "Teddy" Boragina says:

    The NDP has been far far higher in the polls in the past (from 1987-1992 in particular)

  14. Koreen Scott says:

    Thank you David. Finally a ray of sunshine!
    I agree with Ryan Painter. We always seem to be fighting the odds. But seems that might be changing.
    I think that “The Great Budget Battle of 2012″ touched a lot of people.
    The outstanding efforts of the Elizabeth May, the NDP and Liberals were well supported and will not be forgotten.
    Neither will the stubborness and arrogance of Harper with his majority, refusing to listen to anyone who didn’t agree with all that was in that huge bill.
    Some things cannot be undone and I think that the event of last week will have a lasting impact.

  15. Observant says:

    To: Ryan Painter…. but the NDP is not fit to govern because they are filled with incompetents and old dog socialists who have only been fattening up their gold-plated parliamentary pensions all at the expense of the beleaguered Canadian taxpayer. They just belong to the upper 1%.

    The NDP caucus is filled with Quebec misfits and closet separatists while the remainder of the NDP veterans are just a rump within the NDP.

    Perhaps you cling to the hope that the RoC will succumb to the Dipper Orange koolaid in the next election ladled out by Thomas (Tom in the RoC) Mulcair!!

    Think again, because that would mean true and loyal Canadians in the RoC would be supporting another RC lawyer from Quebec as prime minister. Very doubtful, even with all your principled claims.

    Sorry… just not fit to govern Canada.

  16. Chris says:

    Any reason why the National Post hasn’t put this online? Are they trying to bury this poll?

  17. Nick J "Teddy" Boragina says:

    The NDP has more often than not been ahead of the Tories in polls for the past few months.

Comments are closed.