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.
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.)
Now, already on Twitte
r, 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.
Subscribe to the post