NDP with more seats than the Liberals?

Well, this projection at The Mace is certainly attention grabbing: “if an election were held tomorrow, the NDP have a 95.2% chance of winning more seats than the Liberals.” They also show the combined NDP-Liberal seat total as greater than the Conservatives’ (81+73 vs. 131).

Now that would be interesting.

I still am suspicious that the NDP surge, now confirmed in many polls, could be another Cleggmania bounce that will wither. On the other hand, Layton has been around a while, so we can’t say the NDP surge is as much a popular excitement with the unfamiliar, as was the case with Clegg.

2 thoughts on “NDP with more seats than the Liberals?

  1. The pro-Liberal website Calgary Grit made a good point. Like the Conservatives, the NDP has been playing footsie with Quebec separatists, but this has not gotten much scrutiny because they have never won more than one riding in Quebec. And because they have been so weak in Quebec, and having to nominate candidates in 75 Quebec ridings, over 70 of which they have never had any hope of winning, they probably have a number of candidates with fairly alarming views that would actually get elected if their poll numbers hold up.

    If the NDP is really polling 36% in Quebec and 24% nationwide, that translates into just under 20% in the rest of Canada, good for them but not out of the range of their past performance. The weakness of the NDP in Quebec may have hurt their credibility in the rest of Canada, it is not only hard for a Canadian PM to get a majority mathematically without electing over a dozen MPs from the province, he needs some support there to have credibility in dealing with the inevitable federalist-separatist issues.

    And if the NDP surge is really due to a breakthrough in Quebec, the throwaway promise by Layton to reopen the Constitution may have something to do with that. But if that gets more scrutiny, that is not a winning position in the rest of Canada. The problem for both the Conservatives and the NDP has always been that, with the Liberal corner on the arch-federalist vote in Quebec, they have had to court soft separatists, but if they court them too much they have a problem in the Western provinces, where their support has always been stronger than elsewhere.

    The NDP leader Jack Layton apparently has cancer. This is probably OK for the leader of a third party running one last campaign, so his party can select a new leader once the election is safely out of the way and there is no danger of a new poll being called during the ridiculously lengthy (for parliamentary systems) Canadian leader selection process. It may not be OK for someone that has a good chance of becoming Prime Minister.

    Incidentally, I am an American with no fish to fry in Canadian politics, and have been sympathetic to the NDP. This post wasn’t meant to recycle alot of Liberal talking points, just to make the argument that there were real reasons preventing a NDP breakthrough in the past and I’m not sure if these reasons have gone away.

  2. All good points, Ed. Nice to see (another) American taking an interest.

    I would differ on the health issue though. Poor health, even poor mental health is rarely a disqualification in Canadian politics (e.g. MacDonald, King respectively). And in Quebec, sporting a cane seems to actually help (e.g. Bouchard)! Arguably, with Mulcair in the wings, the NDP surge in Quebec may become cemented should Layton have to retire.

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