Thursday, April 21, 2011

Orange Wave

At some point a blip, becomes a trend, becomes a wave, we are now in the latter as it relates to the NDP. I'm approaching this post as a Canadian, not a Liberal, because to be quite honest, any development that signifies a weakened Bloc, no longer holding Canadian politics hostage, is completely positive in my books. I'll leave my political thoughts for what has transpired for a later date, but right now any student of history has to be amazed to see the tectonic shifts now occurring in Quebec. Still a question of voter booth manifestation, hesitations about actually seats, but something is afoot in Quebec, and it is now having national ramifications.

The CROP poll may peg NDP support a tad high, unlike others, I've never taken it as the "gospel" poll for Quebec. That said, CROP really isn't different, in the sense all the polls show an NDP gaining traction. That Duceppe is now consumed with Layton, tells you all you need to know about the polls, the NDP may well have reached that "tipping point", wherein some buzz, leads to more attention, and the cyclical momentum just feeds to a frenzy. Looking at this morning's Nanos, you can see how buzz in Quebec, positive news stories about one region can spill elsewhere. a party on the move in one province, never a bad thing elsewhere, particularly for a party always fighting for ink.

I suspect we will see a few more shifts in the final days of this campaign, but tearing off my partisan sheath here, I'm honestly excited that someone is actually threatening the Bloc in this way, it's about bloody time. Certain NDP flirtations disturb me, pandering policies just that, but on balance a NDP MP is a tremendous improvement over a Bloc MP, in some many ways. I still haven't fully digested how this rapid NDP rise affects our political order moving forward, but there is no question it is BEYOND fascinating to watch unfold. The blip, become a trend and now we are witnessing a wave, it's what every war room must dream about... Let's see where it goes, but there is no longer any denying it's real and firming up as well.

50 comments:

Scott @ Prog Blog said...

http://ipolitics.ca/2011/04/21/ndp-surges-in-quebec-bloc-quebecois-dropping/

That's Ekos confirming CROP. CPC is much lower in Ekos poll

Steve V said...

Amazing!

sharonapple88 said...

I wonder how much of this might be the result of the hard-line the PQ took during their convention.

The NDP's numbers look good regionally except in Ontario. It's going to be a wild ride. (No surprise, when Ignatieff was in B.C. he got a bump.)

And as a possible antidote to all of this... an article on the fickleness of polls.

Sean Cummings said...

Anyone doing seat projections for Quebec and then national based on these numbers? Looking for a link....

Tof KW said...

The NDP is going to be under the spotlight now. Harper will also have to take direct aim at Layton, as these EKOS numbers are not good for the Conservatives in trying to hold all 11 seats in Quebec. In the past his ally was a strong NDP splitting the vote, now this poll shows him losing seats in Quebec directly to the NDP.

One other positive from this, Duceppe will be sweating now and must campaign like never before. Up to this point he's been taking it very lazily, barely leaving the Montreal area. But now, his party's existence may be at stake if this holds up.

Steve V said...

KW

Bit of a mixed bag actually, NDP take mostly from Bloc, so there are a couple seats where this benefits Cons. Libs also probably can hold their seats, because their vote is concentrated. How this doesn't work for the Cons, if we NDP replace Bloc seats, the Libs can hold strong in Ont, then his coalition threats have less resonance.

Steve V said...

sharon

Maybe, but I think Bloc weakness has been apparent since the beginning of the campaign. A good Layton debate, a spark, and as can happen in Quebec, it explodes. NDP filling a vacuum here. Now can it hold?

janfromthebruce said...

Thank you Steve

Steve V said...

Your welcome, and just remember you aren't capable of the same in reverse. I actually think the NDP have ran a disgraceful campaign this election :)

sharonapple88 said...

Maybe, but I think Bloc weakness has been apparent since the beginning of the campaign. A good Layton debate, a spark, and as can happen in Quebec, it explodes. NDP filling a vacuum here. Now can it hold?

It might. People were surprised by the NDP when they won in Ontario back in the nineties. Bob Rae's popularity was enough to sweep the province back then.

I just hope this doesn't split the vote in other regions.

Tof KW said...

Agreed Steve, if the Libs can at least keep up to the CPC numbers and hold the NDP In ONT - then this has become a very interesting election. NDP growing everywhere else benefits you in getting rid of Harper.

Steve V said...

Who said this was going to be a boring election?

bigcitylib said...

Forum says NDP as official opposition in Minority parliament. Libs tanking everywhere.

http://www.thehilltimes.ca/dailyupdate/view/jack_finds_his_groove_ndp_in_reach_of_official_opposition_says_new_forum_research_poll_04-21-2011

Steve V said...

Yep, it's ugly.

Dame said...

I don't see the "legs" in NDP what could make it really big . in other words just a flash...
a sweet dream for alot of people..

Duceppe was "halfway"out and people were looking for alternative...

sharonapple88 said...

. I actually think the NDP have ran a disgraceful campaign this election :)
They've been pounding on the Liberals on the second half. So much about trying to replace the Conservatives. Right now we're in a position that will just allow for another Conservative government.

Steve V said...

sharon

The dippers whine like crazy when the Libs dare mention the NDP and yet here we are AGAIN, more NDP attack ads, Layton's stump obsessing about the Libs. I am okay with Quebec developments from a non partisan perspective, but the NDP are complete hypocrites, have been forever, it's just a fact. This is why I don't want any praise for silly partisans.

Tof KW said...

Dame said...
I don't see the "legs" in NDP what could make it really big . in other words just a flash

Remember Mario Dumont and the ADQ were 'just a flash' as well ...a flash that grew to just a few seats shy of becoming the provincial government. That's the way Quebec works.

Tof KW said...

By the way, a good thing for the Liberals right now. Seems Ignatieff was booked to appear on Tout le Monde en Parle this Sunday. That's a huge show in Quebec, with almost 2 million viewers. I've even watched from time to time, though I have to turn my TV's closed captioning on to catch things ...my French has deteriorated greatly since I left.

Remember not all is doom and gloom for the Grits here, that EKOS poll shows the Bloc & CPC dropping, with the LPC moving up - in range to compete against the Bloc for 2nd. That also has huge ramifications for this election.

Steve V said...

My question is why is Ignatiff on that show NOW and not three weeks ago? I'll never figure out the lack of urgency.

JohnH said...

I put this in your previous post just before this one went up but it seems more relevant here and is updated. So EKOS, Nanos Angus Reid (and now Forum research)have now all shown a basic statistical tie between the Liberals and NDP NATIONALLY in their latest polls. Three of these polls have us below our 2008 number and Nanos' is our worst number yet of the campaign so far with them. You still think Jack's leadership numbers aren't affecting voting intentions as you said in the previous post?

I think it's past time the Liberals start attacking the NDP. Ignatieff is in Westmount Ville Marie today according to the Globe and that happens to be one of the few places the NDP actually were targeting in Quebec so that would be a good place to start.

I know there's no chance of the NDP actually winning more seats than the Libs on May 2nd (despite Forum and probably soon Ekos' projections), but the optics of a national tie between the Libs and NDP certainly don't help our ability to close our gap on the Cons. We need to get back to having a closer gap between Libs and Cons than between us and NDP. So time for the kids gloves to come off towards Layton in my view. Based off Tim Powers' column I can guess that the Tories will leave Layton alone, so it falls to us to knock him back down again.

Steve V said...

"You still think Jack's leadership numbers aren't affecting voting intentions as you said in the previous post?"

Never said that in the absolute sense you posit, and if his numbers were completely applicable, he'd be on the cusp of a landslide majority. There is still a disconnect there, so I put less stock in that measure relative to others.

Dana said...

What a perfect scenario. Harper must be drooling.

JohnH said...

Ok fair point, but I think we have to drive down his numbers now to drive down the NDP vote. It hurts our "we are the only party that can replace Stephen Harper" argument when multiple polls show a national tie.

We can point to regionals and how the Libs would stil have more seats but I think more people pay attention to the top line national numbers than the regionals so it's bad optics. So again playing nice with Layton should be over. I mean their platform wasn't even 30 pages, he makes lots of hypocritical points, some of his policies are very ill thought out (capping credit card rate) or unaffordable (taking HST off home heating), surely we can knock him back down again no?

Steve V said...

I agree, if you are taking fire you return it twice as forceful. Ignatieff was still way to polite about it all today for my liking.

JohnH said...

Yeah well hopefully he becomes more forceful, I just hope there's not actually a real belief in what Trudeau said, that these are just parked votes (much like the Greens are said to be) and that the NDP can't win more than 1 seat in Quebec. In fairness to Trudeau the comments were yesterday but it was a worrying tone that seemed not to grasp the competition on the Liberals doorstep. I hope that kind of thought is not pervasive. Time to get tough like they have been getting with us for a couple weeks now.

Steve V said...

People have never fully grasped the threat, but I'll leave that for post mortems, not it's just a matter of scrambling. The Libs can hold their seats in QC, but growth is pretty much gone now.

CK said...

I took a look over at 308.com riding by riding seat projections today and read Grenier's post today. He doesn't see this new NDP poll surge translating to more seats. Only 2 seats for Quebec projected: Mulcair keeps his and Francoise Boivin would probably take Gatineau.

Why is the Bloc slumping?

I can think of two reasons. One is that Pauline Marois just won her leadership review in the PQ. Although, she is still quite unpopular and we saw within days that the knives are still indeed out for her. The PQ is projected to win the next provincial election come 2012/13, which can sometimes mean federalist parties at the federal level would prevail, for balance.

Another scenario, albeit more unlikely, is that if Francois Legault's new movement were to say, merge with the ADQ or take over their leadership, he could win the next provincial election. A small-c party. Again, a party who's views on the federalism v sovereignty debate is ambiguous at best. Again, that would go to balance.

Steve V said...

It's not a huge seat shift, but look what all the attention is doing elsewhere, it's creating a sense of momentum and it's now spilling to other regions.

Tof KW said...

Why is the Bloc slumping?


CK - I think what is happening in Quebec, and it's something I was watching for going on 15 years now, is that the 'Quiet Revolution' types that remember the old pseudo-fascist Union Nationale government and the Asbestos strike of 1949 ...are dieing. Even the ones too young to recall those times, but were exposed to the overall sentiments, are quite old now too.

What you have in their place are a large group of young, self-assured Francophones, and more multicultural in nature. The times before the Quiet Revolution are ancient history to them. Their main topic for discussion is not sovereignty; it's jobs, the economy and making a better Quebec for their children.

The BQ and the Péquistes talk about referendums, while they wonder about whether their kids will have any choice in post-secondary education language other that French ...killing any chance of them working outside the province. The PQ is pushing this, but most parents recognize what this will do, and do not approve.

Likewise if Legault does become the leader of a new centre-right party in Quebec (Lucien Bouchard is a part of this BTW - remember before he became a sovereigntist, he was a Tory) I likewise see Pauline Marois and the PQ tanking badly in the next Quebec election. No one wants her or referendums, rather les Quebecois just want a competent scandal-free government to provide new opportunities for their kids.

This is why the BQ vote was soft. The Liberals had a chance to plant seeds and negotiate a new federalism to the youth of Quebec (I posted about this in past comments here if anyone cares to look) but they left Quebec alone. I'll give credit to Layton and Mulcair, yes they're scoring with soft-nationalists ...but they've tapped into the sentiments of the new Quebec.

BTW - so did Harper in 2006, which is how he got a toehold in Quebec. If these new sentiments were any greater back then (and the BQ wasn't able to capitalize on Adscam) he might have got his majority 5 years ago.

xyz said...

Merger Merger Merger! Harper must be laughing his ass off. How the hell are we supposed to take him down when the opposition party is fighting off attacks both from their left and the right. I mean it's not even a fair fight anymore due to the massive financial and now structural advantage that the tories enjoy. There is no win for Iggy in this, if he goes on offensive on Layton it just underscores how terrible this election turned out... instead of challanging Harper for the PM he is down to warding off the NDP.

My question is will the left be able to set its egos aside to merge after the massive tory win that is clearly coming our way. I would hope so but I'm not holding my breath

Tof KW said...

xyz, too late for that now. If Layton continues attacking the Libs to make Ontario a vote-splitting nightmare, then I can see the CPC sweeping most of the 106 ridings there.

Harper is laughing right now, this is his dream scenario.

sharonapple88 said...

The latest bit -- fining MPs $1000 for missed votes. Ignatieff should write a check for $1000 for a charity, then say, "All right, now we've got that out of the way, let's talk about the issues."

Dame said...

Today it looks like Harper is going to be the only winner... and we can thank jack AGAIN....
the he can be beatified...

JohnH said...

This whole "Jack Layon can't be Prime Minister so don't vote for him" schtick has got to stop and be replaced with legitimate critcisms of his actions and policies (of which there is A LOT to criticize). We may want to pretend it isn't happening but all it takes is one pollster projecting the NDP ahead of the Libs in seats and all of a sudeen people might start thinking "why can't Jack be PM if Ignatieff still thinks he can be?"

We've got to have better and more substantive attacks in our arsenal. There's still time to drive the NDP down while simultanesouly catching up to the Tories. We can walk and chew gum at the same time can't we? Layton has sure mastered the two prong attack and he's not about to let up.

Steve V said...

sharon

I've sort of had enough of this lame NDP attack. If Ignatieff just missed votes that is one thing, but he was out holding townhalls, meeting Canadians, running around the country. It's not like any votes mattered to be honest, but the NDP are just manipulating the optics, he's the leader of a party, he should be OUT OF OTTAWA. What's more important, talking to you and me or sitting in Question Period?

Steve V said...

John

You're right, take the gloves off, that platform is a total joke that nobody can confirm, it's the stuff of unicorns. Forget this abstract arguments, let's get down to it- do you trust the NDP with the economy? Answer a RESOUNDING NO. Stop playing nice and fight for your lives.

Tof KW said...

What's more important, talking to you and me or sitting in Question Period?

Steve, you're right. I'm no expert on debating, but when Layton came up with that truancy bit during the debates - my instantaneous reaction to it was to turn right around to Jack and say:

"I was meeting with real Canadians to get out of the Ottawa bubble and find out their concerns about the future. Missing Question Period just didn't seem more important than that."

Why couldn't Iggy do that if I could figure it out?

Steve V said...

KW

Ha. I thought the same thing as soon as Layton said it. It was such an easy retort, troubled me Iggy didn't nail him back. Now we have ads, every NDP stooge reciting, Layton promising fines...

Steve V said...

EKOS projection shows 9 more Lib/NDP seats than Cons, so the idea that this works for the gov't might be misplaced, it could make a coalition more palatable, don't need Bloc, which is chief irritant.

JohnH said...

A coalition with that combined number is definitely easy to sell, but unfortunately was ruled out.

A think a Liberal minority with only 80 some seats would be a tough sell not only to the public, but the NDP. If the NDP had 60 seats why wouldn't they demand cabinet seats in exchange for support?

This is why we've got to drive back down their numbers and move those people back to us. I think if we got 100 seats then I think a Liberal minority with no coalition is easier to pull off, after all that's what Harper was willing to do in 2004 with 100 seats.

Möbius said...

I would offer my hearty congrats to any MP, NDP, Lib, or CPC, who takes a seat away from the Bloc.

As a former Quebecker, my dislike for the BQ knows no bounds.

Möbius said...

Of course, the NDP vote frequently amounts to almost nothing, with our FPTP system.

Möbius said...

I'm quite confused about the dynamics of this shift. I expected the NDP to suffer in this election, with the apparent movement of the Libs to the left, corporate tax increases, fighter jet squabbles, etc., which hurts them with Red Tories, but should help them with Dippers.

I guessed 100% wrong, but then I expected there would be no election this spring either, thus cementing my inability to predict anything.

Maybe Ignatieff is not a credible lefty.

Steve V said...

The NDP was suffering, their numbers in Ontario were lower than I've seen, weakness in B.C and Atl. I talked about Bloc fatigue very early, the polls showed weakness. After the debate, the NDP were legitimized, Layton had momentum and they've filled the vacuum. Now we are seeing surges everywhere, but it's all because of the Quebec buzz, all the attention, which has turned a listless campaign elsewhere into a sudden rush. This is why campaigns are unpredictable, the NDP looked dead, Layton looked tired, their policies were rehash, but a bit of traction in Quebec, media focus, and whamo whamo.

Möbius said...

Layton always impresses in the debates, because he's pretty skillful at them. And because he's not really running for the top job, despite what he says.

I don't recall anything but short-lived boosts in the polls in any previous election.

Möbius said...

By contrast, Elizabeth May and the Greens have had a horrible campaign, by any standard. $1.40 a litre gas and a frigid April may have something to do with it.

Miles Lunn said...

Certainly would allow the NDP to break Ed Broadbent's record of 43 seats, although outside Quebec their support is pretty much the same as last time around so unless things change there I doubt much will change in English Canada. Since the NDP cannot form government, they don't have the ability to alienate Quebec the way the Tories did. By the same token eliminating the Bloc Quebecois would create an easier path for a majority government for both parties. Quebec is more left leaning than the rest of Canada so with the Liberals weak in Western Canada and unable to sweep Ontario due a united right, this gives them an opportunity to pick up many seats that were unwinneable in future elections. For the Tories, it may be more difficult, but considering how well they do in rural regions in English Canada, it would at least make winning a majority a bit easier.

Chris said...

There is a huge risk that negative attack ads at this point would turn off voters and drive more people to the NDP, who will probably stay positive for the remainder of the campaign. You have to keep in mind that more Liberal voters choose the NDP as their 2nd choice than NDP voters that choose the Liberals. Layton has attacked the Liberals, but he's focused on their record, and done it with humour. I'm not sure how the Liberals could do the same with the NDP.

Steve V said...

Well they're doing it right now and it's about time! It's funny how people say attack ads can work for everyone EXCEPT the Libs. I don't buy it for a second, sorry.