The latest Harris Decima poll cements a robust NDP, now at 34%(33% Apr 30) compared to the Conservatives at 30%(unchanged) and the Liberals at 20%(unchanged). Without seeing the internals we can surmise they remain much the same as the previous offering, wherein the NDP had a massive lead in Quebec, competitive for first in Ontario and strong in British Columbia. You have to be careful with early leadership polls, people will recall the Liberals temporarily vaulting to first in the aftermath of Dion, then Ignatieff, only to see numbers erode in fairly quick order. However, I'm prepared to posit this NDP "honeymoon", "bounce", is somewhat different and fully expect it to hold for a number of reasons.
I fully expect Conservative Mulcair attack ads to begin soon, but the absence to date is telling in the sense there is no obvious target here, easy shots don't readily come to mind. Particularly in Quebec, I'm hard pressed to see any reason for people to abandon Mulcair and the NDP, look elsewhere, at least short term. The NDP have a base, which I argue will hold, given the leader, his environmental credentials, as well as a lack of compelling alternatives.
It's been a tough few months for the Harper government, perhaps the longest sustained period of negativity I can recall. The Conservatives sit at 30%, which is basically bottom since the right united, further erosion unlikely. Beyond that core support, there is serious trouble however, one can even posit these Conservative may be passing their "best before date" as a government, the signs are readily available. What is interesting in the polling, analysis does show softer Conservative support bleeding to the NDP. Traditional voter movement in some regions of Canada, but quite noteworthy elsewhere, an emerging new dynamic which speaks to an evolving NDP. That voters fed up with the Conservative regime are now turning to the NDP, this suggests a new found resilience for the NDP. Played correctly, there is an opportunity here for the NDP to solidify any public perception change. In other words- unsettling to we Liberals- the NDP are becoming the defacto alternative in the minds of Canadians, an angle that deserves particular attention, old trends are breaking down in fundamental ways.
I am not suggesting no future "wane" in NDP support, nor am I naive enough to believe these Conservatives don't have the capacity for rebound. As well, Liberals do have an opportunity with this looming leadership, if realities are properly digested, it could provide a springboard to shake up the current predicament. That said, I don't view recent polling as a blip, I expect the NDP to remain within range of the Conservatives. I don't see a temporary honeymoon, at least not in the historic sense, there is something a bit more substantive occurring in the land...