Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Can anyone other than Topp or Mulcair win?

The NDP leadership race is one member, one vote.   This means that mass sign ups of members matter a lot more than anything else in the race.  Everything really depends on who has the best on the ground campaign to get new members signed up.   I see little or no evidence that any campaign other than those of Topp and Mulcair have any serious sign ups going on.

The one member, one vote means that it does not matter where you sign up the members.   You could sign up 50,000 people in PEI and have a decent chance of winning.   There is no need to build a stronger party when signing up members.

The party will allow people to join up until February 18th.

Realistically there is little or no room for more membership in BC.   If the three major leadership campaigns last year could not sign up the people, there is no chance that any federal leadership campaign has much hope of new mass sign ups.

The biggest increases to date have been in Quebec and Ontario.   Their gains from October to November were a combined 7360 members.  

Because the NDP has not been a major party provincially or federally in Ontario or Quebec, there has been no large base of existing members.   With the Orange Crush the party is now a major party.  It should be much easier to sign up more members, a lot more members.  

I can not see a scenario in which Thomas Mulcair does not sign up a huge number of members in Quebec.   30,000 Quebec members is reasonable target.

In Ontario I am not sure who is leading in the sign ups.   My gut tells me it is Topp, Mulcair and then Nash a distant third.   I see Ontario adding another 25,000 members.

Total new sign ups in the campaign - I am estimating it will be about 75,000.  Almost all of those people will be voting for Mulcair or Topp.   They will also represent around 45% of the potential voters but because they were convinced to join by one of the campaigns, they are more likely to come out and vote.   My estimate is that the new sign ups will represent about 55-60% of the vote.

It is the new members that will decide the next leader of the NDP and since over 80% of them will come from Mulcair or Topp, no one else has any chance at all, the gap between second and third will be huge.

It is still months to go to the vote, but here is how I think it will turn out:

  1. Brian Topp - 47,000
  2. Thomas Mulcair - 43,000
  3. Peggy Nash - 12,500
  4. Robert Chisholm - 3000
  5. Niki Ashton - 1600
  6. Paul Dewar - 1400
  7. Romeo Saganash - 800
  8. Nathan Cullen - 700
  9. Martin Singh - 100

I actually think we will see at least some of the bottom six candidates drop out of the race.  I assume they will be heavily courted by the top three to drop out and endorse one of them.


Ian said...

Having just attended the BC NDP convention, Nathan Cullen and Peggy Nash definitely have a lot of support within the current membership here (as well as Topp and Mulcair obviously). Dewar is also starting to build a bit of momentum nationally. is tracking endorsements - which admittedly don't always mirror members - as a way of identifying supporters.

I don't see Chisholhm doing well. Most recognize the need for a bilingual leader and his French just won't be there in time. I think he will be one of the first to drop out (once the Maritime membership potential is tapped out).

Niki Ashton may also be able to convince enough <30 year olds to sign up to shift the demographics a bit. Enough may even sign up to put her into top 4 in the first round.

Anonymous said...

Important to note that BC memberships signed up for the provincial race are going to mostly expire before the federal vote. So those members would need to be re-signed up. Also to note that the BC process had very little time available for sign-ups (just a couple weeks after Christmas) so there might still be room for fresh recruiting in BC.

Bernard said...

As I understand it, there is a grace period on the memberships. I do not know what the details are and what you can do. I can also not find anything within the rules of the NDP that makes it clear how these recently lapsed members will be dealt with.

I can not get any sense of any of the leadership teams other than Mulcair or Topp having the team in place to sign up members. If Gordon Campbell signed up 100,000 people in BC to the NDP, he could win the race. Sign ups are all that really matters in this race.