Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Some thoughts on the NDP Leadership Race

There are 102 NDP MPs and 139 NDP MLAs/MPPs/MHAs for a total of 241 NDP legislators in Canada.

Of that total:
  • 7 MPs are in the running
  • 52 MPs have endorsed a candidate
  • 54 MLAs/MHAs have endorsed a candidate
  • 113 are affiliated with a campaign
  • 128 have not yet expressed a preference.
As of mid November the membership of the NDP broke out as follows - the number in the bracket is the change from October (data from Pundits Guide)
  • BC - 31456 (+1456)
  • Ontario - 25722 (+3497)
  • Manitoba - 10514 (+207)
  • Saskatchewan - 9442 (+513)
  • Alberta - 8361(-672)
  • Quebec - 5558 (+3863)
  • Nova Scotia - 2600 (+1300)
  • Newfoundland - 1184 (+984)
  • New Burnswick - est 1000
  • PEI - 169 (+34)
The NDP in BC will see a large fall in numbers shortly because the memberships of people that signed up for the BC NDP leadership race a year ago will have their membership lapse.   I have to work out the timing and see how it plays out, but BC could very well be passed by Ontario by the end of the sign up period.

How the legislators split out:
Quebec - 59 MPs
  • Thomas Mulcair - 30
  • Brian Topp - 4
  • Nicki Ashton - 3
  • Romeo Saganash - 3
  • Peggy Nash - 1
  • 18 have not endorsed
BC - 46 MPs and MLAs
  • Brian Topp - 19
  • Nathan Cullen - 5
  • Peggy Nash - 2
  • 19 have not endorsed
Manitoba - 39 MPs and MLAs
  • Paul Dewar - 11
  • Nicki Ashton - 11
  • 17 have not endorsed
Ontario - 37 MPs and MPPs
  • Thomas Mulcair - 4
  • Paul Dewar - 2
  • Peggy Nash  - 2
  • 29 have not endorsed
Nova Scotia - 34 MPs and MLAs
  • Robert Chisholm - 11
  • 23 have not endorsed
Saskatchewan - 9 MLAs
  • No one has endorsed a candidate
Newfoundland and Labrador - 7 MPs and MHAs
  • Robert Chisholm - 1
  • Peggy Nash - 1
  • 5 have not endorsed
The North - 7 MPs and MLAs
  • No one has endorsed a candidate
Alberta - 3 MPs and MLAs
  • No one has endorsed a candidate
New Brunswick - 1 MP
  • Brian Topp - 1
What I see from this is that Quebec is Thomas Mulcair, BC is Brian Topp, Nova Scotia is Robert Chisholm and Manitoba is split between Nicki Ashton and Paul Dewar.

The lead that Brian Topp has in BC is one that gives him a solid base what I suspect will be about 13% of the national vote.  Brian Topp's BC support is clearly from one faction within the NDP, he has little or no space to grow which leaves a lot of BC NDP votes still without a home.

Thomas Mulcair's lead in Quebec is great for him, but a lot more people have to join the party in the province for this to matter.   This gives him in my estimations about 5% of the national vote.

Manitoba has a decent sized member but is unlikely to grow much.   The two way split in the province means both Ashton and Dewar should get 3% each of the national vote from here.

Robert Chisholm should sweep Nova Scotia, but the membership is small.   He should get 3% of the national vote from here.

The big prize that remains clearly unclaimed is Ontario.   27% of the membership is currently in Ontario and no one seems to have a clear advantage.   29 of 35 MPs or MPPs that could have endorsed someone are currently free agents.

Saskatchewan is also an important prize and not a single MLA has come out for anyone.   I have to assume that Brian Topp will do well here, but I have to wonder why none of the MLAs are backing him.

Even though everyone seems to say it is a two person race, in looking at some of the numbers here, there is a chance that Peggy Nash could do much better than expected.   If she can take 1/3 of the vote in Ontario and can become the number two candidate in BC, she is in position to take 17-20% of the first ballot votes.   She realistically could come in second.

Much in BC will depend on what people like Peter Julian and Mike Farnworth do.

Eric Grenier of threehundredeight.com has an interesting system of ranking the endorsements by giving them a weighting.   His ranking has three candidates clearly in the lead over the six, though Brian Topp with a significant lead over Thomas Mulcair and Peggy Nash.
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