ORANGE CRUSH: ARE JACK LAYTON AND THE NDP REDRAWING THE BOUNDARIES OF CANADA’S POLITICAL LANDSCAPE? - April 25, 2011
[Ottawa – April 25, 2011] – After several years in a political rut characterized by trench warfare between the Conservatives and the Liberals, Jack Layton and his NDP party appear poised to reshape Canada’s political landscape. With all the necessary provisos and caveats about weekends and how things can still change, we are reporting the results of over 3,000 cases collected from Friday to Sunday which suggest an astonishing shift in the voter landscape from the outset of this campaign. While the Conservatives are still hanging on to a fairly stable (if somewhat diminished) 33.7 front runner position, the NDP wave which has continued in Quebec is now gaining a strong foothold throughout English Canada. The NDP stands at 28.0 points nationally and they are seeing important gains in virtually all parts of the country. Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals are stuck at 23.7 points but are still in the game in Ontario.
These results, if they were to hold, would produce a profound transformation in the Canadian political firmament, tantamount and arguably more far reaching than the Reform explosion in 1993. With the current splits, these levels of support would produce 131 Conservative seats but the NDP would have 100 seats while the Liberals would hold 62. Together, the NDP and Liberal Party would have a majority and 31 more seats than the Conservatives, as well as nearly 20 more points in popular vote. It is hard to imagine how these totals would not produce the once unimaginable outcome of a Jack Layton led coalition government deposing Stephen Harper’s Conservative government. Unless of course, Stephen Harper could convince Michael Ignatieff that the Conservatives were more appropriate political bedfellows for the Liberals. The potential political machinations to this scenario are difficult to calculate. Couple with that we still have a very fluid electorate which may well not have caught up to the implications of its current voting intentions. These results set the table for a dramatic and still unclear conclusion to Campaign 41.
We will be offering more interpretation and analysis tomorrow, as well as another 1,000 cases and a fresh 3-day roll of some 3,000 cases. Perhaps the country was in some form of mood disorder based on too much Easter chocolate, but it is hard to overstate the improbability of the current results given the received wisdom at the outset of this campaign. The NDP have experienced an unperfected doubling of their poll support from 14 to 28 points since the writ was dropped. They now have a large lead in Quebec and are poised to gain the lion’s share of the 75 seats there (up from their current single seat). They also now lead in the Atlantic and are within the margin of error of the lead in British Colombia. Their growth has come from a plummeting Bloc Quebecois but they have also benefited from a swoon in Green support. They are now cutting into Liberal support and possibly even some Conservative support in British Colombia. Evidence suggests that the NDP vote is actually firming up and they continue to hold a sizable advantage on second choice. They may not have reached the ceiling of this JackQuake which is shaking the country.
It is important to remember that these numbers are a reflection of what would happen if an election were held today (not necessarily May 2nd). There’s still lots of potential flux in an electorate who have already demonstrated some unexpected shifts.
Click here for the full report: full_report_april_25_2011