Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Saturday, April 9, 2011
The Falling NDP Numbers Nationally
Jack Layton probably should have revised how her put things when he said to people in Saskatchewan that if they wanted to beat Stephen Harper that they should go with the political party that came in second place in most of the constituencies in the last election.
People in other provinces might be taking that advice to heart in terms of not splitting the vote. The rolling poll done by Nanos shows the NDP vote has slipped as the campaign has gone on. This Saturday's numbers show the NDP down 5 points and that there has been slippage for seven days straight.
Jack Layton remains personally popular but many of the ideas that they have presented have been presented before. In some cases, the party's main plank for the day has not resonated. I offer the credit card policy as being a good example. It hasn't created upward momentum for party fortunes.
Michael Ignatieff has run a very solid campaign thus far. The Tory ads that had helped define the Liberal leader are being chipped away as people see more of the man.
Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are running a very careful campaign. They are very close to a majority but it isn't their numbers that have dipped badly, it is the NDP ones.
Layton has brushed off the reports on the numbers saying some show the party faring better but one thing is clear: The Tories are nearing or over 40% and the Liberals nearing or over 30%. The NDP is running at 13 to 17%. For those who truly fear the Tories winning a majority, especially in Ontario, that isn't good.
The dismissal of a coalition government and the Tories close to a majority are sobering for the fourth party in the House.
The debate could help Layton but it could also accelerate a move to the Liberals if Ignatieff looks to challenge Harper in a meaningful way.
This could be the last election for any number of the political leaders. If Layton falls short this election, it is hard to see that he would stay on for the next election. It is all or nothing at this point.