Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nash and Ashton gain endorsements

The New Democratic leadership hopefuls held their first debate on Sunday. It was a generally polite affair, but with two debates (one in French, one in English) between nine candidates squeezed into 120 minutes there wasn't much time to really get into it.

If I'm not mistaken, subsequent debates will be either all in French or all in English, which should give the participants more time to get into detail.

I thought it not a bad debate to get things started. But with the buzz about Nathan Cullen's performance, Brian Topp's targeting of Paul Dewar, and the trouble with Robert Chisholm's French, one is led to believe that the endorsement rankings may be a few notches below actual support for several candidates.

One hopes that a poll or two might be commissioned now that the debates have begun. While it won't tell us what NDP members think, it will give us an idea of what Canadians and NDP supporters think. These kinds of polls may not predict the race's outcome, but it will give us something to compare what the voting public wants to what the members decide.

But this being Wednesday, it is time for an endorsement update.

As always, you can open the images on the right in a new window to magnify.

Peggy Nash is this week's big winner, as she gained the endorsement of three-term Victoria MP Denise Savoie. Though she may not be a household name, Savoie does have quite a bit of respect on Parliament Hill as Deputy Speaker.

Savoie gives Nash an extra 7.5 points, bumping her up to 89 overall, or 19.5% of currently available endorsement points.

Nash is now only 15 points behind Thomas Mulcair, who has not picked up an endorsement in some time. Topp, too, has been quiet on this front. There are still 43 sitting NDP MPs that have not endorsed any candidates, so there are still plenty of points to go around, not to mention the support of NDP party leaders in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island and the myriad of MLAs, MHAs, and MPPs in those provinces.

Niki Ashton is also up one point thanks to the endorsement of British Columbia MLA Guy Gentner. This gives Ashton 18.5 points to 4.1% of the total, pushing her back into fifth place ahead of Paul Dewar.

None of the other candidates have picked up any endorsements this week. Will the debate shake any fence sitters loose? I imagine we'll get another round of endorsements after the holidays to get the ball rolling on 2012.

(Click here for an explanation of the point system and here for the value of various endorsements.)

The Bloc Québécois leadership race comes to a close on Sunday, as the winner will be announced. The race is effectively over, as votes were due last week.

EDIT: Sorry for the mistake, this is not true. For the life of me, however, I am sure that the Bloc originally stated that mailed-in ballots had to be post-marked by November 28. Now, votes need to be received by December 10. Did they change the rules mid-campaign, or am I remembering incorrectly? I imagine it is the latter, as it would have been noticed more widely. It seems there was a misunderstanding somewhere.

EDIT Part 2: On further review, it seems that a statement on the Bloc's website ("Les bulletins de vote devront être expédiés au plus tard le 28 novembre 2011.") was misinterpreted by many people, including myself. It says that the ballots should be sent at the latest by November 28. The statement is referring to the Bloc sending out the ballots by November 28, not that voters need to send them out by then. The more detailed rule document makes this clear. Apologies for the error. 

But that hasn't stopped the endorsements from pouring into Daniel Paillé's campaign. Shortly after my last update, Paillé emerged from a meeting with the Parti Québécois's caucus with the endorsement of 21 PQ MNAs.

This has given him a big 21-point jump, pushing him up to 53.7% of all available points. Jean-François Fortin has dropped down to 30.2% while Maria Mourani is now at 16.1% of the total available.

These endorsements indicate that if Paillé wins he will have good support inside both the PQ and the BQ.

Sunday's result could be a bit of a surprise, though. The race has been relatively low-key and it is difficult to get a gauge on what the members think. After May's defeat, how many of the party's 36,000 or so members are still engaged enough to vote? Are the ones who are engaged looking to change the party, which would benefit Fortin and Mourani, or are they the never-say-die, veteran base, which would benefit Paillé?

It will be interesting to see the results. I'd say that Paillé is most likely to win, but it is very possible that Fortin could also pull through. I don't think Mourani has much of a chance, but no outcome can be completely ruled out.


  1. Saskatchewan currently does not have a leader, only an interim leader so I doubt John Nilson's opinion will hold much weight.

  2. Yes, I know, but the date for choosing the Saskatchewan NDP's leader is not yet decided.

  3. How does your system account for Pierre Ducasse, Jim Stanford, Andrew Jackson or Wel Watkins endorsements? All 4 are probably names that carry a lot of weight for NDPers. As much as some MPs (if not more).

  4. It does not account for them.

  5. Looks like you will have to add 'Former Governor General' to your endorsement catagories.

  6. No need, Schreyer is a former premier and MP. He'll be counted as such.

  7. I'd definitely say that Jim Stanford's endorsement is huge. He's a Globe and Mail economics columnist, and member of the CBC TV National News Bottom Line panel. Not to mention an author. He is well known in progressive circles.

    I think your model doesn't really catch the dynamics of this race.

  8. Granted, but he was then Governor General.

    Recognizing GG is an appointed position, it was his last role and certainly a more prominent status than Senator and some other positions which are also listed.

    PS: Thanks for the updates, very interesting!

  9. Ryan, I don't doubt that his endorsement carries weight. But I don't know how to quantify it. In any case, if his endorsement is so important it is likely to shake other people into following suit, which will then be recorded in the system.

    Anonymous 12:48, certainly, but I haven't encountered a GG endorsement before. Being former NDP Premier and NDP MP probably means more to the NDP than being appointed GG by Trudeau, no? His endorsement is worth seven points, making him the third most valuable endorsement in Mulcair's ranking, after Mulcair himself and three-term MP Marston, so it is important.

  10. Eric are you going to do an analysis on the new Federal Abacus poll out?

  11. Yes, of course, when I can pencil it in.

  12. I know this is probably in reference to an old post, but how did you calibrate Steve Ashton's endorsement of his daughter, Niki? Since he signed up A LOT of new NDP members while running for leader of the Manitoba NDP in 2009, I think his endorsement's weight should be fairly great compared to other Manitoba New Democratic MLAs.

  13. BC Voice of Reason08 December, 2011 10:51

    Perhaps the opinion of James Bezan should be sought out?

    James Bezan???

    You know the far back bench CPC MP who solidly beat Ed Schyreyer federally in the federal election in 2006. This was when Mr. Schreyer was only 70 years old.

    This leadership race is for the Federal NDP leadership.

    Why someone who is a failure at the federal level from a province that does not elect many NDPs federally (just 2) and only 25% vote NDP federally, being considered influential in this race?

    Mr. Schreyer is obviouly unable to deliver any NDP support at the federal level.

  14. BC Voice of Reason08 December, 2011 10:55

    Is there any interest in the NDP leadership race outside the Ottawa press gallery and the tiny segment of society that make their living playing politics?

    Did anyone watch the NDP leadership debates?

    Was it televised?

    My opinion is that the vast majority of Canadian voters really do not care who leads the NDP.

  15. "Why someone who is a failure at the federal level from a province that does not elect many NDPs federally (just 2) and only 25% vote NDP federally, being considered influential in this race?"

    The insignificant number of Manitoba New Democrats is - at least partly - due to centre-left "vote splitting" in the Province. If centre-left voters abandon the Liberal ship federally, like they've done provincially in this province, most of Winnipeg's seats would look pretty Orange. Manitoba could also serve as a political gateway to the Prairies - with victories in the province serving as a base to build upon - as it looks like it's more hospitable to the NDP then Saskatchewan is right now.

    Regardless,11% of NDP memberships are held by Manitobans (Manitoba has the third greatest concentration of Dipper Members in Canada). In a close-fought race, that *does* make a difference.

  16. Just to note, Manitoba historically swings between Liberals and Conservatives more than it ever swings between Conservatives and NDP, or NDP and Liberals. Outside of key areas in Winnipeg, the province's traditions are rooted in Liberal-Conservative fights. It's why Manitoba remains the best Liberal area in the Prairies, and why we're still the only force capable of taking out Conservatives in the three south Winnipeg ridings.

    Provincially you can only call the New Democrats centre-left if Steve Ashton and co. had won the leadership. Under Doer and Selinger, there's a reason why people call the Manitoba NDP "Red Dippers."

    Besides, if you did your math, the NDP still would only take maybe three extra ridings, only two from Conservatives, even if 100% of the Liberal vote drifted over to them in Manitoba. Conservatives wholly own 9 out of 14 ridings in Manitoba (ie. +50% of the vote).


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