Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dewar makes big gain in endorsement rankings

This week's NDP endorsement rankings update has all four of the frontrunners on the move, but only Paul Dewar has made a gain in his share of the points with the endorsement of a large national union and a veteran MP.
Dewar's most important endorsement this week comes from the National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees, James Clancy. The union has a membership of 340,000 people, making it one of the largest in the country. That alone nets Dewar 20.4 points.

Another endorsement, presumably to be announced tomorrow, comes from Linda Duncan, the MP for Edmonton-Strathcona. Having been elected twice by the people of the riding, Duncan adds five points to Dewar's total.

If this endorsement does occur as expected, this will be a big one for Dewar. Unlike his other main rivals, Dewar has not had much support from the NDP caucus. Duncan will become the first sitting MP to endorse Paul Dewar for leadership. And as Duncan is the only MP for Alberta, this gives Dewar an edge on the more than 8,000 NDP members that were last reported to be in the province.

These two endorsements give Dewar a boost of 25.4 points, increasing his total to 52.3 points or 10.4% of all available endorsement points. That is a gain of 4.7 percentage points since last week, and puts him in the double digits. He is now 48.1 points and 9.6 percentage points behind Peggy Nash.

(Click here to learn more about the endorsement system and here for how the points are awarded. And, as always, you can right-click the list of endorsers and open in a new tab or window to magnify it.)

Nash has landed two endorsements of her own, one from Mike Sullivan, the rookie MP for York South-Weston, and another from Dany Morin, freshman MP for Chicoutimi-Le Fjord. This gives her an extra five points and increases her caucus support to six MPs, not including herself.

With these endorsements, Nash now stands at 100.4 points, or 20% of the total. That is, however, a 0.3-point loss since last week, owing to the major gain that Paul Dewar made.

Brian Topp also made a splash this week with the endorsement of former Saskatchewan NDP Premier Lorne Calvert. This gives him an extra five points and increases the net support out of Saskatchewan to 10 points, perhaps better reflecting the clout of the endorsement of one Roy Romanow. The endorsement points system is, after all, somewhat abstracted.

With Calvert's support, Topp now has 192 endorsement points or 38.2% of the total available. That is a drop of 1.7 percentage points since last week, again because of Dewar's gains, but Topp remains in the lead by a wide margin.

Thomas Mulcair has had a bit of a mixed week. The good news is that he received the support of BC MLA Leonard Krog, awarding one point to Mulcair's campaign. The bad news is that Lise St-Denis, the MP for Saint-Maurice-Champlain who endorsed Mulcair for leadership, has jumped ship to the Liberals. This means Mulcair has lost 2.5 points in the endorsement rankings, and has gained the stigma of having once had the support of someone who is now persona non grata in the NDP.

Mulcair has thus had a net loss of 1.5 points this week, dropping him to 118.3 points or 23.5% of all available points. That is a two percentage point drop since last week.

Niki Ashton (0.2%), Nathan Cullen (0.2%), and Roméo Saganash (0.1%) have all dropped slightly in their share of endorsement points as more have been added to the pile. None have landed new endorsements in some time. Martin Singh remains mired with zero endorsements.

With Paul Dewar now in the double digits and finally having some caucus support, he has a real, verifiable claim to being within the top tier. I'm not quite sure that Brian Topp is having as much trouble as some seem to think, as he continues to gain the support of important figures within the NDP. Perhaps the membership will revolt against this decision from on high, but with many debates still to come there is plenty of time for Topp to demonstrate that he belongs among the top contenders. Paul Dewar and Peggy Nash will also have quite a bit riding on the debates, as they need to show how they might look in the inevitable sparring matches against Stephen Harper.


  1. Don Davies, MP for Vancouver-Kingsway is largely expected to endorse Mulcair this morning in a couple of hours.

  2. An extra five points for Mulcair next week, then.

  3. As a New Democrat, I think it looks particularly bad on Mulcair that one of his supporters turned her coat. Among at least some of the Dippers I know, he was already regarded as being pretty close to a Liberal anyhow. This is only going to make that impression stronger. If he wants to dampen it, he is going to have to get someone notable from the left wing of the Party on board.

  4. Former Ontario NDP leader, MPP, and MP Mike Cassidy has endorsed Dewar.

  5. The New Democrat leadership race is too long and too bland and this is reflected in their recent poll numbers and prospects. The party is severely disorganized and looks like an overgrown protest party in the House of Commons.

    The party made a mistake having their leadership election in late March and an equally poor mistake by having Nycole Turmel as interim leader till late March. If the party was wise, they would have dumped Turmel after Layton's death and select a veteran MP who has no leadership aspirations for the interim role.

    I like the NDP, but the role of official opposition is too much for them to handle. The party has good people and good intentions but they have a long way to go before governing our country. Then again, sometimes I wonder if the NDP even want to govern the country.

    - Maple

  6. Dewar doesn't really speak any French. I cannot see him as a credible candidate in a party with such extensive Francophone holdings.

  7. Is it all that much worse than Harper's was in 2006? Granted, the Tories only won 10 seats in Quebec in that election, but it did not appear to be too much of a handicap.

    Dewar is supposed to be working hard to improve his French, so I suppose the upcoming debates will allow us to see how much of an improvement he has really made.

  8. Dewar does in fact speak French (most would argue much better than Turmell speaks English). But he knows he still needs to improve it - the exact same way Jack did when he started. I expect the debates will show marked improvement from only a month ago. That leaves 3 more months before convention, and 40 some-odd months before the next election.

  9. While comparing Dewar to Turmel sounds about right in that regard, "much better" is overly charitable.

  10. Harper did manage to triple the Conservatives percentage of the vote in Quebec in 2006 with poor French. While he may not have won many seat the Conservatives did take 25% of the vote in Quebec, which is a strong number.

  11. Now now... St. Denis is still an MP, isn't she? Her endorsement should still count... ;)

  12. I would say Dewar's french is better than Harper's was back in 2006...

    I wonder who the big announcement for Friday is for Dewar's campaign?

  13. The National Union is not affiliated with the NDP and therefore James Clancy's endorsement should not hold anymore weight then the president of any organization outside of labour or former labour leaders that you do not assign points for.

  14. Thebaud, you'll forgive me for not being too familiar with union politics. Are the component unions that make up the organization affiliated with the NDP? How can this be found out?

    1. To my knowledge none are affiliated however i know for certain as per their constitutions that BC and Sask are not affiliated. you might try calling down to NU as I believe there constitution might forbid political affiliations. (it was not on there website)

  15. Dewar's French is better than Stockwell Day's was, but that's an extremely low bar.

    I'm not sure I'd agree that Dewar's French is better than Harper's, but given that Dewar's party is heavily based in Quebec (and not just Quebec, but francophone Quebec) it seems like a greater handicap than for a leader of a primarily western party.

    As an old Reformer, Harper wasn't expected to speak much French, so that he didn't wasn't really news. I woud argue that a modern NDP leader faces different expectations.

  16. And now Dewar has picked up an endorsement from Charlie Angus !!

  17. It's not the sole criteria required to lead the NDP. If Gary Doer was in the running, given his experience, his lack of fluency in French would be understandable. However, for Paul Dewar to have grown up the son of the mayor of Ottawa, itself heavily bilingual and on the doorstep of Quebec is extremely bad visually. It looks like his first attempts come now as he bids for leader instead of all of the ample opportunities his life has given so far. If you just woke up today and "discovered" Quebec existed, how could you rightly ask of them to help make you Prime Minister?

  18. Thebaud - from my understanding the endorsement points have to do with the size of the union and therefore the number of members likely to be influenced by the decision to endorse. Not the question of affiliation, which doesn't have the same weight since unions don't have reserved blocks of votes.

    Tim E.

  19. is the ranking going to be updated soon. Is Charlie Angus's endorsement worth anything to Dewar?

  20. Anonymous 12:23,

    I update the endorsement rankings every Wednesday. Angus's endorsement is indeed worth much to Dewar.

  21. Interesting read, but few of the myriad endorsements sway me. The two that have? Duncan (2x winner in Blueberta) and Angus (old-school socialist). I also have Mulcair behind, because he's gonna have a hell of a time getting "second choice" support. Dewar could be "Goldilocks"...

  22. Cullen is by far the best candidate, why is he so low.


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