Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mulcair tops endorsement rankings

For the first time in the NDP leadership campaign, Brian Topp has dropped from the first position in the endorsement rankings. He has given up the spot to Thomas Mulcair, who landed a slew of endorsements this past week from British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec.
The most newsworthy and valuable endorsement for Thomas Mulcair came from Roméo Saganash, MP for Abitibi--Baie-James--Nunavik--Eeyou and former leadership candidate. However, his endorsement is not as valuable as it might have been - all of his former endorsers have gone elsewhere. And it is interesting to note that a lot of Saganash's team went over to the Paul Dewar camp.

Mulcair also received the endorsement of three former Ontario MPs: Neil Young, Iain Angus, and Ian Deans. They were joined by former British Columbia MPs Ian Waddell and Nelson Riis and former Manitoba MP Douglas Rowland.

Nicholas Simons, an NDP MLA from British Columbia, also endorsed Mulcair.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 353 and the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union of Canada gave Mulcair their labour support this past week. I have been unable to determine the size of IBEW Local 353, but RWDSU Canada (which is affiliated with the UFCW, also endorsing Mulcair) has 12,500 members.

Peggy Nash received the endorsement of two British Columbia MLAs, Shane Simpson and Spencer Chandra Herbert. They are her first supporters from the B.C. NDP's provincial caucus.

Brian Topp also received the endorsement of two MLAs: Jim Morton from Nova Scotia and Christine Melnick, Immigration Minister in Greg Selinger's Manitoba government.

(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.)

Thomas Mulcair gained 16.9 endorsement points this week, putting him at 229.2 overall and now 8.4 points ahead of Brian Topp, who has moved from first to second. Mulcair gained 1.4 percentage points and now leads with 27.9% of all endorsement points, his highest share of the campaign to date.

At 26.9%, Brian Topp is at his lowest point of the campaign. Though he did gain one endorsement point, he dropped 0.5 percentage points.

Peggy Nash gained two endorsement points but in the face of Mulcair's huge gain she dropped 0.3 percentage points to 23.9%.

Paul Dewar, Nathan Cullen, Niki Ashton, and Martin Singh did not land any new endorsements that were recorded by the rankings. Dewar has accordingly fallen 0.3 percentage points to 13.2%, while Cullen and Ashton fell 0.1 point each to 5.2% and 3.0%, respectively.

Does this mean that Brian Topp is no longer the establishment candidate? It is difficult to call Mulcair the anti-establishment candidate when he has racked up so many endorsements. He has the support of 43 caucus members (though only five of them are not rookies, no candidate has more than five "veteran" caucus endorsers), 11 provincial legislators, six current or former provincial party leaders, and 14 former MPs. His endorsements may not all have the cachet of an Ed Broadbent or a Roy Romanow, but he has lined up both newcomers and party elders to an impressive degree.

Of course, quality and quantity are two different things, and this is what the endorsement rankings attempt to measure. Topp does have the support of a Broadbent and a Romanow, as well as veteran caucus members, two other former leaders and a pile of provincial legislators and former MPs, including many well-known names. From a sheer numbers point of view, Mulcair has more support from within the party establishment. But from an influence perspective, Topp gets the nod.

And then there is Peggy Nash, who has landed a great deal of labour support. Though Topp and Mulcair have also gotten support from labour, Nash has the longest list that includes some of the country's largest and most powerful unions. She also has a great deal of support from women within the party - 13 of her 20 individual endorsers recorded in my rankings are women, a higher proportion that any other candidate by a significant margin.

Paul Dewar has a smaller number of supporters but many of them are veterans and influential within the party. Nathan Cullen has a very short and very B.C. list of endorsers, but the province has more members than any other in the country and Cullen appears to have the potential to be a real membership candidate. His establishment support is likely to turn out to be significantly smaller than his support within the rank-and-file.

This means that each candidate will have a solid chunk of first ballot votes, making the permutations of subsequent ballots difficult to predict. Will Cullen over- or under-achieve his now high expectations? Has Brian Topp been written off too early? Will Thomas Mulcair be able to attract enough second and third ballot support to put him over the 50% mark? What will be the names on the final ballot, and if it is going to be as close as some believe it will be, how important will candidate endorsements on the convention floor turn out to be? There may only be 10,000 or so ballots to cast on March 24 out of the 100,000+ expected to vote in the race, but they could make all the difference.

18 comments:

  1. It sounds like Jack Harris may support Mulcair today, not sure how much his endorsement will be next week but I assume as a former provincial leader and MP it will be fairly significant.

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    1. T'would. Cullen also get the endorsement of Bruce Hyer, announced just after I posted this.

      So, some big names still to add to the list before next week's final update.

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  2. Have you added in Former BC Premier Glen Clark's endorsement of Nathan Cullen yet?

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    1. No, Clark has said that his donation is not an official endorsement.

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    2. Oh, hadn't seen that. Thanks!

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  3. Martin Singh announced that Tom Mulcair is his second choice, & urged his supporter to do the same. Will this have much of an effect thou?

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    1. Singh seems to have signed up quite a few members from the Sikh community, so it certainly does help from that angle. On the other hand, Singh has made few friends within the party outside of that community.

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    2. Singh signed up 10,000 members, whereas Quebec's total NDP membership is just 12,300.

      Yeesh. Though not that surprising given how politically active and influential the Sikh community is in BC.

      Delete
  4. Its a fact that NDP membership in Quebec is 14,000 (it was actually revised upwards). Singh can claim to have signed up 10,000 members but there is no way of knowing if that is true or if he is just boasting.

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    1. I'd believe it DL. Newton North Delta had a membership of 17,000 for the Liberals when Sukh Dhaliwal won the nomination. That's how politically active the Sikh community is in BC.

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    2. That may be, but if the new members were registered after the deadline they won't be able to vote.

      Someone can sign up all the members they like, but that (A) doesn't guarantee they will vote for the candidate or at all, and (B) doesn't solve the problem that there is still very little formal riding-association infrastructure in many areas.

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    3. I believe that there are a ton of Sikhs who are NDP members in BC - but you cannot assjume that they are for Singh. All the Sikh NDP elected officials, including Newton-North Delta MP Ginny Sims, are backing Topp and Mulcair has some organizers in the Sikh community...so that vote may be much more split than you might think.

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    4. You can't make assumptions about the support of the Sikh community without knowing the personalities involved. When Steve Ashton (Niki's father) ran for the Manitoba NDP leadership, he had strong support among Sikh party members. He may be pulling some of that support to Niki.

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  5. I am anxious to see any further independent polling results regarding the way Canadians (and Quebecois) would vote if the various NDP leadership candidates had won.

    The recent one showing Mulcair with twice the voting pull in Quebec compared to several other leading candidates seems startling. So I would like to see if this poll was a fluke.

    If it is not, then NDP members in the Anyone-but-Mulcair camp should consider whether they'd be throwing away the gift Jack gave us. The inclusion of Quebec is not just important for the NDP but important for Canada.

    We need Quebec's moderating influence to protect traditional Canadian values and way of life.

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  6. Brian is no longer on Topp.

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  7. Just want to let you know that Sana Hassania, Quebec MP for Vercheres-Le Patriotes (which is also a staunch sovereigntist riding) has switched her endorsement from Mulcair to Brian Topp saying that Topp reflects her values of the party. Could this be a sign of desperation from the Topp camp?

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  8. I really wonder if some of the point assignment is two arbitrary. You gave Mulcair two points because of the endorsement of Doug Rowland, a former MP who was defeated before most of the current leadership candidates were old enough to vote. On the other hand you assign only 0.5 points to Christe Melnyk who is a prominent Manitoba cabinet minster.

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    Replies
    1. It is the opposite of arbitrary, as no exceptions are made for individuals and the points were determined by an analysis of 13 provincial and federal leadership races.

      Delete

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