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Holy crap, and NDP, and poll results


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This one is from today, in the Winnipeg FP


OTTAWA - The New Democrats appear to have consolidated their support as official Opposition to the Harper Conservatives, a new poll suggests — particularly among women and urban voters.

NDP Leader Jack Layton was still looking for his new House of Commons seat in the 41st Parliament on Thursday when The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey indicated his party is on a roll.

Support for the NDP among the poll's more than 2,000 respondents stood at 34 per cent, up from the 30.6 per cent of the popular vote New Democrats recorded in the May 2 election.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative party was picked by 37 per cent of respondents, down from 39.6 per cent on election day.

The third-place Liberals slipped to 15 per cent in the survey, a loss of almost four percentage points from their voting day total.

"What's happened is the loyalties of traditional Liberal voters continue to be transferred over to the New Democrats," said pollster Allan Gregg, the chairman of Harris-Decima.

"We've got the New Democrats at an all-time high virtually everywhere except British Columbia right now."

The two-week telephone survey found the Tories held a significant advantage among men, rural voters and people in the 905 area code ringing Toronto, with Conservative support above 40 per cent in all three categories.

But NDP support among women actually surpassed that of the Conservatives — especially urban and suburban women, where the New Democrats enjoyed a six-point edge, 38 per cent to 32.

Gregg said the reaction of women respondents best illustrates the "wholesale transfer of loyalty" taking place in federal politics.

Liberals, who have traditionally polled in the mid 30s to low 40s among women, are down to 15 per cent, while the NDP is "now touching 40 among female voters."

Gregg argues the Conservatives have always been known to have a "rock-ribbed kind of base" approaching 30 per cent of the electorate, "but they also had a fairly low ceiling."

"In this last election they've cracked some of that ceiling with things like urban dwellers, females and certainly with new Canadians in a fairly significant way," said the pollster, "but that anti-Conservative vote or sentiment is out there ...."

That centre-left sentiment appears to be moving behind the NDP, said Gregg, which suggests to him New Democrats "could become the natural opposition party."

While some pundits have mused about a Liberal-NDP merger, Gregg quipped that "if things keep going like this, the merger will be de facto. There won't be a Liberal party any more."

The NDP-Liberal divide was particularly striking in Quebec, where New Democrats won 59 of their record 103 seats on May 2. Harris-Decima put Quebec support for the NDP at 46 per cent, with the routed Bloc Quebecois at 21, the Conservatives at 18 and the Liberals at just 10 per cent.

The poll, conducted May 19-30, has a margin of error on its national numbers of plus or minus 2.1 per cent, 19 times in 20, with larger margins on regional and voter subsets.

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So do the Libs move right, or do they move left?

I don't think the NDP is going to compromise with them. I still see a good fit with the Greens, but the Greens want to maintain their identity and maintain their part of the Green Party global movement. That doesn't leave the Libs with much of a home to go to.

I don't think that there is much for them to stake out on the left, and I don't think that they have the type of people to occupy the left even if they wanted to. A rightward shift to poach the votes of those who are *c*onservative, but are uncomfortable with the *C*onservatives? Is the Liberal party the Progressive Conservatives reborn? They've always had those values, and everything since that day that McKay stabbed Orchard in the back, there has been a hole in that part of the spectrum that wants to be filled.

So we would be left with:

(NDP) Centre-left

(LPC) Centre-right

(GPC) Centre-?

(CPC) Centre-right-right

It all starts to break down. It isn't a particularly useful metric, I suppose.

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Fair enough - it seems a more meaningful measure.

Leadership is an important element of the reinvention and so is the mechanism to select the next permanent leader. The party has already adopted a one-member-one-vote selection process, but that method should be expanded so that the maximum number of Canadians imaginable participate in choosing the next leader of the Liberal party.

Eliminating party membership/delegate fees, while maintaining the equality provision of all ridings, would create a contest that engages Canadians in the manner of the 2008 Democratic primary. Engaging the most Canadians possible could transform the words “your leader†into “our leader†and create a broader base of financial support. Besides, when it comes to leadership, a Liberal party that gets the “how†right is more likely to get the “who†right.

Leadership is but one element of the rebuilding. What will a renewed Liberal party that appeals to Canadians look like beyond the issue of leadership? Canadians know that Liberals “care†and are socially progressive. Recent Liberal governments have been more fiscally responsible than Conservative governments. But Canadians remain skeptical of Liberals on the issue of economic management. The Liberal party must earn its modern economic bona fides and not rest on past laurels.

The same Liberal party that presents innovative social policy can present innovative economic, tax, and entrepreneurial strategies that can create the jobs of tomorrow; reform like eliminating capital gains taxes. We must ensure that current policy conveys a strong commitment to supporting our market-driven entrepreneur-led economy. A pro-business Liberal party is a pro-jobs Liberal party.

[color:purple]The "Progressive Conservative-Liberal Party of Canada" ?

Could work. After all, the Cons were the "Liberal-Conservative Party" before merging with the Progressives, before merging with Reform.

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