UPDATED: BC and Ontario to decide NDP Leadership outcome

February 21st, 2012

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[Welcome, National Newswatch readers!]

British Columbia and Ontario will have the lion's share of the say over the outcome of the NDP leadership race, final membership counts released today confirm. With just under 60% of the total eligible voting membership on February 18, the two provinces combined could pick the next leader of the opposition.

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While Québec boasted the biggest increase in membership (up 623.7% to 12,266 from 1,695 at the beginning of October), its final weight in picking the leader will be well under its share of the total population, and also well under the ambitious 20,000 targeted by leadership candidate Thomas Mulcair earlier in the race.

For comparison, 14,039 of 36,341 eligible members of the Bloc Québécois voted in their leadership contest last December 11.

Remember that it was in order to facilitate a significant sign-up in Québec that the leadership vote was pushed back to the end of March, rather than sometime in January as some in the party's leadership had privately preferred.

Prov Membership % Pop * % Weight
TOT  128,351 100.0% 100.0%
* Based on StatsCan July 1, 2011 estimated population
BC  38,735 13.3% 30.2%
ON  36,760 38.8% 28.6%
MB  12,056 3.6% 9.4%
AB  10,249 11.0% 8.0%
SK  11,264 3.1% 8.8%
QC  12,266 23.1% 9.6%
NS  3,844 2.7% 3.0%
NL  1,030 1.5% 0.8%
PE  268 0.4% 0.2%
NB  955 2.2% 0.7%
Terr.  924 0.3% 0.7%

On the prairies, the three provinces will hold roughly equal weight to Québec, Saskatchewan having shown the highest growth in membership after running a provincial membership renewal drive alongside the sign-ups by the leadership candidates.

While there were large percentage increases in the Atlantic provinces, they are of relatively small magnitude in the overall outcome.

Prov Membership
Oct-11 Nov-11 % chg Feb-18 % chg Overall
TOT 83,824 95,006  +13.3%  128,351 +35.1% +53.1%
BC 30,000 31,456 +4.9%  38,735 +23.1% +29.1%
ON 22,225 25,722 +15.7%  36,760 +42.9% +65.4%
MB 10,307 10,514 +2.0%  12,065 +14.7% +17.0%
AB 9,033 8,361 -7.4%  10,249 +22.6% +13.5%
SK 8,929 9,442 +5.7%  11,264 +19.3% +26.2%
QC 1,695 5,558 +227.9%  12,266 +120.7% +623.7%
NS 1,300 2,600 +100.0%  3,844 +47.8% +195.7%
NL 200 1,184 +492.0%  1,030 -13.0% +415.0%
PE 135 169 +25.2%  268 +58.6% +98.5%
NB n/a n/a    955    
Terr. n/a n/a    924    

 The overall boost in membership numbers may be a very good omen for the first ballot positioning of Nathan Cullen, given the last minute campaigns by both the LeadNow.ca and Avaaz.org groups to encourage their members to sign up to the opposition party of their choice. Lead Now told CP's Joan Bryden that 5,000 people had clicked through from their page to the NDP's membership sign-up website, which if they all completed the transaction would represent approximately one-sixth of the increase since November 1. Cullen was already said to be doing well amongst the current BC membership, though he should share that with Topp and increasingly Mulcair, Dewar and Nash.

The Ontario increase may result from the work of several camps, and at this stage I simply don't have enough information to gauge the impact, though it's believed that Nash, Dewar, Mulcair and Topp would all be the beneficiaries of the traditional sign-ups, while Cullen would benefit from any LeadNow/Avaaz efforts.

Dewar and to a lesser extent Ashton are expected to carry the greatest proportions of support in Manitoba, while Ashton and Topp would be the leaders in Saskatchewan. Dewar and Ashton are also the presumed leaders in Alberta. Mulcair predominates in New Brunswick and is said to be strong in Newfoundland as well, with Nash also having a strong showing in St. John's, while a number of campaigns are thought to have strength in Nova Scotia.

The following table also updates the "membership density" numbers. Again, this means that one in 118 British Columbians is a member of the NDP, while one in 791 New Brunswickers holds a party card. Overall one in 269 Canadians is an NDP member eligible to vote in the March 24 race.

Prov Density*
Oct-11 Nov-11 Feb-18
TOT  411.4  363.0  268.7
* StatsCan July 1, 2011 estimated population / NDP membership
BC 152.4 145.4  118.1
ON 601.7 519.9  363.8
MB 121.3 118.9  103.7
AB 418.4 452.0  368.8
SK 118.5 112.0  93.9
QC 4,707.8 1,435.7  650.6
NS 2,553.0 431.3  245.9
NL 727.2 363.6  495.7
PE 1,080.7 863.3  544.4
NB      791.1
Terr.      120.9


For the latest on the NDP Leadership Race, don't forget to follow the half-hourly news updates, and social media tickers at the Pundits' Guide NDPLdr portal page:  http://ndpldr.punditsguide.ca

9 Responses to “UPDATED: BC and Ontario to decide NDP Leadership outcome”

  1. Robin says:

    Leadership race aside these are excellent growth/renewal numbers for the national party and the provincial sections.

    The pool of potential volunteers/donors/sign locations for the next election has grown by over 44,500. This will likely contribute to ‘meatier’ campaigns from the party.

    Is the information available to compare these new NDP numbers against the other parties? It would be interesting to look at growth trends in membership.

  2. Robin, parties don’t often release their membership numbers. One source tells me the Liberal figures were between 50,000 and 70,000 at the end of 2011, just prior to their convention, up from 35,000 or so after the election. This would be down from 200,000 or so around the leadership race.

  3. Wilf Day says:

    Members per 1,000 NDP voters:
    (Province, NDP members, 2011 NDP votes, members per 1,000 NDP voters)
    Man. 12,056; 126,639; 95.2
    Terr. 924; 10,973; 84.2
    Sask. 11,264; 147,214; 76.5
    B. C. 38,735; 609,102; 63.6
    Alta. 10,249; 234,730; 43.7
    N.S. 3,844; 136,620; 28.1
    Ont. 36,760;1,417,435; 25.9
    P.E.I. 268; 12,135; 22.1
    N.L. 1,030; 70,868; 14.5
    N.B. 955; 115,830; 8.2
    Que. 12,266; 1,630,865; 7.5

    Now here we see the real challenge in Quebec. No time for complacency. The work has just begun.

    But gold star for Alberta, compared with Nova Scotia and Ontario, eh?

  4. Shadow says:

    Pat Martin’s claim today that the election result is in doubt because of American style Tory dirty tricks was interesting.

    Ironically he was taking a page out of American activists who comforted themselves with the notion that Bush “stole” the 2000 and 2004 elections.

    This is an escalation of the concerted effort to deny the legitimacy of the Conservative victory. Earlier attempts centered around criticisms of pre-writ spending and the FPTP system.

    However, a quick look at the facts shows that its a ridiculous claim. Geulph, the only riding where this was a serious problem (although it only seemed to have misdirected about 100 voters), was LOST by the Tories.

    These types of activities do undermine democracy and are regretable.

    I’d include Pat Martin’s irresponsible musings in with that too.

  5. Wilf Day says:

    With 12,266 members, and let’s assume the 17 non-NDP ridings have 666 members, that’s 11,600 in the 58 NDP-held ridings so the average is 200. These numbers raise the question: how many ridings are under 200? Quite a few. But Sherbrooke has over 300: Pierre-Luc Dusseault, the youngest NDP MP is doing just fine. Mind you, he has a university campus and a compact urban riding to work in, which no doubt helped. http://www.cyberpresse.ca/la-tribune/sherbrooke/201202/23/01-4498942-dusseault-satisfait-de-la-recolte-de-cartes-de-membre.php

  6. Ken Summers says:

    Oh dear.
    At most some politician exxagerated about the Coservative hardball sins.

    Exxageration in plitics, now that is new and devious.

  7. Shadow says:

    Ken i’ve already seen comments to the effect of :

    Since the Conservatives aren’t our real government we don’t have to follow any of their new crime bills !

    Of course Pat Martin is irresponsible for fanning the flames of this idiocy.

    Its an open attack on Elections Canada by the NDP.

    Now Anita Neville is jumping in the fray suggesting she only really lost because of dirty tricks in her riding.

    Everything is being called into question.

    Not that EC helped themselves out at all.

    Leaking the results of an incomplete investigation to Glen McGregor. Really ? The most extreme anti-Tory writer out there ?

    Add in the internal e-mails that show biased views towards the CPC and you once again see them damaging their reputations.

    When impartial institutions get involved in partisan politics nothing good can come of it. No doubt they regret pursuing the in and out case now.

  8. Shadow says:

    Charlie Angus calling for international observers. Massively escalating attacks on ability of EC to conduct free and fair elections:


    Charlie Angus MP

    Dear international community send observers 4 next election. This is country run by Harper-Toews. #electoralscamhttp://t.co/s5i9bor1

  9. Today’s debate will be interesting to watch. I think we will start seeing some differentiation as some candidates may throw their “Hail Mary” passes.

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