Saturday, September 27, 2008

Reality Check: The NDP Seat Challenge

So with Layton saying today that he believes he's the best option to "STOP HARPER" I thought it about time for a real reality check here since the press at large seems content to give Layton on free pass on all things (as at least one columnist has noted). I challenge any NDP supporter to provide a list of at least 100 ridings the NDP thinks it could win. Never mind 100 wouldn't be enough to form government, but I've set the bar low to see if ANYONE can meet the challenge. If not then we can only assume that it is IMPOSSIBLE for Layton to stop Harper from gaining another mandate and ONLY Stephane Dion can replace Stephen Harper as PM. I could give a list of well over 100 ridings that the Liberals currently hold or lost by 5% or less last time that would be in play for them, so surely if the NDP is serious they could up with a list of at least 100 no?

So Dippers, is anyone up for the challenge or is it a fact that the NDP never intended to target more than 60 ridings? That they never intended to form government and that everything over the past week is just postering to score a few more seats?

So given that's the case and you claim to want to STOP HARPER how exactly do you expect to stop him?

The reality is the only way to do so is by ensuring Stephane Dion becomes the next PM.

UPDATE: A "reader" has provided a list, though the very list defies credibility with dozens of ridings where the NDP finished 3rd and more than 20% back and will at best finish 15% back this time. It almost seemed like it was just ridings picked out of a hat. This person even thinks the NDP will win ridings where they got 2% of the vote last time and that they'll even take Stephane Dion's riding too (where he got 60% of the vote was 53% ahead of the NDP)! Is this what NDP supporters really think? This is exactly why all the seat projections show they never go above 45 seats and that's why Jack Layton's claims he can be PM are ludicrous. So how does he expect to Stop Harper then?

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Robert McClelland said...

With the polls showing the Liberals at 21-25% I seriously doubt you could list 60 seats they could win.

Socially Active said...

We need strategic voting.

We must minimize Harper's power. Harper does not understand that government's purpose is to balance individual and social cost. Harper believes the purpose of government is to obtain power or his financial backers.

We must not give Harper the power to take away the Independence of our court and change our election laws.

Vote strategically, if you are in a riding which looks like the Liberals could win, vote that Liberal. If you are in a riding that looks like the NDP could win vote NDP.

Luke said...

Show some resistance the Liberals gave the Conservatives during the last session of parliament.

Tell me if you honestly believe the Liberals will provide an effective opposition instead of tearing themselves apart in a fight to ditch Dion as leader.

It doesn't matter if the Liberals get 10 seats or 100. They are not an effective opposition, and they have almost no chance of winning this one.

Danielle Takacs said...

Very easily done Robert. Just go to Hill and Knowlton and you'll find that even with its faulty predictions (e.g., predicting these numbers would translate into Ignatieff losing and the Liberals losing seats in NFLD when in reality they'll pick up 2-3 seats there) the Liberals are above 70 seats with current polling numbers.
Or go to and you'll find the same.

But anyone who thinks the Liberal numbers can't go back above 30% is foolish, even Conservative strategists realize that.

So I'm still waiting on YOUR list of 100 ridings that the NDP could plausibly win. The Liberals can still hold on to the ridings they have and increase them enough to form government which is well beyond 100 seats so I've set the bar low for you so it shouldn't be that hard if Layton can really become PM as you say.

So when can I expect that list of 100 ridings? If you can't provide them, I guess that just proves that Stephane Dion is the only one who can plausibly replace Stephen Harper in this election.

Giant Political Mouse said...

Perhaps a fair point, but in Saskatchewan (where I live) there is at best 1 seat where the Liberal can win and 13 where the NDP place 2nd.

By your logic shouldn't all the Liberals in Saskatchewan save Goodale just give up?

sharonapple88 said...

Just wanted to put this down for those who are interested in strategic voting:

There's an increase in Liberal, NDP, and Green seats if we do this. Otherwise there's a good chance at a Harper majority.

Robert McClelland said...

If you can't provide them, I guess that just proves that Stephane Dion is the only one who can plausibly replace Stephen Harper in this election.

No, it means your request was asinine.

A reader said...

Here you go. And if Stéphane Dion can plausibly replace Stephen Harper, how come it provoked peels of laughter when senior Liberals were asked if they had set up a transition team?

Humber – St. Barbe – Baie Verte
St. John's East
St. John's South – Mount Pearl
Cape Breton – Canso
Central Nova
Dartmouth – Cole Harbour
Halifax West
Sackville – Eastern Shore
South Shore – St. Margaret's
Sydney – Victoria
Acadie – Bathurst
Madawaska – Restigouche
Hull – Aylmer
Jeanne-Le Ber
LaSalle – Émard
Notre-Dame-de-Grâce – Lachine
Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie
Westmount – Ville-Marie
Algoma – Manitoulin – Kapuskasing
Beaches – East York
Chatham-Kent – Essex
Etobicoke North
Hamilton Centre
Hamilton East – Stoney Creek
Hamilton Mountain
Kingston and the Islands
Kitchener Centre
London – Fanshawe
London North Centre
Nickel Belt
Ottawa Centre
Parkdale – High Park
Sarnia – Lambton
Sault Ste. Marie
Scarborough Southwest
St. Catharines
Thunder Bay – Rainy River
Thunder Bay – Superior North
Timmins – James Bay
Toronto – Danforth
Trinity – Spadina
Windsor – Tecumseh
Windsor West
York South – Weston
York West
Elmwood – Transcona
Kildonan – St. Paul
Selkirk – Interlake
Winnipeg Centre
Winnipeg North
Battlefords – Lloydminster
Desnethé – Missinippi – Churchill River
Regina – Lumsden – Lake Centre
Regina – Qu'Appelle
Saskatoon – Rosetown – Biggar
Edmonton East
Edmonton – Strathcona
Burnaby – Douglas
Burnaby – New Westminster
Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission
Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca
Fleetwood – Port Kells
Kamloops – Thompson – Cariboo
Kootenay – Columbia
Nanaimo – Alberni
Nanaimo – Cowichan
Newton – North Delta
New Westminster – Coquitlam
Skeena – Bulkley Valley
British Columbia Southern Interior
Surrey North
Vancouver Centre
Vancouver East
Vancouver Island North
Vancouver Kingsway
Western Arctic

A reader said...

Sorry, should have added these as well ...

Saint-Laurent – Cartierville
Elgin – Middlesex – London
Port Moody – Westwood – Port Coquitlam

janfromthebruce said...

Yap, people are just dying to vote liberal - not. Dion is a dud.

Anonymous said...

I made up my mind this morning after some thoughts. The current strategic voting campaign is dangerous that it could actually help Harper. With a poll showing more Liberal are willing to switch their vote than NDP, this would worsen the split of non-conservative votes resulting in no viable alternative to unseat Harper. And the basis for who to vote for is the unreliable, volatile polls.

Also one important thing to remember is we don't have a proportional voting system. So by focusing on individual riding than the bigger picture of what party can unseat Harper, you are effectively helping Harper stay in power.

BlastFurnace said...

Hard to vote "strategically" when it's a horse race between the Liberals and NDP as is admittedly the case here on Hamilton Mountain.

I have to wonder if the "second choice" strategy might end up turning the election. One may have a favourite but feels that isn't the choice to stop the party he or she wants to lose, so they vote for someone else.

Could that work in Dion's favour? Hard to say ... but anything can happen in 15 days.

Blues Clair said...

Leave it to jan to say something stupid. It's a valid question NDP'rs. Jack is twenty points behind Harper and Co. on National polls. Even Mr. Layton knows that his only realistic goal is the official opposition. And that will be difficult enough.

A reader said...

"A "reader" has provided a list, though the very list defies credibility with dozens of ridings where the NDP finished 3rd and more than 20% back and will at best finish 15% back this time. It almost seemed like it was just ridings picked out of a hat. This person even thinks the NDP will win ridings where they got 2% of the vote last time and that they'll even take Stephane Dion's riding too (where he got 60% of the vote was 53% ahead of the NDP)!"

OK, I admit I threw in St-Laurent--Cartierville to see if you were paying attention, but the NDP is polling a lot higher in Montreal than ever before, and they are cutting into both Bloc and Liberal votes. Dion's margin is going to get shaved by a whole bunch, you watch. And if he steps down after the election, I do predict the Liberals won't hold the seat.

Still, the list was not pulled out of a hat, and apart from the Montreal ridings, all of those seats have elected NDPers federally or provincially at some point in the last 20 years and/or have had strong 2nd place finishes.

For fun and to prove my point, I calculated the average Conservative vote in 2004 in the 11 Quebec ridings they won in 2006. In 2004 they got an average of 19% in those 11 seats. In 2006 they got 49%.

So, the point is that massive movements are possible, and we still have two weeks to go!

You asked for a list. It's a reasonable list. And if Stéphane Dion is so much more likely to form government, then why, may I ask, is his Leaders Tour focussing so heavily on seats you already hold (and a few you want to take from the NDP), rather than seats you expect to take from the Conservatives or Bloc? Dion has already conceded the election.

Danielle Takacs said...

That list still includes many 3rd and 4th place finishes where they were more than 20% back (Scarborough Southwest is another example off the top of my head).

Dion is going to plenty of ridings held by other parties, he was in St. Catherine's (held by Conservatives), Elgin-Middlesex-London (held by Conservatives) and Stoney Creek (held by the NDP, the Liberals will also take Hamilton Mountain from them too) just this week so maybe you haven't been paying close enough attention.

rww said...

The NDP will win this federal election the same way they won in Ontario by winning supposedly safe Tory and Liberal seats and winning seats no one predicts they can win.

Danielle Takacs said...

RWW: Except Rae won with 37% of the vote in Ontario. The NDP has not exceeded 22% nationally in any single poll this election and polls today show them around 19%. Nanos today has it at 36-27-19. The current poll numbers put Jack a LONG way from being official oppoisition leader, let alone PM. Even under their highest poll showing so far in this election they would win no more than 45 seats with that. Meawhile, the seats "reader" says are in play would require as much as 20% vote swing to go NDP so Layton's claims.

So Layton's claims that he's best poised to stop Harper just don't pass muster.

A reader said...

Just a question, Danielle, but where were the NDP in the polls provincially two weeks before the vote. I bet they weren't at 37% yet...

BTW, the Jurist has come up with a slightly different list over at Accidental Deliberations. You seem to have really started something, Danielle.

burpnrun said...

AReader says, "Elgin – Middlesex – London"

Are you nuts? You must be dreaming in technicolour! I live in that riding, currently CPC.

2006 Results:
CPC = 23,416
LIB = 13,517
NDP = 9,873

I figure your method must be to list any riding with an auto plant, a foresty worker, northern ridings, you name it. Politics doesn't work this way.

My guess? 45 seats for the NDP, tops.