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article imageCanadian Politics: New Democrats now tied with Conservatives

By André R. Gignac     Mar 30, 2012 in Politics
Ottawa - The New Democratic Party is riding the Mulcair wave, and a recent new poll suggests Stephen Harper should be very afraid of losing his job.
That is, of course, if things don't change until the next election. But for now, Canadians are quite satisfied with the NDP's performance as Official Opposition in the House of Commons, and they seem to welcome the arrival of Thomas Mulcair as party leader. If the news is good for New Democrats, it will bring fear in Conservatives's ranks.
A new poll conducted by Forum Research on March 26 and 27 says the NDP has strong public support and is tied with the Conservative Party, at 35%. Despite a good showing in recent months by Bob Rae, his Liberal Party stands at only 19%, the same depressing number it had in the last election.
Poll results confirm that support for the NDP is strong with young voters, women, in Québec, British Columbia and, somewhat surprisingly, the Prairies (where Conservatives took the great majority of seats in 2011).
In terms of leadership ratings, Harper, Rae and Mulcair are viewed positively by 32% of voters, although according to Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff, "it is clear that the election of Thomas Mulcair as NDP leader has considerably improved the party's prospects".
But Mulcair himself will probably not be too happy to learn, through the same poll results, that 50% of NDP and Liberal supporters agree with the idea of "joint nominations", where only one candidate of either party would run against a Conservative in any given riding in the next election. During the leadership race, Mulcair had been very vocal about his opposition to such cooperation between the two parties.
In any event, one message the new NDP leader must be repeating right now to his caucus: prepare yourself for government!
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