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‘The Jack effect’ scares the Conservatives

A new poll is out that shows the Conservatives and the NDP in a virtual tie – unsurprisingly linked to the recent death of Jack Layton:

The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey pegs support for Layton’s NDP at 33 per cent — tied with the ruling Conservatives and well ahead of the Liberals at 21 per cent. That’s almost a three-point gain for the New Democrats since the May 2 election, which vaulted the party into official Opposition status for the first time in its 50-year history. The Tories are down almost seven points while the Liberals are up two. Harris-Decima chairman Allan Gregg said the NDP gain is most likely attributable to “the Jack effect.”

It remains to be seen of course whether that trend holds of course, and it is very early into the Conservatives new mandate, so they won’t be too concerned about numbers like these just yet.

However, I’ve thought that part of the reason we’ve seen such a backlash from some of the right-wing punditry towards the reaction to Jack’s death, as well as unusual criticism towards Harper by them for offering the State Funeral, as well as being critical of what went on at the funeral service itself, is because those people fear that Jack’s death may help progressives coalesce and use it as a starting point or a rallying point in opposition to Harper and his Conservatives right-wing reactionary policies. Maybe it’s under the NDP’s new leader – maybe it’s under the Liberal’s new leader, but it wouldn’t be hard to point at some narrow-minded policy the Conservatives bring out (and there will be plenty of those – trust me, over the next 4 years) and invoke the spirit of Layton in an effort to stop it.

I feel that’s why you’ve seen Levant from Sunmedia and Blatchford and other right-wing columnists react with such unbridled hostility. Hopefully someone from the progressive side of the ledger in one or both parties can grasp that and be able to carry on the progressive vision as an alternative to Harper’s regression.


4 comments to ‘The Jack effect’ scares the Conservatives

  • Lycan

    Harris-Decima also had the Tories at 35/36% the day before the election.

    Grain of salt, big time.

    • ck

      Lycan, nobody called this election. Nobody came close.

      These polls merely serve as a guideline to show where we’re at.

  • ck

    Nanos did a poll not long ago, shortly after Jack announced he was stepping down to undergo treatments for his new cancer, if you recall. Nik Nanos’ first comment regarding the Conservatives was “The honeymoon is over” and he went on to say that while the Cons’ priorities were focused on mega prisons and tough on crime, while Canadians want to hear more about the economy and how the government plans to handle it. That argument made plenty of sense to me. I am wondering if that is somewhat playing a role in this recent Harris-Decima poll here?

    Both of these polls also reflected little change for the NDP. Went up 3 points here and remained more or less the same in the Nanos poll back then. No question, Jackmania is playing here. But how long will it last?

    Both of those polls also showed the Liberals making some gains, though Nik Nanos believed that was more due to the fact they had no permanent leader at the moment. Again, I wonder if this Harris-Decima poll also reflects this? Though, how many people actually believe that Bob Rae will actually keep his promise to not attempt to run for permanent leader? I gather not many. This leads me to wonder if Nanos’ analysis is really correct back then?

    Yes, I do believe that Blatchford’s hideous column does reflect paranoia on her part as you point out. The timing of its’ release; just hours after Jack’s death was announced, was deliberate. This latest poll pretty much confirms this much.

    However, parliament hasn’t begun to sit yet. We haven’t seen a Question Period in the new session. Too many unknown variables. How well will Nycole Turmel perform in the house? She will, after all, be leading until a new leader for the NDP has been selected.

    Bob Rae, on the other hand, performs quite well from what I’ve seen. Better than Michael Ignatieff, imo. The reduced caucus is experienced and talented. Will they utilize their talents to their fullest? Can they prove to walk and chew gum at the same time, as in rebuild their party and get about the politics of opposing Harper and the conservatives? Will they?

    Then, the NDP leadership race itself. The divisions are already showing, starting with Pat Martin advocating for a merger (I side with this, too, nowadays) and Peter Julian saying absolutely not, along with others in the caucus. Then there’s that whole Jack’s final letter which suggested a quick race, which many suggest reasoning behind it to hamstring Thomas Mulcair, but today, I heard on the radio from Jean Lapierre that Quebec is now requesting that the leadership vote be pushed back in order for a Quebec membership drive to happen. Lord only knows how many other divisions will resurface in the coming weeks; months ahead.

    Also, an upcoming by-election campaign for Toronto-Danforth will surely have the Liberals and the NDP having their claws out for each other yet again. Could start to provide comfort for the Conservatives here.

    As for the Conservatives, they could well end up with the last laugh on this, unless the NDP and the Liberals could at least start cooperating with each other and start focusing on the real foe–Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.

    • flyonthewall

      I agree with you on the cooperation front, thought I think that if Mulcair wins the leadership of the NDP and starts taking it to the Cons on a sustainable development front, he’ll win half the Green and one third of the Liberal vote and then those parties’ cooperation wouldn’t be required.
      BTW, saw you at Mount Royal last Monday and it touched me.

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