Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jack in the (ballot) box?

Many will have woken up this morning to the news that the NDP is on the move up in the polls. One has them leading in Quebec (CROP), another has them tied nationally with the Liberals (EKOS) and all show a positive trending for Mr. Layton's party.

I say Mr. Layton's party for a reason. A huge driver of the move appears to be the popularity and credibility voters see in Mr. Layton. This was something that we started seeing after the debates (particularly the French debate) and which has been slowly building over the past week.

So what should we watch for?

1. Sustainability - will the NDP be able to keep these numbers up for the final 12 days?

2. Ground game. Getting your vote out in places where you expected to do well is one thing. Getting it out in places where you really didn't think you had a chance is another. Is the NDP ready for election day in, for example, Quebec?

3. The Liberal numbers in Ontario and Atlantic Canada. If these continue to fall, they have a problem.

Keep an eye on for their usual, excellent analysis. As of this morning, they are not seeing these polling numbers translating into seat changes, but it make take some time. Again, sustainability is critical.

All to say, watch this space to see whether things revert to type or whether voters think of Jack at the ballot box.

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