Sunday, March 11, 2012

NDP membership maps

The NDP leadership convention is only two weeks away, and so I've decided to do a brief analysis of the party's membership. Updated numbers were released at the beginning of the month, showing the party's membership for each of the 10 provinces and three territories.

The membership deadline for voting in the leadership race was almost a month ago, so the updated figures will be the official figures for the leadership race. Members will be able to vote either online, by mail or at the party's leadership convention.


Province / Territory NDP members % of population (2011 census) Members to NDP MP's ratio NDP 2011 votes to members ratio
Alberta 9800 0.27 9800 24
British Columbia 39859 0.91 3321.6 15.3
Manitoba 11991 0.99 5995.5 10.6
New Brunswick 946 0.13 946 122.4
Newfoundland and Labrador 974 0.19 487 72.8
Nova Scotia 3904 0.42 1301.3 35
Northwest Territories 124 0.3 124 57.6
Nunavut 24 0.08 - 63.5
Ontario 36965 0.29 1760.2 38.3
Prince Edward Island 262 0.19 - 46.3
Quebec 13987 0.18 241.2 116.6
Saskatchewan 11243 1.09 - 13.1
Yukon 747 2.2 - 3.1
Total (including others) 131152 0.39 1298.5 34.4

NDP Membership by province and territory.
 As you can see, over half of all NDP members are in BC and Ontario. This is good for the party, considering it is in those two regions the party needs to grow in order form government. However, the party also needs to worry about keeping strength in Quebec. While membership in Quebec has increased a lot, it is still not going to be a huge factor.

This discrepancy can be shown best through the last two columns on my chart. The third column in my chart shows the ratio of NDP Members to NDP Members of Parliament. Quebec has one NDP Member of Parliament for every 241 members. This is a very low number, second only to the Northwest Territories, which has one MP and a total of 124 members in the entire territory. My next map illustrates this well:

The fourth column shows the ratio of NDP voters in the last federal election to members. One would think that the provinces should be generally equal, but this is not the case. Some provinces' citizens are more likely to want to join a political party than others. Much has been said about how fickle Quebec voters can be, and the chart shows how unwilling they are to commit to the party they overwhelmingly backed in 2011. There are 117 NDP voters for every NDP member in the province. Only New Brunswick was more out of balance. It appears provinces without NDP voting traditions had the most discrepancies. The Yukon has the lowest NDP voter to member ratio. The party has a high membership in the Territory, but had a poor showing in the federal election. It's likely many NDP members didn't even vote for the NDP last May. I have made another map showing the ratio:

The second column in the chart shows the percentage of the population in each region who is an NDP member. Interestingly, the two jurisdictions with the highest percentage of NDP members both have zero NDP Members of Parliament. Over 2% of the population of the Yukon holds an NDP membership (thanks perhaps to a re-invigorated territorial party). And, just over 1% of Saskatchewan holds an NDP membership. The party should be happy about that, especially coming off a poor election result in the Fall, and going four straight federal elections without winning a seat. My next map shows this:

So, there are clearly four tiers of provinces. Ontario and BC have the most influence, with both having over 30,000 members. Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Quebec are the next tier, all with around 10,000 members. Nova Scotia is in a tier of its own, with 4000 members. The rest of the provinces round out the final tier, all of which have less than 1000 members. It is clear that Ontario and BC will be the key provinces to focus on.


  1. Psssst Hatman

    I think you meant "tier" instead of "tear" in the last paragraph... although tears might be correct for some provinces.

    The paragraph about the 4th column you have a "will" when you meant "with".

    And somewhere in the text there is a "may" that needs to be capitalised to "May". Or not. It's your blog.

  2. Diane's having a rash! Fix it! Fix it!

  3. "Fewer than" not "less than."

    "On which to focus" not "to focus on."

  4. Just be glad my sister didn't read this. Her writing was used as an exemplar in a book about grammar called "Write of Way."