Saturday, December 31, 2011

NDP leadership endorsement map - as of Dec 31

If the past is any indication, mapping the upcoming N.D.P. leadership race will be difficult to do. You see, the party has- at least not in recent memory ever produced any geographical breakdowns of their leadership races. This is quite unfortunate for the cartographically inclined, but I suppose it comes from the party not wanting to create any regional hostilities.

One thing we can map however, are the endorsements. The endorsements will give us a clue into how certain candidates will do in various areas. It is the next best thing to getting actual regional numbers. This is why I have created an endorsement map to show off where the regional strengths are for each of the eight candidates in the running. I do hope to keep updating the map; at least on a monthly basis until the March 24th convention in Toronto.

Revised 01/01/12
The map
On this map, I have coloured in some of the ridings, if the MP from that riding has endorsed a certain candidate. I have used symbols to indicate endorsements for other politicians, such as MLAs, past MPs and municipal politicians.

If endorsements give us any indication as to how well certain candidates are doing, then the race looks to be between Quebec MP Thomas Mulcair and former party president Brian Topp. That is what the media has kept saying as well. Mulcair's strength appears to be concentrated mostly in Quebec, which will be a problem for him if true. Quebec, despite having a majority of the NDPs MPs has few party members so far. The province has, at last count just 6000 members out of a nation wide total of 100,000. Topp also has some strength in Quebec, as well as in B.C., where he has a majority of the endorsements. He may also "win" Saskatchewan, where he used to work for the Romanow government there. If Topp wins both these provinces, he will be looking very good at winning. BC has the most NDP members out of any province, and Saskatchewan (despite having no NDP MPs) has the highest NDP memberships per capita out of any province.

Polling also suggests that Ontario MPs Peggy Nash and Paul Dewar will be strong contenders for the leadership. Neither have as many endorsements as Topp or Mulcair, however (Dewar has no MPs behind him, yet).  Nash has a smattering of support here and there. She has a few Quebec endorsements, and has secured every endorsement in her own riding (the local MPP and both city councillors), but nothing else in Ontario. She may do well in Atlantic Canada, thanks to key endorsements from former NDP leader Alex McDonough and Newfoundland and Labrador NDP leader Lorraine Michael. Atlantic Canada will be up for grabs now that former Nova Scotia MP Robert Chisholm has dropped out. While Dewar has no MPs endorse him yet, he has the support of many provincial legislators, mostly in Manitoba. He is doing a lot better there than in his home province, thanks to family connections in the province.

Also picking up quite a few endorsements is Manitoba MP Niki Ashton. She isn't considered a favourite for the race, but she will certainly be challenging Dewar for NDP votes in Manitoba where her father is a cabinet minister. She has also secured the endorsement of three Quebec MPs.

Challenging Topp's endorsement lead in BC is BC MP Nathan Cullen. While no MP has endorsed him, he has secured endorsements of a few provincial legislators. However, Cullen has no endorsements outside the province. Also with localized support is Quebec MP Romeo Saganash. He has the endorsement of two other Quebec MPs, including one from a neighbouring riding of his.

And last but least is Nova Scotia businessman Martin Singh. He has yet to receive any endorsements, but he is running a spirited campaign so far. I have heard that the is the only candidate to have opened campaign offices so far. One in Delta, BC and one in Malton, ON, close to large South Asian communities. (Singh is actually not South Asian, but a white Sikh convert). All the South Asian MLAs in BC seem to have endorsed Topp however, but one Sikh NDP provincial legislator (Jagmeet Singh, who represents Malton) hasn't made an endorsement yet. Also up for grabs for Sikh is a whole lot of Nova Scotia NDP MLAs.