You could pretty much set your clock by it: Two weeks of disdainful coverage about how Tom Mulcair just doesn’t understand how much he’s blundering into a powderkeg are followed by today’s National Post poll, featuring the largest NDP margin over other parties that I have seen since things got weird for a minute in 1988, or maybe the best poll ever for the NDP.
Polls are, of course, for dogs, and there’s three years until the next election, and so far the Conservatives have carefully run only their most listless, non-leader-focussed online-only “attack” campaign against the NDP. So everything could change, and indeed it will. Somehow. In the meantime, this National Post poll (conducted by Forum Research) is a trip. A 138-seat NDP plurality dominating a — hmm — non-existent 303-seat House of Commons! An 8-point drop in Conservative support since the election! A five-point increase in NDP support in the same period! And most intriguing, if we can stow the exclamation marks for a second, two things:
(1) an apparent new-normal plateau for NDP support, higher for now under Mulcair than it was under Jack Layton;
(2) a very marked swing in support in British Columbia, where the Conservatives are down 15 points and the NDP up 6 since the election. When Christy Clark called Mulcair “goofy,” it apparently didn’t have the desired effect.
Anyway, discuss among yourselves. In the meantime, we’re pretty happy here at Maclean’s, because last week we decided to write about Mulcair’s energy/environment discourse from the novel perspective that perhaps the NDP leader is not a vandal or an idiot. John Geddes took the challenge, and his excellent profile of Mulcair is here.