Election 2011: The NDP

For the next little while, I’m going to dig through the Canadian Election Study‘s data from last year’s election and pull out some of the more interesting survey results. You can dig through all the CES data yourself via the Canadian Opinion Research Archive. Today, the NDP.

During the campaign and in a post-election survey, the CES asked for respondents to identify their second-choice party and in both cases the NDP bested all other parties—28.4% during the campaign and 28.7% after. During the campaign, respondents were asked if there was a party they would never vote and only 10.4% identified the NDP (compared to 18.8% for the Liberals and 33.1% for the Conservatives).

Beyond the possibilities that could be drawn from those numbers, the results are a bit mixed.

First, the economy. Only 12.6% identified the NDP as the best party to manage the economy (compared with 19.8% for the Liberals and 35.9% for the Conservatives). When respondents were presented with the statement “an NDP government would really hurt the Canadian economy,” 35.6% either strongly or somewhat agreed, while 54% either strongly or somewhat disagreed.

Second, party identification. Only 15.1% of respondents said they usually thought of the NDP as the party they identified with.

There are also some interesting—read: curious—numbers about what respondents wanted and expected to happen in the 2011 election. Only 8.9% of respondents thought the NDP had the best chance of winning in their riding and only 2.5% said they would like to see an NDP majority or minority government. The latter number is taken from the campaign survey, which also found 13.6% of respondents said they would vote for the NDP. My first guess would be that the seeming improbability of an NDP victory reduced the number of people who thought to identify it as their desired result.