Seventy more

Paul Dewar and Charlie Angus explain their plan to focus on winning another 70 seats.

We’ll hire more grassroots organizers and put them on the ground in key regions across the country. They will work with local activists to strengthen networks where they already exist and build them where they are non-existent. Our grassroots team will recruit new activists and help train the next generation … We’ll also give our caucus an expanded role as builders. We have an incredible and diverse team that has vast experience and passion. Under this plan, we’ll give our MPs the opportunity to show Canadians first-hand what a strong and deeply talented team we have.

I’m told the plan isn’t built on a list of specific ridings, but rather is meant to focus generally on where the NDP is strong and has shown potential for growth.

With the 103 ridings the NDP won in 2011, that sets a goal of 173 for 2015. How realistic is such a target? I suppose that’s a matter of opinion, but by the numbers the NDP finished second in 121 ridings last May. They finished a strong third in an another eight ridings. Add that up and that’s a general target area of 232 ridings.

For the sake of comparison, the Conservatives finished first, second or a strong third in 240 ridings. The Liberals finished first, second or a strong third in 114 ridings.

(Of course, 170 seats will be the new majority threshold in a 338-member House.)

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.