Mulcair’s orange is ripening

As we get closer to our federal election day, Tom Mulcair’s NDP is maintaining its momentum as the front-runner.

An Ipsos poll conducted for Global News puts voter support at 35 % for the surging orange wave, with the Liberals at 29% and the Conservatives at 28%.

When translated into seats in the newly expanded House of Commons, the NDP leads with 130, the Conservatives get 119 and the Liberals trail with 96.

Many reasons are being advanced to explain those results. Following on Mulcair’s sterling performance in Parliament, the Rachel Notley electoral earthquake in Alberta and an aggressive and confident nationwide campaign, the NDP has been consolidating its advantage in Quebec and British Columbia, while holding its own modestly in Ontario.

The Liberals had kept their powder relatively dry until the presentation of the Conservatives’ federal budget and the setting of the date for the election. Now that these two stages have been passed, Team Trudeau is making up for its loss of steam vis-à-vis the other two main parties and is pushing to take centre-stage with strong policy positions on a variety of issues.

The Conservatives, on the other hand, are confident they have the core support of their loyal electoral base; but they must be aware that they have no room for growth outside that partisan constituency of voters.

Now to the next logical question: How firm is this trend?

According to the polls, the trend is holding, not just a blip. The NDP is leading in Quebec and BC and is in a statistical dead-heat with its two main rivals in Ontario. The political pundits are sensing a growing desire among Canadians for change, bearing in mind that only the NDP has never formed a federal government.

If there is any significant increase in federal votes for the NDP in Alberta, then the trend will be consolidated. The Conservative attack ads so far have been effective on the Liberals, the prime targets.

From the NDP’s point of view, there is only one fly in the ointment. It is the single risk-factor on which both the political pundits and the political parties agree: one must never neglect the possibility that the split of the progressive and change-seeking votes between the Liberals and the NDP can open the path for the Conservatives to slip into a minority government in Ottawa.

It is said that a week is a long time in politics. So the four months between now and Election Day must be an eternity.

Remember, when all is said and done, you the voters are the only ones who decide the outcome of elections. Neither the polls nor the pollsters can take that away from you.

So whatever you do, go out and vote.

Happy Canada Day.