Sunday, February 19, 2012

Leadership 2012 Candidate Rankings - February 19, 2012

We'll get plenty more information about where the leadership campaign stands once we see how membership sales have turned out. But there's been enough news in the past week to make one change to the rankings for now.

1. Thomas Mulcair (1)

When I started these rankings, I clarified that being ranked at the top of the list (and thus having a seemingly greater likelihood of winning than any other candidate) didn't necessarily mean Mulcair was more likely than not to emerge as the NDP's leader. Now, I'll at least temporarily revisit that clarification: while the principles behind the rankings haven't changed, I'd currently place Mulcair's chances of victory somewhere slightly north of 50%.

2. Peggy Nash (2)

Meanwhile, the identity of his top challenger remains the same as well. But I'll be curious to see whether there's been any positive/negative impression polling to show if Nash actually enjoys enough enthusiasm to actually gather momentum, or whether inertia is the most important factor operating in her favour.

3. Paul Dewar (4)

I don't think the poll results released this week change the relative positioning of the candidates as spun by Dewar's camp. But his latest set of endorsements gives him a far stronger answer to the question of "can he win support in Quebec?" than he could offer so far, and that's enough to vault him narrowly ahead of...

4. Brian Topp (3)

The other part of the reason for the change in this week's rankings is that one of Topp's weaknesses from day one only seems to have been exacerbated as the campaign has progressed. The more Topp turns off supporters of other candidates, the less likely he is to earn enough down-ballot votes to win - and while I'm not entirely unsympathetic to the need for clash in the leadership campaign, Topp seems to have provoked more of a negative response than any other candidate which severely limits his chances of emerging as a compromise choice.

5. Nathan Cullen (5)

Cullen had a great week in the media thanks to shows of support from key outside groups. But while he looks like a strong bet to finish third or fourth on the first ballot, it's still questionable whether enough of the NDP's base will provide him with any down-ballot support to permit any growth from there.

6. Niki Ashton (6)

A quiet week may signal that Ashton is looking to the debates to make or break her campaign from here on in - which may well make for her best hope, especially if her fund-raising hasn't picked up.

7. Martin Singh (7)

Finally, it's been another quiet week from Singh's camp as well - and again, no news isn't good news for a candidate already stuck at the back of the pack.

[Edit: added labels; fixed wording.]


  1. Anonymous1:04 a.m.

    Dewar only has two MPs to endorse him from Quebec. That hardly proves he can win the support of the rest of the Quebec Caucus, let alone the support of the Quebec population.

  2. jurist8:27 a.m.

    Understood. But now the question is how much more Dewar can add to a respectable starting point - where before his opponents could raise a question as to whether he could win the support of any of the Quebec caucus.

  3. Anonymous1:19 a.m.

    Sure, it's a starting point, but where can he really go from here? Haven't most of the other Quebec MPs endorsed someone else? And if he can't expand on this, aren't most people going to think his endorsements are the exception, rather than the rule?

  4. jurist7:47 a.m.

    Of course there are a limited number of first-choice endorsements left. But any candidate will ultimately need to win over the substantial number of MPs in other camps. there's no reason to hold Dewar alone to a higher standard as compared to, say, Nash with her 5 Quebec MP endorsements or Topp with his 3.