Sunday, May 11, 2014

WILL NDP REWARD SQUANDERED OPPORTUNITY?

A women who mustered a total of six votes when she sought the leadership of the Provincial New Democrats against Lorraine Micheal in 2006 is encouraging members to dump the 71-year-old leader at next weekend's convention.
 
The NDP may have missed the window of political opportunity in the post 2011 election period after a nasty round of infighting led to the exodus of two of it's MHAs last fall. Four of the five member caucus had signed a letter demanding a leadership review at the Spring convention.

A downturn in soaring polling numbers for the party, and Ms. Micheal, has resulted in the party returning to it's traditional far back in third position amongst voters in the province. 
 
A weak and disorganized Liberal Party combined with a pair of New Democrat Members of Parliament, including former leader Jack Harris, netted the NDP historic gains in popular support and MHA's in the 2011 provincial election. 

The NDP came up one short of the Liberals, with five seats. The result was more resources, profile and considerable momentum. The picture a year before the next provincial election is dire.  The NDP now have three seats in the House of Assembly, the Liberals have doubled the size of their caucus to twelve. 

The latest CRA poll pegged the Dippers at 13 per cent support. In March of 2013 they were at 39%.   In March of 2013, Micheal was polled to be the most preferred leader to lead the province  at 33%. A year later she is at the bottom of the preference list with only 11% support.

It remains to be seen if the dissension in the ranks of the NDP has been stemmed. If the incredible number of former dippers from all over the city who knocked on doors and campaigned for Liberal Cathy Bennett in the Virginia Waters by-election is any indication, the disgruntled followed former Party President and St. John's North MHA Dale Kirby's lead. 

One thing is for certain, Micheal may win a leadership review but her party is going to be very challenged to hold onto the three seats they have, let alone grow in the next election.


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