A new poll is out that shows the Conservatives and the NDP in a virtual tie – unsurprisingly linked to the recent death of Jack Layton:
The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey pegs support for Layton’s NDP at 33 per cent — tied with the ruling Conservatives and well ahead of the Liberals at 21 per cent. That’s almost a three-point gain for the New Democrats since the May 2 election, which vaulted the party into official Opposition status for the first time in its 50-year history. The Tories are down almost seven points while the Liberals are up two. Harris-Decima chairman Allan Gregg said the NDP gain is most likely attributable to “the Jack effect.”
It remains to be seen of course whether that trend holds of course, and it is very early into the Conservatives new mandate, so they won’t be too concerned about numbers like these just yet.
However, I’ve thought that part of the reason we’ve seen such a backlash from some of the right-wing punditry towards the reaction to Jack’s death, as well as unusual criticism towards Harper by them for offering the State Funeral, as well as being critical of what went on at the funeral service itself, is because those people fear that Jack’s death may help progressives coalesce and use it as a starting point or a rallying point in opposition to Harper and his Conservatives right-wing reactionary policies. Maybe it’s under the NDP’s new leader – maybe it’s under the Liberal’s new leader, but it wouldn’t be hard to point at some narrow-minded policy the Conservatives bring out (and there will be plenty of those – trust me, over the next 4 years) and invoke the spirit of Layton in an effort to stop it.
I feel that’s why you’ve seen Levant from Sunmedia and Blatchford and other right-wing columnists react with such unbridled hostility. Hopefully someone from the progressive side of the ledger in one or both parties can grasp that and be able to carry on the progressive vision as an alternative to Harper’s regression.