Led by Jack Layton and with a crop of relatively unknown and inexperienced candidates, the NDP swept the province of Quebec in 2011 in what quickly became known as the “Orange Crush.”
But four years later, pollsters are now seeing the beginnings of what has been dubbed the “Orange Crash” as the party’s fortunes begin to shift and Quebecers turn back toward the Liberals or even the Bloc Québécois.
“Basically, there are three pillars on the 2011 victory for the NDP,” Christian Bourque, vice president at Leger Marketing, told The West Block‘s Tom Clark.
“Jack Layton, getting rid of the Bloc Québécois … and the third one was, who can best beat Stephen Harper? And back then it was the NDP. Now, if you saw off that chair, it only stands on one leg now, which is Thomas Mulcair. He’s still fairly popular in the province, but yet most of the reasons 2011 happened are non-existent anymore.”
The winners in this equation will likely be Justin Trudeau and the Liberals. Bourque said that while support for the Liberals has traditionally concentrated on the Island of Montreal, there is mounting evidence that it is shifting outward to the suburbs as part of a strategic effort to keep the Conservatives from forming the next government — which is more bad news for the NDP.
“At 28 per cent (support) tie with the NDP right now, it’s still hard to say how many seats (The Liberals) can grab off of the island, but if they move between now and election day into the low 30’s, even though their vote is somewhat concentrated in Montreal, as soon as they hit 30 per cent, then we’re seeing (off-island) francophone seats topple over to the Liberals and away from the NDP.”