CANADA PRESS -- OTTAWA - A new poll suggests New Democrats appear to have consolidated their support as official Opposition to the Harper Conservatives, particularly among women and urban voters.In other words Canadian progressives have internalized the new reality and the traditional polling position between the Liberals and the NDP has been almost completely reversed.
As a new Parliament opens following the May 2 election, the Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey suggests the majority Conservative government has the support of 37 per cent of respondents -- down from the Tories' 39.6 per cent of the popular vote on election day.
NDP support stood at 34 per cent in the poll, up from 30.6 per cent of the popular vote, while the third-place Liberals slipped to 15 per cent in the survey, a loss of almost four percentage points from their election day total.
A lot of progressive voters who voted Liberal because they believed the constant hype that they had no choice are now firm NDP supporters and if we can retain and expand on that support the NDP is now the opposition party with as legitimate a shot at forming government in the future as the Liberals ever had - more so because we haven't utterly burned our bridges in Quebec the way the Liberal Party has.
It's going to be very entertaining to watch all the smoking gears from rhetorical 180's as various Liberal supporters provide tortured or non-existent rationales for why it was always very, very wrong for the NDP to try to supplant the Liberals as official opposition and government in waiting but not for the third party Liberals to be spoilers in the future.
The international example is that once a centrist party loses its aura of inevitability that it will always be either the government or the opposition - it never comes back. If people want to vote for a right wing party they will vote for a real right wing party, if they want to vote for a progressive party they vote for a real one.
The fate of a centrist power brokerage party with no firm positions or philosophical underpinning once it drops to third party status the first time is to be squeezed out of existence going forward.