The NDP crowns its next leader tomorrow, and the best we can do at this point is narrow the field down to 5 possible winners. That’s a far cry from September when the Brian Topp juggernaut was described as Martinesque.
I made my “secret Liberal memo” endorsements earlier this month, and my opinion hasn’t changed since then – I feel Mulcair is the strongest candidate, and as a partisan Liberal I’ll be rooting for Peggy Nash or Brian Topp. Or maybe Nathan Cullen, because he’s the most interesting candidate. Or maybe Paul Dewar, because that’s how I’d likely vote if my blood ran orange. Or maybe Martin Singh, because I’d sure love to see what commercial the NDP prepared for him.
As for who will win, I don’t know how many membership forms each camp sold so my best guess is nothing more than a wild guess. But here goes: I’ll predict Mulcair comes in around 30%, with Cullen in second around 20%, and Nash, Dewar, and Topp hot on his heels. Mulcair over Nash on the final ballot.
To help size the race up, here’s an update on the NDP Power Rankings – how the candidates fare in terms of fundraising, social media, endorsements, and buzz. (click for full size)
The “average share” column is simply an average of each candidate’s share of the pie on these 9 indicators. It’s by no means intended to be a predictor of first ballot support but, that said, I wouldn’t be shocked to see numbers similar to this on Saturday:
The momentum numbers show how these pie slices have changed over the past week and the past month – in both instances, Mulcair and Cullen are gaining the most ground. Mulcair’s gains have been primarily due to increased media attention, while Cullen has benefited from some very real gains in donations and social media support.
And this momentum is part of the reason I’ve predicted Cullen to finish second on the first ballot (that and the large number of BC NDP members). Although Cullen lags far behind on endorsements and his fundraising numbers aren’t anything to write home about, he has now matched Mulcair when it comes to the total number of donors, and leads the Facebook “like” race.
February’s Dewar poll and HosertoHoosier’s analysis of the online preferential ballot, both suggest that Cullen’s growth potential is limited, likely due to the divisiveness of his “co-operation” plan. But I expect him to raise some eyebrows when the first ballot results are read off at 10 am Saturday.