What the heck happened to the Ontario NDP? - 2020-02-11
Of course, the heady times didn't last, but, still, they were pretty darned good. Horwath led the NDP to its second-best showing ever — 40 seats and official-opposition status.
It's always been the dream of New Democrats to supplant the Liberals as the champions of the progressive vote, and that certainly happened 20 months ago. The Liberals cratered, and the NDP fancied itself a government-in-waiting if the Progressive Conservatives under Doug Ford were to falter.
But what's happened since? The NDP has dropped back to its traditional third-place position. It's the Liberals, who don't even have their new leader in place yet, who are topping the polls. Indeed, the last three polls have been unhappy ones for New Democrats. The latest, released by Pollara Strategic Insights last month, has the Liberals at 33 per cent, the Tories at 29 per cent, the NDP at 27 per cent, and the Greens at 9 per cent. That's a seven-point drop from where the NDP was on election day in 2018. Even worse, despite a widely acknowledged disastrous first year in power for the government, the poll suggests it is the Liberals, not the NDP, who are once again the preferred alternative to govern.