Jagmeet Singh Defends NDP Election Results Despite Slight Increase In Seats


Jagmeet Singh said Tuesday that he feels secure in his leadership despite a barely budging NDP seat count following a pandemic election that exposed a tarnished liberal brand and saw Canadians consistently rank him as the party boss most. popular.

The New Democrat leader said his group will continue to advance in Parliament, even though the talking point for his campaign is that liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cannot be trusted.

“I am excited about the important work we have to do,” Singh said in Vancouver. “We had the same position in the last Parliament and we were able to secure a lot of really important victories.”

The new Democrats had 24 seats in the House of Commons at the time of dissolution, and while some close races are still being counted, it appeared that as of Tuesday night they had won only one or two seats.

Singh said he was proud of his team, but “disappointed” that many NDP candidates who failed to win their constituencies will not join him in Ottawa.

The election day result was significantly lower than Singh’s predecessor Tom Mulcair’s 44-seat result in 2015, leading to a leadership overhaul and Singh’s promotion in 2017.

Monday sparked déjà vu among the new Democrats after a tough run in 2019 that cost them 20 seats. Singh was relatively new to the federal scene at the time, with just two years under his belt as the leader of a party also facing financial difficulties.

This time, the NDP spent millions more, and Singh enjoyed national name recognition and a declared record of pushing pandemic relief to continue. He had also been considered the most likable leader in public opinion polls, taking advantage of a gargantuan social media presence that combines talking points and trap beats.

But that good faith did not translate into votes cast, “the only currency that matters,” said Karl Bélanger, president of consultancy Traxxion Strategies and a former senior adviser to the NDP.

The NDP failed to make significant progress in key districts in Quebec and downtown Toronto, and its share of the popular vote, 17.7 percent as of Tuesday, fell short of poll projections.

“You lost some seats, you won others. So you’re floating on the water. You need to do better. And the key to that is getting the people who say they will vote for you actually vote for you,” Bélanger said.

Jagmeet Singh defends the #NDP election demonstration despite slow caucus growth. #ItsOurVote #CdnPoli # Elxn44

He added that Singh’s place at the top of the match is assured at least in the short term.

“I have complete confidence in Jagmeet,” said NDP MP Taylor Bachrach in an interview, citing his “incredible enthusiasm and positive spirit” on the campaign.

Experts questioned the tactics of the new Democrats on the ground after efforts to get the vote in the past week appeared insufficient.

Neck-to-neck races that the NDP hoped to win but are still in doubt as mail-in ballots are counted include: Davenport in Toronto, Laurier-Sainte-Marie in Montreal, Berthier-Maskinongé in rural Quebec, Windsor-Tecumseh in southwestern Ontario, Hamilton Mountain, owned by the New Democrats, and, in downtown Toronto, Spadina- Fort York, where the Liberal candidate was effectively expelled. from the party over the weekend, but still managed to get through.

The New Democrats also lost their last stronghold in Atlantic Canada, St. John’s East, after NDP MP Jack Harris chose not to seek reelection..

“They can’t see this as a victory,” said Sanjay Jeram, senior professor of political science at Simon Fraser University.

“If you’re thinking about what kind of conditions the NDP could make its breakthrough with Jagmeet Singh at the helm, this was it. And he didn’t make it.”

The party secured a pair of new seats in Edmonton and in the Lower Mainland of Port Moody-Coquitlam in British Columbia. It also held a slim lead in the previous green lead from Nanaimo – Ladysmith.

The liberal shift to the left on social policy and happy spending budgets has “squeezed” the NDP and makes holding together a base ranging from unionized workers to urban progressives even more difficult, Jeram said. “I’m not sure leadership is the looming problem.”

Singh criticized Trudeau on Tuesday for holding elections during the pandemic, saying it appears to have led to long lines at polling stations, less accessibility and ultimately low voter turnout. The lack of polling places on campus due to an Elections Canada decision prompted by COVID-19 concerns may have hurt the NDP’s prospects, as young people tend to vote orange in higher numbers.

Nonetheless, the New Democrats, as a fourth party, have once again been in a position to maintain the balance of power in supporting the minority liberal government after a 36-day campaign that focused primarily on Singh criticizing Trudeau, often in very personal terms.

Singh said he has no intention of forcing another election.

“We used our position (in the former minority Parliament) successfully to win big victories for the people, for Canadians. They were better off because we were there,” he said.

“We will do the same.”

This Canadian Press report was first published on September 21, 2021.


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