Jagmeet Singh still holds balance of power but NDP doesn’t make major seat gains

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Led by leader Jagmeet Singh, the NDP will return to Ottawa with its balance of power, but the party’s hopes of securing a bigger seat fell short.

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As of early Tuesday, the NDP has won 23 seats, and is leading in four other seats, taking a total of 27 seats. The party had 24 seats in the previous parliament.

As in the previous parliament, Liberals would need the support of at least one of the three other main parties – the Conservatives, the NDP or the Bloc Québécois – to win votes in the House of Commons. In previous parliaments, liberals often depended on the NDP for major votes, and Mr. Singh’s party has enough seats to seek concessions from liberals in exchange for support.

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“I want to thank the people of Canada for voting,” Mr Singh said late Monday at his party’s Vancouver headquarters. “And I want to tell Canadians that you can count on the New Democrats to continue fighting for you. As we fought for you in the pandemic when times were tough, when people were struggling… we are there for you.” Were. “

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NDP national director Anne McGrath said Mr Singh would continue to push the government on NDP priority issues. “He doesn’t hold back when it comes to the things he thinks we should do as Parliament,” he said.

“If we have a balance of power, we will use it appropriately,” McGrath said. “We have been very effective at keeping the government in mind to put forward positive proposals and to ensure that they are implemented.”

The early results would have been disappointing for the NDP as the party failed to gain a large seat and pulled out of Atlantic Canada after losing the ride of St John’s East to Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mr Singh visited 51 ridings across the country during his 36-day federal election campaign, his second as an NDP leader. He campaigned nationally on the message of positive change and fighting for Canadians, while also directing scathing attacks toward Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.

On key issues such as child care, housing and climate policy, Mr. Singh has consistently said that liberals “say good things” and are making similar promises to the NDP, relying on Mr. Trudeau’s six-year performance in power. Cannot be delivered.

The additional experience of having a national campaign under his belt as a leader is shown in terms of appearing more comfortable in national headlines. Although Mr Singh won the party leadership in 2017, the former Ontario MPP did not have a seat in the federal parliament until February 2019, when he won a by-election in the BC riding of Burnaby South. Just a few months later, he was representing the party in the fall 2019 election.

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Since then, the NDP has focused on fundraising and loan repayments, which allowed the party to enter the campaign with additional funds to spend. The party’s paid ad is more visible this time. The colorful ads contrasted sharp criticisms of Mr Trudeau with positive images of Mr Singh, and the party rarely focused its attention on the Conservatives.

The NDP dropped to 24 seats in the 2019 election, finishing fourth behind Bloc Québécois’ 32 seats, the Conservatives’ 121 seats and the Liberals’ 157. The Green Party won three seats in 2019, and an independent was elected – former Liberal cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybold, who did not run for re-election in the campaign. Ms Wilson-Raybould has made positive comments online about Anjali Appadurai, the NDP candidate in the former riding of Vancouver Granville.

The campaign has a clear strategy for Mr Singh – and his entire leadership of the party – a concerted effort to win over young voters on social-media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. At his campaign rallies, he encouraged supporters to jump in and dance along to his upbeat campaign song, and engage in a repeat refrain at each stop: “When we lift each other up, we all get up.” “

Young voters are an important demographic for the party, but since they are less likely to appear in elections, the NDP attempted to share messages of voter empowerment and educational resources on how to vote. This push for the youth vote may have been made more difficult by the cancellation of Election Canada’s vote on campus due to complications related to a snap election during a pandemic.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh promised to “continue to fight” for issues he says are important to Canadians as the Liberals won another minority government. In a speech that echoed his message throughout the campaign, Singh promised pharmacare, dental care, prioritizing indigenous issues and paying the rich their fair share. Canadian Press

Throughout his campaign, Mr. Singh stuck to his message of taxing the rich to pay for the party’s proposed programs. In his last campaign news conference on Sunday, Mr. Singh said the NDP’s proposed property tax was a major issue for him in supporting the minority government.

Those simple, coherent pitches to voters were the strength of the campaign, according to NDP strategist Sally Houser. “The NDP has been really, really good at sticking to the message,” she said, “and that’s often a big part of the fight.”

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Ms Houser also emphasized the party’s aggressive strategy in the final stages of the campaign, visiting rides that New Democrats thought had the potential to flip orange. On the campaign’s final weekend, the party visited Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton and Cranbrook, BC, all places where New Democrats were trying to take seats. He also added a stop in Halifax at the last minute, and then spent Sunday campaigning in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland, targeting Liberal- and Conservative-held rides.

Mr Singh inherited a party that had fallen far below its 2011 peak, when the NDP won a record 103 seats in an “orange wave” election, led by party leader Jack Layton. This result was driven by dramatic gains for the party in Quebec, where it won 59 seats. Mr Layton died later that year and his successor, Tom Mulcaire, was unable to maintain the party’s popularity in Quebec or at the national level until 2015, when the NDP was reduced to 44 seats, including 16 in Quebec. As of 2019, the NDP was reduced to just one seat in Quebec.

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