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Monday, October 18, 2021

NDP projected to make minor gains in Jagmeet Singh’s 2nd election as party leader


The NDP is poised to make a modest gain in seats but will likely remain in fourth place in Parliament and will not hold the balance of power in the projected Liberal minority government.

New Democrats are currently leading in 26 ridings, up slightly from the 24 it won in 2019. The party has earned 17.6 per cent of votes counted so far, up 1.6 per cent over its 2019 result.

Leader Jagmeet Singh is also projected to win his riding of Burnaby South.

“I want you to know our fight for you will continue,” Singh said in a late night speech in Vancouver.

“You can be sure that we will be there for you, and you can also be sure that if we work together we can build a better society, and that’s exactly what New Democrats will do.”

WATCH | Singh delivers concession speech:

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s full speech following 2021 election results

Jagmeet Singh reacts to the results of the election from Vancouver, British Columbia. 5:06

Blake Desjarlais is also leading Conservative incumbent Kerry Diotte in the riding of Edmonton Griesbach, which the party had identified as a prime target.

The NDP is also leading or projected to win in 13 ridings in British Columbia, an improvement of two compared to 2019.

But the party had a disappointing night in Quebec, where they are not currently projected to pick up any new seats. Alexandre Boulerice is projected to hold his seat in the Montreal riding of Rosemont–La-Petite-Patrie, which will make him the NDP’s sole Quebec MP for the second consecutive election.

The party will also fall well short of the 39 seats it won in the 2015 election. The NDP captured 103 seats and formed the Official Opposition during its “orange wave” of 2011.

A similar campaign, with slightly better results

The NDP campaign largely resembled its pitch to voters from the 2019 election, Singh’s first as the party leader.

The $200 billion platform’s signature promises included higher taxes on corporations and people the NDP calls the “ultra-rich;” as well as new national pharmacare and dental care programs.

The NDP has also proposed more ambitious emission reduction targets than the victorious Liberals, though the NDP plan has been criticized for lacking in detail.

Singh had said throughout the campaign that the inequities exposed by the pandemic made Canadians more amenable to his policy ideas.

Singh hams it up as he does a walk-through of the election night stage setup in Vancouver on Monday. The party looked to fall short of the 39 seats it won in 2015. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

“In this pandemic, people got more help because we were there, we were able to increase the supports to people,” Singh said last week. “If people want more help, more New Democrats will make it happen,”

Senior party officials said they were also confident that voters would gravitate to Singh, who they said would benefit from an added two years of exposure since his first election as leader.

The CBC’s Vote Compass found Singh rated highest among all party leaders in competence and trustworthiness, though many people who scored Singh highly in those categories said they did not plan to vote for the NDP.

What role will NDP have in next minority government?

Singh refused during the campaign to speculate about his party’s role in a possible minority government, saying that he did not want to concede the election before votes were counted.

He was sharply critical of both the Conservatives and Liberals during the campaign.

Just last week he said that Justin Trudeau has been an “abject failure” as prime minister, and that both Trudeau and Erin O’Toole would be “bad for Canada.”

However, with as few as 26 seats, the NDP will not hold a strong bargaining position to push the Liberals on some of the big-ticket policies it proposed during this election.

As a minority government, the Liberals will need to lean on other parties to pass legislation, though either the Bloc or NDP could provide enough votes to pass Trudeau’s signature promises such as a new national childcare program.



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