With an election getting closer every day, the perennially third-place New Democratic Party (NDP) is looking to capitalize on the growing discontent with the ruling Liberals and the readiness for a new direction for the country. This all suggests that the next federal election, whenever it comes, could bring new and bigger opportunities for the party to shape the debate and even challenge for executive power. The party’s leaders are working hard to define and implement the party’s strategies on key issues, mobilize the voter base and foresee any future hurdles.

Under the leadership of Jagmeet Singh, the NDP has found new ways of connecting with a broader electorate, largely through Singh’s charisma and seemingly unassailable leadership style. The party is purely focused on progressive policies, including healthcare, climate change, and economic inequality, appealing to voters looking for substantive changes and wanting to broaden the base of power beyond two parties.

The NDP has been vocal about causes that galvanize communities, getting behind the working class through union support and promoting reconciliation and social justice initiatives. They’ve reliably backed universal Pharmacare, legislation around affordable housing and addressing the challenges of climate change head-on and without equivocation.

However, all hopes for the NDP’s ability to reach new electoral heights depend on attracting big swaths of voters from both major parties. They can certainly  reach many of their goals just by winning over undecided and first-time voters, but for the big prize of federal leadership, there would have to be a certain cross-ideology appeal.

It would also help to have appeal in Quebec. The party has focused on major urban centers, including Montreal, trying to get the vote out amongst people who sometimes would rather stay in their apartments. That effort is focused on centers of traditional NDP support such as western BC and the GTA.

MPs in the party, like former leadership candidates Charlie Angus and Peter Julian, are contributing to the party’s decisions and strategies in this crucial time through their own public profiles and policy stances. While there will almost certainly be gains, there is still a strong cohort of Canadians who identify strongly with one of the two major parties and will support them in any election. The current ruling party is, in fact, encroaching on the NDP’s traditional issues to try to make their own gains. Also, the left, in general, is much more fragmented politically than the right, who largely coalesce under the Conservative banner. This makes it much harder for the party to reach their seat count goals.

There are several factors that, in combination, will shape the success of the party in 2024. The appeal of the party’s leader, Jagmeet Singh, will be crucial, as will mobilizing the electorate to show up and vote. There is strong competition from both sides for this long-time ally of the left to face, and the party’s ability to position itself as the most powerful voice for all of those loose factions will determine its chances in the upcoming battle.

 

Analyzing the NDP’s Prospects in the Upcoming Election