Greens Surpass NDP in Ontario for 1st time ever

Jim Harris

The Green Party of Canada has surpassed the NDP for the first time ever in vote rich Ontario (38% of all votes in the 2006 federal election were cast in Ontario).

Harris Decima’s most recent poll (released January 9) shows the GPC at 14% in the province of Ontario, while the NDP is at 12%. It's important to note that these are three week rolling averages, so these averages involve multiple polls.

The NDP support in Ontario has collapsed from over 25% in early 2006 to just 12% today -- a more than 50% reduction. By contrast, Green support has surged from 6% to 14% -- a 133% increase.

This is the first time ever the GPC has exceeded the NDP in Ontario.

The front page of the Ideas section of the Toronto Star today (January 12) features a story by Susan Delacourt on the issue. Delacourt points out that “the New Democrats . . . are now routinely placing well behind the Greens – by as much as seven percentage points in December – within the 905 area code.”

Later in the article Delacourt writes:

Harris/Decima president Bruce Anderson says the Green party numbers in the 905 area code offer an important glimpse into the minds and motivations of voters these days, beyond the GTA. He says that what we're seeing in the Toronto suburbs is also percolating in suburbs of Vancouver, Calgary and even Montreal.

The environment is not a flash in the pan and it's not just a youthful pursuit. “The truth is that there are as many 50-something environmentalists as there are 20-something environmentalists,” he says.

People are concerned about the environment because they actually feel its effects in their everyday lives – weird weather, for instance. And suburban voters, in their capacity as homeowners, parents and community members, may see things even more acutely from their vantage point, Anderson suggests.

The NDP apparently is completely nonchalant about being eclipsed by the Green Party. Brad Lavigne, the NDP's communications director, claims that the NDP "is steady in the 905 and up in the 416” -- in the last year -- but when you look at the trend since the 2006 election it's bleak for the NDP.

The Star article shows support for the NDP in 905 ridings falling from a high of 22% in 2006 to 10% today while the Green Party support has risen from 4% to 16% today.

The graph for 416 area code ridings shows NDP support falling from more than 30% in 2006 to 15% today while the Green Party support has risen from 4% in 2006 to 15% today.

Rather than comment on why the NDP's support is collapsing, Lavigne tries to change the focus by suggesting that the Green Party doesn’t hold it’s vote come election day.

Here are some facts for Lavigne: In the recent Ontario election the Green Party held onto every single vote the pollsters' predicted. Averaging the last poll from six different polling firms just before the October 10 election predicted the Green Party would win 8% of the vote and the party won exactly 8%. In other words the Green Party has grown so strong on the ground in grass roots campaigning that we hold our vote.

In the 2004 and 2006 elections the party was still building infrastructure and growing our membership. But now we are a force to be reckoned with.

In the London North Centre federal by-election the NDP said the Green Party support would fall – but it was the NDP vote that collapsed from 24% in the 2006 general election to 14% in the by-election, while Green Party support surged from 5.5% in general election to 26% in the November 2006 by-election.

The Green Party vote has eclipsed the NDP in PEI, in Calgary, in provincial elections, and the Green Party vote surpassed the NDP’s in almsot two dozen idings in the recent Ontario provincial election.

In different polls, from different polling companies the Green Party has been ahead of the NDP in almost every region at different times.

Download the full Harris Decima poll from

For the Toronto Star article see