Majority Oppose Liberal-NDP Merger

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According to Chairman Allan Gregg “These findings suggest the Opposition Parties have their work cut out for them for the foreseeable future. The public opposition to a merger - and especially the lack of appetite among Liberal and NDP partisans makes it unlikely that this notion is going to be embraced by any credible champion any time soon. Similarly, none of the prospective NDP leadership hopefuls can claim to have a national profile or constituency and building one will be a long and uphill challenge for all contenders - although Thomas Mulcair does have a beachhead in Quebec and if can organize this support, he will have to be considered the early frontrunner".


  • A majority of Canadians oppose a merger of the New Democrats and Liberals. Nationally, 63% are opposed to such a scenario, while 24% support a merger of the Liberals and NDP. A majority of Canadians from coast to coast oppose the parties merging, with no less that 55% in any region saying so.
  •  Similar trends are evident across income, age and gender splits with support and opposition to the merger falling within national averages.
  • Liberal voters are the most likely group across all demographics to support a merger between the Liberals and the NDP (38%). Conversely, 26% of New Democrats would support a merger.
  • Canadians claim to know very little about some of the rumoured candidates for the NDP leadership.
  • Olivia Chow is the most well known with 17% saying they know a lot about her, and 41% saying they know a little about her. Four in ten (40%) say they know nothing at all about her. Of note, this data was gathered prior to her announcement that she would not seek the NDP leadership.
  • Just 12% say they know a lot about Thomas Mulcair, while 24% know a little, and 63% know nothing at all.
  • Nationally, 32% know either a lot (6%) or a little (26%) about former Manitoba Premier Gary Doer, while 66% claim to know nothing about him.
  • Less than three in ten know a lot (6%) or a little (22%) about NDP MP Libby Davies.
  • Roughly, one in four know either a lot (4%) or a little (20%) about MP Paul Dewar.o
  • Just 2% claim to know a lot about NDP President Brian Topp, with a further 23% saying they know a little about him. Almost three in four (73%) say they know nothing about him.
  • British Columbia MP Peter Julian and Nova Scotia MP Robert Chisholm were the least known rumoured candidates.
  • One in five feels Olivia Chow would be the best leader for the NDP. Nationally, 19% express this view, while 14% feel the best choice would be MP Thomas Mulcair (of note Mr. Mulcair enjoys the support of 41% of those in Quebec). Others garnering support were Gary Doer (6%), Paul Dewar (3%), with Libby Davies, Brian Topp, Peter Julian and Robert Chisholm receiving 2% apiece.
  • Among New Democrats, 22% support Ms. Chow, 21% Mr. Mulcair, 7% Mr. Doer, 4% Mr. Dewar, 4% Ms. Davies, 3% Mr. Julian, and 2% apiece for Mr. Topp and Mr. Chisholm

Each week, Harris/Decima interviews just over 1000 Canadians through teleVox, the company’s national telephone omnibus survey. The most recent data were gathered between September 1 and September 4, 2011. A sample of the same size has a margin of error of 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.