In yesterday's Toronto Star, Chantal Hebert suggested that, if recent events in Ontario are an indication of the party's future, the NDP may be drifting back to third party status. In the recent provincial election, traditional Dippers voted Liberal to stop Tim Hudak:
In the provincial campaign, the platform put forward by Tory leader Tim Hudak went a long way to convince many progressive voters to stick with the Liberals rather than risk facilitating a Conservative victory by giving their vote to the third-place NDP.
And in the race for mayor of Toronto, Olivia Chow has slipped to third place:
For scores of Toronto voters, ousting Ford from office this fall comes before loyalty to a political brand.
Could the same thing happen into the 2015 federal election?
To many, the first-place Liberals come across as a safer haven than the third-place NDP, regardless of the comparative skills of their leaders or even their respective policies.
With every passing month, NDP hopes that a barrage of Conservative attack ads will chip away at Trudeau’s credibility are fading. After more than a year, they have yet to make a dent in the Liberal lead in voting intentions
The New Democrats’ own efforts at portraying the Liberals as Conservatives in disguise are also falling short.
It's quite possible that Justin could stumble. And he is still policy lite. But, faced with the devil they know, many Dippers might hold their noses and vote Liberal.