Saturday, February 11, 2006

Poll Gives Harper Mixed Results

A new Ipsos-Reid poll is out, with something for everyone:
Mr. Harper got a thumbs-up from 54% of respondents when asked if they approved of the new government's performance under his leadership.

Mr. Bricker said it's a respectable showing, especially considering his party got only 36% of the popular vote in the Jan. 23 election.

"Harper is being given a fair amount of latitude by the Canadian public at this stage of the game," Mr. Bricker said in an interview. "Fifty-four per cent approval, given the hullabaloo that happened over the last week, is actually not that bad."

Translation, Canadians tend to rally around the new government in the near term. One thing was clear this election, after the vote Canadians expected people to govern and stop the posturing. Objectively, 54% is a fair number for Harper and represents good faith.

Slightly less than half (48%) agreed with the statement that "Prime Minister Harper was elected largely because he promised to change how the federal government operates, and that these Cabinet appointments are a 'bad sign' that the old-style of federal politics are not going to change under the new government."

On the other hand, 40% agreed with the view that "Prime Minister Harper did what he had to do to build a national government, and that this is how things normally get accomplished in Ottawa."

Translation, Canadians aren't impressed with the debut. The fact that Canadians are questioning the judgment of the government during the supposed "honeymoon" phase doesn't bode well for the future. An unease exists, and the wait and see attitude will continue. Canadians are willing to give Harper a chance, but their support is soft.

This poll was conducted Tuesday to Thursday, so there could be further erosion, but the message seems clear. Harper has some rope, but he has squandered some on a week that should be a public relations lovefest. I don't think any of us expected these cabinet scandals to bring down the government, but I believe you can look at these poll results and see the seed has been planted. By any objective measure, despite a decent approval number, these results are historically relevant.


Anonymous said...

Do you really trust polls anymore? They were way off in the election right up to the actual date of the election. I personally was searching polls on the day before and the day of the election and all indicated a 8-18 point lead for the Conservatives. Later after the election results came in...all of the sudden low and behold polling company after polling company published results showing the exact same thing as the election results. How come these polls couldn't be found until after the votes were counted? All of them said their last polls showed what the public voted and thats just complete garbage (from an avid google searcher point of view anyways). Either they are biased or they are completely inaccurate due to the younger generation's gradual move away from landlines to cell phones only.

Steve V said...


The SES poll was bang on wasn't it? The Gregg poll was a fantasy up until the end when he reigned in his numbers because his results were clearly an outlier(I call it pulling a Zogby).

I think this poll gives us a flavor, nothing more.

Anonymous said...

I can assure you I did not see one poll in search result or web site visit until the election results started to come out that actually reflected what was actually happening. That was all of them. Either that or google searches lag pretty far behind publicaition of poll news. I was searching on poll news and actually visiting poll sites themselves(we know who they are). That's just what I could find and it would be pretty fair to describe me as a news junkie anyways....That's just the way it worked for me this January 23rd.

Steve V said...


Did you go here?