Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Liberals Pull Ahead?

Margin of error, it’s just one poll, who cares? Interesting, this is the first poll that shows the Liberals ahead:
The Grits had the support of 33 per cent of respondents nationally, while the Tories had 31 per cent, the NDP had 15 per cent and the Green party had 10.
In Quebec, the Liberals built a huge lead over the Tories with the support of 26 per cent of respondents, compared with 12 per cent for the Conservatives. The Bloc Quebecois still towered above all others with 44 per cent support in the province.

The Conservative slide in Quebec has morphed into almost complete irrelevance. Remember all the stories about the Conservatives pouring huge money into their Quebec organization, the high-profile meetings with Charest, the key to the majority? Turns out, just as predicted, you can’t bridge the huge philosophical gap between the majority of Quebecers and the right-wing agenda. Quebec was never a natural fit for the Reformers, and the recent “surge” was destined to be temporary.

I must admit, I find it absolutely staggering that the Liberals are actually tied or ahead. Just imagine the scenario if the Liberals had a leader and clear agenda? Let me be the first to posite the impossible, could the Liberals not only win the next election, which seemed impossible in the spring, but win a majority? With everyday the possibility looks less remote.


burlivespipe said...

Positive polls like this is grist for the mill, but i certainly won't read too much into it. Here in BC, the Libs traditionally polled first or near first between elections then fluttered southward like the swallows of Capistrano come the writ drop. It's early, and some could say that having no leader right now is preferential, at least in the minds of some swing voters, to having a specific leader. We must keep plugging away and preparing for the inevitable trap from Harpor...
But as you sed, can't get much better, heading into the convention with a slim lead in the polls!

Mark Dowling said...


it's worth remembering that the Libs have had a huge sustained media presence as a result of the leadership campaign which *may* be skewing the polls - the question is how the brand survives whoever is selected as leader.

bigcitylib said...

Can you link to the poll?

Steve V said...

I see a bounce after the convention, if history is any guide. You would also think the media will be kind for a few months, through the "honeymoon" period. The calendar looks kind, barring any big blunders.

jeff davidson said...


A BCer in Toronto said...

The Cons have long been due for a bid drop in Quebec. You may have a point on the right wing thing, but moreso I think it's a case of raising expectations in the campaign and then failing to deliver, namely on the (so-called) fiscal imbalance.

As for polls, as much as we joke about the leaderless Libs doing so well compared to the Harper cons, there's also the factor that since we're leaderless people can imagine their candidate of choice, and might not support us if another person wins. So, that number may be a touch soft.

Still, encouraging news, and motivation to keep working hard. It's been a much better job from the Liberal caucus this fall, they need to keep it up.

CuriosityCat said...

Don't understimate one thing: the flurry of ideas, ferment, excitement coming from the leadership camps, the delegates, bloggers, the press, and the members of the LPC stand in stark contrast to the paucity of views, muzzling, dreadfully pedestrian bureaucratic pronouncements of Chairman Harper.

Voters like being wooed. Harper is not wooing them, he is patronizing them. Liberals are involving them.

This dynamic will lead to a majority Liberal government before June 2007.

Anonymous said...

Bill Graham for Prime Minister!

Olaf said...


I find it absolutely staggering that the Liberals are actually tied or ahead. Just imagine the scenario if the Liberals had a leader and clear agenda?

Is it not conventional wisdom that a party's number actually drop following the choice of the leader?

Eg. if Ignatieff gets in, some left-libs will go NDP; if Rae gets in, some right libs will go Con; etc. etc.

It was my understanding that because during a leadership convention, all individuals can imagine their favourite leader as the one who will be leading the party, and that their favourite policies will be chosen by that leader, so of course they're going to say they'll vote Liberal. There's no reason not to.

Personally, I'm quite confident that the Liberals poll numbers will drop following the choice of a leader.

knb said...

The jump in Quebec is quite significant. To all those who believed that Quebeckers were voting for the Conservative agenda and not in protest against the Lib's, perhaps a reassessment is in order.

Olaf has point, but using that logic, you could also assume that disgruntled Con's and NDP's, may actually drift toward the Lib's.

I don't know what the polls will do post the selection, however, if Canadians are watching, they are definitely going to see a marked difference in what Lib's have to offer, versus the Con's.

I'll remain optimistic about this poll, but I'll rely more on a SES poll.

wayward son said...

Most interesting I think that this poll confirms that the Greens are definately in the 8 - 10% range nationally. There has been the odd poll showing them down at 5%, but most have them at 8 - 10%.

Steve V said...

I can't think of a better launch pad than a convention. I suppose a particularly ugly battle might hurt the Liberals, but all the rhetoric from the various camps suggests otherwise. I remember in the early summer many people arguing that the lack of a "face" hurt the Liberal brand, so it seems odd that the committee approach is now somehow a positive. A convention bring ample excitement, buzz, passionate speeches and delegates, vision and an opportunity to blast the government before a national audience. Any bounce may be temporary, but I don't see how you leave Montreal without momentum. I also can't envision a media that pounds the new leader in the near term. Harper's relative free ride is over, and the Liberals have the golden opportunity to compare and contrast.

The Green support is impressive, but it remains to be seen whether it translates to actual votes, because there has been previous erosion on election night. Having said that, May will surely be part of the debate this time around.

Olaf said...


Olaf has point, but using that logic, you could also assume that disgruntled Con's and NDP's, may actually drift toward the Lib's.

Yea, if they were in a leadership race... the point is that all current Tory supporters know what they're getting into, where as people who might support the Liberals under only one of the leaders will all say they're liberal supporters, because they imagine their candidate will win.

knb said...

I hear you Olaf and don't dispute your point, I think it is valid, but, I do think that more Lib's will rally behind the Leader, than they will desert.

I also stand by your logic in saying that there will be drift, even from the CPC. It's only anecdotal, but listening to right wing supporters, (radio, TV, etc.), they are not all enchanted and are prepared to leave.

I respect your position, solid CPC, but suggest that not all conservative voters knew what they were getting into and are now looking around.