Thursday, March 22, 2007


Strategic Council, with the first post-budget poll:
The federal Conservatives got the budget boost they were hoping for, putting them on the cusp of a majority if an election were to be held today, latest poll numbers suggest.

Taken between March 20 and 21 following Monday's budget address, the Strategic Counsel survey for CTV News and The Globe and Mail asked: How would Canadians vote today?

39 per cent said they would vote for a Conservative candidate.
31 per cent chose Liberal.

The Conservatives are polling three percentage-points higher compared with pre-budget numbers, while their lead over the static Liberals stretched from five to eight percentage points.

Numbers for the NDP (13% from 15%), Bloc Quebecois (8% from 9%) and the Green Party (9% from 10%) were all down slightly compared to the last Strategic Counsel poll, taken one week before the budget was unveiled.

According to the poll, the driving force behind the rising Tory fortunes is that the budget seems to have won over the most important voting block in the country: middle class voters.

And Gregg said while Tory weak spots from the 2006 campaign continue to persist today -- for instance, Conservatives still trail in support among immigrants and female voters -- they are starting to make inroads in those and other significant areas.

I'm hesitant to say this poll indicates a real bounce. The obvious, it's within the margin and error, not to mention the timing. I think we need to wait a few days before we see the true impact of the budget. Coverage tends to be benign in the initial hours, simply parroting the government angles. However, and maybe I over-state this point, I think the mood has turned and the theme emerging is hardly flattering. Are people talking about the "family" budget, or the sellout to Quebec? Characterizing the "bounce" seems pre-mature.


Anonymous said...

Ditto your comments and adding that Gregg is clearly the most political of the pollsters out there.

Reminds me of those spot polls the US was fond of in the past - but seem to have fallen out of favor as of late. After presidential state of the unions. they used to do these snap polls just after the speech "Was the president convincing in addressing the issues important to you?" type polls. Inevitably, the first reaction was positive.

I mean, unless they had started frothing at the mouth and beating a small child before a joint session of congress, it ended up being more of a "was he coherent?" kind of poll. About a week later, you'd get the real impact - if there was any.

Sounds to me like someone wanted to get a positive spin poll out before the weekend. Wanting to change the subject perhaps?

On the other hand, the BTs had all been predicting a coronation upon the budget announcement so being in the margin of error must be hugely disappointing. Nevertheless, expect them all to post the numbers as banner posts proclaiming the new messiah.

Final note, so if the poll is to be believed on the surface, a bunch of NDP supporters decided to support Harper after the budget? That doesn't add up.

And what good is any poll without regional / provincial breakouts these days? (but that's a general observation of many of the pollsters - not just this one).

Anonymous said...

What middle class? I haven't seen any in the past ten years.

Woman At Mile 0 said...

It would be interesting to see an SES poll with provincial breakdowns...conducted about a week after it all settles out.

Anonymous said...

Allan Gregg (a former Conservative strategist/pollster) is consisently higher for conservatives in his polls than the other pollters.

I think we should wait until the others come in - I mean, really, CTV is "so Conservative now" it's pathetic.

They should rename the Duffy show to "Stephen Harper Live" with Mike Duffy sitting in for Mr. Harper while he is on the road campainging.

ottlib said...

Quel surprise!

A poll that was taken where they probably began the first calls just after the supper hour on Monday shows a bit of a bump for the government.

And yet the bump is still within the margin of error. Amazing.

Usually I would dismiss this result out of hand because of the lack of significant movement but I believe the budget did have some impact so it is reasonable to assert that the bump was largely the result of the budget. However there was probably an interesting dynamic at play during the poll.

My guess is those first few people called put the Conservative numbers over 40%, but as they continued the interviews into Tuesday and Wednesday those numbers came down.

It will be interesting to see how these numbers change in the coming weeks.

I believe they will continue to come down as the first blush of the budget wares off.

They will come down even further if Mr. Charest loses this Monday, which is looking more and more likely.

Toronto Tory said...

These comments are amusing.

Normally, when other polling companies put the Conservatives ahead, lefties point out that SES is the most accurate, and until SES says so, they can't take the poll numbers seriously. The standard practice has been to attack the pollster.

Now SES has the Tories way ahead, and left-wingers have shifted gears and are attacking the credibility of SES!


Steve V said...


You know what is even more amusing, commenting on the wrong poll. Now that is hilarious, I'm literally splitting a gut here.

Toronto Tory said...

"literally splitting a gut"

- that sounds interesting.

Steve V said...

Almost as interesting as your insightful commentary. Cough. Don't you have the goosestep to practice?

Sheeple said...

I seriously doubt that we will see Harper break through his glass ceiling of support in Canada. There is well-defined trend of support for Harper, and I don't see this becoming a new trend.

The real story of the budget is "Tax cuts for Quebec, and Fuck the Rest." That's not the way to build a nation.

Moreover, if you look at the support by province, you see that Harper is tied with Dion in vote rich Quebec and Ontario. I haven't seen the breakdown for other provinces. My guess is that Harper is ahead in Alberta, though many aren't happy with his spending spree there. And I also guess Dion is ahead in B.C.

The bottom line is that one poll does not make a trend, and we see a different picture when looking closer at the situation.