In the online survey of a representative national sample, 45 per cent of Canadians disapprove of the leaders’ decision of not running candidates in each other’s ridings in the next federal election, while just 29 per cent approve.
At least four in every ten respondents in each region is against the Dion/May agreement. In Atlantic Canada, the number of people who reject the deal reaches 50 per cent. People in Alberta are the most inclined to reject it (52%), while those in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the most prone to support it (34%).
Among Liberal voters, 37 per cent disapprove of the pact to support May, while 52 per cent think otherwise.
The controversial deal will not encourage many people to vote for the Liberals in the next election. Two thirds (65%) of respondents say the agreement does not make them more likely to support the Liberals in the future. However, in Atlantic Canada about one-in-five (22%) do say the pact makes them more inclined to vote for the Liberals.
The Dion/May pact is perceived by many Canadians (44%) as a sign of weakness on the part of the Liberals and their leader. Twenty-eight per cent of respondents who voted for the Liberals in the last federal election agree with this perception. Respondents in Atlantic Canada feel particularly strongly about it, with 56 per cent of them saying the deal projects weakness.
Is anyone really surprised? There are a few, scant findings that are favorable, particularly the one in five Atlantic Canadians that are more inclined to vote Liberal, but objectively this online survey is bad news for the deal. However, because I've already braced myself for the initial reaction, I'm taking a long term view of this pact, and it may play better over time.
I've never believed that May has a great shot at MacKay's seat, so that isn't really the barometer to gauge if this pact will be effective or not. The real test will be the closely contested ridings, you don't need to win over many people for the deal to pay dividends.
I'm sure NDP supporters will trumpet these finding, but I think people are in error if they take anything out of this poll, besides the fact that it shows how perception is mostly a media construct. I would say 90% (I may be kind) of the punditry trashed this agreement in a knee jerk fashion. Given the overt lack of balance, I say again, is anyone really surprised?
More detail provided here. Very strange results, as it applies to party affiliation. NDP supporters are the only ones to give the Dion/May pact a favorable grade, 43% support, 40% against. On the question of who would you vote for in MacKay's riding, NDP supporters actually pick May over Loriface, 29% to 20%.
There may be a tantalizing nugget in those NDP voter impressions. If the goal was to pickup some soft left supporters, then the devil could be in the details.