Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Go Figure

Very interesting poll results from Decima, that gives the NDP something to crow about for a change:
The Decima Research poll, released today to The Canadian Press, put Tory support nationally at a mere 30 per cent, compared with 29 for the Liberals, 18 for the NDP, 11 per cent for the Green party and eight per cent for the Bloc Quebecois.

But the pollster added: “This isn’t a story about how well the Liberals are doing. It’s really a story about the Conservatives back to the range they were in before they did the advertising and before they had the budget. It’s also a story that the Liberals aren’t benefiting from that sag in Conservative support. The NDP is.”

If there was good news for any political party in the poll, it was for the New Democrats.

Over the last six weeks of Decima surveys, NDP support on average is up six percentage points in Ontario, five points in B.C. and four in Quebec.

There is no way to spin these result for Harper, except to use the word devastating. An aggressive ad campaign, a feel good budget, and the numbers actually fade in the aftermath. I might be over-analyzing here, but I have to wonder if Tory internal polling shows the same fade, which might explain this sudden flip flop on their environmental approach. I had the sense that Baird was delaying the release of his environmental plan in the last weeks, possibly to re-tool and make it more attractive. I can't logically explain the apparent epiphany, where the contradictions are so profound, so it does seem reasonable that the Conservative brain trust concluded they needed more to turn around their fortunes. As an aside, CTV is reporting they will release a poll tonight, which also shows little in the way of good news for Harper.

Why are the NDP rebounding? Im not sure I buy the Conservative votes moving to the NDP argument. It could be more that some soft Conservative support has moved to the Liberals, while concurrently some soft Liberal support has moved to the NDP, which leaves the Tories the loser, the Liberals stagnant and the NDP the benefactor. Having said that, I do remember someone who posted the daily SES numbers last election, wherein the graph showed a definite co-relation between NDP and Conservative support, one down, the other up, in tandem. Of the three parties, it would seem the NDP has benefited from little negative coverage, while the Liberals have been hit hard in the media with the Dion/May angle and the Conservatives with various issues. Laying low might be the real story for the NDP here. Whatever the reasoning, these numbers, should give NDP supporters some encouragement, it's now a consistent upward trend.


ottlib said...

Three weeks of increases hardly constitutes a trend, particularly when only one polling company shows the increase.

As well, any upward movement might have been stopped in its tracks by voting with the government on the Afghanistan vote last night.

In all probability the Conservative's internal polling showed the drop in support about 10 days ago. That is when they suddenly began to mean it when they stated they did not want an election.

As well, Decima was showing that the Conservative lead in the national numbers was pretty much because they were doing rather well in Quebec. With this rather significant drop in national support I guess we can say they may not be doing so well any more.

If that is the case it should be interesting to see what happens in Quebec when they have digested the Afghanistan vote, the Afghan detainee scandal and the new environmental plan that is being unveiled. (I use "unveil" purposely because the Conservatives seem to be doing the old strip-tease method of announcing their "plan".)

As for the Liberals, their support is solid at the levels they have been at for almost a year. That is a good place to be if you are the opposition party. Big flucuations show softness of support, which is never a happy thing for a political party.

It is true that they will have to do something to take advantage of the Conservative troubles but they still have time and Mr. Dion is beginning to get his legs underneath him. It is only a matter of time before Liberal numbers begin to grow. (Although the growth will be modest for the forseeable future.)

Steve V said...


The polling shows the NDP up over six weeks, just to clarify. It's not like we see gigantic movement, but numbers that at least make the NDP look relevant again. Personally, I think it's soft support, voters who vacilate coming back. The key for the Liberals, the Tories coming down, which I see as the most important aspect of this poll.

Anonymous said...

Before getting too excited about a Conservative demise and an NDP rise, these numbers can be explained by 8 dead soldiers being repatriated and buried this week. Conservatives say "support the war" and the NDP says "bring 'em home today".

knb said...

As an aside, CTV is reporting they will release a poll tonight, which also shows little in the way of good news for Harper.

Steve, I heard that too, do you remember who ran the poll?

ottlib makes a good point re' Afghanistan. That is obviously not going to play well in PQ, but the Bloq is pretty solid in their position. When the NDP bring forward their motion tomorrow, "bring them home now", will the Bloq also vote for that? If so, where does that leave them?

Why are the NDP rebounding? Im not sure

Nor I. If it's legit NDP gain, so be it, and good for them, but I don't get it. If it's soft votes resting, well that is another story and one the Lib's should pay attention to.

All of that said, I still find these daily polls crazy. I read about your call the other night at RT's. That is crazy and makes me laugh every time I think of it.

Steve V said...


It was just bizarre, I actually laughed when we started the questionnaire :)

There does seem to be a lot more polling recently than I can remember. I suppose it might calm down if an election looks less likely

janfromthebruce said...

there can actually be con voters who swing to NDP. When reform came on the scene, some NDP voters swung to Reform, as it had populist roots.
If you look at the last election and the Harper govt's latest budget and who they target, it is the timmy's crowd and scoccer mom's. These are Canadian families slugging it out each day. This is the same people, that Layton talks about - working families.

Steve V said...


The Conservatives keep telling everyone how wonderful the NDP are, which might make the leap easier.

wayward son said...

The CTV poll has been released:

Conservatives 36
Liberals 30
NDP 13
Green 12
Bloc 9

Some suspected that 18% for the NDP was not reality, this poll actually has the NDP falling not resurging. Only one point ahead of the Greens! I suspect the reality is the NDP are about 15%.

wayward son said...

The two polls today say that the Greens are as strong as ever (11% and 12%). So I think the media should be feeling a little silly that they all said that the voters would abandon the GPC because of "the deal."

phase one: Canadians, while always weary of the motives of politicians, don't hate "the deal"

phase two: as an election nears Canadians start to admire that two political parties don't have to hate each other and embrace it.

Steve V said...


That's a great point, no erosion in Green support, in fact the numbers are strong. The NDP has nothing in the Gregg poll, so I don't know what to think of these results, given the fact other polls show no momentum.