Saturday, April 14, 2007

Harper Going Nowhere

Another national poll, which demonstrates some interesting themes. Yes, it would appear that Harper has made strides in Quebec, but those gains are clearly countered elsewhere in Canada, resulting in a net nothing for the Tories:


Mar 28th poll______Apr 12 poll

Ont 35% down 8____Ont 37% up 2
BC 37% down 7____BC 39% up 2
Que 26% up 1_____Que 31% up 5
Alb 58% same_____Alb 68% up 10
SaMa 42% down 2____SaMa 39% down 3
Atl 37% down 3____Atl 31% down 6


Ont 38% up 5______Ont 40% up 2
BC 31% same______BC 32% up 1
Que 23% down 3____Que 21% down 2
Alb 18% down 6____Alb 18% same
SaMa 24% up 7_____SaMa 29% up 5
Atl 48% up 13____Atl 43% down 5


Tories 36_______Tories 38 up 2
Libs 31_________Libs 32 up 1
NDP 15__________NDP 14 down 1
Green 9_________Green 8 down 1
Bloc 8__________Bloc 8 same

The March 28 results from Ipsos show the trends from the prior poll. The Liberals are up a full 12% in Sask/Man in the last two polls, while the Conservatives have dropped 5%. In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals are still up 8% from two polls ago, the Conservatives down 9%. British Columbia, the Liberals stay firm, but the Tories are down 5%, following the trend. Ontario looks competitive, but again the trends show a Liberal bounce and a Tory erosion, Liberals up 7% in the last two polls, Tories down 6%.

I'm including three polls here, using the first as a baseline, because it gives a better flavor of the trends. The latest poll says Liberals down in Atlantic Canada, but given the 13% jump they enjoyed in the Mar 28th poll, it looks more like a simple correction than a real dip in support.

The real bright spot for Harper is obviously Quebec, where the Conservatives are now statistically tied with the Bloc, while the Liberals slowly fade. One caveat, if there is one province where Dion has the potential to rebound, it's his home province, and that should be factored in during a campaign. Having said that, Harper is well positioned to pickup seats in Quebec, although there is little chance of a "sweep".

The regional breakdowns are important because they show that whatever gains made in Quebec, the Conservatives could well lose elsewhere. The numbers in Sask/Man should cause some pause, and Atlantic Canada might be lost entirely, particularly when you factor in the new independent analysis that shows the cost of the Tory equalization proposals.

The Conservatives enjoy a slight bounce since the last poll, although it is within the MOE. However, when you factor out the irrelevant 10% rise in Alberta (you can't win more than the already 100% of seats), the slight bump looks like a plateau from here. Harper's courtship of Quebec has curried favour, but it has done little for his chances overall, as he clearly alienates other regions.


Cliff said...

Plus the most important element is the strong and growing fondness among Canadians for the concept of minority government in general.

The last election created the most deliberate minority government in history - remember a week before the vote when the Globe and Mail reported Harper was entering majority territory in the polls - and over the following week his numbers crashed right back to minority territory.

Quebec's result was very strongly a rejection of Boisclair more than anything else. Considering all the close races they lost, with a different leader the PQ would have had a very different result. Quebec voters are more than capable of regecting the PQ provincially and then embracing the BQ federally to balance things out.

The Canadian people are taking note of the "Don't worry we don't have a hidden agenda" message for the public and the "Don't worry we do have a hidden agenda" message for the Conservative base.

Harper knows that the best he can hope for is another minority and that even that isn't assured.

Anonymous said...

Harper knows that the best he can hope for is another minority and that even that isn't assured

Neither is Harper not getting a majority.

The one thing that seems to be a sure thing these days is that the Liberals are not presenting themselves as a government in waiting.

The second thing that seems to be a sure thing is that a bunch of amateur strategists who torpedoed Martin's campaign seem to be making similar mistakes.

One can only hope Dion applies the same principle used in the May deal to eliminate these people. Ie. "Even though you helped me win leadership, for the good of the country, I need to fire some of you and bring in proven performers who can win"

I can guarantee after a month of such an action being taken, the Liberals would be polling in the mid 30's.


Anonymous said...

You're right Harper is going nowhere. He will be staying in 24 Sussex for a long time if the Libs don't figure out you don't win elections by conceding defeat through not running candidates in every riding in Canada.

Steve V said...

Joe give me a break with the Liberals no longer a national party angle. The Liberals will only run candidates in 99.7% of Canada, clearly Harper is the only one that can speak for the nation. Such a lame criticism.

Anonymous said...

steve v
I don't care if the Libs only ran in 10% of the ridings what I am saying is that withdrawing before the fight begins does not win any wars. Trudeau recruited an arch conservative to fight in the most conservative riding in Alberta. His candidate lost but the statement was made. The same can't be said for "don't hit me" Dion

Steve V said...


The Liberals had no chance in that riding, and frankly I still put May at VERY long odds. What you get in return, another national leader that has your back, which may prove more invaluable that people realize.

Harper will try and say his government has acted on the environment. When Dion speaks up, we already know the "13 years" angle, but the kicker will be the credible environmentalist seperating spin and reality. If May gets in the debates, another potential gift.

Dion's move gives May more exposure. Some argue that's a bad move, but I think people will see quickly that May is genuine, and decidedly apolitical in her disposition.

"Don't hit me Dion". You really buy the spin don't you?

Anonymous said...

I don't think May is that respected. What she is is mad at MacKay for folding the PCs into the Cons. Dion is picking the wrong hill to die on. His record on environment is spotty at best. Every winning election campain is based on a short list of priorities. PMPM (everytihing was a priority) lost for just such a reason. PMJC was a master at reducing the election into bites without losing broadspectrum appeal. In the last election PMSH had five priorities. Dion by clearing the way for May has framed his election campain as one priority and on one that his history is not very convincing. Is he a closet conservative?

Steve V said...

"I don't think May is that respected."

Then, you're not paying attention.