Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Going Down

SES weighs in, and confirms the trend, Tories down, particularly in Quebec:
Cons Apr 36 May 32
Libs Apr 33 May 33
NDP Apr 16 May 17
Green Ari 6 May 10

Cons Apr 28 May 17
Libs Apr 18 May 27
Bloc Apr 37 May 35
NDP Apr 13 May 13
Green Apr 4 May 9

SES also has the Conservatives down a full seven points in Ontario.

The Tories fall, while the Greens move up. I take this movement as some indication that the Green Plan failed. Also, SES seems to show little negative fallout from the Dion-May agreement.

The Quebec numbers are a disaster for the Tories, good news for the Liberals. It would appear that any temporary support the Conservatives enjoyed was mostly flirtation, rather than firm commitment. Issues do matter, and it's hard to reconcile the chasms between the Harper view and the majority of Quebecers.

We are in a statistical dead heat, and the Liberals haven't really moved, but this is now the second poll that has the Liberals superficially ahead. A trivial point factually, but impression wise, it makes for positive television and keeps the media firmly focused on their new prey.


Anonymous said...

As I put on "Cerberus'" site - don't forget to donate if you have a spare $10., or $20. or more.

I DO NOT work for the Liberal party. I was going through sorting out some mail and realized I hadn't done my bit yet and it reminded me.

Anonymous said...

And, this is before the Quebec regiment goes to Afghanistan. It's going to be a long hot summer for sure.

Apparently, Harper is going to run away from it all again and close parliament early. He can't take a punch it seems. Runs, pouts and hides when things get tough.

GritPatriot said...

Conservatives used to brag that HArper was a chess player and was 8 steps ahead of everyone else.

He is now seen as conniving with a dark cruel streak. He's done. Dion needs to stay the course. It takes a while for integrity to be recognized by the elctorate, but eventually he will be ackowledged.

Anonymous said...

It just shows how in-humane and visionless Harper is. Life is not a chess board - there are always suprises.

Chess is a game - life is a reality.

knb said...

I wonder what is behind the Atlantic numbers? Lib's static, which is fine, but I wonder what drove the con numbers?

The other observation I have is the the uncommitted number has grown in every region. Is that bleeding coming from the con's and they are taking a wait and see attitude?

Peter Wrightwater said...


Let me see if I understand this: The CPC has a horrible couple of weeks. They drop four point. The Greens increase their support by four points and the Liberals remain at 33%. This, according to you, is evidence that there was "little negative fallout from the Dion-May agreement."

Keep in mind that those of us who opposed the Dion-May deal argued that it would benefit the Greens and do little, if anything at all, to improve Liberal fortunes, and this is exactly what this poll suggests is happening.

In fact the poll suggests it has hurt us. Liberal support is down 4 points in Ontario and the West, where the Greens have increased their support by 7 and 5 points respectively. To my mind, this is negative fallout for the Liberals from the Dion-May deal.

I understand that those who liked the Dion-May deal believe that those who say they support the Greens now are just parking their votes. If that is case, then we'll have to wait to see future polls before we'll know if that is true or not. In the meantime, I would suggest that those of us who opposed Dion-May deal were correct in our analysis.

In any event, the real impact of this deal will not be felt until an election campaign, when it will prove to be ammunition for our oppenents and a distraction from the Liberal message.

Scott Tribe said...

If the Greens are increasing at the Tories expense, Peter, I am perfectly fine with that.

knb said...

peter: In any event, the real impact of this deal will not be felt until an election campaign, when it will prove to be ammunition for our oppenents and a distraction from the Liberal message.

I'm not so sure about the second part of your comment. The ammunition you speak of will thrill the con base, but will do little in my opinion to shift votes their way.

I think what you left out of the equation is May's voice, who is not afraid to say a Dion gov't will give us xyz and a Harper gov't gives us nothing. Her voice of course speaks to Lib's, Greens and the NDP to an extent.

We won't know until we are there I guess, but my sense is that the con's simply degrading everyone and presenting nothing is wearing thin..

sassy said...

This poll might be part of the explanation for "Tories Favor Long Vacation .... I am not winning, therefore I am taking my bat and ball and going home!

I do believe the Conservatives will be working twice as hard (frantically) over the summer recess to come up with schemes to beat up the opposition, as they would be pretending to govern Canada if parliament was sitting.

Peter Wrightwater said...


In the national numbers it looks as if the support for the Greens is coming from the Conservatives. But as I pointed out, in Ontario and the West Green support seems to be at the expense of the Liberals (Libs down 4 in both regions, Greens up 7 and 5).

The reason the Libs have remained steady in this poll is because while we've lost support in Ontario and the West, we've increased our support in Quebec (as have the Greens). So if the deal has worked anywhere to our advantage it's in Quebec. But even if this is the case (and I would argue that the dynamics in Quebec are, as usual, unique) it's still a wash.

And I would further argue that the Liberals didn't need the Dion-May deal to improve their standing in Quebec -- The Liberals couldn't go any lower than 18% and the pathetic Conservative Green plan by itself would have led to increased support for the Liberals.

At this point the Dion-May deal is still a net negative for the Liberals.


My real concern is that it will shift votes to the NDP or entrench Green support and deter Conservative-Liberal switchers from coming back to us. So far it doesn't look like it's helping Liberals.

knb said...

I see your logic Peter, but without the Lib's out there messaging, it's too early for me to be definitive about it.

In_The_Centre said...

If the Greens are increasing at the Tories expense, Peter, I am perfectly fine with that.

You shouldn’t be. We have all seen the consequences of vote splitting in our current electoral system

It's also interesting to note that the number of uncommitted voters has increased across the board.

I expect these poll numbers to stay stagnant until the fall. (Unless things breakdown in Afghanistan or we have some crazy weather over the summer)


ottlib said...

Except for some partisans in all of the politicial parties and some political pundits in the MSM who thrive on controversy and sensationalism, the Dion/May pact will have no impact.

No one cares, one way or the other. I can assure you that very few thought "I really like/hate that Dion/May deal" when asked the party support question. Particularly since the deal is more than a month old and has been forgotten by all but the folks I mention in my opening paragraph.

So to claim the Dion/May deal caused the swing in the regional numbers in this poll is silly at best or self-serving at worst (if you are one of those folks who does not agree with the deal).

This poll would seem to indicate that the electorate is not too impressed with any of the established parties. All of them either dropped or remained at the same levels of support from the last poll, while the new kid on the block gained a few points.

When they deem it appropriate, the electorate will shift from the Greens to one of the established parties but until then they appear to satisfied with parking their support with the Greens as a way of voicing their dissatisfaction.

Peter Wrightwater said...


Without being silly or self-serving allow me to explain.

Steve suggested no negative impact from the deal based on these numbers, and I was simply pointing out that IF you wanted to take away anything from these numbers vis a vis the Dion-May deal, it's that it SEEMS TO SUGGEST a negative impact. I never claimed a direct cause as you imply. (But don't worry, I would never say that your misreading of my comments was either silly or self-serving.)

Whether or not the Green numbers represent voters parking their support or something more perminant will be known in time. But as I've said, in my view, it was a tactical mistake that will be damaging during an election. Hence, it is my sincere belief that it is net negative for the Liberals.

Steve V said...

I didn't mean to overstate the impact of Dion/May, as ottlib points out, it isn't a pressing issue with Canadians. However, many were quick to jump on early polls that showed disapproval for a co-operation, results like the above counter that claim. You will note, I mentioned the Green Plan first, as an explanation for the Green surge and I think that the more important factor.

There is some concern for the Liberals, I agree, in fact I think we are wise not to get too high from these results. People are hesitiating, but you can take some solace in the fact they have left the Tories and put their soft support elsewhere. I've always argued the long term view when it comes to this Dion/May angle. If the Greens are up in the polls that might not be such a bad thing, in that people who have put their trust in May, will also hear her speak favorably about Dion in an election campaign. If you agree that some of the support is soft, the endorsement may push the environmentally conscience towards Dion. Don't underestimate that in a debate, or other venue, because this support isn't necessarily base support. If there is a hint of another Harper government, it could prove invaluable to have the Greens polling well, with their leader arguing against Harper and for Dion. In the end, the apparent vote split might just evaporate somewhat, or far more likely if we had everyone fighting over the same ground.

The higher May is in the polls, the more her profile in an election, the more she can make the case for the environment, the more she can tell Canadians who should lead, the more she can carve the Conservatives.

Sheeple said...

We should be restrained in our euphoria about the next election. At the same time, we need to defeat Harper.

We are now statistically tied with the Cons and I don't think we've seen the end of the troubles for Harper.

Afghanistan, Income trusts, Climate Change... these are all serious issues that will continue to haunt them for a long time.

We liberals are advancing better policies in all these areas and more and we need to make sure that the electorate knows and understands that.

We can steer the ship back on track. But first, we need to fire the current so-called captain.

Peter Wrightwater said...


As I've said over at my blog when I posted on the Dion-May deal, I hope that I'm wrong and that analysis such as yours is correct.

Putting the deal aside for a moment, the fact that Liberal support is down in Ontario and the West and stagnant in the Atlantic is troubling. If it is the case that the Conservative Green Plan has moved some voters away from Harper, why aren't they coming over to us?

Dion's been talking about the environment for months, we just ran commercials promoting Dion and criticizing Harper on the environment in Ontario and the West and Liberal numbers actually go down!?

Harper has an awful few weeks and we can't get our numbers up!?

I'm worried ...

knb said...

Peter, the con's have had all sorts of face time with bogus eco announcements in Ontario. Talk radio and other media has been endorsing all of that, even though he's lying.

The general public is not getting a full balanced picture at the moment, nor are they getting the facts. The Oil Sands exemption hasn't played out yet and I think we have to come out strong on that front.

The con's are obviously worried about May and Dion or they wouldn't be up in QP going after her. Baird was ballistic today.

Sheeple, with respect, that is not going to happen so your energy might be of more use if you looked for solutions with what is.

Steve V said...

"Harper has an awful few weeks and we can't get our numbers up!?

I'm worried ..."

Peter, I completely agree. As a matter of fact, after I digested this poll, I thought to myself that the lack of Liberal movement might be the underlying important theme. As you pointed out, undecideds are up, which says that people might be disillusioned with the government but they are hesitant to move to the Liberals. I was going to do a post on this aspect.

knb said...

I'll wait for your post then.

Steve V said...


Slightly off topic, but did you catch the Tories on Newman, trying to distance themselves from the oilsands free pass? Holland and Cullen were reading verbatum from a government document, and the Tories were contradicting their own statements, with dueling documents. It was just absurd.

I decided to do something else :)

knb said...

I did Steve and I laughing out loud. Frankly I think Holland and Cullen should have laughed louder though.

Good for Don, "fax me your document"...LOL.

Actually I meant to look it up on the site, but have been busy. $10.00 says when I get around to it, it's poof, gone!

The other story I think is the harmonizing of pesticide levels with the US, which means we'll be raising some of our levels. I'm afraid these guys are out of control dumb right now. We'd better capitalise on it before they shut parliament down...then keep it up.

knb said...

Sorry for the typo's, I'm making dinner, but I just read your above post, good one.

Hope to be back later.

Steve V said...

"Good for Don, "fax me your document"...LOL."

I guess the good news, the story will live another day, if Newman follows up.

Cooking and typing, I'm impressed :)

ottlib said...

Peter, Steve and knb:

My point from my previous post is the impact of the Dion/May deal on this poll is nil. It is old news.

This poll reflects the troubles of the Conservatives over the last couple of weeks, which is why they are the ones that have seen the greatest movement of their support.

The Liberals have not moved because they have not really done anything over the past few weeks. They had great ads but they did not buy a big enough ad buy to make a discernable impact. (I have yet to see one on television.) It is rather arrogant of Liberals to assume that a loss of Conservative support will automatically translate into a rise in support for the Liberals, particulary only 15 months after the electorate threw them out of office in disgust. Canadians may be having second thoughts about a Conservatives government but they may still have not warmed to the idea of a Liberal government just yet too.

The Liberals are holding steady at 32% +/- 2% so they are in good shape. A little more time and a successful summer tour by Mr. Dion should shake up those numbers.

Elizabeth May got some publicity over the last couple of weeks because of her Chamberlain remarks. That is living proof that all publicity is good publicity. The reason why it did not hurt her is because she is not taken seriously as someone who can win an election. So, Canadians can safely say they are supporting the Green Party knowing that they are not going to form a government, showing their lack of enthusiasm for the established parties.

The deal may have an impact in Central Nova during the next election but any impact it might have had on the national picture is long gone, if it even had an impact at all.

Steve V said...

"but any impact it might have had on the national picture is long gone, if it even had an impact at all."

Are you saying it will have no impact in an election campaign, because I would disagree?

"It is rather arrogant of Liberals to assume that a loss of Conservative support will automatically translate into a rise in support for the Liberals"


ottlib said...

"Are you saying it will have no impact in an election campaign, because I would disagree?"

In Cental Nova certainly. Nationally, not so much. For this poll it is nil.

We have all been through enough election campaigns to know that no event has the legs to last 36 days unless it is huge. Sponsorship huge. Even such mistakes as Mr. Days wetsuit and Mr. Reid's beer and popcorn disappeared as those campaigns wore on.

The Dion/May deal does not meet that criteria. It was a one day story when the deal was done. If it gets any play in the next election it will be short lived. Unless of course between now and then the media narrative becomes something like what it was in the 2006 election, in which case the Liberals will have much bigger problems than the Dion/May deal.

Steve V said...

I respectfully disagree. The environmental file will not be reconciled in this parliament, that is clear. That fact guarantees it will be one of the talking points in the next campaign, simply as a function of contrast, voter concern and perceived weakness that all the opposition parties will want to use for their benefits. Elizabeth May will have a voice in the campaign, that goes beyond the riding, in fact I see Central Nova and Papineau as the two high profile battles, that will garner disporportionate coverage.

I don't think May will win, but that isn't really the point to my thinking. If you accept the above, and May gets fair coverage, coupled with a likely debate performance, then she remains an asset for Dion. When the debate turns to the environment, it would be quite striking to have Elizabeth May articulate why Dion should be Prime Minister. May has credibility, her endorsement and her eloquence on the environment can assist Dion, in the face of the "did nothing" attacks from Harper and Layton.

Is it make or break? No, but I don't think we sluff this off as a one-day non-event that has no consequence. As for the poll, my only point, all the talk about disaster because of this deal is clearly wrong, the Greens haven't been hurt and the Liberals are fine.

ottlib said...


I am sorry, I have not made myself clear.

I am speaking about the fact that a deal was made when I say it will have little impact. The deal itself was a one day story and it is unlikely to be resurrected in the future.

As for the rest of what you say about Ms. May speaking well of Mr. Dion and her getting a higher profile I would agree with you.

She was guaranteed to get a higher profile by going up against Mr. Mackay and she has always spoken highly of Mr. Dion. Despite the fact they are in different political parties it is obvious they do genuinely like each other.

Again, for this poll, I do not believe the deal had any impact. We will have to agree to disagree on that score.

Steve V said...

"Again, for this poll, I do not believe the deal had any impact. We will have to agree to disagree on that score."

We do agree somewhat, I am basically saying that the Dion/May deal didn't have the negative impact that everybody seemed to conclude. I just see this poll, as further proof, and I use it because it is the first SES one done after the fact. Nanos has the Green Party higher than he ever has, dating back to 04, which is noteworthy.

Josh Gould said...

Nanos has the Green Party higher than he ever has, dating back to 04, which is noteworthy.

Well, maybe. It's crucial to remember that the point estimate of 10 percent falls within confidence bounds of about +/- 3 percentage points. When a party's support is polling in the mid-to-high single digits, it's likely that it will end up a bit higher. Additionally, it's pointless to attempt to analyse apparent swings in the regional numbers, especially in the Atlantic stratum where the margin of error is over +/- 10 percentage points.

Steve V said...


I completely agree on the regionals, but I'm prepared to take the Green numbers, because afterall, they are in line with other polling outfits. You could argue the Tory drop is mostly MOE too, if you want, but again there is context with others.