Sunday, October 07, 2007

Liberals "Soft Support"

James Travers column on Harper's prospects for a majority. I don't agree with this premise, it has no foundation in fact:
"the softness of Liberal support makes the coming election less about winning and losing and more about seizing a promising moment for a majority."

How does Travers conclude Liberal support is "soft"? Seems to me that the one constant, in all the polls, since the last election, is that the Liberals bottom is around 30%. That fact suggests the core, the base, the bottomline. In addition, the more people point to the Liberals troubles, it actually speaks to "hard" support, because the numbers don't waiver, regardless of overwhelming negativity. Good luck to the Conservatives if they conclude the path to majority is through "soft" Liberal support, seems an unlikely scenario from here.

15 comments:

ottlib said...

Media narrative and nothing more.

There was once a media narrative that said Stephane Dion had no chance of winning the Liberal leadership.

Of course they were wrong and some have never forgiven him for it. Hello! Chantal, I am looking in your direction. Hello! Over here!

It is one of those paradoxes of politics that those not of the chattering classes can be unbelievably ignorant about politics but they can still be so much smarter than the chattering classes. It drives be to distraction and it makes me very schizophrenic in my opinions about the efficacy of democracy.

Anyway, I agree. The Liberals have been solidly between 30-33% since the summer of 2006. That would seem to indicate that their support is solid. As well, considering their recent troubles it would appear their support is rather resilient.

So Stephen Harper should beware in forcing an election this Fall because he may not like the result.

Steve V said...

"That would seem to indicate that their support is solid. As well, considering their recent troubles it would appear their support is rather resilient."

That's the word that came to my mind too :)

decoin said...

Stephane Dion will crush the Harper Conservatives in this December's election.
Prediction - LPC wins a 40 seat majority over the Cons - you heard it here first - the Natural Governing Party rules as a matter of right and privilege and it will RULE the Nation again very soon.

Steve V said...

"the Natural Governing Party rules as a matter of right and privilege and it will RULE the Nation again very soon."

No, it usually has to do with vote totals. Brush up.

lance said...

I'm pretty sure decoin is a troll, Steve. Ran across the same post a couple of days ago.

burlivespipe said...

Travers' assertions aren't without merit, if you twist them a bit. Neither Lib nor CON are performing terribly badly nor terribly well, and it is demonstrated in the polls. It's the typical 'swing voters' that could cast an election hither or yawn... And he did talk about the split vote theory that would cost more Liberal seats than Tories. In the prairies, the perception is that Harper, despite some growing dissent, would still hold a firm hand on the seats (give or take 4-6 seats). In BC, where we are either high on ganja and vachon's treats, or seriously waterlogged, it's fairly straight forward in the hinterland. In the Lower Mainland and Van Island, it comes down to each campaign and the general sense of the overall picture. Hence, in 2004 a guy like Dave Haggard came about 10 days short of stealing a riding; in 2006, that same riding's Lib vote crested about Dec. 28th or when the RCMP/NdP tag-team story came out.
Quebec should never be judged until 10 days before the votes are counted, because there are voters and ridings there that swing with the perceived winner. Libs have a firm hold currently on Atlantic and remain strong in Ontario, but with solid pockets of CONs and NdPers.
The narrative from some reporters is that Dion has been cleverly backed into a corner; but at least one writer, and maybe more, has surmised that Dion now holds a lever inwhich to trip up the ultra-confident dictator.
We shall see...

nacho libre said...

The media is focused on the Liberals "soft" support, but how come they are not challenging the fact that Harper has been unable to grow CPC support? Perhaps, Harper is holding the CPC back? If the CPC was lead by someone less divisive such as Prentice maybe the CPC would have a wider lead?

However, the problem for the Libs is not necessarily Dion. The problem is that the Libs are too concerned about winning back power and not concentrating enough on the fundamentals like giving voters a reason to vote for them, like a clear policy direction. Take a page from the CPC and give us 5 to 10 clear policy objectives. You may not like some of the CPC and Dippers policies, but at least you know what they stand for.

The Libs need to keep it simple, with an efficient number of policies that are realistically achievable and costed out ala the Red Book.

Finally, the losers need to get over it, unless they want another four years of Harper. Were Iggy, Rae and Kennedy better choices, probably, but they had their warts too. If the convention were held today it would probably would have come down to Iggy and Kennedy, as both have greatly improved over the past year, but that's not the reality. So what are Libs to do? Sabatoge Dion and hold their nose for the next four years, so that their man can get in or behave like adults and fight for their party and for their country now?

Steve V said...

"And he did talk about the split vote theory that would cost more Liberal seats than Tories."

Burl, the one thing about the national polls, the Tory numbers are somewhat inflated, due to Alberta. You really only need 45% in the province, but the fact that the Cons score WELL above cushions their national numbers, but it is a distortion in terms of overall support. What I mean, if you determine the percentage needed to sweep Alberta and eliminate the rest, the national numbers would be down another point or two. A slight counter to vote splitting, but I agree with your point.

Steve V said...

"The media is focused on the Liberals "soft" support, but how come they are not challenging the fact that Harper has been unable to grow CPC support?"

Nacho, everytime they point to Liberal misfortune, it is really a dual story of Conservative failure.

Christian Conservative said...

"Stephane Dion will crush the Harper Conservatives in this December's election."

LOL! Oh my goodness, what have you been smoking? Do you seriously think that Dion will be left standing at the end of the debates? He'll get crushed by all three leaders, even Duceppe, in the English debate.

Steve V said...

cc

Leave it too a conservative to not see the sarcasm.

Joe Calgary said...

Polling will always show the Liberals around 30%, because all the major pollsters farm Montreal for opinion.

Montreal is predominately Liberal.

What would be interesting is to see the Polling done in rural Quebec.

Steve V said...

"Polling will always show the Liberals around 30%, because all the major pollsters farm Montreal for opinion.

Montreal is predominately Liberal.

What would be interesting is to see the Polling done in rural Quebec."

Joe, are you for real? They don't poll an urban center disporportionately, but use a representative sample for the whole province.

Ti-Guy said...

I'm pretty sure decoin is a troll, Steve. Ran across the same post a couple of days ago.

Oh, yeah..he's a total troll On the CPC Party payroll, would be my guess.

Polling will always show the Liberals around 30%, because all the major pollsters farm Montreal for opinion.

Yes...polling where most of the population lives really does yield skewed results.

Oh, I see what you mean. Montreal doesn't count Neither do Toronto or Vancouver, I guess.

ottlib said...

Joe is still trying to peddle that theory to explain why the Conservatives are so far down in the polls.

In a poll of 1500 respondents about 400 of them will be from Quebec with between 150 and 200 from Montreal.

They do have an impact but not as great as you would believe and what impact they may have are canceled out by the 300 respondents out of the 1500 that are selected from Alberta.