Monday, January 28, 2008

Decima Poll

So much for the Ipsos poll, that showed the Conservatives opening up a significant lead, Decima poll conducted through the weekend suggests otherwise:
A new poll suggests the federal Liberals have edged back into the lead over the governing Conservatives.

The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey indicated the Liberals were the choice of 32 per cent of respondents, compared with 29 for the Tories. The NDP stood at 16 per cent and the Green party at 12. The Bloc Quebecois was at nine per cent nationally but led the pack in Quebec with 37 per cent.

I can't find any internals yet, but for context the last Decima poll, conducted the week of January 6th had the Tories leading 37% to 30%, with the NDP notching 13%. One caveat, that poll was taken after the holidays, never a good indicator of real support.

Newman's roundtable tried to use the Ipsos poll as the baseline (taken mid-week), inferring the subsequent drop was due to the PMO scandal over the detainees. That may well be, and I don't doubt some damage, but the Ipsos offering was always suspect, so the drop might not be quite that pronounced.

Whatever the reasons, the fact the Liberals lead in this poll should ease the concerns of the "nervous nellies". I'll update when the internals come out, but I have a feeling the Conservatives DON'T lead in Ontario, as Ipsos suggested.


knb said...

I'm not a big poll person and I do think that Afghanistan/detainee did have an affect, but I tend to agree with you here Steve.

Where do you go for the internals and do you ever find actual questions asked?

I go to the polling company sites and the info is always ancient.

Steve V said...

They usually put some of the internals in the press release, and then the rest trickles out, like you say "ancient".

"I'm not a big poll person"

Me neither ;)

knb said...

LOL Steve.

I have internal access to the Ipsos site, but it still gives me nothing really.

Before people accuse me of being an insider, (yeah that happened on my site, lol) let me clarify by saying a business connection of my partner hooked me up. It's not given me much access.

Steve V said...

It's funny, because it is harder to get the PDF's for Canadian pollsters. The American ones usually post them instantly. The Canadian ones, much of the time, you just get drips here and there.

northwestern_lad said...

What I find interesting about this poll is that the Conservatives actually dipped below 30%... we haven't seen that happen in a very long time

Raphael Alexander said...

I don't know that the detainee issue had any effect since as far as I can tell from anecdotal evidence, it hasn't really hit the mainstream radar of Canadians yet. That's probably because it isn't considered an s-word yet.

knb said...

raphael, I don't know who you hang out with, but apparently they don't watch the news on tv, they do not listen news on radio and they do not read newspapers.

Classy clan.

Anecdotal evidence to a certain extent is what these polls are based on. They spread it out to gain consensus in every category.

Sorry, I guess I'm slow. What's the s word? Somalia?

liberazzi said...

It was unbelievable what I just saw on Duffy. He wanted to discuss the Ipsos poll, but the Decima poll came up by mistake, which he totally fluffed over, until the Ipsos one was finally shown. Why does the media continue to give credence to these bogus polls?

Raphael Alexander said...

raphael, I don't know who you hang out with, but apparently they don't watch the news on tv, they do not listen news on radio and they do not read newspapers.

I beg to reiterate my anecdotal evidence. Most people I've spoken to know of the situation, but they really don't care all that much.

Sorry, I guess I'm slow. What's the s word?


Anonymous said...

The most important number in these kind of polls is the undecided/won't say/none of your beeswax who I'm voting for axxhxle.

Most people I know are in the above even when they know excactly who they would vote for.
You give a party and all of a sudden you're on somebody's list.

Why don't the polling companies ever publish those numbers?

Dana said...

Polling companies try to push people toward some kind of a declaration. If the first question, "who would you vote for?" doesn't get them a clear answer they'll try "who do you lean toward?" and/or "would you vote for who you voted for last time?" and so on. Quite often, if the pushing is hard enough and the undecided is large enough, it ends up distorting the outcomes.

But polling companies don't actually care very much whether outcomes are distorted as long as they can get their company name in the paper.

I have worked on polls that were deeply and fundamentally flawed structurally that never got fixed because they'd been done that way for so many years that to fix it now would be to throw into doubt all the years of previous results.

Steve V said...


"Polling companies try to push people toward some kind of a declaration."

That's a great point, why don't they just accept the tentative, because that actually tells us more that getting some of kind of skewed result.


Just a quick point on Duffy. I just put up a new post, where the Duff actually states the obvious for a change.

burlivespipe said...

the only poll worth it's money is the one you and I are paying for -- Harper's weekly thumbing his nose at the taxpayer poll/focus group.
Because he's no longer throwing down the gauntlet and trying to buckshot the opposition into defeating his lame-ass government, i'd say the poll is not ipsos-ish.

Steve V said...


That's a great point. If we are confused by the polls, we just have to monitor Harper's posture to determine if he is up or down. Everything a confidence vote- up, wanting to work with others- down, focusing on governing- same.

dale said...

Anybody who thinks this poll would hold up in an election is lost in la-la land. There is not a hope in hell Canadians will vote for Dion or Layton to lead the country. Try to get your head around Dion stumbling through a speech or trying to get a concensus on anything let alone run the country. When push comes to shove these guys will fold along with their parties, as for an election bring it on asap

Miles Lunn said...

I've found Ipsos tends to overestimate Tory support while Decima usually underestimates it. I think a lot of that has to do with methodology as at the moment there are enough undecideds that a slight change in wording can dramatically change the results. Once the election gets under way and people's intentions are more firm, then the methodology becomes less of a factor.

My guess is the Tories are trailing the Liberals in Ontario, but probably by 5-10 points. I suspect the Liberals have a large lead in the GTA, while things are more even in the rest of Ontario. There are about 20 seats the Tories have a lock on in Ontario, another 20 they hold that are potentially vulnerable, while another 10-15 they could potentially pick-up if they had a strong campaign, while the remaining 50 are off limits under all circumstances.