Saturday, March 29, 2008

"We have an enormous amount of work to do."

According to the latest CROP poll in Quebec, Dion's words are accurate:
Bloc 30
Conservatives 29
Liberals 20
NDP 15

In the Quebec City region, the Liberals run fourth:
Conservatives 41%
Bloc 25%
NDP 17%
Liberals 14%

Montreal:
Bloc 32%
Liberals 25%
Conservatives 21%

A bit of disconnect between this poll, and recent national offerings. It seems that Quebec pollsters tend to get different results, generally showing Conservative support much stronger than the national polls. Given CROP's good record previously in the province, these numbers probably have more weight.

The last CROP poll had the Bloc up a full 6 points, and now it is statistically tie, with the Liberals stuck around 20%. Good news for the NDP, 15% is more than respectable, and they definitely have the potential to be competitive.

If you want to understand why the Liberals are polling so low, the "best Prime Minister" question is quite telling:

Harper 35%
Layton 24%
Dion 16%

Ouch. Dion is actually down another 3% since the last CROP poll. One caveat, part of this poll was conducted during the last week, and we all know how that went for Dion and the Liberals in Quebec.

I thought Dion conveyed a sense of urgency, after the open criticisms, and the reaction of some of the malcontents afterwards, suggested that a change in focus has occured. I said this last spring after Parliament went on break, Dion should live in Quebec for the entire summer, even if it means ignoring other regions. I'll say it again, don't worry about the rest of the country for now, put all your energy and focus into getting some traction in Quebec. The entire Liberal machine should go in crisis mode, don't write off anything, and act swiftly.

I don't want to detract from the NDP showing, clearly a good sign moving forward. That said, it would seem there are wandering federalists in Quebec, looking for a party, unhappy with the Liberals, no affinity for the Conservatives, parking with the NDP. However, let's not kid ourselves, this NDP support isn't rooted, some of it is clearly soft by any definition, if a healthy alternative is given, then that support could bleed back. It's still an unknown whether the NDP can deliver at the ballot box, an almost "Green" scenario, Mulclair aside. The Liberals should zero in on winning some of that vote back, it's their best chance.

17 comments:

Babylonian said...

Thanks for posting this, I think you are the first at liblogs to do so. I have one comment about Mulcair, and I am not saying this to calm the concerns in the LPC. I honestly think that Mulcair won Outremount on account of his immpecable language skills, his charisma, his professionalism, and possibly his looks. I think he has to be the most "normal" NDP minister I have seen in a while.

I bet that if Layton performs poorly this coming election, all eyes will be on Mulcair for the NDP leadership. I am not sure where he stands on core NDP values like sexual digression and poverty.

Steve V said...

bab

That, and a combination of a flat footed Liberal campaign, with a less than compelling candidate, within the unpredictability of a by-election. Mulclair was also a Liberal.

Babylonian said...

A liberal? What do you mean? He previously ran as a liberal or what?

Interesting..........he seems to clean cut to be an NDP'er.

Steve V said...

Sorry, I meant provincial Liberal.

Rick said...

You have to put more stock into these results versus the national polls for the 2 simple reasons:
1) CROP is known for it's Quebec accuracy
2)The have a polling sample of 1000 people just in Quebec, versus the national polls which have around 300 or so in Quebec, 1000 total across Canada.

CROP has consistently had the Tories in the 25-29 range and Libs at around 20% for several months now. That being said, the real reason to worry is the off Montreal numbers.

With my recent drop in approval/support for the Tories, I am looking for a campaign of ideas, and I won't be getting it any time soon it appears.

Steve, I hope that the Libs like you and Dryden win out and the Libs start releasing platform ideas. I hate the Parliament the way it is right now and need some ideas or preferably a campaign to rejuvenate my interest in politics. Neither side is doing it for me right now. I want an election so that we get at least on new leader, if not 2. Harper and Dion both need to go.

Cherniak_WTF said...

I honestly think that Mulcair won Outremount on account of his immpecable language skills, his charisma, his professionalism, and possibly his looks. I think he has to be the most "normal" NDP minister I have seen in a while.
He was also a popular provincial Liberal minister.

It's funny how the connies are doing better in the regions that rely heavily on the government tit....

wilson said...

The really good news,
is 70% of Quebecers intend to vote for a federalist party!!

Bloc was at 42% of the Quebec vote last election.

No Green numbers?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand your analysis where you imply that the NDP increase in Quebec is at the expense of the Liberals. Liberal support was 21% in the last election and now it's 20%. It's the BQ that has tumbled from 42% TO 30% and the NDP has picked up 7% of that and the Tories have gained 5%. Similarly in the Outremont byelection, the NDP won by chopping the BQ vote by 2/3 - the Liberal actually only went down marginally.

The NDP gains are coming from the BQ at this stage. If the NDP starts to also attract Liberal votes they could breach the 20% mark and start winning in places like Hull and Gatineau etc...

Anonymous said...

I nearly fell off my rocking chair with your description of Mulcair....is he the same Mulcair who is always screaming in the HOUSE and even went so far as to cross the floor to punch someone????granny

Steve V said...

anon

I never said the NDP support came from the Liberals, I said people are looking for options, and instead of gravitating back to the Libs, they are looking elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Interesting times in Quebec...
Many franco voters have given up on the Bloc and are looking to park their vote somewhere else.
Liberals need to give them a reason to do so.

Steve V said...

anon

That's the point, beyond all the doom and gloom, there is actually opportunity, if the Liberals could just update the language, and present a compelling case to draw people their way.

Anonymous said...

I think you will find that Quebecers who previously voted BQ tend to also be people who totally reject the federal Liberal Party and Stephane Dion. For a variety of historical and emotional reasons - they just won't go there. It would be like expecting someone in rural southern Alberta who is getting fed up with Harper - to then vote Liberal. For Quebec nationalists (even soft nationalist) it almost part of their genetic makeup to never vote Liberal. If they move away from the BQ, they might vote NDP (if they are left-leaning), they might go Tory (if they are more conservative and perhaps ADQ voting provincially), they might even go Green. But Liberal NEVER.

Koby said...

>>>> I think you will find that Quebecers who previously voted BQ tend to also be people who totally reject the federal Liberal Party and Stephane Dion. For a variety of historical and emotional reasons - they just won't go there.

Perhaps. One thing is clear though. So long as federal politics in Quebec is centered around the national question, the Liberals do not stand much a chance in appealing to former Bloc voters. There is no point in doning soft separtist clothes to appeal to the Jean Lapierre's of world. Doing so only hurts the Liberals outside of Quebec. The Liberals need to change the subject in Quebec and the only way of doing that is trott out some new policies.

Möbius said...

Now if you could just control the self-destructive maroons in the party.

What's the big hurry for the LPC to have an election that it likely would not win?

Even if Dion is not the long-term leader, deposing him now leads to a fight between Iggy and Rae for the leadership, possibly with several other contenders, with an election looming next year.

What happened to the LPC "discipline", to use Dion's words?

Mushroom said...

"I said this last spring after Parliament went on break, Dion should live in Quebec for the entire summer, even if it means ignoring other regions."

The thing is that Dion still needs to pay off his leadership debts quickly. It will be his prioirty this summer. Where will he get the most donors? Not in La Belle Province.

Éric Grenier said...

Don't read too much into these numbers. CROP over-represented the region of Quebec City, where the Conservatives have a healthy lead. The Bloc has been around 40% in almost every recent poll and the Liberals in second. It is ridiculous for the Bloc to lose 10 points and the Conservatives to gain 10 without any real change in the last few weeks. This is just the result of inaccurate poll that gave the Quebec City region about two to three times the weight it actually has.