Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Dead Heat?

A new Harris-Decima poll(h/t BCL), that suggests a dead heat:
The latest Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey suggests the Tories have 32 per cent support, with the Liberals at 30 per cent, which is within the survey’s margin of error.

The NDP have 13 per cent, the Greens 12 per cent and the Bloc is at nine per cent.

Some recent polls, namely the preceived reliable CROP offering, have shown the Conservatives moving up in Quebec. Two weeks ago Decima had the Conservatives well back in third- Bloc 37% Libs 27% Cons 19% NDP 12%. The newest poll still seems to understand Conservative support, although it does show erosion for the Liberals:
In Quebec, the latest poll suggested 37 per cent support for the Bloc, 21 per cent each for the Conservatives and Liberals, 10 per cent for the Greens and nine per cent for the NDP.

These results are the reason I put a question mark in the title. I'm prepared to believe the CROP poll over Decima, based on sample size and previous predictability. The understating of Quebec support makes a national tie slightly off. That said, the Liberal drop in Quebec seems reasonable, given what has transpired in the last couple of weeks, and Decima is now in line with others.

In Ontario:
In Ontario, the survey suggested the Liberals are at 38 per cent with the Tories at 33 per cent. The Green party has 15 per cent, leading the NDP at 10 per cent.

That seems a pretty good result for the Liberals, but it is a drop, based on the last week of Decima's previous poll:
In Ontario, latest results show the Liberals with 43%, compared to the Conservatives 32%,
the NDP 14%, and the Greens at 9%.

That poll was done in the midst of the Flaherty assault, there appears to be some pullback since, as the story returns to Liberal inaction.

Still, the real story here, the NDP at 10% in Ontario, a number I've never seen, even if for a brief moment. That works in concert with the lowly 13% nationally, all indications that the NDP strategy of painting the Liberals as ineffective isn't drawing any disgruntled support their way. These numbers might also be a reflection of the by-election results, which gave a wave of negative coverage to the NDP.

The good news for the Liberals, and more potential bad news for the NDP:
The survey suggested the Liberals are the second choice for 30 per cent of voters, while the Tories are the second choice for 19 per cent.

This narrows the Conservative chance for growth.

“There’s a lack of enthusiasm for the Conservatives, waning interest in the NDP and a firming of support for the Green party,” he said...

“NDP voters show increased interest in the Liberals and fewer Conservative voters see the Liberal brand as toxic.”

A small caveat, the lower numbers in Ontario and Quebec for the Liberals would probably mean their second choice totals would increase with other party voters- that seems logical. That said, worrying signs for the NDP, and the sense of potential for the Liberals.


liberazzi said...

I believe polls are somewhat irrelevant at this point. They have been saying basically the same thing for months now. This is why the whole strategic patience is a waste of time. The election is going to be won the battlefield so lets have at it. The Libs need about 33% to achieve a minority and that's right on the margin. Some might say that an election is a waste of time, as we will probably be right back into a minority situation or possibly the horror of a Harper majority. I do not think Dion is going to catch lighting in a bottle, but Chretien and Harper were also written off at certain points. We do need the Dion question clarified, so that this party can either be certain they have their man or cut their loses and rebuild again with Iggy or Rae or someone else. I still believe this "team" has potential with Dion at the helm if given the chance, but on the flip side Dion might be damaging this team's chance to reach their potential if they can't get it together quickly. I like the fact that this team is currently made up of mostly "progessives", but my worry is that if they fail, they will be taken over by more of the right wing elements of the party.

Anonymous said...

Well, we'll have to see what Nanos says.

I trust his polls more than the others.

The age group is interesting. Use to be that people that were over 50 were conservative leaning - BUT now the "babyboomers" are the older folks and I don't think they want to see the possible return of the death penalty, the freedoms they fought so for in the 60's and 70's like women's rights, etc. lost. Just a thought anyway.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the Liberals themselves don't believe this poll at all - otherwise how do you explain how they keep humiliating themselves on a daily basis propping up the Harper government because they're so PETRIFIED of an election. This is NOT the behaviour I would expect from a Liberal party that was truly in a "dead heat" with the Tories. What gives?

Steve V said...


"Election Readiness"? When people where chiming for an election, it was national organizers that apparently said we weren't ready.

√Čric Grenier said...

The CROP poll over-represented the Quebec City region. Out of 1000 respondants, 250 came from the region of Quebec City, or 25%. That region is, at most, 10% of the population.

That explains the difference in the CROP poll. The Decima one is more accurate in this sense.

Steve V said...


Thanks for that, I hadn't really looked at the sample sizes for each region. I assume there is some rationale for that sampling in the QC region, it's not like CROP are amateurs here. Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

ummm...have you ever heard of something called WEIGHTING??? Polls routinely oversample in smaller regions or provinces and undersample in areas with really big populations - but the over all results are invariably weighted so that each regions weight within the overall sample is proportionate to its population.