52 per cent of Canadians said they would be less likely to vote for the Conservative Party if it is confirmed that the Tories did commit some irregularities in their spending in the last federal election and 41 per cent polled said that the outcome of the investigation won't have any effect on their voting decision in the next election.
The poll revealed that 82 per cent of those surveyed said that they have heard about the "in and out" election financing investigation and 59 per cent of those said that, as a result, they have a less favourable view of the Harper Tories, while 36 per cent said the investigation into the party's advertising spending made no difference in their opinion about the party.
The pollster concludes the scandal hasn’t affected the base, but there is the potential for some erosion, especially with undecideds:
The poll also showed that one in four Conservative voters and more than half of the undecided are left with a less favourable impression of the Conservative Party. And one in six Conservatives said that if the Conservatives were found guilty of violating election law, they would be less likely to vote for the Conservative Party.
One in six translates to about 5-6% of national support amongst Conservative supporters, a clear turnoff for swing voters.
One the question of the Conservatives claims of heightened ethical standards, Canadians aren’t buying:
On the question of ethics, 52 per cent of respondents opined that the Conservatives are the same as other parties, 29 per cent said that Tories are worse than most political parties and 16 per cent said they are better than most political parties.
It’s still pretty early to accurately gauge the fallout of this scandal, but in terms of cumulative effect, it would seem the Conservative brand has been undermined. Being viewed the same as the Liberal Party is a net negative given the previous superior posturing. Just as bad, maybe worse, is hardly a positive sign for Harper.
This one might be sticking, primarily because it feeds a developing pattern.