I'm sure everyone has already digested the latest Nanos poll, but I have a few thoughts on these results. I also have a few comments on people misinterpreting these numbers, as some justification for the Liberal current strategy.
The national numbers are good news for the Liberals, up 3, but the Conservatives are up 5, from the last Nanos poll. The Liberals owe their bounce to Ontario, the Conservatives well up in the "West". It would appear both gain, in different regions, at the expense of the NDP.
Anyone who argued that the by-elections results weren't bad news for the NDP, faces a sobering reality in these numbers. People have gravitated back to the main parties, and the NDP seems to be fighting a "relevance" perception.
In addition, the erosion of the NDP in Ontario could be directly related to the Flaherty-McGuinty feud. This poll is further evidence that the Flaherty assault represents the biggest political "boner" for the Conservatives in recent memory (has anyone seen Jim, seems to have disappeared?). There were two players in this fight, the Liberals and the Conservatives, the NDP choose to take some misguided highroad, taking no sides, implicating both, arguing that it was all counter-productive. The failure of people like Hampton to champion his province, and try to paint the NDP as outside of political wrangling, essentially made the NDP irrelevant. People in Ontario overwhelming saw the "fight" as mostly one-sided, correctly viewed the problem originating in Ottawa, McGuinty merely defending. The failure of the NDP to acknowledge that reality, try to paint both in the wrong, I think a tactical error. When push came to shove, there was only one party fighting Flaherty's dissing of Ontario, and that was the Liberal Party. To a great extent, the federal Liberals owe much of the gain in Ontario to their provincial counterparts. People rallied to the Liberals, as the safe bastion, the only alternative to replace a perceived anti-Ontario government. The by-election results, and an absence from the fed-pro argument, has hurt the NDP in Ontario.
What I'm not a big fan of, people viewing these results, and extrapolating that the media narrative is irrelevant, the Liberals aren't being hurt by abstaining. I believe you have to view all the elements working concurrently, meaning, the Liberal gain in Ontario is more reaction to the Conservatives, than it is some endorsement of our posture. Take Ontario out of the equation, and the Liberals would actually be down nationally, even with this, the Conservatives actually fared better in this poll, compared with Nanos last offering. I immediately referred to Flaherty as "the gift that keeps on giving", and that's what he was, don't let arrogance assume we benefited because of our message. In times of a threat, people return to what they are most comfortable with, in Ontario, this has been the Liberals for the last 15 years.
These results don't mean "we don't look bad", they aren't the comfort blanket of denial, and the biggest danger, they are used to justify. When I've argued that we should force an election now, I've repeatedly used the Ontario numbers to calm the fears that we will lose. Hopefully, instead of using these results to continue on in the delusion that nobody notices, the media has it wrong, things are good, they will bring less "nervousness" about bringing this government down.
Here's your window, Nanos confirmed it, use it or lose it.