Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Liberals Ahead

New Harris-Decima poll out, which has the Liberals statistically ahead, for the first time since just after the Liberal leadership convention:
April 10-13:

Liberals 33%
Cons 30%
NDP 16%
Greens 11%

Ontario (3 week average)
Liberals 40%
Cons 32%
NDP 13%
Greens 13%

Decima's Bruce Anderson:

"In Ontario, we now have a situation, where the Liberals have a massive lead in the 416, a pretty good lead in the 905, a 5-6% lead in the 519 southwestern Ontario region. They only trail the Conservatives in eastern Ontario".

If these provincial regional numbers were to hold, we would see a healthy Liberal seat gain in Ontario. As an aside, did anyone hear about the new Liberal buttons- "My Canada Includes Ontario". Brilliant :)

Quebec (3 week average):
Bloc 37%
Liberals 22%
Conservatives 21%
NDP 10%
Greens 8%

Pretty consistent results, which suggests the recent infighting hasn't hurt too badly.

The most intriguing story is the British Columbia results. While the margin of error is 5.1%, Anderson offers an interesting development:
Liberals 35%
Cons 26%
NDP 23%
Greens 15%

"Each of the last three weeks, we have had the Liberals ahead of the other parties in B.C., which hasn't happened before."

More bad news for the Conservatives:
Urban voters:

Liberals 35%
Conservatives 28%
NDP 15%
Greens 12%

"In 2006, around the time of the election, we measured urban voters as a 5% advantage for the Conservatives. It had always been a tough situation for the Conservatives, but they overcame that. In the election they won by 5%, now they trail by 7%, a pretty important swing."

Hard to find a silver lining for Conservatives, they are also falling further behind with women voters, especially older women, who tend to show up at the polls moreso than other demographics.

I see a window here, the trends are pretty firm, with all the pollsters. I would argue we are now at Conservative bottom, nobody should expect the numbers to drop below 30%. The Liberals still have room for expansion, if you subscribe to the notion that soft Green support is more likely to move to the Liberals, IF anywhere, should an appealing case be made.

Does it get any better than this??


Antonio said...

steve why do polling firms from Quebec, who interview 4 times as many quebecers as the firms who conduct national polls, consistently have the tories ahead of the Liberals in Quebec, in sone cases tied with the bloc.

it is a little curious to say the least...

Steve V said...


Not sure, but you have to acknowledge that nobody replicates the CROP results. That's curious too ;)

Steve V said...

Just to add, it's not like all of these outfits were way off with their 2006 Quebec predictions, as a matter of fact, they were pretty close.

ottlib said...


I cannot remember. What were the estimates from the last poll by Decima?

I am trying to find out if the change from the last time is outside the margin of error.

If so, this poll is really significant. If not, then the change could just as likely be the result of polling error as actual change in support so it would not be as exciting as the numbers would seem to indicate.

Kris said...

This is the time for an election.

The polls are trending favourably, the elections canada investigation among other mini scandals, and most importantly, the immigration issue is here to push it.

The stars are aligned like they haven't been before. This is the last best chance before Oct 2009.

Rick said...

I am sick of all polls, but this one is statiscally insiginificant from the last decima poll:

"The latest Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey suggests the Liberals had 32 per cent support to the Conservatives' 31 per cent, which is a statistical tie given the poll's 3.1-percentage-point margin of error.

The NDP were at 15 per cent and the Greens at 12 per cent.

In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois was ahead with 35 per cent, while the Liberals and Conservatives were tied at 21 per cent, the NDP had 11 per cent and the Greens 10 per cent.

In Ontario, the Liberals were in the lead with 40 per cent, followed by the Conservatives at 33 per cent, the Greens at 13 per cent and the NDP at 12 per cent."

So this poll is insignificant changes from their last poll released 5 days ago.

So we have had 7 polls in the last week if I am not mistaken. 7 polls, from 5 or 6 different polling companies, and we are not even in an election period. I am a political junkie and addict, and even I am burnt out right now. I want a new campign, even though I will most likely spoil my ballot, since there is no option for "None of the above"

Look at the options:

1) The Tories have some ideas that I agree with, and I did vote for them in 2006, but they have some, shall we say, less than perfect cabinet ministers, and they have put themselves in the tough positions they are in vis a vis Elections Canada, etc.
2) I previously have voted for the Libs, but felt they lost their way and got arrogant in the late 90s and 2000s. They now have a leader that gives me 0% confidence, and leans further left than I like.
3) Jack Layton is someone I would like to have a conversation with, but I would never vote NDP.
4) Gilles Duceppe is someone I always say covers himself well in the debates, and I agree with his centre right fiscal, centre left social policies, but I want QC in Canada, and of course I am in Ontario so I can't vote for the Bloc even if I wanted to.
5) I would consider the Greens, except I can't stand Elizabeth May, and while I am intrigued by some of their policies, overall I do not have enough faith in their platform, from what I have read.

So, I guess at this point I am a free agent, looking for someone to win me over. It will most likely be the Tories or Liberals, but it may end up being the least a party.

Rick said...

A correction on my post -

"It will most likely be the Tories or Liberals, but it may end up being the least bad party, instead of the best party."

Now doesn't that instill confidence, and excitement for our political system?

Anonymous said...

Rick might I suggest examining the local candidates as well.

Josh Gould said...

Election! Election!

Over the immigration issue, if possible, and state that was simply the last straw - not the defining issue, but the beginning of them. Is there a real risk that the election could result in fewer seats for the Liberals? Yes. But a Harper majority is almost impossible (and, ahem, not all that different from continued abstentions). Another minority for him will weaken his own position, and nothing will unite Liberals more than organizing against the CPC rather than themselves.

Rick said...

Anon - Yes I wish that my local candidates could give me a clear direction, but Garth is my MP, and I find him very annoying and hypocritical.

So Garth and Dion are 2 strikes against the Liberals, And the Tories have 2 strikes as well (their stupidity in fighting everyone out there who disagrees with them, and getting into trouble for saying and doing stupid things).

So now help there either.

But thanks anyway :-)

liberazzi said...

A pretty good week so far for the Libs, so my obvious question is: How are they going to screw it up? Or maybe Duffy will start to sense some Lib momemtum, so he'll trot out Lapierre and Mcdonald for a couple days to try and dampen the mood, with a couple of anonymous sources mixed in, with a stories of infighting and various plots against Dion...Anyways, at the risk of repeating myself. Lets go already!

Steve V said...


It reaffirms that the trend since March is real, sustained, hardly insignificant. Not much change from last week, except you go from a 1 point lead to 3, you add another point in Ontario, and you continue to show unprecedented strength in British Columbia. Further results solidify the movement, that we've seen in the last month. If you want to argue this poll means nothing to the Liberals, I tend to disagree.

Is anyone trending Conservative? Even a pollster like SC that had a massive Conservative lead are falling back considerably, in ways that mirror others. I would argue, we are in the midst of the best polling, the Liberals have seen pretty much since the election, outside of the artificial convention bounce. The Conservatives have lost some things, in a fundamental way, and especially in Ontario. I don't think they get that support back, unless we give it back.

Anonymous said...

Whatever. Just you wait til the Libs pass the anti-immigration bill. Then post the poll numbers.

-Anon Viz Min in Ontario

Steve V said...

"Whatever. Just you wait til the Libs pass the anti-immigration bill. Then post the poll numbers."

That's why I call it a window.

liberazzi said...

If the Libs let the immigration ammendment pass, then they might as well close up shop.

On a side note, I am a bit concerned about the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, that Dion decided not to vote against in second reading and the fact that some Libs actually voted for it. I am also surprised that this is not getting much play, as it is a very dangerous bill. The Cons hidden agenda, is not so hidden anymore. In fact, my local Lib MP's conservative views will make it difficult for me to vote for her and or volunteer. (I probably will vote Green in this riding and volunteer elsewhere. It's my double standard and I'm sticking to it.)

Anonymous said...

"you continue to show unprecedented strength in British Columbia"

I guess that explains how the Liberals came within 150 votes of losing their safest seat in BC just a couple of weeks ago??

These polls are all well and good, but you have to wonder what Dion and the Liberal strategists know that the pollsters don't since they are still prepared to go to such extraordinary and humiliating lengths to avoid an election at all cost!

Why would an opposition party that is either tied or even ahead in the polls be so scared shitless of an election??? Why? Why? Why? What is the untold story?

Steve V said...


I don't think anybody is scared shitless, some are just pre-occupied with timing. These polls only started to move in the last few weeks, let's see how that translates into posture. I mean everyone can discount polling til the cows come home, but we've never had an election triggered, by any party, government or opposition, that wasn't accompanied by perceived positive polling, momentum.

It changes the mood. I mean look at someone like Jason, preaching patience and all this other spin, now some polls to his liking, and he wants to pull the trigger. It's psychology.

Anonymous said...

"we've never had an election triggered, by any party, government or opposition, that wasn't accompanied by perceived positive polling, momentum."

You don't have a very good memory. The Conservatives gleefully pulled the plug on the Martin government in November 2005 even though the polls unanimously gave the Liberals quite a hefty lead at the time. In fact the Liberals looked like they might even regain their majority in the early stages of the campaign. (of course the Liberals proceeded to blow it by running an abysmal campaign "troops in the streets - we're not making this up...")

We can also go back to 1974 when the PCs and NDP combined to vote non-confidence in the Liberal minority government under Trudeau - even though the polls at the time showed the Liberals ahead. In fact the Liberals WANTED an early election in 1974 because they knew they had a good chance to regain their majority - and the opposition played right into their hands.

wilson said...

Polls mean nothing.
It's all about the campaign.

One week before PMSH won the election:

New Decima poll indicated Tories, Grits tied
Dec. 31 2005

Canadian Press

OTTAWA -- ...
The survey by Decima Research pegs Liberal support at 32 per cent of those who are likely to vote, compared to 30 per cent who say they intend to back the Conservatives.
Given the poll's margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, the two parties are in a statistical dead heat.

New Democrats are backed by 18 per cent...

Steve V said...


You fail to include that the NDP saw an opportunity, which brought the government down. Plus, the Cons were always a long shot, they were never going to be ahead prior, but had closed to within 5 or 6 points just prior to the non-confidence vote. My memory is pretty good, seems the opposition concluded they had a narrative to beat the Liberals and rolled the dice.

Steve V said...


LOL, nice how you fail to mention the other 15 polls released at that time which showed the Conservatives up big.

Yes, of course polls mean nothing, they always seem to when you're in TROUBLE. Hey, aren't you same character who kept saying Flaherty was winning "hearts and minds", there was no damage?

I agree campaigns matter, but did you consider that the Cons might be at a disadvantage now, what with the office being ramsacked and all. Hope they didn't take the "war room" hard drive. LMAO.

Keep flailing away, something will stick- I just know it ;)

Anonymous said...

Without a platform, the if these numbers hold, is a big if.

And the my Canada includes Ontario will go over great in Quebec don't you think.

We have no platform. Liberals have voted for everything they could have run on. What are we asking Canadians to vote for?

I'm a Liberal and follow politics and I don't know what I would be voting for if I voted Liberal.

The last straw was voting to extend the Afghan mission. What is it exactly we oppose?

We have nothing to run on.

Anonymous said...

This thread is about polls and my point is that if we believe the polls the Liberals are in a far stronger position vis a vis the governing Tories now, then the Tories were in in 2005 vis a vis the governing Liberals. Yet, in 2005 the Tories spent the whole year using every trick in the book to try to force an early election - while the Liberals today are using every trick in the book to avoid forcing one.

Conclusion - the Tories in 2005 believed in themselves and had self-confidence. The Liberals in 2008 are broke demoralized and scared of their own shadow - and even favourable polls can't seem to shake them out of it.

What more of a narrative do the Liberals need? What's wrong with Harper bad, Liberals good??? It's been a year and a half since Dion became leader. How much longer does the world have to wait for the Liberals to decide on a "narrative" and have an organization???

Gayle said...

I would suggest the problem is not whether they can win an election (they can), but whether they can win a majority. The liberals cannot afford two elections in two years. They have one shot at this so they need to find the right time.

I do not know when that time is because I am not an expert on this. I trust the party has experts they can rely on. I do note, however, that as time goes on the CPC continues to defeat itself. Waiting has not hurt the liberals so far.

Anonymous said...

If you are saying the Liberals won't pull the plug until they feel certain that an early election will produce a Liberal MAJORITY - then i can assure you that the next election won't be until October 2009

wilson said...

''LOL, nice how you fail to mention the other 15 polls released at that time which showed the Conservatives up big.''

Yes, that's why I pulled out a Decima poll, compare apples to apples.

Still think the polls should be your guiding light?

-Libs have not had a policy convention, so anything could pop up as Lib policy,
much to the surprise of your grass roots.
-Because of no concrete policy, decided by convention, and because of all those 'markers',
it could be said that ANYTHING the Libs supported could/would be reversed, if Dion is elected PM.

How will Dion answer, when asked if 'Quebec is a Nation' was a marker?
Was lowering the GST a 'marker'?
And then it will swing the other way too.
Will Dion really reverse all those 'markers'?
Or will this be another 'We will kill the GST' promise that never comes to be.

Yah know how it goes, just asking the question makes for a good 'hidden agenda' theory.

Steve V said...

"We have no platform."

Umm, yes we do have a platform, just because it isn't "out there", doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I don't agree with holding back, but I don't doubt for a second it is there. If there is one thing Dion is, it's a policy wonk, pretty confident that there are some innovative ideas there. I'm just not buying the no platform angle.

Gayle said...

No anon - I am suggesting the liberals wait until they have more money.

Steve V said...


Organizers have already said we can spend the maximum in an election campaign, so that shouldn't be a big issue.

I'm interested to see what first quarter fundraising numbers were, they should be released any day now.

Gayle said...

Steve - I am not worried about paying for the next election. I am worried about paying for the one after that if we end up with another minority.

Steve V said...

I can't think that far ahead ;)

Gayle said...

That is why I am here. :)

Seriously though, don't you think if the liberals win a minority they will be brought down relatively quickly by an opposition who realizes the liberals cannot afford another election yet?

Steve V said...


You would have to think the Libs would have at least a year, nobody would reward the Cons for a quick non-confidence. Being in government would surely be good for the coffers, especially if all this distraction of the leadership debts were eliminated. Plus, there are lots of ways to bend those pesky Election Canada rules ;)

Gayle said...

Sure - but if the libs lose and hold the cons to a minority again, do not start complaining when they are forced to abstain on confidence motions because they are too broke to force an election.

Deal? :)

Steve V said...

I pledge to abstain from criticism for the first year :)