Thursday, May 29, 2008

CROP Poll

It's hard to find any good news for the Liberals in the latest CROP poll of Quebec, now statistically tied with the NDP for fourth in the province. First, the numbers, then a couple curious points about this poll:
The poll gave the Bloc, the only separatist party in the federal Parliament, 31 percent support, up three points in the past month. It put the Conservatives up one point at 28 percent, the New Democrats down one point at 16 percent and the Liberals down five points at 15 percent, Greens 8%

The poll also finds the Liberals fourth in Quebec City and the east, not to mention a distant third in Montreal.

What I would like someone to explain to me, because I'm not trying to make excuses, the breakdowns for this poll. Out of a total 859 polled, there were only 74"non francophones", which translates to a mere 8.6% of this poll. The last census of Quebecers, puts the francophone population at 80%, which makes me wonder why the francophone total is 91.4% of the survey. Further, despite the fact that the Quebec Metro population represents 9.2% of the population, it represents 20.6% of the poll. Now, the obvious answer is weighting, but tell me if this follows:

Francophones 785 Cons 27 Libs 13 NDP 15

Non Francophones 74 Cons 28 Libs 35 NDP 21

Without splitting hairs, the francophone vote is ten times that of the non-francophone, so let's do the following:

The Con non francophone total represents 1/11 of the overall total, the francophone 10/11. So, 27% francophone times 10 gives 270, plus 28 (only counted once) equals 298, which divided by 11 gives 27.1% total. Do the same math for the Liberals and you get 15%, for the NDP you get 15.54%. In other words, you get the same results as the overall poll totals. That would appear to be the weighting, and as I've already stated, it entirely overstates the francophone vote, while dramatically understating the non-francophone totals. I don't get it, I understand the need for regional sample sizes, but the above seems to suggest a strange final outcome.

Now that my head hurts, all this aside, this poll is just another indication of the challenges the Liberals face. Like I've said before, Dion's first, second and third priorities this summer should be Quebec.

30 comments:

Möbius said...

You seem the love the polls that suggest, incrementally, that the Libs are charging ahead.

I suggest ignoring all of them, and using your own brain to tell you how things are progressing. Polls are someone's idea of how to get us all worked up, and make a profit at it.

Steve V said...

"I suggest ignoring all of them, and using your own brain to tell you how things are progressing."

Actually, polls act as a reality check on your own mental bias. It's just another tool.

To your point about poll preference, I post on all of them, good or bad, in fairness. Your first sentence speaks to your own mental math, which is why its dangerous to get lost in your own perceptions, with no practical application to a reality outside of your sensibilities.

Möbius said...

Your first sentence speaks to your own mental math, which is why its dangerous to get lost in your own perceptions, with no practical application to a reality outside of your sensibilities.

Not really, since I don't take them seriously whatsoever. Unless you follow the inherent biases of all of the polling companies, read the actual polling questions, and believe they have a reasonable cross-section of voters represented, what good are any of them?

To wit, I have never been questioned by a pollster, or given any preferences to a pollster over the phone. Who does so? Lonely people who even love when telemarketers call them?

Steve V said...

"Not really, since I don't take them seriously whatsoever."

Move along then...

Dan said...

Of course it would be insane to ignore Quebec but it seems to me that at least one of the 3 priorities ought to be focused on an area where there are actually seats to be won.

Koby said...

The poll is yet further evidence that the Liberals have far to go on the policy front. Although, I have serious concerns about a carbon tax/carbon shift, it is just the kind of the bold policy idea that the Liberals need to push. In talking to Liberals though they seem content to leave it at that. This is a huge mistake. A carbon tax/tax shift needs to be just the first step.

ottlib said...

Wow, the polling company over-sampled the two groups that have been consistantly less friendly to Mr. Dion and we are surprised by this result?

Liberals have always polled low in the Quebec City region and as we know they are having difficulties with Francophones right now.

So naturally, if you over-sample folks in these two demographics it will produce these results.

Steve, I now believe I know the reason why the Crop Quebec polls and the national polls from other polling firms seem so out of sync.

By no means are the Liberals sitting pretty in Quebec but they are not a bad as they are made out to be either. Most likely, they are indeed sitting between 20-25% as most national polls indicate, which is not a bad starting point.

Miles Lunn said...

Not the greatest news for the Liberals, although it seems Quebec generally moves significantly in one direction another during the campaign not in between. The Tories were in single digits going into the 2006 election yet picked up 10 seats and likewise the ADQ was in the upper teens going into the last provincial election and then nearly formed government, so I think the Liberals need to figure out how they will capture Quebeckers imagination during the campaign. I don't think they stand much chance in Quebec City, but they could at least win most of the ridings on the island of Montreal, the Outaouis ridings, and some of the off island suburbs of Montreal.

Anonymous said...

"The Tories were in single digits going into the 2006 election yet picked up 10 seats and likewise the ADQ was in the upper teens going into the last provincial election and then nearly formed government"

That's very true - so then my expectation is that the NDP will go into the mid-20s in Quebec and make a major breakthrough. The CROP poll says that when Quebecers are asked who would make the best PM - it's Harper 33%, Layton 27%, Dion 17% - this suggests to me that its the NDP that has growth potential - not the Liberals.

Anonymous said...

get rid of dion, with all the scandals on the right lately, doesnt this give anyone a hint, of whats wrong....anyone left with backbone, or are we gonna wait till harper gets a majority, dion wants power, even if canada gets fucked up by the harpy...

Koby said...

“That's very true - so then my expectation is that the NDP will go into the mid-20s in Quebec and make a major breakthrough. The CROP poll says that when Quebecers are asked who would make the best PM - it's Harper 33%, Layton 27%, Dion 17% - this suggests to me that its the NDP that has growth potential - not the Liberals.”

True there is nothing that would indicate that the Liberals are going anywhere in Quebec. That said, their vote is pretty efficient. As for the NDP, they just the opposite. They seemed posed to take a run at the 14.4% they got in the 1988 election. However, their vote is very inefficient. How they do will really depend upon what is happening with the Bloc. If the Bloc continue to falter, the NDP should be able to hold onto Thomas Mulcair’s seat and maybe even pick up another.

Anonymous said...

WE know that the NDP vote in Quebec is very inefficient when it is 8% - but no one knows where is accumulated if it doubles to 16% (or triples to 24%) - the conventional wisdom before 2006 was that the Tory vote in Quebec was too evenly spread and inefficient to lead to any seats and then they came out of no where to sweep the Quebec City region and to win a few other seats where the had high profile candidates.

It's true that in 1988, 14.4% for the NDP in Quebec led to zero seats - but that was a three way race and the Tories swept the province with 55% of the vote. Even 14.4% would probably lead to seats in a 4-way (maybe even 5-way) race where the lad party is at just 30% as opposed to 55%

Anonymous said...

I will only believe Nanos poll and his was completely different in Quebec...this crop poll is crap.

Anonymous said...

We have had three or four consecutive polls by CROP - each with a sample size of 1,000 - and each showing a very similar picture - I think that carries VASTLY more weight than the Quebec sub-sample (n = 220) in a single national survey by Nanos.

CROP has a very good record in predicting recent Quebec elections, as well as Quebec results in federal elections.

If you refuse to believe their numbers you are simply in denial.

Anonymous said...

The Libs' environmental plan will be the key in Quebec. Quebeckers will decide which party best lines up with their strong views on the environment.

JKY said...

Quebeckers will decide which party best lines up with their strong views on the environment.

Indeed, If the Liberals ever get around to presenting a plan rather than grandiose press releases with no hard facts.

The NDP released a 5 point plan this week, available in great detail on their website, which is doable, practical, and not a carbon tax. It uses a good combination of incentives and penalties that I think will be effective. If it ens up that Quebecers don't go for the Liberal policy, the NDP are in a position to increase their support considerably.

Koby said...

>>>>>> WE know that the NDP vote in Quebec is very inefficient when it is 8% - but no one knows where is accumulated if it doubles to 16% (or triples to 24%) - the conventional wisdom before 2006 was that the Tory vote in Quebec was too evenly spread and inefficient to lead to any seats and then they came out of no where to sweep the Quebec City region and to win a few other seats where the had high profile candidates.

What you are seeing is a partial return to pre Bloc voting patterns. What happened with the Tories many voters that had abandoned the Conservatives in 1993 went back to voting Tory 2006 – particularly in Quebec City. Quebec City was solidly Tory blue in 1988 and it was solidly blue 2006. (The PC garnered 22% in the 1997 election, but after it became clear that the party was finished the party fell to 5.6% in 2000. In retrospect, these voters were a natural fit with Conservatives and ADQ and have served as the basis for Conservative resurgence in Quebec.) Voters migrated more slowly back to the NDP, but it seems now that the NDP numbers are approaching what they garnered in 1988. Something similar happened in BC in 2004. Some voters, who had abandoned the NDP in 1993 for Reform and later Alliance went back to voting NDP.

>>>> If it ens up that Quebecers don't go for the Liberal policy, the NDP are in a position to increase their support considerably.

What is it with NDP supporters in believing that the Liberals are always their main competition? This is true inside the 416 and 905. It is not true in Quebec and outside of say Burnaby and Kingsway it is not true of “the West”. In Quebec the NDP will be fighting it out with the Bloc for left leaning PQ voters --- people who would never vote Liberal federally.

Anonymous said...

I would say that the Liberals are the NDP's main competition in the following places: Toronto, Hamilton, Windsor, all of northern Ontario, Manitoba, parts of BC, Nova Scotia and also parts of Quebec. Even where the main competition for a seat is the BQ or the Tories - the NDP needs to push the 3rd place Liberals even deeper into 3rd place.

Koby said...

The Liberal took 27.7 of the vote in BC in 1993, 28.1 in 1997, 28.8 in 2000, 28.6 in 2004 and 27.6 in 2006. The NDP took 15.5 in 1993, 18.2 in 1997, 11.3 in 2000, 26.6 in 2004, and 28.6 in 2006. It does not take a genius to see that the NDP 15% raise between 2000 and 2004 was not at the expense of the Liberals. As for Quebec, it may be the case that the Liberals currently hold this or that seat. However, it does not follow from this that the type of voter the NDP needs to win these seats is a Liberal supporter. The Liberals lost Qutremont to the NDP, but that was not the big story of the night. The big story was that huge number of voters abandoned the party for either the NDP or Tories. The NDP’s fortune’s in Quebec will raise and fall based on their ability to pick up left leaning Bloc voters and that holds no matter what party currently holds the seat. You are right about Northern Ontario though.

Anonymous said...

"It does not take a genius to see that the NDP 15% raise between 2000 and 2004 was not at the expense of the Liberals."

Call me "not a genius" if you want - but even though the Liberal was steady in BC through all those elections, while the NDP vote rose and the Conservative vote fell - those are the NET shifts. If you look on a riding by riding basis, it's clear that the NDP did gain a lot of Liberal votes in places like Vancouver and Victoria - but that the Liberals compensated by gaining some Conservative votes in some wealthier suburbvan parts of the GVRD.

Koby said...

>>>> Call me "not a genius" if you want - but even though the Liberal was steady in BC through all those elections, while the NDP vote rose and the Conservative vote fell - those are the NET shifts. If you look on a riding by riding basis, it's clear that the NDP did gain a lot of Liberal votes in places like Vancouver and Victoria - but that the Liberals compensated by gaining some Conservative votes in some wealthier suburbvan parts of the GVRD.

I have looked at it on a riding by riding basis. And Sure if you add the PC vote in 2000 with the Liberal vote in 2000 you get the Liberal total in 2004 in Quadra, North Vancouver, and Burnaby. However, there is no movement of Liberal voters to the NDP in 2004 in the Lowermainland and Victoria. Victoria, David Anderson's old riding, is the one exception.

Anonymous said...

Just because the overall Liberal vote stated steady doesn't mean that there wasn't a lot of shifting. How do you know that a chunk of people who voted Liberal in 2000 didn't shift to the NDP, but this was masked by Liberal gains from the Conservatives?

The NDP vote surged from 2000 to 2004 and 2006 in such places as Vancouver Kingsway, Vancouver Centre, Vancouver East and Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca (even if not quite enough to win some of them). In many of those seats, the Conservative vote was too small to begin with for the NDP to gain much from them.

Koby said...

>>>>> The NDP vote surged from 2000 to 2004 and 2006 in such places as Vancouver Kingsway, Vancouver Centre, Vancouver East and Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca (even if not quite enough to win some of them). In many of those seats, the Conservative vote was too small to begin with for the NDP to gain much from them.

Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca was a solid Alliance seat (50%)that went to the Liberals in 2004. It does not fit the profile at all. The others are all redistributed seats and so a little more difficult to read, but here it goes. Kingsway: most of the NDP gains had to have come from former Reform voters in Kingsway. There is no other way to square the numbers otherwise. The NDP picked 18% between 2000 and 2006 and Liberals stayed the same. The PC vote was only 5% in 2000. Vancouver Center: assuming that the old PC vote went Liberal, you could make a case for there being a leftward shuffle in Vancouver Center. The Conservative vote in 2006 matched what the Alliance vote was in 2000. However you could just as easily say that much of the PC vote migrated over to the Conservatives and the old Alliance vote migrated over the NDP as was the case neighboring Vancouver Kingsway. Vancouver East is a different matter. There is indeed clear evidence over the years of Liberal voters moving over to the NDP. My bad.

Koby said...

In 1997 in Vancouver Kingsway the NDP took 31% of the vote and Reform 18. In 2000 the NDP went down to 15 and the Alliance claimed to 29. The NDP was a 33% last election and the Conservatives were at 18.

Anonymous said...

Correlation is not causation.

Koby said...

Is that the best you can do?

Occam's razor

Anonymous said...

Back to that CROP poll:

Check the poll here:
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/assets/pdf/CP1753529.PDF

Go to page 55, far right column.
Non-francophone voters (74):
Con 25= 34%
Lib 25= 28%
NDP 12= 21%

Here's another, on page 58.
Best PM among those intending to vote Liberal (123):
Dion 70= 57%
Harper 21= 20%
Layton 15= 10%

I'm sure if you went through the whole report you'd find some more errors like those.

I've been unable to find the pdf file for last month's CROP poll to find out what % non-francophone voters comprised that poll but consider this:support for Jean Charest among non-francophones went from 64% to 82% in one month.
Moral of the story:don't accept everything pollsters tell you at face value

Anonymous said...

Here's some more (pp. 21-22)

Liberal %
Quebec Francophone
May 08 15 13
Apr 08 20 13
Mar 08 20 15
Feb 08 22 15
Jan 08 20 13
Nov 07 18 13
Oct 07 17 12
Sep 07 19 11
Aug 07 21 14

So either
a)Federal Liberal support among non-Francophones has suddenly collapsed for some reason
b)non-Francophones have been fleeing Quebec in the past month or:
c)the pollster made an error (naw...that couldn't happen)

Anonymous said...

So in conclusion...
If you believe this month's poll that non-Francophones comprise around 9% of the voting public in Quebec & support the Liberals at around 33%-then last month, for the Liberals to have been at 20% province-wide they would have to have been at 80 to 85% among non-Francophones

Steve V said...

In the pdf, they said they weighted the non-francophone vote as 18%, which sounds reasonable, but when I did the initial math in my post, you came up with the overall numbers, strickly using the 9% non, 91% francophone.