Monday, June 09, 2008


The latest Decima poll(h/t Scott Tribe) offers pretty dreadful results for the Conservatives. What does it say about the Conservatives, that even in a two party race with the Liberals, they still can't get a majority number? I guess Canada isn't Bush country afterall:
The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey compared attitudes toward the Tories and Liberals in a head-to-head, two-party format. The telephone poll of just over 1,000 Canadians found that 44 per cent of respondents said they'd prefer a Liberal government after the next election, compared with 37 per cent who preferred the Conservatives.

Obviously, it is the Liberals who have growth potential, the only Conservative solace a divided center-left. The poll also finds that in a head to head matchup, the Liberals would carry Quebec, a surprising result. How the various parties would break:
NDP supporters told Harris-Decima they'd prefer a Liberal government by an almost four-to-one margin (69-18) compared with the Tory alternative, and Green supporters favoured the Liberals more than two to one (58-28).

Only Bloc Quebecois supporters were more favourable to a Conservative outcome, by a 41-32 margin.

I'm actually amazed that the Liberals would carry so many Bloc voters.

The other parties aren't going anywhere, so this is all theoretical of course, but it is relevant that the Liberals have potential for growth. This tells me, that should the Liberals develop attractive policies, they could siphon off soft support from other parties. The poll gives the Liberals 31% support nationally, which means if they could draw a third of the Greens 12% and poach a couple points off the NDP total, we are looking at a Liberal government. I don't think that presentation is outlandish in the least. Meanwhile, Harper is frozen, ideologically isolated from the vast majority of Canadians.

The most obvious calculation, could this tax shift idea be the drawing card? Common sense says some appeal to Green voters. Factor in elbowing in on the NDP's environmental turf, relying on heavyweights like Suzuki for support, and Dion's idea looks less risky. On the other hand, this assumes that the Liberal plan doesn't move some of their voters elsewhere, that they are able to hold their constituent with these controversial ideas. I wouldn't assume that.

The news for the Conservatives gets worse, other than leadership, and the gap isn't as bad as I would have thought, the Liberals have the advantage:
The survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times in 20, indicates Prime Minister Stephen Harper beats Liberal Stephane Dion on leadership attributes (35-26). The Tories trail the Grits on questions of front-bench strength (26-20), values (35-29), and ideas for the future (31-28).

You counteract leadership, with an emphasis on team, which the above shows to be a Liberal advantage. Keep it up Pierre, John and Jim, you're about as attractive as foot fungus.


James Curran said...

It's not like anyone in OLO is reading this poll anyway...although I sent it to them hours ago.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't much matter, Dion reminds me of Lucien Bouchard and the calling of a referendum in Quebec: he said he'd only call one if he had "winning conditions", and of course those never came.

Dion is a good policy guy with ZILCH political instincts - Harper isn't a genius, Dion only makes him look like one.

liberazzi said...

Would have been a nice momemtum boost if they pulled the trigger tonight, but alas they did not.

Anonymous said...

I have this fantasy where Dion has always had the carbon tax policy fully fleshed out but held back the details until he saw how the Harperite deniers were going to attack it.

Then he released the details in order to completely defuse the attacks.

But alas that would require someone in Dion's entourage who didn't think tactics were a breath mint.

Anonymous said...

Ignatieff during QP: "When will the grease spot start telling the truth?" Great! Actually, the grease spot may be gagged as it seems Fuelcast Network, the company that airs ads at the pumps, is refusing because of its political content.

Steve V said...

"Harper isn't a genius, Dion only makes him look like one."

I smell really high voter turnout.

Monkey Loves to Fight said...

Not that surprised. I always said if it were just the Liberals and Tories on the ballot it would be a 55%/45% split in favour of the Liberals, which if you factor out the 19% who refused to answer that is more or less what the poll came out to. The main thing here is whether the Liberals can pull away some of those NDP and Green votes. Also the biggest swing voter pool is the Liberal-Tory switchers who this poll really says little about as any gains the Tories were to ever make (which they likely won't now) would come from the Liberals not NDP or Greens. And likewise there are many soft Tory supporters who could potentially go Liberal.

Steve V said...


Fair points. I would just say, there is no question that some Liberal leaning voters are currently looking elsewhere, namely a portion of the Greens. There isn't the historical vote there (outside of the core), so when you see that 2/3 would vote Liberal, it probably came from them in the first place.

Anonymous said...

The dipppers and the greeners still guarantee a Con win. That's the bottom line.

Maybe the greeners care enough to find a way to engineer a Con defeat.

The dippers sure as fuck don't. They're still entertaining their delusions of grandeur.

Steve V said...

"The dipppers and the greeners still guarantee a Con win. That's the bottom line. "

That's exactly right. The Liberals have to start making this argument, but the problem now, they don't look particularly credible trying to rally people behind them. If anything, I think people are wandering, looking for something else. At the moment the Liberals are captivating no one, it's just brand, habit.

burlivespipe said...

So be it. If we're in a holding pattern, then its imperative that the party leadership maintains its 'higher standards' approach to things, maybe tick it up a notch even. That talking splotch may stick where the CONs didn't expect it to; afterall, if you dissect their ad campaign against Dion's not-completed policy pronouncement, what you get is that Harper -- who has done nothing to alleviate rising gas prices nor its effect on lower income Canadians -- is protecting big oil.
And that's the message that a few Liberals with loud voices should be talking up.

Anonymous said...

"so when you see that 2/3 (Greens) would vote Liberal, it probably came from them in the first place."

Except that people were forced to only choose between the Liberals and Conservatives - so we have no way of knowing how many greens would choose the NDP if they had to go for their second choice.

Steve V said...


Yes, it's not like the Cons are offering a real alternative, it's just empty smears. The problem for the Cons, they can make a lot of noise, plenty of bluster, but they have no credibility on this file, so in a way it almost exposes them.

Steve V said...

"so we have no way of knowing how many greens would choose the NDP if they had to go for their second choice."

Given the animosity, it's a more natural move to the Liberals, if anywhere (I don't mean to assume).

Anonymous said...

Dion could capture 2/3 of green votes if he would run on proportional representation in addition to tax shifting/carbon tax.

Or Greens would (in my opinion) be willing to extend the no compete deal to a more expanded list of ridings where we would be a spoiler if PR was on the table. Of course this would probably be a moot gesture unless Layton is willing come out and play.

The deal would not even have to be 1-1, don't compete agaist the greens in 9% of non alberta seats and we'd not compete in 15% of ridings NDP would win with no competition, and 35%of same for Liberals.

The loss of democratic choice in one election can more than be compensated for when PR allows true representation to all Canadian voters.

Anonymous said...

There may be animosity between the LEADERSHIP of the Green Party and the NDP, but I suspect that about 98% of the people who say would vote Green or NDP in a poll - are totally oblivious to what Jack Layton and Elizabeth May think of each other personally.

We who read blogs and follow political gossip are a very, very, very, very small proportion of the population.

Steve V said...


Good NDP spin :)

Anonymous said...

There is also a lot of hostility between the leadership of the NDP and the Liberals - I guess by your logic all NDP voters would rather crawl over a parking lot littered with broken glass than ever vote Liberal.

Anonymous said...

Wake me up when it's 2009, polls right now are pointless. We tossed our best opportunity to take the government down. Harper is now in the driver's seat.