Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Conservatives Tanking In St Lambert By-Election

A curious post, on a day when Conservative strength is supposedly demonstrated with a fresh Quebec poll, and yet the picture from the street tells a different tale, or so it appears. Let's just say "well placed source", which provides a glimpse into Harper's manic drive for an immediate election.

Impolitical offers an interesting post, which details why the Conservatives may actually be fading in a riding they should be demonstrating some momentum, if the latest poll is too be believed. Just to add to that sentiment, it would appear that the Conservatives internal polling for St. Lambert shows erosion, in fact the Liberals look suddenly competitive, so much so the words "potential upset" were uttered without laughter. Yes, not only are the Conservatives life or death to hold second in Guelph, the supposed bellweather, they are poised for third in St. Lambert. Much can change, but the trends are decidedly bad, and the Conservatives KNOW IT.

And, it starts to make sense. The worst case scenario, the by-elections demonstrate ZERO momentum for the Conservatives in Quebec, a potential disaster in Guelph, left to answer questions on disappointing results, the Liberals the potential story. While theoretical provincial results comfort Conservatives, their own feedback on the ground suggests otherwise, they are running scared, based on their own information. Couple this, with a sense from the Liberal campaign that things are going "very well" and the suddenly hyperactive Harper is revealed.

Avoid September 8th at all costs, that is a chief driving factor, and Harper's urgency is consistent with that reality.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if your analysis is realistic Steve. According to those CROP poll numbers, the Conservatives stand to win a number of extra seats.

RuralSandi said...


The Canadian Press

August 27, 2008 at 3:47 PM EDT

OTTAWA — Conventional wisdom suggests Stephen Harper must be mad to thrust the country into an election at a time when he has little hope of winning a majority.

The Prime Minister himself has acknowledged that public opinion polls “aren't particularly wonderful” and has predicted that another minority — either Conservative or Liberal — is the likely result.

But a former chief of staff to Mr. Harper suggests there's method to the Prime Minister's apparent madness.

Tom Flanagan, a political scientist at the University of Calgary, believes Mr. Harper would be satisfied to return with a strengthened minority — a result that would throw the Liberals into chaos, thereby advancing the prime minister's long-term strategy of destroying Canada's so-called natural governing party.

Tom Flanagan
“I don't think Harper has to be thinking about a majority at all,” Mr. Flanagan said in an interview.

“Strategically, this is sort of a prolonged war of attrition.”

...and it goes on.

Sorry, but I do think that Harper is one hate-filled sick SOB

Steve V said...


I'm just speaking to the by-election, based on evidence from the ground. It's not my analysis, its the Con's own :)


I love that Flanagan article, because it reveals Harper's true motivations, quite a contrast from what he's saying while on his photo op expedition.

Anonymous said...

It's not personal ruralsandi, it's just business.

Steve V said...


I thought it was about the economy? You guys are a consistent contradiction.

Steve V said...

More positive press for Harper in Quebec.

Scott Tribe said...

CROP has always consistently polled higher Conservative strength in Quebec then national pollsters. Decima for example had them in 3rd , trailing badly just last week.

I guess we'll find out soon who is right.

Anonymous said...

We will never know how these ridings would have voted in the byelections - since they won't happen and of course in a general election context - things can change fast.

Never mind the Conservatives being third in St. Lambert - fourth is more like it. The NDP is running a strong campaign there and they are becoming more and more of a factor eating into BQ support in Montreal. I think that it would be a really bad spin on the Tories to come in fourth in St. lambert and third in Westmount and it would really deflate them in Quebec. So, Harper wants to roll the dice!

Steve V said...


Just to add, I compared the national polls, and they're Quebec regionals, during the last election. Pretty accurate, so you can't just say CROP and nothing else is relevant. Besides, does anyone have a valid reason to explain this supposed uptick in Quebec, even Hebert was lamenting the other day that people were increasingly turned off. And, if this poll is accurate, we should see some evidence in St. Lambert, in fact it appears the opposite is true, and that is more meaningful than the theoretical.

Skinny Dipper said...

I am not fond of the Conservatives. I think they will run a good tight campaign. They will run a narrowcast campaign focussing on select voters rather than everyone.

The Liberals will be conflicted in their loyalty to Dion. Also, Dion will be spending too much of his energy explaining the Green Shift carbon tax rather and less time attacking the Tories.

I will agree with Flanagan that the Conservatives only need a plurality of seats with the Liberals losing seats.

I will bet that if the Conservatives win a plurality of the seats, Harper will introduce some kind of carbon-lite tax such as an extra percent tax on fuel with a slight reduction elsewhere.

Steve V said...

"The Liberals will be conflicted in their loyalty to Dion."

That is such a non-issue, particularly while a campaign is going on. If you want evidence of the NOTHINGNESS, take a look at the by-elections, I don't see anybody giving one thought to what you suggest, people are working hard. I respectfully say, that's just NDP wishful thinking.

knb said...

I will bet that if the Conservatives win a plurality of the seats, Harper will introduce some kind of carbon-lite tax such as an extra percent tax on fuel with a slight reduction elsewhere.

Sorry. You're living on what planet?

Kephalos said...

Great news!!!
Let's not dork around with by-elections!!!!! Let's get to the full meal deal.

Roasted Pig of Conservative Party, anyone????

Antonio said...

Crop is coming out with a poll tomorrow steve


Steve V said...

Two, in two days? ;)

Antonio said...

oh wait its out

Liberals in 3rd?

From a French firm?


as for saint lambert, a suburban montreal riding was expected to be competitve for the libs, not the Tories

Steve V said...

"as for saint lambert, a suburban montreal riding was expected to be competitve for the libs, not the Tories"

Was it now, seems to me two weeks ago the Libs were supposedly third, spinning their wheels. Matter of fact, nobody was even mentioning them, history aside. How many points did the Bloc win that riding by? Are you telling me the Cons weren't quietly looking for a strong showing? You sound like Sparrow :)

Antonio said...

Crop consistently polls 4 times as many quebecers

As it does polling for both provincial and federal politics, the Quebec firms usually get a better snapshot because people can differentiate between the now-popular provincial Liberals, and Stephane Dion's federal Liberals

Antonio said...

im sure they were looking for a strong showing steve

but lets face it,

this was a liberal riding until 2004

the Liberals came second in 2004 and 2006.

If the Liberals want to form a minority government, they need some of the Montreal area ridings they lost in 2004.

Steve V said...


We have this CROP discussion everytime, and I've never sluffed it off. That said, we are getting conflicting signals in your province, it seems very fluid, and frankly I'm not sure I understand how Harper really moves his numbers all of sudden, given the climate. Can you?

You mentioned the Libs forming a minority, I agree they have to show well outside of what they hold, isn't this some indication, or at least a pulse? If it means nothing, I don't think we see hyper Harper, I really don't. He looks desperate to avoid these by-elections, I don't care what the Con spin says, plenty of time before parliament comes back, why are you acting like you're on the clock? It's not looking good elswhere, if they show poorly in Quebec, they look stalled.

Antonio said...

I think hyper harper is due to the couillard book coming in october

which might as well be Jean Brault testimony cuz we all know the media are waiting (myself included)

I have been saying that this entire province is a tossup, and with the BQ in the low 30s and traditional poor performers once the writ is dropped, anything really can happen.

The Liberals are at the 20% they got last time, maybe picking up a bit more.

The tories are at a minimum at their 2006 levels, and the BQ is a little weaker.

considering the tories came in 2nd in 40 ridings in Quebec (they won 10) they have the most to gain right now

That isnt spin steve, that is analysis. I know it isnt good news for the Liberals, but suddenly harper's mania makes a little more sense

Anonymous said...

If a publisher has a big book coming out in mid-October and want to lock in mega sales, don't you think they would just move the release date up a couple of weeks?

Especially when they are getting advance warning now.

I just don't see how the conservatives are helping themselves if that is "the" big fear.

Antonio said...

for the tories, if the election is sometime this fall, the best Harper can do is right now

Steve V said...

I'm curious if the Cadman court case will be delayed, because Zytaruk is scheduled to appear smack dab in the middle of this potential campaign, which is anything but a political winner for the Conservatives, the guy as genuine and sincere looking as they come.

Gayle said...

"...if the election is sometime this fall, the best Harper can do is right now"

I agree.

As for the book, if Harper were worried about it surely he would not call an election where there is a risk it will be leaked before the actual election date? Maybe he has assurances it will not be leaked???

Gayle said...

Steve - I am sure it will be delayed. I suppose the liberals may have to restrain themselves from using the tape during a campaign, just in case.

Anonymous said...

The only reason the Conservatives would win extra seats would be because of vote splitting between the 4 other parties. Their share of the vote will actually be down significantly from the last election.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I may ask the most obvious question but why would the case be delayed?

It is the conservatives case, and I just don't see the grounds for a judge to say, "Yeah, wouldn't want to hurt your election chances, let's push things back to November." Sounds like he'd say, "Why don't you hammer out an agreement. Otherwise, see you in the courtroom. Carry on."

And why shouldn't the Liberals use the tape in the meantime. It is a public tape. No ruling has been made.

I can think of practical reasons not to, including not wanting to piss off the judge. But you know, I also think if you're going to fight the battle, then fight the battle. Why put weapons aside, particularly since everyone knows the real reason the conservatives want the injunction is because they are fearful they'll have to hear it in ads.

Harper has never denied was on the tape, or answered questions as to what was going on with his party in all of this, and what he knew. Or even how he "investigated" it internally. The opposition should demand answers, and a campaign is as good a forum as any to demand them.