Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Low Road To Nowhere

Keep up the negative ads, keep up the smears, the fear mongering, the outlandish rhetoric, in case you haven't figured it out yet, Canadians don't much care for your tactics. First the numbers:
Liberal support was up slightly to 33 per cent, statistically tied with the Tories at 32 per cent and followed by the NDP at 15 per cent and the Greens at 13 per cent.

Liberals are actually up 2% nationally since the last Decima offering(beginning of July), but the good news comes in the regionals. I've said this before, when certain polls have shown a statistical tie, that the Conservative regional support is uneven, which means a tie is really a Liberal lead electorally. This pollster concurs:
But Walker said it's the regional numbers that signal potential trouble for the Tories.

When is the last time, we have seen the Liberals out front in Quebec (margin of error aside):
In Quebec, the Liberals appeared to be benefiting most from a collapse in support for the Bloc Quebecois. Liberals were at 30 per cent, virtually tied with the Bloc at 29 per cent, followed by the Tories at 24 per cent, the Greens at eight per cent and the NDP at six per cent.

Liberals up 4% in Quebec, although the Conservative numbers have improved as well. Part of the Bloc vote collapse may have to due with largely being ignored during this Green Shift debate. I know some will argue that the Quebec only polls are more indicative, and that may be true, but you have to like the trends for the Liberals in Quebec.

Ontario is largely unchanged from the last poll, except for the NDP totals, with this pollster mirroring other findings that show real erosion:
In Ontario, the Liberals enjoyed a healthy lead with 40 per cent, compared to the Tories with 31 per cent and the NDP and Greens with 14 per cent each.

What I find most encouraging, absolutely no sense whatsoever that the Conservatives constant attacks have done any damage to the Liberals. Couple this fact with an uptick in Dion's personal numbers, and it's a fairly positive picture.

British Columbia (high MOE):
In British Columbia, a three-week average of weekly telephone polling results suggests the Tories were ahead at 32 per cent, with the Liberals and NDP tied at 26 per cent and the Greens at 15 per cent.

No real movement since the last Decima poll, nor in Atlantic Canada for that matter.

I've been of the opinion, that the first few weeks would be the biggest challenge for the Liberals tax shift proposal. It's a simple idea, but the details are complicated, not easily explained in soundbite form. The Green Shift is also sensitive to the most superficial of attacks, because it has to do with taxes, easy fodder for opponents. In the grand scheme, if the Liberals could get the plan out without initial rejection, then time would allow for the idea to penetrate, allow a better understanding. This poll is another indication that the Liberals have weathered the initial storm, the oily ads, the virgins in yellow shirts, the NDP's attacks, none of it seems to have hurt the Liberals, if anything encouragement. Factor in the usual opposition lull during the summer, and it's a decent picture heading into the fall.


Anonymous said...

The key for the Grits come election day is to get out the vote. There is still evidence some Grit supporters will sit on their hands.

Scott Tribe said...

That's very easy to remedy, Mushroom. You just tell them regardless of what you have thought of Liberal tactics and strategy or who you like or don't like running the show, your inactivity means Harper will get re-elected, and his neo-conservative policies continued. If they don't want that, come out and vote.

knb said...

Steve, can you grab the last poll, same firm, with Ontario and Quebec numbers?

It feels like the NDP are dropping, but stat's are better than feelings in this conversation.

Steve V said...


Averaging three weeks, the BQ leads with 37%
compared to 25% for the Liberals, 17% for the Conservatives, 11% for the NDP and 9% for
the Green Party.


Averaging three weeks, the Liberals lead with 38%
compared to the Conservatives at 32%, the NDP at 16% and the Greens at 13%

July 3rd

NDP now fourth in Quebec, tied for last in Ontario.

Anonymous said...


That should be the focus of the election ad blitz. Tie Harper with the neo-con policies. Especially in Ontario.

Tracing this to the by-elections, there is a high possibility that Layton will be the most disappointed camper on Sept 8. No carry over from Mulcair and a massive Green challenge in Guelph that seeks to overwhelm them.

Steve V said...

There is a bit of pressure for the NDP to do well in Quebec. They obviously don't have to win, but if there is a poor showing, then Mulcair looks a one off, any momentum evaporates and the NDP is still on the fringe.

As for Guelph, I think Layton is renting an apartment in town, so he will be hard pressed to fluff off a poor showing. I'm not saying it will be a bad outcome, but there is a worst case scenario here for the NDP in these by-elections too.

As far as this poll, it isn't the first to show the NDP tanking in Ontario, might be a trend.

knb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve V said...

Sorry knb :)

ottlib said...

Arrrgh, I was wrong!!

By this time I expected the incumbant advantage to kick in and have the Conservatives at around 36% with the Liberals around 30%.

Now they publish this poll which has them closer to 30% than the Liberals (just).

What a bummer. At least I have Ipsos-Reid to show what a genius I am.

(OT Question: Does anybody know the combination of keys that one would use to show tougue in cheek?)

Antonio said...

"I know some will argue that the Quebec only polls are more indicative, and that may be true, but you have to like the trends for the Liberals in Quebec."

4 times as large a sample is significant

Leger and Crop are the only firms to indicate so far the difference between the Quebec Liberal bounce (pretty significant) and the federal Liberal bounce (more subdued but present)

Nobody knows what will happen here

thats why Saint Lambert is the by-election where many analysts will want to take a deeper look into the results

how will the separatists do?

how does the non BQ vote break down in a suburban Montreal riding?

Steve V said...


One thing you must acknowledge, the trend lines are good for the Libs in these national, with regionals, polls. It's fine to argue the bigger sample size Quebec only polls are more indicative, but there is a relevant point, when you see the same polling outfit showing an uptick over time. Decima uses the same methodology and sample size, so if we see a change from poll to poll, it probably means something.