Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Call It Four

Decima and NANOS both show a 4% Conservative lead today, and the regionals are also similar. Basically, the same scenario as yesterday, with one exception, the Conservatives continue to hit new bottoms in Ontario. NANOS:
Cons 33%
Libs 29%
NDP 20%
Greens 7%

Yesterday, I said we may see some statistical noise, that seems reasonable today. The only caveat, from a Liberal perspective, I don't like seeing the NDP coming back today, although much of the gain seems to come from volatile Atlantic Canada polling. That said, Decima also shows a tight three-way race in the region, so the finding receives more weight. On the other hand, NANOS now has a YAWNING gap in Ontario, the Liberals up a full 12%, the Conservative decline steep- to say the Conservative vote is in freefall is not an exaggeration.

It should also be noted, NANOS has the Liberals tailing off a few points, from their post-debate bounce in Quebec. Still, these numbers translate to holding their seats, maybe picking up one or two, because the support is so condensed.

As for Decima, the Liberals continue to pick up 1% a day, they maintain a solid lead in Ontario, stable in Quebec and still wanting in British Columbia.

The most encouraging thing about the Decima poll, besides the tight horserace, Dion now has a better favorable impression with Canadians than Harper. That, in itself, is a key statistic, the entire Conservative campaign is predicated on Harper's appeal, his perceived advantage over Dion. Personally, I don't think Dion needs to be completely on par with Harper, because we have other intangibles in our favor, but he has too be competitive, Decima suggests an even better proposition.


Constant Vigilance said...

Let's not count our chickens before they are hatched but I am hopeful that we will be witness to two spectacular bursting bubbles in October 2008. I can reconcile myself to the first if it is accompanied by the second.

liberazzi said...

Everything is within the MOE give or take. I had a feeling today might be a bit of dip for the Libs, but I was surprised to see the Cons dip again as well. I thought the Cons might have a bit of a platform bounce. Good to see that they did not. My feeling now is that we are pretty much where we are going to be by Tuesday, but the soft Dip support will probably go to the Libs and the Cons might gain a little back.

Steve V said...

I'm not even looking at the barn yet ;) Here's my bottomline, we are now in position to win this race, we can debate the odds, but it's plausible. If I look at who CAN grow, I see Liberals every time. It's just a question of it happening or not...

Blues Clair said...

Dion's speech today was well recieved in the press. That is going to help.

Anonymous said...

The NDP vote is pretty rock solid - you're better off trying to kill of the Green party - most of their vote comes from ex-Liberals anyways so it should be easy to get them back.

liberazzi said...

I dont want to put the jinx on, but as things stand today, the Libs are still slightly out of minority range. So, Lib/Dip coalition, with the Bloc as unofficial partners? I know there are a few nasty Lib/Dip fights going on so it might be difficult. Personally, I am not too impressed by the Dips in this election, but im willing to hold my nose.

Gayle said...

Surely we would not see a platform bounce for Harper until tomorrow at the earliest???

Steve V said...


Actually, it's not rock solid, it's softer support than the Lib and Con vote, and about half of those that say they might switch pick the Libs.

Steve V said...


Today, would incorporate yesterday's calls, so to see further erosion is a bad sign. That platform went over like a lead balloon from what I can tell, and Harper's comments last night didn't help.

Anonymous said...

I think the numbers at core right now are 33C 28L 22N 10G 9Q

I think the Liberals have room to grow a bit, though 6 days is not much time. I think the conservatives could slip a bit more but not much.

Dion did well today, and the quotes for the press will serve him well in reminding Canadians that Liberals can govern. It was a good mix of leader and team throughout, which was very positive.

I believe he is on Mansbridge tonight? If so, I hope he can convey that and a bit of his heart as well. I recall his radio interview on The Current a couple of weeks back when he managed to hit every major point in a one-to-one interview yet sounded more relaxed and conversational than I have ever heard him sound.

Dion is still so much better when speaking off the script (as opposed to Harper).

I think the next few days will need to be a balance of both - message and person. Yet to win the leaning progressive vote and to justify those now leaning away from Conservative, I think he'll need to show-case who he is as a man.

He has the depth of character so I hope he shows it and doesn't confirm to script so intensely that he fails to reveal it.

liberazzi said...

If you go beyond the daily horserace and look at the headlines, yes the trend is looking good, but you no longer hear about Dion is weak, leadership review etc etc. Now its Harper Harper Harper, CPC support slipping and on and on. The typical Harper MSM supporters and Dion bashers have gone somewhat quiet.

Anonymous said...

One final note.

Dion is good at speaking from heart, as I mentioned above.

In that vein, I don't believe he needs to lead cheers and wow the crowd the way some politicians do in the final days.

Layton does that very well. Harper never does it - I think because he knows it makes him look even stranger.

I think Dion is good at forceful appearances and statements - even more effective in some ways because it belies his normal modest approach. An audience "knows" instantly when Dion is compelled inside - it is one of his greatest strengths.

But he should leave the cheering for others. It just isn't a natural for him, and it shows on camera.

I think I'm already venturing into how the Liberals should close the campaign this weekend, hence the thoughts today.

I'm picturing folks at home or with extended family catching clips of the leaders on the trail before they vote next week.

I want to see Dion standing and directly telling Canadians what he believes and why he wants to lead the nation as PM.

I cringe a bit if the appearances have him yelling to the crowd or leading a rousing cheer. I just don't think that captures him well, and to be honest it gives cold stare Harper some "gravitas" (I almost puked saying that) in comparison.

Anonymous said...

Regarding liberazzi's last comment, I found it alarming as normal but strangely uplifting to see the rabid Harpercrites have resorted to threatening to take their oil sand marbles home and form their own country should Harper lose.

To me, that is the surest sign Harper's veil has evaporated in recent days.

Gone are the "He's the best leader since Jesus" (or Noah, per Harper's own words), "everything he has done is better than any past leader ever." spiel. Now the firewall talk is making a return among his most devout supporters.

liberazzi said...

Even WK is giving Dion props, although he still wont let the Martin thing go.

Yes, if Harper loses, then the ol wounds will start to open again in the west.

Steve V said...

You have to like this from the Globe:

Dion's speech to the Canadian Club
Liberal Leader delivers what could be his best moment during the 2008 election campaign.

Good timing too :)

blogoffanddie said...

Whoopee, only days to go and the Conservatives finally have a platform. I never thought they’d get around to having a reason for existing.

Top 10 Stephen Harper election promises.

10. Free “lawn mounties” with every purchase of a snow shovel.

9. Steve promises not to take any more political advice from George Bush or Mayor McCheese.

8. Free beer for every Canadian who says “eh” after every sentence, eh?

7. Steve promises to work the words, “Kiss me, I'm Canadian” into our national anthems’ lyrics.

6. Sell Quebec to the Japanese for billions by telling them its Euro-Disney. (Ooops, sorry. That's one of Steve’s Top 10 ways to sell out Canada).

Number 5. Steve promises not to start his next re-election bid at least until the end of the month and, he also promises to give up his Bob Barker haircut.

4. Nothing for the kids… er¼ make that free beaver rides for the kids!

3. Longer hockey games. Introduce an extra 4th period of hockey.

2. Steve promises never to call an election he promised he wouldn’t call and then introduce his platform at the last minute after the opposition leaders reminded during the debate that he should have one if he wants to be like a real Prime Minister. Naw, forget that. That’s just incredibly stupid.

...and finally, the number one Stephen Harper Conservative Party platform plank...

1. Steve will create a new cabinet post, Minister of Tim Horton’s

Steven Harper, doing for Canada what George Bush did for America.

Gayle said...

I figure right about now Harper's on the phone to his RCMP pals asking them to announce another investigation into Adscam...


Anonymous said...

Dion just nailed his interview with Peter Mansbridge and the Canadian voter questions (which Harper wouldn't take, I have to add).

I was genuinely impressed that he confronted Mansbridge whenever he would try to "soften" any edges - "Certainly Mr Harper believes his policies are good for Canada long-term" DION: "No, he knows they are gimmick measures" as a paraphrased example.

I was also impressed he would not let the headline coming from the interview be something about coalition or Governor General role and STUCK like glue to the message that the decision is Harper or Dion as PM. That's what the next 6 days are about.

I was just stunned he stuck firm on that because Mansbridge WANTED that to be the discussion. I think he brought it up in some way at least 3 or 4 times. And finally, "had to leave it at that." (Sorry, Peter, that's right. The election is NOT about your interview.). And I say that actually liking Peter Mansbridge a great deal, but it was getting tiresome having him return to that point so many times.

At any rate, I loved it. That is the Dion I have heard before, and I think he came across amazingly honest and intelligent and with a tremendous love of Canada.

Kudos, Dion, Kudos.

Steve V said...


Thanks for that, I'm going to watch it later, but sounds good.

Yes, and why doesn't Harper take questions from VOTERS, why did he only agree if CBC gave up on the concept. WHAT A FRAUD.

This might just be Dion's best day, at the best time :)

Miles Lunn said...

Certainly looks good. The next few days will be crucial to watch as we have two big news items that could change things. Tomorrow the cost of the Afghan mission comes out and even if a lot higher than the Tories projected, this could either hurt them or prevent any bounce back. Also on Friday, the economic update on the month of September comes out as well. I should note though Angus-Reid and Ekos give somewhat better numbers for the Tories in Ontario. Although it would be easy to dismiss them both as rogue polls, it is pretty rare to have two rogue polls so close together. My guess is there are a lot of soft voters that are just beginning to decide. By the weekend, I suspect Nanos and Decima on one end and Ekos and Angus-Reid will begin to converge on their numbers in Ontario. The question is which side will it move towards?

The good side is Harper won't get a majority and will likely be weakened severely. I hope if he fails to get a majority they dump him as leader. That being said if they choose someone like Prentice or Bernard Lord, I just might go back to being a Tory (I was a former Progressive Conservative), but considering the grip the Reform and neo-cons have on the party that might be more wishful thinking on my part.

Steve V said...

"it is pretty rare to have two rogue polls so close together."

Yes, but the two more reputable pollsters are close together as well, both showing the Cons now in the 20's in Ontario. And, one things seem kind of goofy with EKOS, essentially no evidence of a Liberal bounce in Quebec, even after the debate. You tell me if that sounds reasonable, or does it seem more plausible that there was a bounce, as the other two had suggested, well more, but... And, Harper on the uptick, over the last two days, seems to have a scent attached too. His body language certainly doesn't support that, they have their own polls, as do we. The AR poll has shown a decided trend in recent days nationally, that's their headline, a closing gap. They start from a different place, but the momentum is the same.

Seems to me, last election we had lots of rogue polls Miles ;)

Where did you hear about the Afghan costs, yesterday I read something about it being delayed until after the election?

Steve V said...

Nevermind. Not the total costs, but a lot. I'm surprised actually.

Miles Lunn said...

Steve - I agree that Ekos is suspect and I don't totally trust Angus-Reid Either. That being said, I suspect by Friday, we will have a better idea of how far the Tories have fallen. Considering John Tory got 31% last provincial election, I suspect their floor in Ontario is probably around 30%, but either way 30% would result in lost seats and depending on how well the Greens and NDP do, probably the Liberals forming government.

ottlib said...

The first paragraph of that news story you linked to Steve says the following.

"Canada's historic study into the cost of the Afghanistan war is expected to reveal that misleading accounting and a lack of transparency within the federal government will effectively obscure the real bill for the six-year mission and most other major projects."

The cost of the mission is one thing but that paragraph could be used to allege a cover-up of the real costs of this mission by the government.

Such allegations at this time would be devestating to the Conservatives.

Dr. Tux said...


I smell another ad opportunity.

That paragraph does a good job of integrating the two issues of foreign policy and economic policy.

Anonymous said...

The Liberals would have a hard time making an issue of the cost of the Afghanistan mission since they got Canada into that war in the first place and have supported every extension of the war.

liberazzi said...

Shhhh, I know Libs dont want to talk about a coalition yet, but Lawrence Martin talks about it today in the G&M. I am still holding out hope of course.

Martin did bring up one disturbing prospect that Layton might actually try to make a deal with Harper. "But don't discount the possibility of the Conservatives coming up with a survival formula of their own. In the event of a slim minority, they may bend to some NDP demands to secure some medium-term support with that party, even though they are philosophically leagues apart."

If Layton does that then he is the biggest fng rat in Canadian polictical history. How could any progressive voter every trust the Dips again if Layton tried to pull that?

Anonymous said...

For the last year the Liberals have propped up the Conservatives. I suspect that if we have another minority government it would make the most sense that we wind up with a German style grand coalition between the Liberals and Conservatives. The Liberals will need some way to avoid another election since they will be broke and in the process of either dumping the current leader or choosing a new one.

liberazzi said...


1. The Libs would never join with Harper
2. Dion pretty much has saved his job
3. Harper's job should now come into question

Anonymous said...

"1. The Libs would never join with Harper"

What do you call what they have been doing for the past year?

Steve V said...

I think the last year, just shows how the NDP's irrelevance. I mean, they kept voting against the government, but it's essentially meaningless. They propped up countless motions to embarrass the Liberals, because they knew they could vote against, and NOTHING would happen. Only when the Liberals decided it was time for an election did Harper try to out flank the opposition.

Anonymous said...

That's a pretty creative way of spinning Liberal cowardice.

Steve V said...


No, it's just a testament to NDP irrelevance. No laws, no power, doesn't matter what they do, dependent on others. The NDP voted against the government a billion times, and NOTHING happened. What a show of strength.

Steve V said...

And, just to add, I didn't agree with the abstaining strategy. That said, it was a decision based on ability to win, it was a strategy which took into consideration the long odds of victory. The NDP isn't concerned with victory, and they can't defeat the government, so it's a completely different set of rationales.