Some pretty striking numbers across the board from NANOS today, not the least of which Dion's numbers. EKOS and Decima still show a wide gap, although we really won't see the full debate fallout until Sunday. One tidbit from Decima, the NDP now fourth in Ontario, the Greens surging.
I'm focusing on NANOS today, particularly because they have detailed leadership numbers. I've always believed that the Liberals can't move until Dion starts getting his numbers up. What we see today is a clear co-relation between Dion's personal standing and the Liberal fortunes.
First, a dramatic change in the horse race numbers, with an 11% lead narrowing decisively to a mere 5%. Liberals up 4%, Conservatives down 2%, NDP down 1%, Greens unchanged- Cons 35%, Libs 30%, NDP 18%, Greens 10%. Last night's polling must have shown a massive change, that's a big change for a tracking poll, and it speaks to just how impressive Dion was with voters in the French debate.
As you scan down the NANOS pdf, I was really looking for the leadership scores. Let me just say, whoa! Dion's overall score up an incredible 130% from yesterday, a mere 8 points behind Harper (64 points yesterday), not to mention well ahead of Layton, who was double Dion in the previous sample. These numbers tend to bounce around quite a bit, so I'm not sure I'm entirely sold on the methodology, but when you see something this extreme, it's real. Even a pullback tomorrow, it's still quite striking. Dion statistically tied with Harper on competence and vision is uncharted territory.
On the best PM scoring, for the first time I can remember, Dion is ahead of Layton. While still behind, Dion is now the highest we've seen, the trend line over the past week a good one.
NANOS now puts the Liberals second in Quebec, up a full 7% to 24% (Cons 20%). Nobody sees a Liberal breakthrough, but Dion has clearly shored up support and I'm sure some Montreal MP's are quite happy today. NANOS also shows the Liberals dominating in Atlantic Canada, back to even in Ontario. The west remains a chief concern for the Liberals.
Now, we see how the English debate factors in, and if other pollsters show some movement. That aside, clearly Dion has risen in stature, while some of this dramatic rise may wane, it's still a very positive sign.