Sunday, October 12, 2008


A new Strategic Counsel poll tonight, to go with the usual NANOS and Decima offering. First, the SC poll, which gives us some interesting Ontario breakdowns. Overall:
Conservative: 33 per cent (-3)

Liberal: 28 per cent (-2)

NDP: 18 per cent (none)

Bloc Quebecois: 10 per cent (-1)

Green Party: 11 per cent (+6)

The 2006 results are in brackets, and we actually have a tight contest, which is very similar to NANOS. Decima and NANOS both have a tight race in Ontario, SC the only ones to give the Liberals a slight advantage(again 2006 in brackets):
Liberal: 35 per cent (-5)

Conservative: 31 per cent (-4)

NDP: 22 per cent (+2)

Green Party: 13 per cent (+8)

Very competitive in the various regions, and for the first time in a SC poll, the Liberal are outpacing the Conservatives across the board, albeit by slight margins:
According to the poll, the Tories could find themselves in extremely tight races in those suburban ridings, running neck-and-neck with the Liberals. In the 905 region, the Liberals are at 41 per cent while the Conservatives are at 38; in the 519 region, the Liberals are at 32 and the Tories are at 29.

In the traditional Liberal stronghold of Toronto, party support remains relatively solid at 42 per cent, while the Tories are at 28 per cent. The NDP trails at 17 per cent, while the Green Part is at 13 per cent.

The big caveat, and it speaks to possible fluidity:
The poll also says that 46 per cent of Canadians are still thinking who to vote for during the Thanksgiving weekend, while 12 per cent say they won't make up their minds until they're actually at the ballot box.

"We know that increasingly people make up their minds at the last minute," Donolo said.

The basic thesis here, people aren't particularly impressed with anyone, not much conviction within the electorate.

NANOS gives the NDP some momentum in Ontario, up to a very impressive 26%, another possible sign of apathetic voters looking elsewhere to place their vote. Will it hold? The upper reaches of it are clearly soft, but the trendline is extremely positive.

With regards to Quebec, all the polls show the Conservatives well below their 2006 total, while the NDP is trending down, even NANOS now showing erosion. Decima gives the NDP a paltry 9%, while SC has them even lower still at 7%, running fifth in the province. Not really hard to believe, when you don't have traditional support, there is always the danger of fading in the final days. Here are the SC results, primarily because they're something new(2006 in brackets):
Bloc Quebecois: 42 per cent (same)

Liberal: 24 per cent (+3)

Conservative: 18 per cent (-7)

NDP: 7 per cent (-1)

Green Party: 9 per cent (+5)

All the pollsters have the Liberals at or above their 2006 support, the Conservatives lucky to hold on to what they have, most likely down to single digit seats in the province. Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of two faced hypocrites, who have ran a shameful, intellectually dishonest and classless, but entirely predictable, campaign ;)

One more intruiging question from SC, the prospects of a coalition government:
Across Canada and party lines, 46 per cent said they would back a Liberal-NDP coalition to replace the Conservatives, while 41 per cent opposed the idea. Support was highest among Quebec voters at 54 per cent, and lowest in Western Canada at 35 per cent support.

Among Liberal voters, 76 per cent liked the idea of uniting with the New Democrats to form a government. NDP voters found it slightly less appealing at 68 per cent support.

Unsurprisingly, 81 per cent of Conservative voters said they opposed the idea.

When respondents were asked if they supported the Bloc being part of that coalition, 57 per cent of Canadians said they would oppose it, while only 30 per cent were in support. Outside of Quebec, roughly two thirds of voters said they didn't want such a coalition.

Liberal voters were largely split on the idea, with 41 per cent saying they would back a coalition involving the Bloc if it meant replacing the Conservatives. Another 47 per cent opposed the idea.

Among NDP voters, 57 per cent said they opposed the idea of a coalition government if the Bloc were involved -- higher than Liberal voters. Another 32 per cent said they backed the idea.

More support a coalition, than oppose, a fact which should be noted, given the dynamics at play.

Overall, still a race with many possibilities, small swings at the last moment could make an incredible difference. A Liberal victory is clearly optimistic, although it doesn't require koolaid, just an optimal end game. But on the other hand, the prospects of a diminished Conservative mandate look very real, so the ideas of what constitutes victory and defeat, a very sorted analysis.


liberazzi said...

Steve, I do not see a Liberal victory, but I do see a diminished CPC outcome. A coalition govt might be hard to swallow, as the NDP's behavior in this campaign has been quite despicable, bordering on thuggery. I am very dissapointed in the NDP and their supporters.

Even though the Libs may not pull it out this time, I see a party that is united and I see that Dion has grown into a leader. If the Libs do not form a coalition (depending on the final seat totals), then I think you will see the CPC taken down within the year and we will get to go through this all over again. Harper has been weakened by this experience and I think his time is slowly coming to an end. The CPC will now have to face the economic crisis and I do not think they will fare well.

In any event, Ill be doing my part to help out my local guys over the next two days and hoping for the best. If I do not get a chance, you have done a great job with your election coverage and I thank you for letting me rant on here. Tuesday should be fun one way or another. I have to remember to check my brake lines though ;)

Scott Tribe said...

I dont know liberazzi.. I say the earlier you take out Harper in the Parliament following this ele4ction, the better.

Not really sure why it has to be a formal coalition government either. I'm sure the NDP will have some demands they'd like to see addressed.. and it's a matter of seeing whether they can be met or not.. or at least if more can be met then what the CPC could offer them.. then you'd have to deal with the BQ. I'm sure the CPC would be more willing to throw the BQ some stuff on Quebec then the Liberals would... but as you say.. lets see what happens Tuesday.

Steve, if SC is right about the 519 area code being narrowly ahead right now to the Liberals, I think considering what we started with, I'd be thrilled to see that.. It means our urban seats in London might be ok...and we might have shots at winning a seat like Diane Finley's in Haldimand-Norfolk, where discontent with her remains high, despite the tobacco settlement and because of her inaction on Caledonia.

Quite frankly.. if we're leading in 905.. we might have a shot at keeping our close seats and grabbing a couple of there's (ie Burlington)

liberazzi said...

Scott, I think it comes down to finances and voter fatigue. I do not know if even the volunteers will have the time and energy to go through this again in 9 months or so. However, if the CPC want to play their confidence games then I think we need to call their bluff this time. However, if we form a coalition with the Dips then the Libs can rebound financially and hopefully demonstrate that they can run an effective govt and start to implement sound green policies. Personally, I am not a huge Dip fan at the moment and neither are a lot of Libs that I know.

Anonymous said...

"Personally, I am not a huge Dip fan at the moment and neither are a lot of Libs that I know."

I know you wish that the NDP would roll over and play dead and not run a serious campaign - but that ain't happening. If you aren't running to win - there is no point running at all. I suppose that from a Liberal point of view it would be nice if the NDP went back to the old Alexa MacDonough routine of just whining about wanting more money for health care and getting 9% of the vote nationally.

In 2006, Liberals complained that the NDP dared to attack Paul Martin. This time, Layton has spent 99% of his time attacking Harper. So what's the problem?

I think its a Liberal version of penis envy. You are stuck with an inarticulate weak leader and really poor campaign. The NDP on the other hand has a leader who is an asset and his run a really effective campaign. So, like children looked out of a candy shop, you are stuck pressing your little faces against the glass wishing that you had a leader like Layton and that you had a campaign organization that was as effective as the NDP's.

The only time Liberals would ever have anything good to say about the NDP would be if they were to run a dreadful campaign and lose official party status.

So spare us the crocodile tears.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to second thanking you for your coverage, thoughts, and discussion, Steve. You've really done a great job providing a forum throughout the election - and always.

On the weekend, I have been really impressed with Dion. All the coverage has been positively showing him pushing to win and being smartly aggressive. Dion has been appropriately aggressive in pointing out the Harper is hiding from the press while demonstrating that he is out there answering questions and talking about the issues of the election. And Dion has really sharpened and tightened his message to rally progressives to unite - a clear, crisp appeal which hopefully can work in the tightest ridings.

Harper appears to be coasting and even resigned at this point. I think they may feel it is supposed to be showing confidence, but it doesn't seem to be "playing" that way in the coverage. I've seen as much coverage of his avoiding media questions as anything he is saying in his rallies.

And on the Liberals, even Jane Tabor at the G&M offered up a "liberals have been supportive of Dion's election efforts" article so maybe her "nameless insider" friends aren't quite so bitter this week ; ).

I also found it quite witty that the Liberal campaign actually had fun with Harper's (English) snafu today telling people the election was FEB 14th. They basically issued a statement jokingly parroting Harper's lame attack on Dion after the CTV ambush, something along the lines of "We don't think this is a language issue since Harper offered this early Valentine in his native English. But when you're running a half-trillion dollar budget, you don't get any make-overs." The report I saw on it pointed out the humour of it. I just think it strikes a confident note on the end of the campaign.

The key will be turn-out in Ontario I believe. But it certainly feels more like a race at this point. So hoping the progressives can unite behind the Liberals to win. I am not sure all the efforts will change the expected outcome, but I think they are doing what they can this weekend to provide the conditions in which it could.

Do what you can where-ever you are at, fellow lib supporters (and other progressives ; ).

Anonymous said...


I actually have not in general had a problem with the NDP, but I do think your comments are a good example of why people doubt a coalition could work.

It does appear to me the NDP is more stridently against the Liberals in many cases than they are the conservatives, which just seems strange to me.

Penis envy? Please. Can we agree to disagree on something of a bit more substance?

I'm not even sure you're an NDP supporter come to think of it. Anyone I know who favors the NDP can offer a bit more intelligent rationale for their stance.

Steve V said...


I had the opportunity to drive through Finley's riding the other day, judging by the sign war, she looks well ahead. Take that for what's worth.

Thanks for the comments guys :)

Jerry Prager said...

The solution for dealing with a Harper minority is for the majority to get get together pass a private members bill restoring the custom of the GG offering the government to the leader of the opposition, and, under a 4 year term law, keep offering control of the cabinet/committees to whoever can keep the confidence of the House. One the custom has been restored, drop Harper at the first opportunity and get on to what concerns Canadians.
The Bloc has also said it would be willing to work with the Libs on green issues because solving those problems are good for Quebec. You don't have to go down the sovereigntiste path with them, just turn the parliament towards the greening of Canada and everyone but the Cons will deal with this catastrophe before it becomes irretrievable.

Anonymous said...

The last night's numbers in Nanos' rolling poll made my blood run cold - the Conservatives at 37.1. I'm pretty worried about that. I'm also concerned about the last Ekos poll which has the last snapshot of the campaign coming out late last night.

After showing the Liberals ahead of the Conservatives in Ontario for Oct. 10, 11, and 12, it showed a reversion to the Conservatives on the 13th with the Cons leading 37-33.

We'll find out how it all shakes down i a few hours but in the meantime I'm going to have a couple of drink to soothe my nerves.