Friday, November 21, 2008

Leadership Poll

It's early, it's one poll, yadda yadda, but still... There are a few interesting tidbits in the Angus Reid poll of the leadership contenders. I'm going to ignore LeBlanc, because people don't really have any sense of him, any results pretty much useless for drawing even the most superficial of conclusions. The numbers for Ignatieff and Rae do show some contrasts. Neither does particularly well against Harper at the moment, but there is some light between the two:
With Ignatieff as leader:

Con. 38%, Lib. 24%, NDP 18%, BQ 11%, Grn. 8%

With Rae as leader:

Con. 39%, Lib. 21%, NDP 19%, BQ 12%, Grn. 8%

Ignatieff does slightly better, although within the margin of error.

On the question of voter preference, Ignatieff enjoys a wide lead amongst past Liberal voters, as well as the general public:
Among Liberal Party voters:

Ignatieff 35%, Rae 25%, LeBlanc 6%, Not sure 35%

If Canadians could pick leader:

Ignatieff 23%, Rae 17%, LeBlanc 8%, Not sure 52%

I find the Liberal voter numbers somewhat striking. Maybe more curious, you would think if Ignatieff bests Rae with all voters, the Ontario subset would be part of the story. However the two are tied with 21% respectively for preference in Ontario, Ignatieff actually gains his edge elsewhere. In Quebec, Ignatieff is preferred by 31%, Rae only 11%, something to chew on. Also, amongst BQ voters, Ignatieff stands at 32%, Rae at 11%. In fact, Rae only bests Ignatieff in Alberta.

When voters are asked their party preference, we see that with Ignatieff at the helm the Liberals enjoy 6% more support in Quebec, than they do with Rae. Ignatieff also does better in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia, while again, in Ontario no difference between the two.

One of the arguments for an Ignatieff candidacy, he has the potential to improve Liberal fortunes in crucial Quebec. These findings tend to support that, or at least suggest a positive starting position. The other part of this poll that I find relevant, the Liberal voter gap is considerable, Ignatieff has a clear lead, with the only caveat, a sizable "not sure" percentage.


knb said...

One of the arguments for an Ignatieff candidacy, he has the potential to improve Liberal fortunes in crucial Quebec.

Robert Silver speaks to this. He notes that Ignatieff is strong in the province, but he is supported by the group who has been touted as being in disarray.

How can he make inroads and promote change with the same old, same old?

I just thought it was an interesting point.

KC said...

Steve - You said "Ignatieff does slightly better, although within the margin of error."

I know Im inverting what you said but if the difference is within the margin of error, isnt it wrong to even conclude that he "does slightly better"? If its within the margin of error cant you simply make no conclusions? In fact based on what we know about margins of error it is entirely possible that RAE is doing "slightly better", correct?

Steve V said...


Well the 10% gap amongst Libs is well outside the margin of error, as are voters in general, so overall you can make a clear argument.


True enough, I've thought that too. One thing though, this poll has little to do with our dysfunctional Quebec wing, it shows some appeal with people in general.

Mike said...

I'd say there are two messages here:

1) Libs were better off with Dion than Rae/Ignatieff
2) None of the above wins heavily among the current contenders

And here's one clear prediction that I guarantee will turn out to be true: After WK touted the Nanos poll (that didn't ascribe a leader in the question), he will NOT tout this one or if he does will try to pick holes at its methodology or try some lame attempt to spin it as Ignatieff hugely in the lead.

It's good to see there are still some neutral balanced Libbloggers out there like you Steve!

Mike said...

Steve can we get a link to the poll? What was the MOE for Liberal voters and within each province?

I have to say if polls like this keep up, it will be advantage Dom because if Libs know they are writing off the next election (since let's be real Harper will line up dozens of confidence votes within WEEKS of the new leader being elected), Dom obviously has more room to grow and rebuild.

Iggy/Rae better be hoping these overall poll numbers improve.

David Graham - said...

Interesting numbers, Steve...

What I'd like to see a comparison of is how all the candidates stack up to the current leader, as well as to each other. 35% undecided among Liberals is very telling.

Steve V said...


It's just a pdf they send me.


It would be interesting if Dion were included.

Mike said...

Just had another thought:
35-25 for Iggy/Rae? Isn't that basically within the MOE of what they got on the FIRST BALLOT last time?

Something tells me these two have a HUGE uphill battle to get the grassroots to line up behind them. One of them may win, but if the grassroots don't really like them and just opted for one over the other as a lesser of a two evils, that's really not a hopeful sign for the motivation of volunteers for the next campaign. Just ask John Tory.

Yes I hope they start doing polls with Dion included too because I don't think it's unfair to assume he'd have done better than these two guys in this poll.

Anonymous said...

You know the first few polls in the last leadership race put Ken Dryden in the lead by a mile. Not that Ken was a bad candidate, far from it, but not really known as a Liberal, just frankly, known. Canadians, let alone real Liberals didn't focus until the race was almost over - we're in opposition remember, people, real people, are more concerned about RRSPs, taxes and life than focused on this.

By the end though, those that had focused had picked Rae, no matter what the polling audience: voters, liberal voters or identified members (not delegates)...even in Ontario.

There's five plus months to go and a tonne of delegates to be elected yet. 77 MPs don't choose the leader, no matter what some would hope.

Hoping For a Clean Race aka anonymous

In_The_Centre said...

One of them may win, but if the grassroots don't really like them and just opted for one over the other as a lesser of a two evils, that's really not a hopeful sign for the motivation of volunteers for the next campaign.

Strongly disagree. Dion was the so called grassroots choice but the LPC had trouble finding volunteers in the election. Furthermore, 900,000 liberals stayed at home in the last election.

I would argue that in the last leadership race, Rae's and Ignatieff's volunteers were too motivated, arrogant and intense. That turned alot of people away.

Steve V said...

"There's five plus months to go and a tonne of delegates to be elected yet."

That goes without saying.

Möbius said...

Hypothetically, if I were prepared to vote Liberal again, I would likely only vote for Iggy as leader.

Possibly Leblanc, if I knew more about him. Rae, no way.

RuralSandi said...

The poll means nadda - it's way too early. They haven't had their debates yet, etc.

knb said...

Why mobius?

Mike said...

This post gave the impression that they didn't ask Canadians who they would vote for if LeBlanc was leader.

With LeBlanc as leader: Con. 41%, NDP 18%, Lib. 17%, BQ 13%, Grn. 8%

Shouldn't you update your post with the link and the LeBlanc numbers?

It's early days, LeBlanc's numbers will improve I'm sure, but fair is fair.

You backing LeBlanc Steve?

Mike said...

It looks like the link didn't show up right:
The Angus Reid poll here

Steve V said...


I said in the post, I ignored LeBlanc's numbers, because they are completely meaningless. Nobody really knows Dominic, so it's useless to infer anything, as opposed to more well known quantities. I didn't think it "fair" to give LeBlanc's numbers any consideration to be honest.

Anonymous said...

Both polls should be taken with a grain of salt. Most Canadians are only vaguely aware that we have a leadership process underway, and fewer still have formulated any opinions worth polling. Don't fool yourself that, just because polticos like us are paying attention, that average Canadians are doing the same. Let's not get distracted by meaningless data published by pollsters who are only interested in showing they are in the game.

gina said...

The candidates have a chance to present bold, economic plans that contrast with the government's reactionary approach. This will change the dynamics of the race.

Möbius said...

Why mobius?

I see Iggy as a centre-righter, in line with my own beliefs. I believe in fiscal responsibility, meaning no more grandiose social spending schemes, hate the corruption that became ingrained into a certain party, and am flexible on most other things.

I'm also an Ontarian who voted for Rae, and was sorely disappointed.