Michael Ignatieff scores significantly better than his predecessor Stephane Dion on a range of leadership questions but still trails Prime Minister Stephen Harper on almost all fronts, according to the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll.
Results of the poll, conducted exclusively for Canwest News Service and Global National in late December, show 43 per cent of Canadians said they believe Harper would make the best prime minister, compared with 33 per cent who picked Ignatieff and 23 per cent who sided with Layton.
Harper's score was down seven points from the last survey, which was conducted when Dion was still leader and Ignatieff, who was selected Liberal leader on Dec. 17, was up 13 points from Dion's last tally.
On the economy:
On managing the economy in challenging times, Harper was the No. 1 choice for 44 per cent of those surveyed, down six points from the last survey, but still well ahead of Ignatieff at 32 per cent, Layton 20 at per cent and Duceppe at three per cent.
At 32 per cent, Ignatieff scored 10 points higher than Dion on the same question. Bricker described the gain as significant, but not enough to threaten Harper at this time.
There was a AR poll, a couple weeks ago that Ignatieff one point ahead of Harper for Prime Minister. I would describe these results as entirely encouraging, particularly when you compare Ignatieff to his predecessor. The fact Harper is down in all categories, except on a "hidden agenda" (another alarming finding for the Cons) furthers the view that he has been hurt from his recent actions, which should surprise no one, apart from the Conservative kool aid crowd.
Historically, one never sees an opposition leader best a sitting Prime Minister on most measures, so with that in mind, the results are good. Ignatieff is in the game on all fronts, which is pretty much the best case scenario for an opposition leader. Harper does lead, so I'm not overstating, but his trendline is poor and the rival Liberals are back in the hunt. Leadership was our achilles heel in the last election, the gap is not that pronounced now, far more managable, something to build off.
Bricker concludes Ignatieff is not a "game changer", based on these results, which I find a pretty curious "analysis". I would call a 16% swing on the economy very significant. And, if I'm not mistaken a 20% swing on best PM constitutes a different playing field, if you'll allow me Darryl. Are you kidding me? As a pollster, to categorize such a HUGE shift, by any objective measure, as a "little bit more positive", is more pre-disposition, than letting the numbers lead you. Silliness, this is a seismic shift by polling standards. Look to the client methinks.
From the Liberal perspective, I would describe these numbers as "pleasing", and I find little in the trends for Conservative bravado.