Friday, January 09, 2009

Nanos Poll

A new Nanos poll, that shows the Liberals statistically tied with the Conservatives, well ahead of their election night result. This poll furthers my contention that people made a grave error putting much stock in coalition polls, that then asked horse race questions (you simply can't garner accurate party support, when you muddy the questions). At the very least, this finding should put an end to all the delusional Conservatives and their "riding high" perspective:
The Nanos Research survey, provided exclusively to The Canadian Press, suggests the Liberals have moved into a virtual tie with the governing Tories.

Liberal support stood at 34 per cent, one point ahead of the Conservatives and up eight points from the Liberals' dismal showing in the Oct. 14 election under the leadership of Stephane Dion.

The results in Quebec, are particularly relevant:
The poll suggests the Liberal resurgence was particularly pronounced in Quebec, where the party vaulted into the lead with 39 per cent support to 29 per cent for the Bloc Quebecois, 17 per cent for the Tories and 14 per cent for the NDP.

Those are amazing numbers in Quebec, and even if slightly skewed, it's still impressive stuff.

Nanos also asked some leadership questions, with tend to mirror the Ipsos results, Ignatieff well up over his predecessor, but Harper maintains a lead. As I've stated earlier, there is no historical precedent for an opposition leader besting a sitting PM, so these numbers are quite encouraging, you just want to be in the neighborhood:
A voter honeymoon with Ignatieff, who was hastily installed as leader last month, appeared to be the driving force behind the Liberal bounce.

Thirty-four per cent of respondents said they had a more favourable impression of the party since the change in leadership.

Moreover, 23 per cent said Ignatieff would make the best prime minister - double the score previously won by Dion, although still 12 points behind Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Nanos hasn't posted the full results yet, but his last poll in November had it 32% Cons, 30% Libs, NDP 20%. That means the Conservatives have stablilized, and the Liberal gain is mostly because of Quebec, up a full 13% in the province since the last offering. It would appear, the "bounce" is entirely a Quebec calculation, Liberal support really the same in the rest of the country. Given that I see Quebec as our best chance to regain power, and part of the attraction to Ignatieff was his potential appeal in the province, I'm good with that development :)


I may have erred, in assuming that all of the bounce was in Quebec, it appears that the Liberals are also up in Atlantic Canada and Ontario, but this is offset by Conservative gains in the "west":
According to the survey, Liberals expanded their lead in Atlantic Canada (44 per cent to the Tories' 28) and regained a narrow lead in Ontario (39 per cent to the Tories' 35 and the NDP's 16).

The Conservatives continued to dominate western Canada, with 44 per cent to the Liberals' 24 per cent and the NDP's 23 per cent.

Nanos last had a 36-36% tie in Ontario, NDP at 19%, so not much movement, although the small gain seems to come at the expense of the NDP. A big difference in Atlantic Canada (high margin of error), what was a 3% lead is now 16%. In the "west", an 11% Conservative lead is now 20%. Taking all the regionals in totality, this poll gives the Liberals a minority.


Francesco said...

interesting point of the poll is not only are we up in quebec we area also again ahead in ontario - very interesting to say the least and will be much harder for harper to attack ignatieff unlike dion which the conservatives used as a punching bag unfortunately of course...

Steve V said...


The key quote from Nanos, on going negative against Ignatieff:

"I think if the Conservatives embarked on what I'll say is a significant initiative to attack Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals, it will probably backfire because what it shows is Stephen Harper is focusing more on politics as opposed to jobs and the economy.”

That jives with my perspective, which I've argued, that Harper can't go after Ignatieff like he did Dion, because it highlights his own negatives, rather than the target. During a serious economic time, Canadians won't take fondly to the Conservatives wasting energy trying to gut their opponent.

Antonio said...

another 40-Lib 30-BQ split...

this scenario is a gain of between 10-15 seats in Quebec.

If the Tories beleive thesenumbers, harper would never risk going into an election.

Ontario follows Quebec, and I dont think harper can get a majority if the Liberals had a chance of besting the Bloc there.

Jared Milne said...

Given Harper's tendency to bully and smear his opponents (apparently criticism of Harper is Eastern fear-mongering, while spending two freaking years attacking Dion is alright), it'll be interesting to see what he does in handling Ignatieff.

This is just my line of thinking, but I suspect that if Harper does try and goad his opponents the way he did in November and December, he'll lose a lot of credibility even with people who would support the Tories on a lot of conventional issues but will be angry with his playing games while the economy burns.

If that happens, my advice to the Liberals would be to emphasize Harper's partisan bullying and his games-his tendency to make every single vote a confidence motion, and thus risk the collapse of his government and another election that no one wanted; his own broken promises regarding the fixed election dates; the fact that his "economic update" contained very little actually regarding the economic crisis and deliberately provoked his opponents (if you're so deadset on getting rid of those subsidies, do it when you have a majority and not when Canadians want inter-party cooperation), and play up the fact that Harper put a lot of effort towards deliberately smearing his opponents (really, how did those "Not A Leader" ads really contribute to solving our problems?), the David Emerson deal, the David Orchard deal, and other examples of Conservative sleaze.

No one's clean in today's politics, but Harper is pulling the exact same stunts he used to criticize the Liberals for, and the last thing we need is for the guy in charge to be provoking the other parties when Canadians made their democratic desires clear.

That, if anything, is "Not a Leader".

Steve V said...

"he'll lose a lot of credibility even with people who would support the Tories on a lot of conventional issues but will be angry with his playing games while the economy burns."

Harper has no political capital left, if the Conservatives overtly go after Ignatieff, it just reinforces the mean-spirited partisan.


Only 10-15 seats? ;) I wonder if anyone has made overtures to Mulclair. Just saying :)

RuralSandi said...

Rememer John Kerry's problem was that he didn't respond fast enough to negative attacks - Obama had a rapid response to them.

The Liberals would have to keep ahead of it.

Anonymous said...

Canwest published a poll today that had the Conservatives at 39 and the Liberals at 28.

Steve V said...


Well, even that Ipsos poll has the gap narrowing 9% from their last one. What kills me, despite that large move, Bricker still maintains that Ignatieff has made no difference. Reminds me of last week when we saw 20% swings on leadership, but Bricker didn't see much movement. Okay.

WesternGrit said...

CanWest/Global is Fox North... At least CTV pretends to be non-partisan...

Steve V said...


Well, if you look at the trends, this outfit had a 23 point gap last month, so at least it pierces the false bravado.