Monday, May 25, 2009

New Poll

A new Ipsos poll out, which shows some slight variation in the Conservatives favor. The change is entirely due to Ontario, with the parties now virtually deadlocked. First, the national numbers, with the last Ipsos poll in brackets:
Cons 35% (33%)
Libs 33% (36%)
NDP 14% (13%)

Ipsos shows a swing in Ontario, which speaks to a pretty self evident volatility:
Cons 39% (34%)
Libs 37% (44%)

No NDP total released yet, but one assumes a slight uptick from the last result of 12%.

In Quebec, more of the same:
Libs 36% (32%)
Bloc 36% 34%)
Cons 14% (14%)

British Columbia, not much change from the last poll:
39 per cent support in British Columbia, while the Liberals garnered 27 per cent and the New Democrats 24 per cent.

In a testament to how national numbers can be somewhat misleading, a point I have made often, the pollster still sees a Liberal victory:
The seat distribution in Canada means that although the Conservatives and Liberals appear to be in a close contest, the Liberal vote is "more efficient" and would likely lead to a victory if an election was held today, Bricker said.

The change in this poll is entirely a Ontario consideration. Bricker mentions the economy, possibly stabilizing, which is helping the Conservatives. That is a consideration, as are the attack ads. However, I see the Dhalla controversy as particularly relevant, the story received massive coverage, particular in Ontario, for a weak, the optics were quite poor and it could have trimmed Liberal support. That could part of the equation here, or just natural volatility in the numbers. If one is inclined to believe this is evidence of attack ads working, then you would expect to see movement throughout the country, not just in one province. The fact this is Ontario specific leads me to discard that causal relationship.

Ultimately, it might just be over analyzing for explanation, when really the Ontario numbers are doing what they always do, move around with regularity.


Anonymous said...

Time for some counterpunching ....attack the harper/flathery economic record

Kishone said...

Thanks. I always enjoy your thoughtful analysis of the polls as they come in.

Anonymous said...

With their attack ads, the Conservatives have turned a three-point deficit into a 2-point lead.

The Liberal numbers will recover and the Conservatives have already shown all their cards.

If that's all the attack ads could do, Harper is screwed.

ottlib said...

Judging by this post and your previous post it looks like the allies of the Conservatives are doing their best to get them back in the game.

God knows, the CPC has not done much in the last little while to do it themselves.

KNB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miles Lunn said...

I noticed the Nanos poll at the beginning of the month also gave the Tories similiar numbers in Ontario. All pollsters seem to agree the Tories are in big trouble in Quebec, so it wouldn't surprise me if the Liberals win the election, but win fewer seats in English Canada than the Tories. As for Ontario, the numbers seem to fluctuate between 30-40% and probably will continue to. It seems 10% are uncomfortable with a Tory majority but don't won't the Liberals to win either thus why you see the fluctuation. The focus now should be on making that 10% comfortable with the idea of the Liberals forming government. Also, the other advantage the Tories have in Ontario is unlike all elections since 1984, they now hold the incumbent advantage in more ridings than the Liberals and while incumbent advantage means little in urban ridings, it can make as big a difference of 10% in rural ridings. I think once some Tories start to retire in Rural Ontario is when our best chances of picking off those seats are.

I think though the Tories are pretty much dead in Quebec. If an election were called today, I suspect Maxime Bernier would be the only Tory left in Quebec. The Liberals have a strong potential in Quebec, but if history is any indication, the Bloc Quebecois always seems to be good at coming back when it looks like it is dead, so don't rest our laurels yet in Quebec, things could change. The Tories likely won't come back, but the Bloc Quebecois still could.

Steve V said...

That's the thing for me, I honestly think the Cons are done in Quebec. Harper's a known quantity, there's no more room for sales jobs. With a federalist option now, I can't see voters running back in any meaningful way.

So, you're left with a fluid Ontario, which will be in play up until the election.

Seems to me, when you take the two in totality, I'd much rather be the Liberals, because you have more opportunity. And, that ain't spin ;)

KNB said...

Miles, I think it was Wells tonight who said even Bernier isn't safe. To be honest, that surprised me, but apparently we have an ex ADQ guy who may appeal.

Go figure?

Steve V said...

That was interesting I thought, especially when Wells mentioned non-Lib sources. I'll believe it when I see it, but even the candidacy would keep them off balance, us with an aggressive posture.

Miles Lunn said...

Steve - I believe the Liberals are in somewhat better shape overall in Ontario, but a lot is still fluid. The good news is there are relative few ridings the Tories can pick in Ontario. The trouble is of the 51 seats the Tories won, the vast majority were by more than 10%, so the Liberals need at least a five point lead in Ontario to make any significant gains against the Tories and a ten point lead to guarantee a win nationally regardless of how well they do in Ontario.

KNB - I am not saying Maxime Bernier is safe, however if you look at the current numbers versus what the Tories got last election, he would be the only Tory left in Quebec. Either way, the Liberals are clearly the federalist option in Quebec. As long as Harper remains leader and probably for a while after, the Tories will be dead in Quebec. They can only comeback if their new leader is more centrist and shows a greater understanding of the province. Quebec is not hostile to all politicians on the right side of the spectrum, if only slight right of centre, one can do well in Quebec, but if too ideological as Harper is, than it is a different story.

Steve V said...


The fact we've seen double digit Liberal leads, now more tie scenarios, tells me that the opportunity is there. Heading into an election, all you want to know is that if you run a good campaign, with a solid platform, voters will be receptive. We're there in Ontario, we're there in Quebec. Harper knows Quebec is lost, despite this blip fundraising appearance, he's virtually abandoned the province. Everything is geared towards Ontario, so it's going to be a tough fight. I'd still rather be us than them in Ontario.

Miles Lunn said...

Steve V - I think the Liberals have potential in Ontario, however the difference between Ontario and Quebec is the Tories are dead in Quebec, whereas they are not out of the game yet in Ontario, although they don't have an advantage or lock on it like they do in Alberta.

Constant Vigilance said...

The key to the Conservative win last year was a drop in turnout. Primarily amongst Liberal voters. Polls have a hard time predicting turnout. If the Liberal uptick in the polling is has a corresponding increase in turnout things could turn out very nicely for the Liberals.

But then I am a bit of a professional optimist.

James Curran said...

I think this poll is still a little too early to see if the attack ads has taken a hold.

Also, I'm curious to see the breakdown of where the Cons targeted those ads. I bet Ontario was the main target.

Steve V said...

"I think this poll is still a little too early to see if the attack ads has taken a hold."

I agree completely.