Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Single Digit Response

The Conservatives have "unleashed" the most lame of attack ads against the Liberals. What's worse Ryan Sparrow seems proud, making a public fuss. The ads are in English and in French. The English ad goes after Ignatieff for his residency, and I must say the fact that this is deemed the most worthy of initial attacks, tells me the Conservatives don't have much at the moment. In a strange way, I take these ads as more desperation than anything.

Apparently the Conservatives have nothing to lose in Quebec by going on the attack, because for the second time now a pollster pegs their support in the SINGLE DIGITS. This is the first post-convention poll, which brings some curiousity, given the counter balance of Ruby Dhalla last week. What was supposed to be a good week for the Liberals turned into anything but, so one wondered if any bounce would be blunted. The conclusion from the Strategic Counsel poll, the Liberals are up, Conservatives down, a 2% gap a month ago is now 5%, in line with other recent findings. No real evidence of a bounce, but then again, no real fallout from last week, so a good result for the Liberals:
Libs 35% (34%)
Cons 30% (32%)
NDP 16% (15%)

We are starting to see more and more polls that give the Liberals an edge outside of margin of error. It has now been two months since any pollster has given the Conservatives a lead.

The Quebec numbers provide more confirmation of recent trends. Liberals way up, Conservatives sitting at absolutely abysmal totals:
Bloc 39% (41%)
Libs 37% (29%)
Cons 9% (15%)
NDP 9% (9%)

Whenever you think the Conservatives have hit a new bottom in Quebec, they fall further, to the point now where shutout is a possibility. Averaging the latest result from each pollster, the Conservatives sit at 12%. While the Liberals are drawing some support from the Bloc, primarily they are completely replacing the Conservatives as the only federalist option.

In Ontario, the Liberals maintain a big lead:
Libs 42% (45%)
Cons 32% (32%)

Once again the national numbers tend to understate the problems for the Conservatives, because some quick math of the provincial numbers equates to a healthy minority for the Liberals.

Conclusion, I'm not sure what's better news, the polls or these limp attack ads from the Conservative braintrust. The ads reek of fear, they don't really say anything substantive, just low brow attempts to discredit.

Message to the Liberal fundraising team- don't bother blowing any money responding to the ads, because these duds are laughable, or "lame" as Conservative supporters seem to acknowledge. Next.


lr said...

I am super happy to see the CONS losing steam Quebec! Good riddance!

ottlib said...

The Conservatives and the media are really out of touch if they believe the Ruby Dhalla situation resonates outside of a three block radius of Parliament Hill.

Swine Flu, Tamil Protests, Afghanistan, Brian Mulroney and continuing economic turmoil and job losses in the industrial heartland. Then there is the latest round of the Balsillie/Bettman saga.

These are the issues that Canadians are thinking about. Ruby Dhalla's nannies are very far down that list.

However, I truly hope that the Conservatives keep focusing on the trivial. It would be the quickest and best way to finally put paid to them.

Incidentally, I did expect much of a bounce from the convention. It really was not that exciting and Michael Ignatieff experienced his bounce when he took over a few months ago.

As well, the Liberals rise in fortunes is looking more and more like it is for real as opposed to a bounce or a temporary bump as a result of publicity surrounding a convention or a change of leadership.

ottlib said...

That should read I did NOT expect that much of a bounce from the convention.

Steve V said...

You should expect something positive out of a feel good exercise. Not the traditional bounce, because of the lack of drama, but plenty of attention, so the potential is there for sure. In a normal week, most of the media attention would have been focused on where the Liberals go now, within the premise of strong indicators. Not a bad storyline. Instead that was derailed, and it's just never a good thing when one of our MP's is in this sort of position. If nobody cares, then nobody would worry about damage control. I'm not saying the nation is riveted, but it's sort of hard to not notice the lead story for three days. I see an inverse relationship between the convention and the aftermath, while neither are seismic, I'd say we lost a week of good messenging. Status quo.

ottlib said...

Parties that hold boring conventions generally do not receive a bounce. The bounce comes from the buzz created by the convention. Outside of the buzz amongst Liberals nothing of that nature was created by the convention.

However, Mr. Ignatieff gave several very good speeches that were widely reported.

It is the greater exposure of Mr. Ignatieff and his ideas that the Liberals stand to benefit from. Not the post-convention bounce, that are usually temporary anyway, but instead it could solidify Mr. Ignatieff and the Liberals standing amongst Canadians causing the trend we are seeing now in the polls to become virtually irreversible.

Now that would be a much better outcome than just a post-convention bounce.

Steve V said...

Obviously that type of bounce is temporary, but as you said yourself it furthers Ignatieff's "exposure" with the Canadian people. Lots of face time, but the frame coming out of the convention was lost. I've never expected some big uptick, but it's just counter intuitive to think that any convention, without downside storylines hurts the cause.

RuralSandi said...

Hmmmm....a leader who retained his Canadian citizenship all the time he was out of the country...compared to a PM who runs down his own country:

"Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it. Canadians make no connection between the fact that they are a Northern European welfare state and the fact that we have very low economic growth, a standard of living substantially lower than yours, a massive brain drain of young professionals to your country, and double the unemployment rate of the United States."

- Conservative leader Stephen Harper, then vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition, in a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing American think tank.

penlan said...

"The ads are in English and in French. The English ad goes after Ignatieff for his residency..."

Is the one in French different? From the way you've worded that it makes it sound that it is different.

Steve V said...

It is different.

"The French-language ad says the Liberal Leader is hiding his true position on Quebec - without saying what this is - and quotes a newspaper as saying "On policy, Ignatieff's the invisible man."

The ad ends by asking: "Do you really know this man?"

penlan said...

Thanks Steve. What a bunch of thugs Harper & his Cons are! Such BLATANT liars - & they just continue to get away with it. Makes me sick.