Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Poll

A new poll from Angus Reid that shows some slight pullback for the Liberals, as well as Ignatieff registering his first net negative momentum score. Not much movement in the national numbers, although AR now puts the Conservatives ahead in Ontario, the Liberals falling off some in Quebec:
32 per cent of decided voters (+1) would cast a ballot for the governing Conservatives, while 31 per cent (-2) would support the opposition Liberals. The New Democratic Party (NDP) is third with 18 per cent (+1), followed by the Bloc Québécois with 11 per cent (+2), and the Green Party with seven per cent (=).

Conservatives up 1%, Liberals down 2%, NDP up 1%, Greens unchanged. This is the first time the Liberals have scored a low of 31% since March. The NDP are also back to their 2008 total, with some encouraging signs in Ontario.

The regionals show a pretty steep drop for the Liberals since the last AR poll (past results in brackets):
Cons 37% (36%)
Libs 35% (43%)
NDP 20% (14%)
Greens 8% (5%)

Interesting that the Conservatives haven't really benefited from the Liberal fall, the support is bleeding to the NDP and Greens. For months now, we've seen a back and forth between the two principle parties, with the NDP pretty much relegated to worrying status. This poll is the first to show positive news for the NDP. It will be noteworthy to watch if this is a one off suggestion or future polling confirms this shift.

AR also shows a bit of a drop off for the Liberals in Quebec, the Bloc now with a sizeable advantage. It's valid to wonder if the Bloc assault is having an impact:
Bloc 42% (36%)
Libs 29% (33%)
Cons 13% (10%)
NDP 8% (17%)

NDP supporters tend to cherry pick any poll that show Quebec momentum, while curiously ignoring the far more available offerings that show no such thing. I averaged out all the latest polls from each organization, and found the NDP slightly below their 2008 total. That included the past AR result of 17%, so the average has lowered further (anyways, I'm sure the Ontario numbers will suffice this time). As for the Liberals, once again we should wait and see if a true trend develops. That said, this is the first large gap we've seen from anyone for some time, so worth watching.

In terms of leadership scores, the pollster notes that Ignatieff has "negative momentum". While this is the first time we've seen Ignatieff in the "red"- prior he was the only leader to score a positive score- the numbers aren't that bad either:
Momentum Scores: Ignatieff -10, May -10, Duceppe -15, Layton -17, Harper -28

Ignatieff is still relatively strong, compared with everyone else. However, a couple possible warning signs, namely on the question of inspiring confidence, where Ignatieff dropped considerably. Ignatieff also dropped on the question of strong and decisive leadership. Harper expands a fairly large edge on the economy.

All in all, it's hard to draw any concrete conclusions. I do believe however, that we are starting to see a Liberal plateauing, furthering my view that the "honeymoon" phase is over and Liberal strategists should recognize and react proactively to this fact.


Anonymous said...

Iggy had a bad week or two. I wouldn't draw too much from the Lib-NDP back-and-forth swings. When an election is on, those numbers will tighten up again.

Harper's negative momentum is -28. Yikes!!!

It's time for piano lessons and sweaters again.

penlan said...

I think Ignatieff really caused himself, & the Party, some harm in the final week before break. Coming out strong in demands for EI changes & then the appearance of backing down & really little mention of his other demands including the isotope crisis. This is the result of that & it made him look weak, not sticking to his words - non-decisive. Not good. Any more like this, the gung-ho in-your-face rhetoric & then backing off will be the end of any chances for the Libs to win in the next election. People don't forget those kind of things. Plus the Cons will play this stuff in attack ads, "waffling" etc. Not a leader meme.

A reader said...

I think it's reasonable to cherry-pick the Québec poll by the Québec polling firm with the best reputation and largest sample size, on the other hand.

Steve V said...


That might be true, if NDP supporters weren't pointing to THIS outfit last time, ignoring everything else, when it showed a positive score. As for reliability and sample size, I'd say EKOS has a pretty good record, and their last offering only had a MOE of 3% (put the NDP at 9%). All I'm saying, you have to take them all in totality, not just pick what you want, ignore what doesn't jive with your personal want.


I think the last couple of weeks killed our momentum, for the first time since Ignatieff took the helm. With the summer coming, and the opposition no longer able to capitalize only the daily Parliament bruising of the government, the Liberals need to be proactive. It's essentially a pre-writ period, let's not just assume the chosen path to date will suffice. My instincts tell me that will be a big mistake.


Harper's negative score has been horrible for months, relatively Ignatieff is still well placed. My only concern, he now has a nice gap on economic management, and that is THE issue.

sjw said...

Cons 37% (36%)
Libs 35% (43%)
NDP 20% (14%)
Greens 8% (5%)


I certainly don't like to see those Ontario numbers dip like that in such a short period of time. But if the left of center folks feel there is little difference between Ignatieff's Liberals and Harper's Conservatives then they will drift back to the NDP and the Greens. With September not very far away the party better come up with something over the summer to recapture and secure the progressive vote.

Steve V said...


One thing to consider, the Ontario numbers have been really volatile for months now, so this ebb isn't necessarily real. The only part I find different, we have yet to see a bleed for one of the principles that doesn't go to the other. It could mean the Liberals suffered from events of the past couple weeks, but voters are so disenchanted with the Conservatives, they looked elsewhere. Afterall, part of the Liberal resurgence in Ontario has come at the expense of the NDP, so we might be seeing a return to more traditional support. A big caution on that though, it's just one poll.

sjw said...

But would the people disenchanted with recent Liberal performance be the people that would give the Harperites a look anyway? I tend to think these are progressives that have gone back to their traditional support group(s). As you say it is just one poll, but Jesus, Ontario is starting to confound me as much as BC does when it comes to offering support to this incompetent government.

Steve V said...

I should have mentioned, this poll also shows the Liberals doing very well in Quebec, neck and neck with the Conservatives. This isn't the first pollster to show that so it's encouraging.

I honestly think, and I said this prior, that Ontario will really be a campaign decided province. Everyone has reason for optimism, but the support is so soft, how you perform will be the only real key.

penlan said...

Steve, you wrote:
"I should have mentioned, this poll also shows the Liberals doing very well in Quebec, neck and neck with the Conservatives.".

I think you mean "neck & neck" with the Bloc - not the Cons.

Steve V said...

Oh geez, I meant British Columbia ;) 36%-33%

A BCer in Toronto said...

Definitely the Liberals took a momentum hit last week, but its not super-easy to pin-point the exact cause. Is it from:

a) People thought we were going to force an election, at the beginning of the week

b) People upset we didn't force one later in the week

c) The Penguins won the Stanley Cup.

LMA said...

After watching Ignatieff's 21 June interview on CTV's Question Period which is posted today on this blogsite, I am beginning to think that his new style of politics, i.e., co-operating to work for Canadians rather than forcing an election, is puzzling everyone and being mistaken for weakness. While his desire to work for Canadians is laudable, at some point he will have to forget co-operating and get more aggressive if he is ever to defeat Harper.

Steve V said...

Oliver was a colossal tool in that interview. How many times can you ask the same question? All Ignatieff could say "I don't see it that way Craig". Time to retire, clearly time.

I think the Liberals can use Ignatieff's non-career politician approach, his obvious lack of calculation relative to Harper, as an advantage. There's a massive appetite for doing things differently, the Liberals should really hammer home this point- mostly because Ignatieff is a natural fit, he wears it well.

sjw said...

Not that I necessarily agree with Oliver here in regards to last weeks happenings that averted a summer election, but I think he makes some very valid points.

I think most of us are afflicted from time to time with having days in our working lives that are less than stellar. Craig Oliver I'm sure isn't any different.

Steve V said...


I wonder how you square that perspective with the interview on QP, wherein he completely contradicts what you provided in your link. I mean, is Ignatieff displaying a sense of making Parliament work, rising above, or is he just weak? Sometimes I think the media finds a misguided need to play the contrarian, rather than stick to their instincts.

sjw said...

I suppose. I just dislike the whole "shoot the messenger" mentality we all seem to revel in these days when it comes to scrutinizing our media. Some interviews are going to be diamonds and others will be rocks. I can accept that. Our political leaders need to adopt the Marine ethic of improvise, adapt and overcome! Ignatieff is supposedly a smart guy, surely he can turn the tables on curmudgeonly old Craig Oliver if an interview isn't exactly going his way. Well, one would think he could anyway.

LMA said...

Come the fall, we'll all have a better idea as to whether Harper is able to change his ways and practise this new style of politics, but I doubt it. In he doesn't and the plans for a national standard for EI don't materialize, Ignatieff has to take a stand once and for all and try to defeat him for the sake of Canada's future.

RuralSandi said...

For what it's worth, Harper always does better when parliaments out - but some things are surfacing - if the people would only pay attention.

I think the media wants a blood bath.

If Ignatieff aided in a summer election the media would trample all over him for it.

They're like children - want action all the time.

A reader said...

Rural Sandi, in this case I think the media just wanted the summer off for a change. And that's the reason they were pretty much going to pillory whosoever was viewed as causing an election and ruining everything. Can't totally say I disagree with that sentiment personally.

Woman at Mile 0 said...

There was also Liberal support of Bill c15 which I know ticked me off. Perhaps some Liberals drifted NDP? Sure the back tracking from Harper on stuff was not helpful either. I think it was a few things altogether.