Thursday, July 09, 2009

Ignatieff Losing Ground On Economy

Today's EKOS poll is a ho hum affair, but the new Angus Reid offering brings some interesting findings. What I find particularly noteworthy, the deteroriation of Ignatieff's numbers on the certain primary ballot question. Nationally, AR moves from a statistical tie to a decent Conservative advantage:
Cons 36% (32%)
Libs 30% (31%)
NDP 16% (18%)
Greens 7% (7%)

The regionals show Ontario at a virtual deadheat, not much change from the last AR poll:
Cons 37% (37%)
Libs 34% (35%)
NDP 19% (20%)
Greens 9% (8%)

A bit different from EKOS, but again it speaks to volatility.

In Quebec, not much change. Liberals at 27%, the Conservatives up to 16%, Bloc at 38%, NDP 12%.

Overall, AR gives the Conservatives their highest percentage of any pollster since March.

Behind the numbers, there are some revealing trends for Ignatieff, which partially explain the Liberal stagnation. I would describe these numbers as "worrying":
Part of the Conservative lead seems to come from a decline in the economic credibility of Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. About one-third of Canadians (32%) say their either completely or moderately trust Ignatieff to do the right thing to help the economy recover, a drop of seven points since April. Also, the proportion of people who “completely distrust” Ignatieff to do the right thing to help the economy has risen from 19 per cent in April to 27 per cent this month.
The performance of Prime Minister Stephen Harper on economic issues is essentially unchanged since April. Harper is completely or moderately trusted by 41 per cent of respondents (no change) and completely or moderately distrusted by 48 per cent (down four points).

Harper's numbers are quite poor, but they are no longer as pronounced, relative to Ignatieff. Clearly, the election threat fallout has hurt Ignatieff's reputation. Or, maybe more correctly, the blank slate is being filled with negative connotations. Economic management will be the first, second and third most important issue in any campaign, so I'd address this growing weakness immediately and proactively. You don't want to read too much, or overreact, but you also need to recognize the potential liabilities with some foresight in mind.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

With 36% in BC, I can see the Libs rebounding to the 30% range and recapturing their City of Vancouver/Victoria and inner suburbs base.

Out here Dion was a dud with his Green Shift and non-communication skills in 2008, which resulted in the Liberals worst showing in 25 years - 19%.

Iggy still has alot of political capital in BC.

Greg said...

I wonder what part the "showdown that wasn't" played in the falling Liberal numbers? Thoughts? Also, do you think Iggy's courtship of Alberta will lift the Greens at Liberal expense, going forward?

Anonymous said...

Iggy is over rated and has missed his best chance. He looked like he was an opportunist in June and has yet to find a defining issue to attack Harper with. I don't think there will be an election until the budget. If there is, Liberals will lose. With the economy as the biggest issue and with it slowly recovering, one suspects Harper is in the drivers seat. If he survives the Olympics, it will be game over for Iggy and his leadership.

Steve V said...

" If he survives the Olympics, it will be game over for Iggy and his leadership."

That's just such hysterical nonsense, and yes you sound like a BROKEN record.

Greg

I think it was a huge factor. I mean, the co-relation in the numbers is striking, the June showdown was the end of the Ignatieff honeymoon, end of the Liberal uptick. He looked weak, we looked weak, and what's worse it was self inflicted. Unfortunately, Dion's legacy is still part of the Liberal equation, and not wanting to look "weak" ended up warping sound strategy.

All this said, it's not panic time. What we've seen over the past few months is a fluid ebb and flow, nobody has grabbed people's attention, nothing is determined or predicative. I still think, if an election were held today, the Liberals are well placed to win- assuming a good campaign. But, I also think any push for a fall election will evaporate if these numbers hold.

Anonymous said...

Iggy blew it with his transparent posturing over EI and supposedly holding Harper "accountable". Most people I know viewed that episode as disingenuous and an insult to their intelligence. Iggy is going down the same failed path that Dion chose - prop up the Harper government until the polls turn against him while pretending not to be propping up the Harper government. If that's the best Iggy can come up with, he's doomed. His only chance is to bring down the Harperites in the fall and fight it out in an election. If he waits until next year's budget he may as well pack his bags and head back to Harvard.

ottlib said...

Two polls, two different results.

Perfect for those folks who would like to use the polls to "prove" whatever hypothesis they currently hold about Canadian politics or its political leaders.

Anonymous demonstrates that nicely.

Anonymous said...

Iggy still has a lot of political capital in BC?

Möbius said...

Perhaps it really is time to put forth a bit of real live policy, rather than just gain-saying the CPC?

"Elections are not a good time to discuss serious issues", according to a former Tory PM. OK, so a complete loser PM, but that was really BM's fault.

A reader said...

I told you last month that Iggy would chicken out when it came time to vote.

And how can you be "assuming a good campaign", when Iggy's the one who would be doing the campaigning? I think he showed us last month that he's not capable of holding it together for 5 weeks.

You guys bought a pig in a poke (again). And to think you could have been running the government right now and watching the Conservatives tearing each other apart. Instead I predict that's what you'll be doing to yourselves come E+1 instead. So sad.

Mushroom said...

"I still think, if an election were held today, the Liberals are well placed to win- assuming a good campaign. But, I also think any push for a fall election will evaporate if these numbers hold."

There will be no election in the fall. Spring 2010 will be the first chance for the Grits to get their house in order. I also expect Layton's numbers to improve, once it becomes obvious that the mileage Iggy sought on the EI issue is done and dusted.

My only hope is for the NDP to improve its performance in the house and make the Grits realize that they need to use the coalition again as the only alternative to defeat Harper.
Otherwise, Canadians will be faced with a Harper-Iggy two step.

BTW, nice to access your blog the first time in a long while. No access to blogspot in some totalitarian regimes.

Young Liberal said...

The best way to deal with this fallout would be to issue some policy ideas over the summer.

Iggy has three people in that committee on EI. He can make sure that the Liberal MPs on that committee provide the initiative, and push for conclusions similar to what Iggy has proposed.

And then, he needs to seriously consider an election. Either way economic numbers go, he should. If they go down, then confidence in Harper will switch over to Ignatieff. IF numbers go up, then Ignatieff needs to get in there before he misses his opportunity.

Anonymous said...

One poll with a 6 point spread doesn't mean it's panic time. We have to wait to see if it's a trend or an outlier by waiting for other polls. When I say other polls, I exclude Nanos because he tends to overstate Liberal support - good for the morale but bad to assess reality.

If this becomes a trend, I think we should wait it out as long as it takes - even if means another year or two.

Steve V said...

"I told you last month that Iggy would chicken out when it came time to vote."

You know what's truly laughable? That NDP supporters fail to see how BADLY they came off during that whole debate. If the Liberals suffered from people not wanting an election, turned off by the posturing, they sure as shit weren't impressed with that kneejerk, don't even read anything, nonsense from the NDP. Only a fool actually thinks the NDP, broke to the core, wanted an election, and yet there we see Jack the "real" oppostion spewing his tired lines. You want to fault the Liberals, have at it, I've done it myself. But, PLEASE spare me the criticism coming from the joke that is the NDP these days. Good grief, you should be blushing as you type. Seriously.

anon

The sky is falling babbling doesn't jive with the realities.

Steve V said...

"One poll with a 6 point spread doesn't mean it's panic time."

Absolutely not. What these now statistical ties, Cons lead polls do say however is a RETOOL is in order. When everything is going your way, it's probably shrewd to just play it safe. A few bumps in the road are ultimately helpful, if it forces a bit more of a daring strategy. I'm not particularly worried, the fundamentals are still there, the Liberals seem well placed, with the most growth potential. That said, there's no denying we've lost what momentum we had, and that doesn't translate to panic, it just is.

Cari said...

Iggy is not around explaining anything..did he not go on vacation, after the London speeches? He should keep himself here.

Steve V said...

I thought that London speech was fantastic actually. It's really the philosophical underpinning of how he would lead the country, how he would work through challenges. I thought it really spoke to the depth of the man.

Anonymous said...

After the IMF announced today Canada will grow the fastest out of all G8 nations over the next year, it wont look good to hit Harper with the economy.

Mushroom said...

"I thought it really spoke to the depth of the man."

Iggy can win an ideological battle hands down with Harper. But no one wants to engage in one. The two so-called ideologues Harper and Layton are more content in destroying individuals ie. Dion and Iggy then have a political debate. As long as Iggy does not goad Harper into a battle of ideas, it will be a struggle for the Grits.

Still the Grits need to paint Harper as a rabid neo-con in order to win. Afghanistan would be the ideal issue and we know that the Grits had ceded that many years ago.

A reader said...

Only a fool actually thinks the NDP, broke to the core, wanted an election, and yet there we see Jack the "real" oppostion spewing his tired lines.

A couple of quick points, Steve, because I see you're a little touchy about all this. ;-)

One: the NDP posted the highest net worth of any party in the most recent round of financial returns.

Two: you assume they didn't want an election, but at least they had the guts to face one if required to back up their demands on EI. Your guy caved spectacularly, not 24 hours after you guys complained about how the EI system was leaving children "starving".

Who was spewing lines, there, exactly? If you think a "blue ribbon panel" represents substantial change on EI ... something your guy swore up and down was his bottom-line in those negotiations, and then you accuse the NDP of "spewing tired lines", it just shows how much the whole thing has you rattled.

And if you guys think you're getting progress out of that panel, then I just have 5 words for you: Diane Finlay and Pierre Poilievre.

As the Jurist said at Accidental Deliberations, Iggy forgot to get a "no cartoon characters clause" on the panel's composition, because naming those folks is pretty much guaranteed to ensure it gets bupkis for any of the folks who actually need help.

Steve V said...

"One: the NDP posted the highest net worth of any party in the most recent round of financial returns."

That's a mirage and you know it. Everybody, excluding partisans I suppose, knows the NDP isn't in a position to fight an election. If you want proof, stay tuned for this quarter's fundraising, which will be worse or equally abysmal to your past quarter. That's just the facts, and I challenge you to find one non-NDP supporter who buys you "election readiness" spin.


"Who was spewing lines, there, exactly? If you think a "blue ribbon panel" represents substantial change on EI ... something your guy swore up and down was his bottom-line in those negotiations, and then you accuse the NDP of "spewing tired lines", it just shows how much the whole thing has you rattled."

Umm, I believe I said this EI panel has taken the issue off the table, ala Afghanistan. That said, it's simply hilarious that the "on the sidelines", completely irrelevant party has an opinion. Rattled? Come on.

I must say one thing here. It actually doesn't matter what NDP supporters think, for the Liberals it is never part of the equation. I am quite confident that outside the partisan realm, all this stuff doesn't register. If you want proof of the tremendous job the NDP are doing, why not look at Layton's "falling like a stone" numbers, the NDP's very serious problems in Ontario. That's not my opinion, that's convention, non-partisan wisdom. What the Jurist thinks doesn't mean anything, except to make you feel better I suppose.


Anyways, who cares... I sure don't.

Steve V said...

"Iggy can win an ideological battle hands down with Harper. But no one wants to engage in one."

I didn't mean to suggest it's a winning strategy or characteristic, only that I find it comforting to get a sense of the "treatise" which would direct how Ignatieff tackles the issues. As far as I'm concerned, he's articulated modern liberalism, a directive for this party.

A reader said...

I must say one thing here. It actually doesn't matter what NDP supporters think, for the Liberals it is never part of the equation.

Well, I'll give you points for this one ... it's one of the most honest things written from a Liberal perspective about the NDP. I guess in your shoes I'd keep hoping the NDP doesn't matter too, since if it ever did catch you by surprise, your other lines could use some work.

But relax, don't worry 'bout a thing, be iggy-happy, and every-little-thing is gonna be alright ...

Anonymous said...

I find it amusing how Steve keeps claiming that the NDP is irrelevant and that no one cares about what they say or do - yet anytime anyone posts anything on this site that puts forth a perspective that is even remotely NDP-friendly, he goes into ballistic hyperventilation - as if a dentist had touched an exposed nerve!

A reader said...

Why do you think I love coming here to comment so much, Anon!

Steve V said...

Whatever guys, enjoy the circle jerk :)

Steve V said...

"But relax, don't worry 'bout a thing, be iggy-happy, and every-little-thing is gonna be alright ..."

That crack speaks volumes about your kneejerk nonsense, given the title and context of the post you're commenting in. Get a clue.