Friday, August 28, 2009

New Angus Reid Poll

The latest AR poll shows the Conservatives opening up a minor lead over the Liberals:
The survey conducted Aug. 25 and 26, shows that 34 per cent of decided voters - up 1 percentage point from July - would vote for the Conservatives compared to 30 per cent for the Liberals, down 4 percentage points since July. The NDP is third with 18 per cent, up 2 percentage points, followed by the Greens with nine per cent or up 2 points and the Bloc Québécois with eight per cent or down 2 points. The Greens are leading the BQ for the first time this year.

It's been month since the last AR poll, so slight movement but something to consider. Of note, their poll two weeks prior had shown a 3% Con lead, prior to that a 6% lead. Probably the most telling data, that explains the change:
Harper's personal popularity has taken off with 27 per cent of Canadians preferring him as prime minister compared to 17 per cent for Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. Layton is third with 12 per cent. In vote rich Ontario Harper leads Ignatieff by 13 points.

"Taken off" doesn't quite translate, since Harper is basically where he's always been of late. What is different, Ignatieff has tailed off. Ignatieff has taken a pounding in the press of late, which explains his downward trend. As well, Ignatieff's momentum score has steadly worsened since the "honeymoon". With the summer lull over, the hope is that Ignatieff can re-establish himself. These numbers suggest he needs to, Ignatieff is no longer the draw he was a few months ago.

In Ontario, a statistical tie, Liberals 37%, Conservatives 35%, Greens 15%, NDP 13%. The last AR poll gave the Liberals a six point edge. Again, Ignatieff trails Harper badly in Ontario, whereas he was tied or better in previous samples. It does appear, taking all the polls into consideration, that the Liberal lead in Ontario has virtually vanished. Statistical ties won't do it for the Liberals, if they have any hope in an election. This said, the potential is there to regain a wide lead, the campaign will obviously determine.

In Quebec, Liberals and Bloc tied at 33%, Conservatives at 16%. Last poll the Bloc had a 38% to 34% lead, Conservatives at 13%. A relatively good result for the Liberals here, the minor erosion we've seen elsewhere isn't evident.

With the NDP placing fourth in Ontario, one might wonder why they've gained nationally. AR gives the NDP a very strong results in high MOE regions, second in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia.

Here's what the general vibe and polls tell me. The Liberals are essentially entering the fall session stone cold, with little identity or messaging that's attractive. Ignatieff needs traction (which I suspect he will get, simply as a function of Parliamentary realities) and "flesh" that changes this developing negative narrative. Not panic, but pro-active.


Anonymous said...

MI's numbers surprise me, but I also believe they are very temporary. Likely summer doldrums. With a little more exposure this Fall, I'm fairly confident we can resurrect Iggymania.

Susan said...

Ignatieff has failed to take many opportunities to oppose unpopular conservative policies - even their pathetic habit of announcing the same money over and over again - he's got no fire - he doesn't appear to be working hard nor to have a grasp of the issues and I don't think he gives a hoot in the end. Maybe it's because he's just another conservative.

Steve V said...


I'm embarrassed that you've just puppeted lazy lines. Not working hard, get a clue.


I agree with that. Acknowledge the hit, deal with, but the sky isn't falling. Just gathering clouds...

RuralSandi said...

I think the media has attacked Ignatieff because he hasn't given them stuff to over-analyse.

As they say - it's the quiet ones you have to watch.

I don't pay attention to summer polls because Harper always does better when parliament is not in session and September is around the corner.

Actually, I think it's curious that Iggy, Layton and Duceppe have been relatively quiet this summer.

Steve V said...


It's important to remember these results from AR are essentially identical to what they were at the start of the summer, Ignatieff's tampering notwithstanding. That's the useful part for me, and it's nothing conclusive at this point.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you beat me to the CC comment board. One downside of being on the west coast I guess . . . I really have to stop reading CC over coffee ;).

Steve V said...

The sad part, I bet he thinks that title is a clever display of deduction prowess. He/she is "weak tea" ;)

Susan said...


I stand by my comment - this government is re-shaping our political system, ignoring human rights at home and abroad, treating citizens as irrelevant etc. etc. and all we hear from Ignatieff is "done't mess with me" and then "oh well maybe later".

Steve V said...

"I stand by my comment"

Too bad for you then. Use your own mind next time, not Ian MacDonald's.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't make any difference anymore. The Grits have decided to let the Tories off the hook (Smith said so). There is no threat of an election until spring.

We can now all breath again.

Harper's biggest internal problem (keeping his supporters happy) appears to have worked by piling the Senate appointments during the same week he showed serious savvy by appointing Doer. And doing them during the summer AFTER seeing that the polls were a bucket of ice water on the Liberals. He has got to be pleased with that.

I do have one question however, how can Harper be sure that his new Senators will retire after 8 years? Or am I mistaking the commitment. Is it that they promise to vote for an 8 year term? Regardless, for this maneuver to be seen as righteous, it is important that they do walk away. He has to have set the seed for a changed Senate.


Steve V said...

"There is no threat of an election until spring.

We can now all breath again. "

Did you even read what Smith said Tomm? Apparently not.

Anonymous said...


I did. David Smith said that (as leader of the LPC ha,ha) there will not be an election over EI.

So, Steve, what is it that the LPC could possibly make up in time to drop the government over before the next budget? dirty socks on the stairs? ...not buying day old bread? ...wrecking a perfectly good recession? ...not running up a big enough deficit? ...deficit too big?

How about you tell me how I should interpret ol'Dave. I guess I'm just not that finely tuned to Grit Speak.


sjw said...

There will be no election this fall because if any winning conditions exist, I believe they favour the Conservatives. I'm also not so unsure they could cop a majority in an autumn campaign. By hook or by crook, Harper's Conservatives have done a masterful job lulling Canadians into a false sense of security when it comes to our perceptions of this nefarious government. Are Ignatieff's Liberals losing the day by refusing to get into the game or is game something they just don't possess? Sad days ahead, I'm afraid.