Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Quebec Poll

The latest Crop Quebec poll shows some erosion in Liberal support, relative to past results:
Bloc 31% (31%)
Libs 30% (35%)
NDP 18% (17%)
Cons 17% (13%)

Still not a terrible result for the Liberals, tied with the Bloc, but relatively poor. This poll tends to confirm other findings, that have shown a marginal erosion in Liberal support over the past few months, now hovering around 30%.

A very good result for the NDP. Of all the parties, their % seems to have the most fluctuation, comparing poll to poll. Everyone else tends to be in the same ballpark, between pollsters, but the NDP tally goes anywhere from single digits to this high teen result. As a result, I still see this percentage has a touch high, but I'm sure my NDP friends would say this is the most reliable pollster, so...

A pretty good number for the Cons, relative to prior results. All the pollsters seem to show some slight evidence of a minor rebound for the Cons, still low but better than the dismal trend seen prior.

In the Quebec City region, it's quite competitive:
Bloc 30%
Libs 24%
Cons 23%

35 comments:

Bobby said...

If the Liberals can make inroads into Quebec City it would be a huge success, even if they win fewer seats than the BQ overall. However, expect a bounce for the BQ during the election. There is also an unfortunate math that benefits both the BQ and PQ because of the first past the post system; basically, the BQ and PQ can be almost 5 percentage points behind and they will still likely win more seats. With this and an expected bounce, even a small one, Liberals can count on maybe another half dozen seats in Quebec.

Steve V said...

Probably realistic, with the only caveat being a Conservative tank in the province. There is a corelation between the slight Con rebound and the Libs falling off. I think it's quite fluid, if the Libs run a very good campaign, they could siphon off support from others and maybe pick up a few more.

Most of the really close ridings last time out, where Libs were second, would come at the expense of the Bloc. If the Cons fold, and the Bloc picks off a few from them, then it has a compounding factor. Maybe the Libs don't pickup a massive amount of seats, but if it comes with the Cons also losing seats, the net benefit is pronounced, as to who would form government.

Bobby said...

Yes, a Conservative falloff would help the Liberals in as much as it might reinforce the Liberals as the federalist choice. Counter that with a resurgent NDP and it might balance out, though. The NDP tend to do the reverse of the BQ and poll better in Quebec between elections than during them. Mulcair is a new dynamic, however. The real scary part is if the NDP run a good negative campaign against Ignatieff. Ignatieff's past is filled with things Quebecers just don't like. This is a wild card.

DL said...

Liberals should be rooting for the NDP like crazy in Quebec. When NDP support goes up in Quebec - BQ support goes down and if that pattern holds it would actually help the Liberals win marginal BQ seats in the Montreal area (though I get the impression that some Liberals would rather win Outremont than win 10 other Quebec ridings!) . It's true that there is a big discrepancy on NDP support in Quebec between the Quebec pollsters like CROP and Leger and the Quebec sub-samples of national polls like Ekos and Decima etc... and whenever the NDP numbers are low - its the BQ that is a lot higher. One explanation I've heard is that CROP and Leger include the leaders names in the question (ie: Would you vote for the Liberals led by Michael Ignatieff, the BQ led by Gilles Duceppe, the NDP led by Jack Layton etc...? as opposed to would you vote Liberal, BQ or NDP etc...?).

In the end it tells us two things - there is a large chunk of the BQ vote that is soft enough that all you have to do is mention leaders name's and they flirt with voting for other parties - esp. the NDP. It also says that there is potential for the NDP to do better in Quebec than last time - and it would help if the BQ had a weak campaign and didn't get a last minute infusion of oxygen like they got last time with the culture issue etc...

Steve V said...

" Counter that with a resurgent NDP and it might balance out, though"

This isn't necessarily partisan, because I think there's an objective point. The NDP are still a marginal party in Quebec, which means when push comes to shove at the ballot box, I'm not sure the vote can hold, even if this is true. Not saying it won't, but it's a real possibility. I also think Mulclair will be life and death to hold that seat, we are going to make a massive push to take it back.

Steve V said...

DL

That's a good point on the leader name inclusion with this poll. Layton is pretty popular in the province.

Anonymous said...

I agree that some Quebec NDP supporters tend to change their mind at the ballot box. As for the way Leger and Crop do their polling, they are also known for having the most accurate numbers in Quebec. So it works. If Mulcair survives the worst thing that could happen, but the best thing for the NDP, would be to replace Layton with Mulcair. He could be the catalyst for a breakthrough in Quebec for the NDP and has cabinet experience, something even Ignatieff is lacking.

rockfish said...

I don't know any Liberal who'd surrender 10 seats in exchange for Outremont -- another year of Layton-mania and Outremont will walk to us... Mulcair's big ambition now is steered by his belief that he's next-in-command; but there is no small rumbling that he has none of the ol' bad feelings towards the Grits that he did during Dion's days (tho he continues to talk the game, he still craves being in control/government)... Mulcair to cross the floor in 2010!

Bobby said...

Sorry, I'm the anon above.

Anthony said...

NDP support is pretty soft in Quebec.

Furthermore Tom Mulcair is going to be under a huge amount of pressure in his riding now that the Liberal numbers are back up. He will be kept in his riding if he wants to hold onto it.

Numbers in Quebec are like the green numbers nationally. When push comes to shove, people will vote for parties they know, which can hurt the NDP and greens, and help the other parties, especially the Bloc

JimmE said...

Quebecers have a reputation for voting more or less strategically. It is as if voters ask "what's best for Quebec" before voting. Given the fluid nature of the past few polls from the province, almost any result short of Reformatory gains is a possibility in the dynamic of an election campaign.

DL said...

The difference between the NDP vote in Quebec and the Green vote in the rest of Canada is that Layton has a huge personal following in Quebec (ie: according to CROP 35% think Ignatieff would make the best PM, compared to 29% for Layton) - May gets negligible support on best PM. Also, the NDP will spend millions of advertising in Quebec and will run serious campaigns in selected ridings - the Green party will not run any ads, and their leader plans to spend the whole campaign holed up in suburban Victoria. The NDP may not stay at 18% in Quebec, but any improvement on the 12% they got last time would mean Mulcair re-elected and probably Francoise Boivin added to the mix as well - and it all helps position the NDP for the post-Duceppe era.

Steve V said...

Ontario and Quebec are both quite fluid, which means nobody will really know where they stand unti a campaign. For the Libs, I would take some comfort in the fact that their top end potential is there, just a matter of execution.

Steve V said...

"NDP will spend millions of advertising in Quebec "

Oh, I'd be careful with that assumption. It looks like the NDP might be under seige in other parts of the country, where they actually have many MP's. Pretty risky to put much into a flyer proposition, when you're probably trying to hold what you have elsewhere.

Steve V said...

Interesting comment at Eric's blog relating to all this mythology about CROP polls:

"CROP is one of the less reliable polling firms, and is correspondingly weighted the least in my model."

DL said...

Every party has strengths and weaknesses across the country and seats to defend etc.... In August 2008 you and other Liberals were convinced that the NDP was going to be "under siege" in Ontario - instead they went from 12 seats to 17. I don't claim to know how the NDP apportions its ad budget - but I suspect that they will buy a lot of time in Ottawa/Gatineau and in Montreal and ignore the rest of the province - just like the Liberals will choose their battles carefully.

Anonymous said...

There's too much overcrowding. You essentially have four parties with +/- 7 from the medium of each other. The main losers are the Bloc since they have 2/3rds of the seats but with dynamics like this, you might end up with repeat of the 2007/8 Quebec provincial election in which all three main parties split the electorate evenly.

Steve V said...

DL

Anything is possible, but 2008 was a perfect storm for the NDP in my mind. Don't count on us getting 26%, and don't count on this vacuum in Quebec that you had last time out. Dion is dead. I'll go on record right now, saying the NDP is 90% likely to lose seats in the next election. Maybe I'm wrong, but right now that's how it all shakes out in my mind.

You mention choosing you battles carefully. The NDP blowing millions in Quebec, with the distant hope of picking up a single seat, is akin to the Libs going hard in Saskatchewan. I would be angry if we poured resources into faint hopes.

Steve V said...

anon

The Bloc is strong in QC, so there's the prospect of taking back some seats from the Cons. There's also the prospect of the Libs taking seats from the Bloc. In the end, the Bloc might be at or near the same level seat wise, but you could see a 10 plus seat move between the two principles, which is key overall.

DL said...

The raw number of votes a party gets is also valuable due the subsidy so getting the NDP vote in Quebec from the 1% it was in 2000 to the 12% it was last year to maybe a few points higher next time is worth a lot of money per year.

Its interesting how now retrospectively, you think 2008 was such a "perfect storm" for the NDP. I don't recall anyone saying that at the start of the campaign when the conventional wisdom was that under a left-leaning leader like Dion, the Liberals would attract NDP votes, that NDP supporters would vote Liberals to stop Harper and when there was an orgy of (undeserved) positive publicity about Elizabeth May and endless speculation that the Green Party was going to raid a big chunk of NDP support. The fact that none of these things materialized doesn't take away from the fact they were the "conventional wisdom" when the campaign began.

Steve V said...

DL

Well, you might recall me warning prior to and after that Outremont, coupled with Dion as a leader, offered the NDP a great opportunity.

As for the vote subsidy, a good point.

DL said...

Dion created potential opportunities for the NDP in Quebec, but Ignatieff creates other opportunities. Dion was a Quebecer and he did quite well in the French leaders debate. Ignatieff is from Toronto and his French is about on par with Layton and Harper. He is also more rightwing than Dion.

But we are missing the point, the vast majority of the NDP's gains in recent years in Quebec have been from former BQ voters - so who leads the Liberals is beside the point - its really about being there to pick up the pieces as the BQ vote keeps dropping notch after notch, election after election.

JimmE said...

What I observed in 2008 was voters who had voted Liberal in the past who said "I don't want Harper to get a majority"- & just not show up to the polls. In 2006 my candidate was sunk by soft support to Greens & NDP. Given what I have seen of Iggy so far I don't think one will see as many no-shows or vote parking next time. Therefore I just don't see Iggy doing worse than Martin in 2006, - how much better is pure speculation but as a petty sophomoric partisan I see at least a Grit minority.

Steve V said...

DL

All I can say, is I'm FAR more optimistic, no matter the measure you use, with Iggy's chances relative to Dion. His French is impeccable, French commentators say it's better than his rivals (maybe that's why Jack just finished a French refresher course). If you look at all the intangibles in totality, rather than piecemeal, it seems a no brainer that 2008 represented the best opportunity for a "breakthrough".

Jimmy said...

Really Steve is this where you heard his French as amazing?

On her blog Friday, Chantal Hébert was much less enthralled with Mr. Ignatieff's flair for language. She quipped that the Liberal Leader should "spend more time practicing his French with his entourage before going onto the set of [Radio-Canada's] Tout le monde en parle in mid-April." Ms. Hébert went on to assert that "many Liberals and all the journalists concluded, while listening to Michael Ignatieff's speech in Laval last week, that he must either avoid making magisterial speeches in French or learn to master a teleprompter if he wants to fire up the crowds in Quebec — or at the very least not put them to sleep — during the next election campaign."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/article977721.ece

Anonymous said...

So if a Liberal victory hinges on Quebec, and it does, 30% doesn't do it. Martin received 34% of the vote and garnered 21 seats. Columnists speculate the 30% would keep the Liberals at 14 seats, given the concentratioon of their voters. Even if the Liberals gain 5seats with these numbers, that doesn't add up to an election victory, not even close. This poll should give Liberals pause. It is the most significant poll of the summer.

DL said...

"So if a Liberal victory hinges on Quebec, and it does, 30% doesn't do it. Martin received 34% of the vote and garnered 21 seats. Columnists speculate the 30% would keep the Liberals at 14 seats, given the concentration of their voters."

Those columnists seem to forget that when the Liberals under Martin took 34% in 2004, the BQ took 48%!! If the Liberals get 30% and the BQ only gets 32% or so (as many polls suggest) then the Liberals will gain a lot of seats. In 2004 the Tories and the NDP were not in the picture. Now Quebec is more of a four party race.

Ignore the raw vote percentage and instead focus on the point spread between the Liberals and BQ. That is all that matters.

Steve V said...

Columnists seem to forget a lot these days. I can't remember a time with so little superficial referencing and so little fact checking. Yes, the spread is everything, and it takes about 10 seconds to check somewhere.


Jummy

Umm, teleprompters and linguistic aptitude aren't the same thing. One thing is clear, you're a dummy. BTW, the Liberals peaked when Ignatieff was speaking on the Quebec shows and radio.

Bobby said...

Ignatieff's french is impeccable if you're talking about Parisian french. If you're talking about Quebecois french he's no better than Layton. Even when Ignatieff uses the words of the Quebecois he still has the Parisian accent. To most Quebecois this does not matter much, they are actually use to hearing it from time to time ... many will have worked with someone from France. But it keeps Ignatieff sounding like an outsider.

Steve V said...

Well he isn't from Quebec, so the "outsider" crack is so whatever. You mean Iggy doesn't sound native, I can't believe it.

DL said...

I think the point is that Dion - for all his faults - was a francophone Quebecer and that was an advantage to him in the leaders debate in French. It may not have been an advantage vis-a-vis Duceppe but it did make Dion look better than usual against Layton, Harper and May.

Ignatieff cannot make any pretense to being "de chez nous". He speaks good French, but he is clearly an educated anglo who learned to speak French well in school, albeit with a very French from France accent - and who has probably spent a lot of time in France. Harper's French is very neutral textbook "francais internationale" that would be the equivalent of what we in English call "mid-Atlantic". Layton grew up in Montreal and while no one would mistake him for a native speaker of French - his French is actually very good and he sounds like someone who learned French in Quebec (ie: like any Anglo-Montrealer who is fluently bilingual).

If you're Quebecois, Duceppe will ipso-facto sound like a compatriot, Layton would come in second, Iggy and Harper would tie for third and EMay would be dead last.

Steve V said...

DL

Maybe the difference will be, will be heading into the debate with twice the support ;)

Joseph said...

I get a chuckle out of how Spector tried to turn this poll into an "Ignatieff failing" commentary today in the G&M.

He even managed to say the Conservatives were "up 4" in the same commentary without ever mentioning that put them dead last.

It's also one of the best examples I've seen recently of "organized commenting" - one of those stories that conservative faithful were clearly directed to go "click that you agree" on posts that reiterated conservative talking points.

How long until they started shouting down Liberal candidates at town meetings? I mean, they've followed every other Republican trend so its only a matter of time. Here's hoping Canadians overall recognize the risks of such farcical displays that make a mockery of free speech.

DL said...

yeah, it speaks volumes that a Conservative "come back" in Quebec still leaves them in 4th place behind the NDP!

Steve V said...

Joseph


Maybe he meant to say "up to 4th".

I am just amazed the way supposed elite columnists can embarrass themselves by putting lipstick on a pig. Remember when it came out, I wondered if people would show some integrity and use restaint. Watching some of these guys run with a factually shaky thesis at best really is quite telling. Something is terribly wrong with this whole medium. Where's the depth to any of it?