Sunday, August 23, 2009

WACKY

Here's the rumored Ipsos poll for CANWEST, that shows just an enormous lead for the Conservatives:
The Conservatives now command 39% in support among decided voters, compared with 28% for the Liberals, according to the survey, conducted exclusively for Canwest News Service and Global National by Ipsos Reid. Since the last Ipsos poll two months ago, the Tories have climbed five percentage points, while the Grits have slumped seven points.

The NDP stand in third at 14% of the vote, up one point; followed by the Green party at 10%, up two points.

That's right, suddenly the Conservatives have opened up an astonishing 11% lead. Two months without a Canwest poll, the first time I can remember since I started blogging, then coincidentally in the field just as Harper does his most high profile photo op of the summer. The timing aside, interesting that we get this PREDICTED thesis from NP:
a trend that could dampen speculation of a fall election.

How convenient for the Conservatives.

It will be fascinating to see how the media reacts to this poll, if they have the basic sense to look with a critical eye. All you have to do is look at these Ontario results:
the Conservatives now lead the Liberals in vote-rich Ontario by 43% to 31%.


If you average out the last batch of polling, generally the Liberals have had the lead, consistently hovering around 40%, Conservatives mid 30's. As a matter of fact, there hasn't been one poll since the coalition that has given the Conservatives anywhere near this kind of lead. If there was ever a "19 times out of 20" proposition, this polling is the posterchild for that statistical anomaly. Averaging the last batch of polls, this result is 16% offside, staggering by any measure.

Ipsos also pegs Conservative support in Quebec at 20%, the first pollster to do so since a one off poll in January.

Ipsos also asks a series of questions, comparing the two leaders. While Harper leads on these questions, the gap really isn't that pronounced, or noticeably different from other findings. An opposition leader rarely outpaces a sitting PM, so I actually see these numbers as a decent base for Ignatieff prior a campaign:
The poll suggests Ignatieff is having trouble gaining traction on key issues. Asked which leader is best qualified to "improve the national economy," 48% chose Harper, compared with 40% for Ignatieff. The prime minister also leads Ignatieff on "managing Canada's finances" (49% to 37%), and "representing Canada's interests in world affairs" (48% to 41%). The only issue on which Ignatieff leads is "protecting the environment" (45% to 41%).

Not a herculian gap by any means, and given the party support numbers, almost surprising that the gap isn't large.


Conclusion. Don't draw any conclusions from this dud.

42 comments:

foottothefire said...

Steve, first off, congratulations on the response to Kinsella; brilliant!
On this poll business;
It's long past the time to go back in time and BAN poll publication. It DOES effect voting; I know it, EKOS Alberta Conservatives know it, the Sun media knows it (AKA Conservative voice in Alberta) and sure as God made little green apples, Harper and the Goebbels at Canwest know it. EKOS should face criminal charges for this one.

KNB said...

Foot, they make no bones about trying to affect voters, by simply coming out and telling the LPC what they should and should not do.

AND, as Steve points out, they are so freaking transparent.

I hate this manipulative garbage

Steve V said...

I think we should have public disclosure for all PUBLIC released polls. They do affect the narrative, our political discourse, so they should be subject to outside scrutiny, otherwise they shouldn't enter the PUBLIC domain.

I question the timing of this release, it's just so cute of Canwest. As for the pollster, they always overstate Cons support, relative to actual votes. That's statistically evident, it's not slander. I question the methodology, but maybe that's why it's their the pollster of choice for said publication. Also, in the last two elections, where they polled up until the vote, they were off, outside of the margin of error, for the Liberals. Eric has also shown an apparent under-representation with the NDP vote.

Bottomline for me, I don't put much stock in their results.

bigcitylib said...

Note the Canwest report says "Poll shows x", not just "x". Indicating they don't even believe their own poll.

Éric said...

The poster child for "19 times out of 20" will be, and will always be, the 26% for the Greens in Quebec - ahead of the Liberals and Bloc - by Strategic Counsel in February.

Steve V said...

This is true Eric. Somebody must have been blushing when they submitted that baby.

Éric said...

I'm also anxious to see, once the details are up on the Ipsos site, if this is enough for a majority. I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't - still not good enough in Quebec, British Columbia, and Atlantic Canada.

Éric said...

On that SC poll, the worse was that they actually said that voters were going to the Greens in Quebec and that, when the next poll showed 8% or whatever, that the Greens had a big loss in the province.

I had emailed SC at the time and I was told that maybe they were catching on to a new trend since Quebec voters were tired of the same-old-same-old.

My follow-up response and questions were never answered. No wonder SC is my lowest rated pollster. They also take FOREVER to post things on their site.

Steve V said...

That type of spread in Ontario would probably do it. That's 70 seat terrority. Their Quebec number is pretty much the same as 2008 too.

BTW, I love discussing fiction ;)

DL said...

To this day, I'm convinced that the 26% Green vote in Quebec on that poll was NOT a polling outlier - I think that someone doing data analysis hit the wrong key and re-coded a ton of BQ votes over to the Green party. These things happen, the only surprise is that they didn't try to fix it before publishing the results!

In this case, we have the Ekos poll that was done on almost exactly the same dates that show the Tories at 33% not 39% and the NDP at 17.5 not 14% - I'd like to see other polls to see who is the outlier.

KNB said...

How long does it generally take before they release their internals?

Éric said...

No, I only get about 60 seats for the Tories in Ontario with this number. Remember, in 2008 with 39.2$ they still only won 51 seats. There's not much room for growth in Ontario.

Éric said...

Ipsos is pretty quick with the details, but you need to have media access to get them.

RuralSandi said...

Their too cute by half may backfire - people may panic thinking Cons could win a majority and strategically vote for Libs in an effort to prevent it.

CanWest- money troubles...looking for funding perhaps?

Steve V said...

The Liberals won 75 seats with a similar spread in 2004. Don't forget too, it was only a 5% spread in Ontario in 2008, a 12% spread is enormous.

DL said...

I agree that this poll seems very "whacky" and I don't believe it - but let's just say hypothetically that it was right and over the coming weeks we started seeing those numbers confirmed in other polls - what would it mean in terms of Liberal resolve to force an election this Fall? Would Iggy say "damn the torpedoes" and go for it anyways, or would he endure voting confidence in Harper for the...drumroll please...80th time and hope that by February the public mood will be more sour about Harper?

Steve V said...

Sandi

We've seen that dynamic time and time again, when the Cons touch majority terrority.

Steve V said...

DL

If we see others replicate this result, I would think the Libs would do a serious rethink. So too the NDP for that matter ;)

DL said...

"Their too cute by half may backfire - people may panic thinking Cons could win a majority and strategically vote for Libs in an effort to prevent it."

...except that this poll is not that different from what all the final polls were saying at the end of the 2008 election campaign - and there is no evidence that people suddenly shifted Liberal to "stop Harper"

Anonymous said...

You just have to look at Atlantic Canada to know that they torqued the sample to get the result they wanted. Tories and Liberals tied in Atlantic Canada - yeah, right!

Even the picture of Harper in the Canwest story appears to be straight out of a Tory commercial.

Wonder what Harper has promised the Aspers if he gets a majority :-)

KNB said...

Surely the 49% saying Ignatieff not ready, versus 47% saying he is, is telling.

Steve V said...

"except that this poll is not that different from what all the final polls were saying at the end of the 2008 election campaign - and there is no evidence that people suddenly shifted Liberal to "stop Harper"

Those numbers broke the Cons way on the final weekend, right before we voted.

KNB

All these numbers are whatever, but even that one isn't too bad. It means half of voters think you're ready to be PM. That's a big enough voter pool to swim in. Anyways...

Savant said...

It's funny how people always criticize the polls that don't their way, yet if the reverse was true, with the Libs at 39% and the Tories in the high 20's, would people be questioning the veracity of the poll? Instead of people going nuts about this, just wait until Thursday when Ekos' next poll is out. If there is a trend, their poll will reveal it. Angus Reid also has a poll coming out soon, it will also indicate if there is a change. In the big scheme of things one poll means absolutely NOTHING. It's the TRENDS that matter. So don't start to worry until you start seeing these numbers pop up in more polls.

Steve V said...

"It's funny how people always criticize the polls that don't their way, yet if the reverse was true, with the Libs at 39% and the Tories in the high 20's, would people be questioning the veracity of the poll? "

Depends on the pollster, and their predictability record. And, obviously the trend. Just to add, I've defended Angus Reid's predictive record, and they haven't exactly been kind to the Liberals, so there goes your partisan argument.

We've seen this movie before, from this publication, so it's a learned cyncism.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't there be a Harpie troll coming along or are they still masturbating at the National Post website.

Steve V said...

Not an attractive visual.

rockfish said...

Just curious, but anyone remember what the polls were saying prior to the big parliament showdown (cadman-stronach) in 2004 when the CoNs were all-geared for a fight? I'm guessing the parties were likely pretty close... When the opposition in '05 got together and forced an election, what had the previous #s showed? I don't care what the polls are saying, I believe that there is very limited appeal to staying soft on Harper. Ignatieff has to reclaim the 'loyal opposition' role that we lacked in the last parliament...

Joseph said...

The fact that this poll comes out days after the new "we need a stable majority government" gets trotted out by the conservatives causes this to stink even more.

ottlib called it then, and this just reaffirms the "cozy" nature of this release.

Canwest does need that government largesse to continue . . . no better way to scrub the back than those nebulous and so hard to pin down "poll findings."

Anonymous said...

Maybe, just maybe, this is what happens when you spend more time at home contemplating policy than you do out in the public speaking about policy. I can hear (read) the attacks already. But whether you want to blame Ignatieff or the MSM, he's been mostly off the radar and that is going to cause numbers to drop, even if these numbers are not accurate. And, by the way, spending time at home instead of out in the public is exactly what Ignatieff said he was going to do this rainy summer.

Muskoka Liblog said...

The article calls this a "disturbing trend". How is one poll a trend?

I'm thinking it's obviously a rogue poll where either Liberals were undersampled or Conservatives were oversampled. You don't just surge ahead 10 points in a single day, not when nothing is happening.

My money is on this poll being made irrelevant in a few days when other firms release polls continuing the trend we've seen throughout the summer.

Éric said...

--- "The Liberals won 75 seats with a similar spread in 2004."

Yeah, but Liberal votes are different. If they have a good campaign, the Liberals can easily break into every part of non-Toronto Ontario. However, the Tories, even with the best of campaigns, can't break into Toronto. There is a lower limit to Conservative seats than Liberal in Ontario.

Steve V said...

A 12% lead would get them pretty close to a majority. Plug in the other regionals, I bet it's there.

anon

Maybe, just maybe, if you didn't start every thought with a pessimistic view, you wouldn't be so dumb to prop up this crap to further a point. You're like a robot.

Éric said...

--- "A 12% lead would get them pretty close to a majority. Plug in the other regionals, I bet it's there.

We'll find out tomorrow, hopefully.

Drake said...

Iggy's low-profile summer isn't helping his numbers. Neither will his China trip as the media pundits are already saying. There's no votes to be had in Shanghai.

Drake said...

Hey Eric, let's not get carried away, it's one poll and it's markedly different than most of the others that have come out in recent weeks.

It's either an outlier, or (gulp), if you're a Liberal, the shape of things to come.

Tomm said...

It is just one poll.

But until there is a poll that shows this to be rogue; Ignatieff will be fielding every question about this and how this result is linked to his summer vacation.

This is bad news for the Grits until the next poll is released that denies these results. When is the next poll?

Timing works well for the Tories.

Makes me happy.

Joseph said...

Yes, the timing works well for the conservatives . . . which just reinforces how "convenient" and "cozy" it is that Ipsos always manages to trot a poll out like this just at the right time to dovetail with the conservative message.

What kismet ;)

Deb Prothero said...

Posters here are saying Iggy was on vacation and yet in the internet media that I saw he was everywhere this summer. Since CanWest controls much of the media in this country is it not possible that they chose not to cover his riding events this summer. That's my read on it anyway.

Tomm said...

Deb,

CBC controls much of the media (with Canadian Press as an agent). They have not been running daily Ignatieff stories, because there hasn't been anything to cover.

For example, if Ignatieff shakes hands in Nova Scotia and talks to some fisherman, where is the story? He needs to attach a policy statement or some other "catch". Harper has been to the G8, the 3 Amigo's, to the north, and also making policy and infrastructure funding announcements.

If Ignatieff is not going to generate national news through policy statements or conventions, he needs the house to be sitting to catch the point-counterpoint.

Its not Canwest's fault. If it is, then be fair and blame all the other media outlets as well. Just be honest about "what" you are blaming them for.

R L said...

"Steve V said...

[quoting from elsewhere] "The Greens - unlike other parties - actually practice democracy."

[and now Mr V:] That's all fine and dandy, but undercutting your own leader in this way is such a bastardization of ideals it just reeks of amateur hour. This isn't ugly, it's sheer stupidity.
5:44 PM, August 23, 2009"


how true. such folly to bring forth every single disagreement up to public debate in the name of 'democracy'. it isn't even 'democracy' AFAIK, it's chaos. the 'constant state of revolution' that Mao sought. and how productive was that?

there's a time and place for disagreeing with the leadership, for collecting up all those disagreements and putting them on the agenda of a leadership convention, but day after day after day as in Cdn political parties? where's the solidarity and team spirit?

it's true of family, business, social and political relationships. you CANNOT be divisive ALL the time and pass it off as 'democracy in action'.

Gene Rayburn said...

"CBC controls much of the media (with Canadian Press as an agent). "


Tomm, that is just a disingenous lie. The Canadian media is regulated by the CRTC. There are several different media companies; 80% of which are privately owned by Conservative based sources.

Care to tell another lie?

Anonymous said...

Tomm bases his opinions on hearsay. No doubt he is a Reform/Con troll spending his idle time on his PC in the cons war room sending out his wishful messages by the dictator. One day he will be screwed by his beloved party and change his tune.

Marie