Saturday, November 14, 2009


The latest NANOS poll is pretty much more of the same electorally, with a worrying trendline for Ignatieff. The NDP do appear to be enjoying a slight uptick, particularly where it matter most to them. Nationally, the Cons and Libs both down poll to poll, NDP up:
Cons 38% (39.8%)
Libs 28.8% (30%)
NDP 17.9% (16.6%)
Greens 4.6% (5.9%)

Nanos gives the Cons a 4.5% lead in Ontario, not much change. The NDP rise above their 2008 total, for the first time I can remember. That is a very important number for their side, because for months the NDP were mired in also ran status, many seats appeared to be in danger. It also makes the job tougher for the Libs, as vote splitting becomes more pronounced. We'll see if this holds.

Nanos actually gives the Libs a relatively respectful 27.2% in Quebec. That would seem a touch high, based on other findings. Due to the timeframe, Nanos didn't really capture any impact from the by-elections (3 of the 4 days prior to the vote), so we'll wait and see if there is any change.

On the leadership front, Ignatieff's numbers have plummeted. What was a strength is now a liability that needs to be addressed. A opposition leader doesn't best a sitting PM (mainly because one guy has the job, it's a loaded question), but Ignatieff had been within striking distance. That is no longer the case, as Harper doubles Ignatieff on this core- 34.8% to 17.7%. When a Liberal leader is within the same terrority as a man everybody knows won't be PM, Layton, it's a very poor result. Harper also scores his best result since the last election.

On the plus side, it's not like Ignatieff is seared into the minds of Canadians. Ignatieff can rehabiliate his image, he isn't a completely known quantity that's forever wounded. That doesn't dismiss these results, but there's no need to be fatalistic at this point.

What can you say? Work to be done, on every score.


Omar said...

The Ignatieff coronation appears to have been a blunder. Another leadership contest may very well have ended in the same result, but as far as just appointing someone to the job I think Bob Rae would have been the better choice. Sure Rae's supposed 'Ontario baggage' would have provided fodder for the CPC to exploit, but I wonder if Rae's ability to attract NDP supporters and other left-leaning voters would have outweighed this perceived impediment? As it stands now, it seems Ignatieff is unable to attract either of these needed constituents. The Liberals best get some policy ideas in order. While I don't think the ship is sinking it is definitely off course.

Steve V said...

It's not supposed baggage, it's legendary. I don't think this has anything to do with the coronation.

ottlib said...

Mr. Ignatieff's coronation was not ideal but it was necessary.

The Liberal Party needed to resolve the leadership question sooner rather than later and having a nasty leadership race last winter and spring would not have done that.

The probable bad blood that such an exercise would have created would still be working its way through the Party and the polls would probably be much worse for them than they are now.

And it would be distracting the Party away from targeting their true opponent.

Remember the Conservatives had a winter and spring from Hell this year partly because there was a focused Opposition to point out the fact they were incompetent on so many files. As well, the partisan advertizing and partisan use of the stimulus funding could have gone unnoticed if the Liberals were still trying to heal the wounds of a leadership race.

rockfish said...

I think on the surface these numbers are 'so what?'... Not to dismiss them, but when you counter the extraneous elements -- big money spent on negative framing, big money spent on pumping up the CON image, a media that continues to be obsessed by the Liberal party -- I think part of these numbers mean little. However, I agree with Steve that it is a trend that we need to bale ourselves out of and in a timely fashion. There is no doubt some self-inflicted wounds here (nothing to do with the coronation, tho) and a new, more polished and firm approach is required. We can't be abandoning long-range plans like the 308 and promoting key platforms (ok, how about distinguishing some of ours? Like taking up the trumpet against poverty, which Harper has little interest in, and focus on the new technology) that differentiate us and the CONs...

ottlib said...


As I have stated over at my own blog if this is all the Conservatives can muster despite the huge sums spent on partisan advertizing, partisan stimulus funding and a friendly media the Conservatives are not in as great a shape as it would appear.

Of course, the Liberals are not in the best shape either and they do have some work to do before the next election.

Steve V said...


We still have a dynamic where 5% of the population turns and we're back to dead even. The fact we've seen this just two months ago, even more swing prior, means it's still soft support. Leaned support, but not concrete. Ontario is clearly volatile, and Quebec looks largely an election question.

RuralSandi said...

I don't think Rae would attrack NDP'rs. They are very angry with him for what happened in Ontario - they haven't had good numbers since.

Don't kid yourselves, Harper and his gang have attack packages for any of the possible candidates.

n/t Robert McClelland/responding on Potter/Macleans

"To put the significance of these numbers in perspective, in August of 2005 Nanos had Martin's leadership numbers at 31% and Harper's at 14%. "

You can't keep changing leaders every time things look bad - it weakens the Libs.

Frankly Canadian said...

I totally agree with you here Sandi that you can't continue to change or even question leadership every time the poll numbers go down. Liberals need to stay the course and continue to work hard at gainning back the trust of Canadians. I've said this before and I'll say it again, Harpers polling numbers go up instantly when ever the Conservative spend the massive amounts of money in advertising, like they have been doing since the summer. I also believe the Liberal and Mr. Ignatieff's numbers will increase when Canadians begin to learn more of what the Liberals stand for ( a platform).

Steve V said...

I don't think there is really an serious debate about leadership. Don't over react to marginal reaction.

Tomm said...

There will not be an election for at least six months and more likely a year or longer. That means that poll results, except on specific issues in play, are pretty much pointless.

I do have to perhaps take everybody back to last December when the Liberal Party of Canada had positioned itself to be the next government through coalition with the NDP and BQ.

At that time they did not need to dump Dion, they did not need to back down from the coaliton after the prorogation. These were free and unfettered choices made solely by the Liberal Party.

If they had seized the reins of power, do you think their support would be even lower than 25%? And so what?

The Liberal Party of Canada likes to blame the CPC negative ads and they like to blame the low IQ Canadian's, the facts are that the LPC has made its own bed.

marie said...

Omar, it doesn't matter who is the Liberal Leader. I too think Bob Rae would have been a better choice as he is of strong mind and can take all the guff Harpers gang can dream up. He has the experience behind him and handles himself well. IMO, the Media would still be playing their partisan games, the trolls and the parrots in the PM cabinet would still be calling the Liberals names and blaming them for all the wrongs we see in Canada's political system continue and Harpers government would still be sending massive mailing since they were first elected on a never ending and continuous campaign while their supporters and the Media put their blinders on and encourage them.