Thursday, September 02, 2010


The new EKOS offers quite a bit of intriguing information. Here's a few things that stick out:

- LOWEST Conservative total since 2008 election.

- highest Liberal total since the spring, still not great, but much improved.

- noticeable dropoff for the NDP. Now polling in the single digits in Quebec,mirroring what Harris Decima found just last week. Registry?

- Greens actually 3.5% ahead of NDP in Quebec, only 4% behind in Ontario

- Liberals gaining in Ontario, at both the NDP and Conservative expense.

- Liberals at 39% in Ontario. Haven't seen this level for some time, represents big seat swing

- Conservatives losing more educated voters, base looking more and more like a "Deliverance" extra convention

- Ignatieff's app/disapproval numbers slightly improved over summer, more people have negative opinion of Harper. Ignatieff still has large "not sure" score, opinion hasn't cemented

- Layton's app/disapproval still best, but trendline bad, erosion on app, growing dis. Again, registry?

- Harper's app/disapproval getting worse.

Basically, it's hard to get terribly excited about the Liberals still below 30%. But, since everything is relative in politics, the appearance of momentum is there. What's important, the developing narratives find further oxygen, which can lead to more gains.


Tof KW said...

I can't place my finger on anything specific, but I get the feeling we are on the cusp of a new poll trend. Now politics is ephemeral and everything can change in a heartbeat, but several events have occurred which I feel should end Harper’s 5-year free ride in the media. All the non-SUN sources are now unafraid to take very critical analyses of the government to air or print.

It started with Harper’s boner census maneuver, where even the majority of Conservatives don’t buy his arguments (as Ekos shows). When organizations like the nation & various provincial chapters of the Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Independent Business, and even the Canada West Foundation are critical of the move …the Reformatories can’t dismiss them as ‘lefty special interests’. Oh, and the media are owned by business interests (duh!) who rely on demographic information, likewise the Canadian Association of Journalists are against the census changes as well.

KoryTV is the other development. All the media companies are in tough these days already, and there was over-saturation within the market even before the economy tanked in 2008. It’s not that BCE, Rogers, Torstar, CBC or CanwestGlobal (or whatever this company is called now) are afraid to compete with upstart SUNNews …it’s that SUNNews has obvious connections to the government. Unfair competition and possible government interference it the CRTC is definitely on their radar.

If anyone wonders why Harper’s been receiving bad press over the summer; while Ignatieff’s ‘Excellent Cross-Canada Bus Adventure’ was moderately well received by everyone other than the SUN …I don’t think that is totally unrelated to the above listed developments.

The G20 spending fiasco, $$$ for more jails to house imaginary criminals, and the $9 billion un-tendered F-35 contract don’t help the government much either. Top that off with hiding an RCMP report on the long gun registry which totally blows away their arguments for scrapping it. I think all these should help the Liberal’s poll numbers just by the virtue that they are not the Harper government.

This is all observation and opinion on my part, but I really do believe the next 6 months will be the rockiest that Stephen Harper has ever experienced in his entire political life. And two other wildcards to watch out for: the Auditor General & the EAP, and the Afghan detainee file can always heat up again.

OK Grits don’t start cheering just yet, but I think the media will finally take the spotlight off you for the next while ...provided everyone stays united and no one does anything dumb.

Steve V said...

Agree. If Libs can avoid the self inflicted wound routine, just stay on message, look the competent alternative, something may very well be afoot. Harper's negatives are cementing- there is now a very compelling narrative, with plenty of consistent examples.

Tof KW said...

One other quick comment ...I noticed those Green numbers too Steve. Now up to 13% nationally and less than 3% away from the NDP; and finishing above the NDP in Quebec ...Wow! (feeling lucky in Outremont Mulcair?)

If the Greens can hold these numbers into an election, no one can deny they are now a political force anymore. It would also be a shame if they didn't win at least a riding or two.

JimmE said...

How REAL are the green numbers & what do they mean? My perception for years was that many people voted NDP through process of elimination; didn't like either Tory or Grit. Furthermore I know some of those folks in Western Canada who went from NDP to Reform (& now Wild Rose Alliance!). So is this part of the Green's poll numbers, ie NONE OF THE ABOVE? If Grits can convince some Green supporters to come back they can move ahead of the Reformconservatives. As much as my support for Iggy has waxed & waned I'm not so sure he can do it.

Ted Betts said...

I think the trendline is good and I feel a change in the air too.

I think I can pin it down to two broader developments:

1. The Liberal Express did several things that don't show in the polls yet (may not) that are important: training for the leader, connected and gelled Liberals (organizers, staffers, MPs, riding associations) where we were strangers before, gave us a spring in our step/confidence, started taking the lead in defining issues and directions and ourselves, started having some success in framing and define the Conservatives very well, responded very cohesively and coherently well to a couple of new issues that popped up (census, G20, Tamil refugees, attack on bureaucrats). A sense of expanding possibilities.

2. The Conservatives seem to be moving in the opposite direction. Harper was barely seen, there's a sense of retrenchment, casting aside Quebec, trying to drum up more money/support from existing base, no one seems to be buying what they are selling (indeed, outright ridicule or incredulity with such things as census defences, fighter jets, Russian "invaders", "coalition"), seemed to be caught flat footed on a bunch of issues (fake lake, census).

It's a bud. But the weather will start getting colder soon. Beware the early frost.

As for the polls, with a margin of error of 9%, I think we need to conclude that a heck of a lot more work is ahead of us than behind us.

Steve V said...

I made the point awhile ago, that the Conservatives were unpopular, but our extremely negative brand, weak leader, let them off the hook, people stay by default. Now, with Ignatieff looking somewhat more viable, competent, when the Cons make a misstep we can take fuller advantage. I think a subtle thing happened this summer, which questions don't fully capture- namely that while love isn't in the air, the level of disdain has clearly lessened.

Dylan said...

This poll bodes well for the Liberals, but we've seen this before. I agree with Steve on all points. The LPC needs to stay on message and keep making sensible arguments against the government's agenda.

The best the Liberals are going to do in the polls prior to an election, barring a massive government scandal, is a statistical tie. Only during an election will Ignatieff's true skills as a leader and great orator will come out to the Canadian public.

Jerry Prager said...

Canadians know who Harper is and they are bored of him, sick of him, fed up with him., Harper is toast.

Steve V said...


Agree, we've seen this before. No time to get cocky or complacent.


That's the thing, opinion of Harper is hardening, and that doesn't bode well for ANOTHER rebound. Each time he reinforces the negative narratives, the more difficult it will be to reinvent himself later. That's why politicans have a shelf life, and I think he's just about past his best before.

Ignatieff has big problems, but impressions are superficial, a good campaign, all the difference in the world.

Jerry Prager said...

I think when the Queen took Iggy aside during the royal visit she told him to go talk to Canadians. He has great family stories, deeply embedded in Canadian history from the high to the low, and when he tells them to people, "just visiting" starts to seem like something shallow enough for Harper to conceive of but otherwise ridiculous. And his inclusiveness, his willing to face the public unscripted, and his non-political skills start to seem more attractive than Harper's hyper-partisanship. Eventually it will pay, I'm not certain Iggy can't win a majority once Canadians decide they've had enough of Harper.

JimmE said...

I just got back from Calgary & this is a BIG story:

It is nowhere in the East, WTF?

Might make some of those Greens take a 2nd look at Iggy if he made an issue about this.

Stuart said...

Also interesting to note:

Liberal support among <25 years in Alberta, Manitoba and SK: 0%

Time to send Justin Trudeau to the West? Or is he too Metro?


Gene Rayburn said...

Hey Stuart,

Care to provide some citation for your statistics? It's not really a point without any citation or proof.

Omar said...

"Liberal support among <25 years in Alberta, Manitoba and SK: 0%"

Make a promise to liberalize marijuana laws rather than foolishly tightening them and watch those numbers tilt favourably.