Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Gun Registry Numbers Moving

Last week, some questioned the wisdom of the Liberals "wedge" play on the gun registry. The older polls were cited by commentators, to argue that there was no real upside from the Liberal perspective. I said at the time, that we needed new data, because the focus was sharpened and all this institutional support for the gun registry had probably moved the numbers. My gut instinct was that the debate was moving. With that in mind, a new gun registry poll, which for the first time in two years, shows significant movement on the
A new poll suggests public opinion was shifting in favour of keeping the controversial long-gun registry, even before the RCMP issued its favourable evaluation last month.

The late August poll by The Canadian Press Harris-Decima indicates that 48 per cent of respondents thought it would be a bad idea to get rid of the registry, up from 42 per cent in April and 41 per cent last November.

About 38 per cent thought it should be scrapped, down from 45 per cent in April and 46 per cent last November.

The shift in support for the registry came mainly among women, Ontarians and those earning between $60,000 and $100,000 a year.

We already know the registry enjoys overwhelming support in Quebec. The fact the numbers are changing in Ontario is very significant, and explains the wisdom in the Liberals strategy.

I've followed these gun registry polls for sometime, and I've clashed with proponents using them as backdrop. This is the first time we've seen significant movement, which speaks to the influence of the new evidence and advocates. This is a fluid situation, people make a mistake relying on ancient data.


Jeff Jedras said...

This echoes the earlier Angus Reid poll. As I mentioned at the time, if you looked deeper at the trends in that poll, support for the registry was growing. It's a shame the media don't ever look past the topline numbers.

Steve V said...

I agree in one respect, but it was confusing on the question front. Both sides could take what they wanted from that poll. I honestly believe the numbers have moved a bit since AR. All the police support, plus the RCMP report, has to have some influence on reasonable people- not the hardline, but the mushy middle.

Jeff Jedras said...

Both sides could take what they wanted if they didn't pay attention to the trendlines. While the toplines show the keep/scrap balance has tipped between AR and Decima, AR did confirm the same underlying trend that did finally tip in the more recent decima. On every question, support for tighter gun control, and the registry, was growing.

Steve V said...

I want to see how much the numbers have moved in Ontario.

Tof KW said...

I will be interesting to see if any of this translates into political poll number changes in Ontario over the next few weeks.

Tof KW said...

Jees I should have read all the comments here, sorry Steve.

Steve V said...

Oh no, I meant the Ontario numbers for this poll, not future horserace polls- although that will be interesting as well.

Tof KW said...

OK I thought that AR poll showed gun restry movement within Ontario, I admit I didn't read the details from them.

On that other thought, we might even see some movement as soon as this week's Ekos poll ...I think they're back to a rolling weekly poll again.

As you said in your post on this topic, a wedge cuts two ways. Regardless of the Reformatards thinking there is no downside for them regarding killing the LGR, in truth the conservatives (not just those parroting Harper) are all over the map on this issue as much as the Canadian public. Hell, I've argued on both sides of this issue.

I think a number of Ontario CPC MP who won with 1000 votes or less in 2008 are in for a rough ride. A few swing votes from some urban Red Tories and disillusioned NDPers are enough to make a difference in 10 riding I can think of in Ontario. Likewise Outremont in Quebec is red hot on this issue alone.

Steve V said...

" Hell, I've argued on both sides of this issue."

Ditto. I'm sort of a late convert to the full supporter side, and part of it is that people who need it want it. I suspect I'm not alone.

daniel said...

anyone know the exact wording of the questions? thanks.

Steve V said...

No internals out, but I'm sure it was similar to their previous polling on the topic.

Liam said...

Please my goodness let this be a deal breaker for the Conservatives!

daniel said...

I fully understand the feelings of gun owners. The registry was never meant for confiscation but it already has been used for that. Just look at what the people who put this in place had to say about it. And look at this DISPICABLE PHOTO OF THE PEI CHIEF FIREARMS OFFICERS. Legitimate gun owners are fed up and just want to be left alone. They are not the problem but they are awake now and getting heard. Make a registry of people PROHIBITED from owning firearms and it might do something.
look at the this disgusting photo making a joke of freedom. Its chilling.
Why wouldnt gun owners be afraid? look at the comments these social engineers have made,

"I came to Ottawa with the firm belief that only police and military should have guns." - Alan Rock

"I've come to the conclusion that significant change is needed. I've come to the conclusion that we should ban handguns." - Prime Minister Paul Martin

"It's time to end the ownership of handguns in this country" - NDP Leader Jack Layton

"I don't see a good reason why we can't ban handguns in this country." - Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty

"No one needs (semi-automatic) weapons, and we would all be safer without them in Canada." - Liberal Leader Stephane Dion

"the more that we restrict access to handguns, long guns, the better." - Elizabeth May, Green Party Leader


bigcitylib said...

Alot of recent political arguments seem to have moved like this during the Spring/Summer.

For example, both long form census and maternal health initiative numbers seemed to move against the gov. the longer the issue was on the front pages. (although we are looking at results from different polling agencies in each case).

Steve V said...

Oh daniel, I knew your little innocent question about the wording was LOADED. Thanks for sounding like a wingnut :)


Again, it looks like more educated, female voters, moving away from the government. The war on reason isn't going well.

daniel said...

loaded question? asking for the wording?
wow, what an innocent loaded question.

Please explain what will change when the registry is gone steve. How it functions now and what will be lost and what will be the public safety danger if it is gone. Just tell us how it works and what will change when its gone.

Steve V said...

I love how the CLOSED minded always want you to answer questions they already think they have the answer to. Sorry, but life is to short...

Gayle said...

Woo hoo! Is it too early to say I told you so? This is all getting interesting. With poll numbers changing will more NDP votes shift?

Koby said...


Of course legal gun owners are being targeted.

You see, the number of legal gun owners in Canada is huge (just over 2 million) and as with any large population certain predictions can be made about their future behavior. One thing we can know for sure is that sizable number of legal gun owners in absolute terms will be convicted of a crime sometime in the future and that an equal or greater number will develope a mental disorder that will render them unsuitable for gun ownership.

Between 1999 and 2008 22,523 licenses refused or revoked. By having licenced gun owners register their firarms, authorities can ensure that guns, owned by people who are no longer fit to own a gun, are properly disposed of. After all, a gun license only indicates that person has the right to own a firearm. It does not tell the cops whether someone actually owns a gun or how many guns they might have. In sum, the gun regristy helps keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Indeed between November 2008 and April 2009, the police seized about 3600 registred guns. Based on their rhetoric, the registry is therefore something Conservatives should support not oppose.

Futhermore, in absolute terms there will be large number of cases in which police will want to temporarily remove firearms from households where there is a risk of suicide or violence. The registry also helps insure that they are able to do just that.

Futhermore, the gun registry helps keep gun owners honest. Namely, as it allows guns to be traced back to their last legal owner, the registry helps prevent illegal sales and straw purchases.

Steve V said...

The pressure is more intense that's for sure.

Jerry Prager said...

It's not ancient data, it's lies the Cons told now being proven false.

Kirk said...

daniel wrote: "I fully understand the feelings of gun owners. The registry was never meant for confiscation but it already has been used for that..."

Try not licencing your car and see what happens to it, same thing.

Don't have proper, up-to-date plates on your car and you can't drive it, it can be towed and impounded.