Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Call Off The Majority

Harris Decima weighs in, and it looks like last week's majority is now off:
A new poll by The Canadian Press Harris-Decima suggests the Tories have the support of 31 per cent of Canadians, statistically tied with the Liberals at 29 per cent.

That's far from the support levels needed to win a majority.

"I cannot see any political party being advantaged by precipitating an election."

Gregg said the results reflect the "political stasis" that's gripped the federal scene for most of the last five years. The two main parties have been stalled in a virtual tie, with occasional, but short-lived, surges or dips for one or the other.

For the most part, Gregg said the brief fluctuations have been the result of missteps by the Tories but the Liberals have never been able to "hold them to the ground" for more than a few weeks.

Nationally, the latest survey put NDP support at 15 per cent and the Greens' at 11.

In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois continued to dominate with 44 per cent to the Liberals' 23. The Tories were well back at 11 per cent, statistically tied with the NDP at 10 per cent and only marginally ahead of the Greens at seven.

In the key electoral battleground of Ontario, which will likely determine the outcome of next election, the Liberals and Tories were tied at 36 per cent each. The NDP trailed with 14 per cent, just ahead of the Greens at 12.

Of note, not only does Harris Decima fail to show "wind in the sails" for the government, we see a tightening race. From the last HD poll, the Conservatives are down 2%, the Liberals up 1%, a slight Conservative lead is now a statistical tie. Gregg's analysis of the results is eerily similarly to Graves from EKOS last week, who also sees little movement in the polls. Of the more reputable firms, NANOS results diverge, while Angus Reid shows a sizeable Conservative lead, although their numbers are static as well.

I keep highlighting Ontario as volatile, poll chasing a waste of time, given the consistent, persistent, reaccuring movement we've seen since the last election. HD has the two parties in a dead heat, each at 36%, which incidentally is the midway score for both, within this well established range.

I suppose the one interesting tidbit, this is the first poll since the much covered assault on the ear drums by the Prime Minister. No evidence of any bounce, but I'm not particularly surprised- been there, done that.

This poll is instructive in one sense, because it once again hammers home the error of chasing each result and then ramping up election speculation, based on a NOT yet established trend. I don't think the polls are particularly great for the Liberals, but it's also true that the Conservatives remain vulnerable. If people want to make definitive arguments, based upon SOFT support vaciliating around, well that's mostly a fools game from here.


Jesse said...

Liberals need to start picking what they want Canadians to believe in and then pushing that ( This new "triple threat speech" thing is nice, but it needs to be sustained. Just following them isn't getting us anywhere.

This things can be negative about the government, but should really be positive about us. What are we going to deliver?

Obviously, not having a platform makes this tough. But we have to find a way to do it. So if we decided it's compete on F-35s, no corporate tax increase, and elder care, then why aren't we hearing about that all the time? Why aren't we running ads?

Unless, of course, we don't care whether the polls move right now (which I basically don't).

Steve V said...

I actually think we have the basis of a platform, and I note even the media acknowledged true differences today at our end of year presser.

Honestly, I don't think people are engaged, so in my mind all bets are off until we have an election. I would hurry to one based on the polls, but I wouldn't fear one either, based on this and that. I think we have the foundation now to sell a narrative, so I'm fine with an eleciton whenever to break this recurring cycle.

On the policy front, my friend Jeff offers some perspective:

Jesse said...

Even if they're not engaged, we should be trying to move something across.

Steve V said...

I think we are though. All I argue, we lack focus and repetition to make it stick. Add in a disinterested electorate, and we are pretty much where every opposition party sits.

Jesse said...

I'd agree more with "focus" than with "repetition", although repetition is always going to be a part of it. This stuff should be easily accessible.

WesternGrit said...

Repetition is KEY. Any good PR campaign needs it. Look at Harp and crew Harping on about crime for almost 20 years... They also kept the message very simple. If the electorate has been "dumbed down" by that messaging as some argue, then we probably should get on the "dumbing down" band-wagon and ensure that we get at least our main core-supporter message across in such a way.

I can start that game-plan off by gathering all MPs into a room and white-boarding a scatter diagram with ideas, then focusing in on key ones... LOL...

ottlib said...

Hmmmm, the National Post, a newspaper well known to lean towards the Conservatives, publishes a poll indicating the Conservatives are near majority territory.

The Toronto Star, a newspaper well known to lean toward the Liberals, publishes a poll where the Conservatives and Liberals are tied in the 30% range.

Coincidence? If you believe so then I am looking for investors to finance building a bridge between Vancouver and Shanghai and you just might be someone I can do business with.

Looking at these two disparate polls from two newspapers at different points on the political spectrum I can only conclude that the most likely reality is the Conservatives are around 35% and the Liberals are around 30%.

In other words exactly where they have been, ignoring some temporary fluctuations, for the last two years.

Kind of make me wonder why news organizations bother paying for these things.

Steve V said...

Canadian Press paid for the Harris Decima poll.

I don't care who pays for what, I look at the past predictive records. Ipsos one of the worst, HD much better.