Nationally, a large move, a 13% lead has largely evaporated to a mych more precarious 5% lead. Not only are Conservatives suddenly not flirting with majority, they are well below their 2006 election total, a very unimpressive 32%, all those weeks of upward momentum gone, right back to the previous predicament. The Liberals bounce back a bit, still challenged but enough to quite the jackals for now. When you look at the regionals, the Ontario volatility shows itself once again. Last EKOS in brackets:
Liberals 36.4% (30.3%)
Conservatives 35.9% (41.5%)
NDP 14.2% (13.6%)
Greens 10.3% (12%)
A terrific shift, the Conservatives go from a commanding 11% lead to the Liberals slightly ahead, statistically tied. There's your story with this poll, soft as Phil Kessel in the corners, these voters move on anything and everything, predicting where they land on election day, well... What is instructive, to know this reality, which probably explains why I didn't feel compelled to jump off a bridge the last two weeks as negative polls poured in. A few months of the same, then you can argue a new normal in Ontario, but we've simply seen this game way to many times to not preach caution. Digest yes, change direction, absolutely not. Okay, so Ontario volatile, Ontario whimsical, a large subset of voters available come the campaign, not particularly impressed and/or committed to anyone.
Moving to Quebec, there does seem to be a new dynamic that is becoming a common occurrence, namely the Liberals now mired in the teens, poll after poll, lumped in with the Conservatives as the federalist option. If people wonder why the Liberals can't touch 30%, it is the steady erosion in Quebec that provides the answer. When Ignatieff took the helm, for months we saw neck and neck with the Bloc, above 30% in the province, providing a nice boost to the federal numbers. The Quebec numbers stagnating, plateaued, until Coderre, where we went back to the mid 20's, again another meander period and now in the last few months a steady, slow decline to the present abysmal numbers. Students in Quebec politics will also remind us that Quebecers are completely disengaged at the moment, so while disappointing probably not dire. That said, one still wonders why the graph has such a persistent downward gradient over time. If I'm looking to the polls for any guidance, I'm ignoring Ontario, but I think Quebec is a present problem for the Liberals.
Until next time....