The Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll suggests the Conservatives opened up a 38-24 lead over the opposition Liberals in the dying days of the minority government and the start of weekend electioneering.
The NDP was at 19 per cent, the Bloc Quebecois at 10 per cent and the Greens at seven per cent.
In Ontario, the Conservatives were leading the Liberals by a 38-32 margin, with the NDP at 20 per cent and the Greens at eight per cent.
Per usual, internals will come off like the dance of a thousand veils, but we see a tie in Ontario last week, turn into a slight lead for the Conservatives. The Liberals are down 5%, while the NDP are up 5%, Conservatives actually unmoved in Ontario (bit surprising given the 4% national move). I would argue the NDP upward move sort of blunts the obvious conclusions surrounding the coalition chatter. Harper doesn't benefit in Ontario, where the Conservatives have always used coalition to move soft support, yet the socialists are up? The numbers support my theory that this shift in support is more about election backlash than coalition questions. That said, I'm told HD will be releasing compelling coalition questions, so the connection will be made.
I've frankly been a bit surprised at the reaction of voters to this election, lots of bitching and moaning, lots of "waste of money" talk, a bit more visceral than I calculated pre-writ. I suspect the numbers are influenced by this dynamic, and here I'm including the other pollsters as well. One wonders if this is a blip, akin to "your time is up" or a sustained trend that the Liberals should fear. Time will tell, but we will certainly have a bombardment of polls to shift through. As an aside, I'm actually cringing at the sheer volume that looks to be coming, even as a poll junkie, it looks like saturation point will be crossed, maybe to much of a distraction.
I can sense some Liberals are nervous about this rash of polls. I'm not saying it isn't justified, and maybe I've entirely missed the true underpinnings here, Harper love is spreading and we're doomed. However, if I'm forgetting the polls for a second and just focusing on the campaign, I've actually been really pleased with the first three days. People are describing the Liberal tour as "night and day" to 2008, talk of a surprising Ignatieff, we look poised to be a credible alternative IMHO. I'm also not sold on the fear factory as an ultimate winner for the Conservatives, more a marathon than a sprint bland analogy. In other words, polls duly noted, but not the primary just quite yet, let things settle and then see where the baseline resides. As well, my probabilities for "victory" are well stated, we were never good odds, so maybe that explains my calm in the face of poll slap downs.
Remember I said saturation point? Oh look, nine seconds later, a POLL!!. Abacus shows no change in the numbers, things quite static:
A new national survey by Ottawa-based Abacus Data finds that the Conservative Party holds a 9-point lead over the Liberal Party in the early days of the campaign.
Nationally, the Conservative Party was the choice of 36% of decided voters while 27% of Canadians said they would vote Liberal. The NDP was at 20%, followed by the Bloc Quebecois at 9%, and the Green Party at 8%. Fourteen percent of respondents were undecided.
“Compared with late February, very little has changed in the national numbers in the first few days of the campaign,” said David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data. “Ontario remains an important battleground, and the federalist vote in Quebec is still fragmented.”
In Ontario, the Conservatives and Liberals are statistically tied. The Conservatives have the support of 39% of decided Ontario voters while the Liberals have 34% of the vote preference. The NDP trails both with 18%.
Why is Heroin by Velvet Underground in my head?