Monday, March 28, 2011

Latest Polls

Harris Decima out with a new poll, showing a large change in their week to week findings. This poll runs from Thursday to Sunday, all post-budget:
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?


Jerry Prager said...

Frack the polls.Harper is bumbling around, his ass being covered because of 26 million laundering spin, the con wheels are going to fall off however, keep the faith.

Jerry Prager said...

Another con blunder here

Tamils outraged

Steve V said...

Not moved.

Fat Arse said...

Here is yet another example of Harpo & Co. unethical efforts to influence the polls via txpayer dollars:

But truth be told,it is early days and I am not worried ... Harpo & Co. can only manipulate and fear-monger for so long BEFORE the voting public realizes they have precious little to offer but Jets, Jails & age-old Jerky beef for nobody but their base!

LoyalLiberal said...

Let's face it, Harper really, really helped destroy Ignatieff's image with all the negative ads he ran. So, I like that we're starting in second place. Why? The Cons have overdone it with Ignatieff. He's created such low expectations for him that he's bound to have positive momentum, and that is going to rub off on our numbers. We'll start seeing a significant turn around near mid campaign and then when the debates happen ... POW, Ignatieff is going to nail Harper. I don't think we can win a majority, but Harper has played his cards all wrong on this. Ignatieff is going to kick some but!

Steve V said...

I've watched every campaign here, and down south, since I was a kid to be honest. One thing has always held true, the media get bored with a rout, they like an underdog, if you peak early they tend to bring you back. Unless this campaign is an anomaly, watch for that to develop. People will also remember a time in 08 when Dion started to move back, polls suddenly narrowing, there was a opportunity there. What encourages me, if that moment comes, Ignatieff looks quietly poised to capitalize. Just watched him again at a rally, he's in the pocket.

LoyalLiberal said...

Absolutely Steve, I agree. Ignatieff has that fire in his belly that presents lots and lots of opportunity. We have one of the best leaders in a generation and I really think he's ready. I don't mind at all starting from this point, I think it really helps us. Go Iggy!

The Mound of Sound said...

I think Harper's "coalition" bombast is beginning to backfire. Even the Montreal Gazette has called bullshit on him and painted him as a rank hypocrite. The editors are calling for an honest campaign on policy. Sort of runs against the grain of Harper's smear campaigning.

I'm also hoping that the latest info emerging on the Bruce Carson scandal will give it traction. That could not only foil Harper's tactic of transforming elections into referenda on opposition leaders but put the focus directly on him instead and leave Harper floundering on the defensive. Like most cheap bully boys he's wobbly when he has to play by someone else's rules.

Steve V said...

On the stump, he's still all coalition, all the time. I had to turn it off, canned, identical to this morning, that's all he says "friends, coalition, friends, coalition".

bigcitylib said...

Coalition all the time is the kind of thing that gets journos looking for other stories because the official line is too boring. That might not work out for him too well.

Gayle said...

So hard to say this early in the race. I do think there is an anti-election backlash (polling done just before the government fell did not support an election). The campaign started on a Saturday and I bet the only people paying attention were us junkies.

I would not be concerned unless the numbers have not moved in a couple weeks.

Steve V said...


I agree, my thesis is he's played the card way to early, this is last minute scare tactic stuff to get him over the hump. People are already bored, the columns have been written, he can't sustain it.


A couple weeks in, you're right, then we can start talking form and hurdles.

Dame said...

The media /who owns it/ is the one for loving Harper .
Polls are so erratic it is incredible. if you look how they are done it is almost ridiculous .
Ignore them we are progressing nicely...

Steve V said...


Here you have one saying things have changed, ten minutes later another pollster says it is static. Last week one showed a huge gap, then next day EKOS said it was stable, slight narrowing. The trick here is to pull back and see them in totality, not react to each one and look for changes within pollsters, rather than poll to poll.

William said...

You miss the point of the "Coalition/Economy", "Coalition/Economy" mantra... It's having its exact effect.

You had to tune it out, everyone else tunes it out... whoa, suddenly no one is paying attention to the fops in the press because all they do is report the same ol', same ol'.

This will be the election no one paid attention to except wonks and press people in Ottawa.

William said...

And Jerry, do you really think the majority of the voting public has a problem with upsetting the Tamils?

Give your head a shake buddy, for every Tamil you piss off, you get two French votes.

Its a loss the Tories can well afford.

Steve, you had it right months ago, policies, policies, and more policies.

Keep the high road, ignore the shit, and Iggy might perform quite well to Canadians.

He has to stop stamping the ethics thing though, it's just to big a leap for most Canadians to believe the Liberals have any creditbility on this... will be like that for at least another leader.

To Joe Voter, it's the pot calling the kettle black, and the breaches are to minimalistic to stick when weighted against the sins of Liberals past.

Same on the spending front. The Liberals under Cretien were leaps and bounds above the cons when it came to spending money poorly.

New idea's, new policies that appeal to the mainstream Canuck, and maybe, just maybe, he might squeak a dozen extra seats over the current total.

Remember, most voters are over 40, and they remember more than a decade back, so can the ethics shit, cause it hasn't got wheels for the Liberals in the long run, and start focusing on Seniors and Women, because the middle class male vote is locked up by Harper.

That's his road to a success... not the big chair mind you, but a better result than the last election.

Any other expectation is just sniffing glue.

Dylan said...

Steve, thanks for these. You're the calm amongst a lot of nerves.

Two polls, both with a sample size of 1,000 and a MOE of 3.1/2 with dramatically different results.

I'll keep finger well away from the panic button until the next EKOS, which usually samples 2600-2800. I'd predict that we'll see a 5-6% lead for the CPC in an early post-writ EKOS poll with the gap closing mid-campaign to 3-4% should both parties stay on course. Ignatieff has the better ideas, hands down; and if there's one thing that will make those "this election is a waste of money" Canadians even more upset with the system - it would be a substanceless election: something Harper is keen to deliver as it plays into the "status quo" narrative.

Off topic: how are things looking/feeling in KW?

ottlib said...

Two polling companies polling the same population yet they come up with decidely different estimates.

Whom do we believe?

Neither, ignore the polls and watch the candidates. They will tell you how each campaign is doing better than any poll.

As well, watch the media. Their reaction to polls is also important. You will note that despite a few very good polls for the Conservatives there does not seem to be a media consensus forming that they are heading for a majority government. Certainly, some voices have said so but it has not reached the point of "conventional wisdom".

Dylan, I can pretty much guarantee that the EKOS poll will show a widening of the gap between the two parties. The reason being is the incumbent almost always enjoys a bump in the polls early in the campaign.

So do not despair when we see that poll, probably within the next day or two.

Steve V said...

I'm noting tonight, some commentators saying polling aside, sense the Lib are performing well.

Jerry Prager said...

William, a blunder is a blunder, and the reporters on Harper's jet, Scare Mong-air, will watch what happens when all his misfires start destroying the engine of their campaign.

Marpman said...

I believe that the LPC is performing well as well. If the CPC continues with their belief that Canadians don't want to discuss the issues, then let them pay at the ballot-box.
Canadian's do care how their money is spent. Today's commitment to the family announcement was unbelievable. Having just completed my taxes I noted that there were new limits on to hear Harper talk about family-first policies was disgusting.
I welcome the LPC talk about things that really matter to Canadian families, universal programs, education, health-care.
Let the CPC focus on fighters, tanks, corporate-tax cuts and silly parties like the G20...I will vote for what matters to real people, not the elite.

Tof KW said...

Off topic, but did anyone catch this beauty?

"It is the Parliament that's supposed to run the country, not just the largest party and the single leader of that party."
- Stephen Harper
The Canadian Press

This dandy quote got flushed out thanks to Harper's coalition boomerang.

His coalition diatribes are the gift that keeps on giving!