Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Red Wave Envelops Canada

Well not quite, but since the name of the game in the short term is perceived viability, Liberals will take the recent spate of polling. Three polls out, all offer similar trends, Liberals will a slight uptick, NDP down, reinforcing recent narratives. Perhaps of biggest concern to the NDP, CROP now pegs support in Quebec at only 29%.

Harris Decima gives the Liberals a 3% rise since their last offering, a now noteworthy 6% rise since the election to 25%. Angus Reid also finds Liberal "gains", up 3% to 22%. Both pollsters also find the NDP support waning since the election. As well HD finds Conservatives support well down, while AR finds their support holding firm. The general trends suggest a Liberal party far from dead, and the NDP failing to solidify their election successes.

We've watched a steady decline in NDP Quebec support for a few months now, but CROP now finds the party below the psychological 30% barrier, which translates into no delusions that the orange wave is in danger of collapse. Much will depend on the next NDP leader, this could be a temporary wane, but these numbers reinforce the notion that Quebec remains a fluid province, the NDP "hold" precarious at best. CROP also finds the Liberals "benefiting most" from the NDP collapse, and while 19% isn't juggernaut status, it's a far cry better than 10% as CROP previously found. People might recall, this Liberal number is more in line with pre-election polling, we hovered within this low 20, high teen range for quite some time. It's all relative so a return to what was considered lowly at the time, is now a positive. Again, a sense of VIABILITY is of chief concern to the Liberals at the moment, just be part of the mix, that's the realistic short term goal in my mind.

Angus Reid also finds Rae doing well, and CROP sees Rae in a deadheat with Harper on the best PM question. Fair to say that Rae's performance is helping the Liberal bottomline and he deserves at least partial credit for the modest recovery. Of note, HD also finds the Liberals in a statistical tie with the Conservatives in Ontario, NDP third, another encouraging number, particularly with "Rae Day" at the helm.

Polls aren't of particular importance right now, as someone will surely point out, "the election is YEARS away", so fixation is meaningless. I agree completely, particularly with two parties yet to pick new leaders, the situation is in flux and no one knows what trends will hold long term. However, perceptions matter, so any indication of momentum is always welcome, as is a sense of eroding support unwelcome. I'm sure the NDP are pleased as punch to answer questions about the need to change strategy in the wake of falling polls. I'm sure the Liberals hate talking about Rae doing well, evidence that news of our death was greatly exaggerated. In other words, poll change, but polls speak to "point in time" discussions and can feed themselves with negative or positive reinforcement.

Liberals are feeling pretty good about themselves coming out of a relatively successful Convention. Numbers that blunt talk of death are welcome indeed, put into the soup and helpful in terms of attitude moving forward. Nothing more, nothing less, with full knowledge there is a LONG, LONG way to go.

1 comment:

Steve V said...

Abacus poll out, same trend: