Friday, February 09, 2007

Attack Ad Feedback

Finally, some polling that I am trust as reliable. SES weighs in, with a post attack ad poll, and the results show a dead heat. Of note:
National- Conservatives 33%, Liberals 33%, NDP 17%, Green 7%

Ontario- Liberals 38%, Conservatives 36%, NDP 18%, Green 9%

Quebec- Bloc 37%, Liberals 27%, Conservatives 20%

West- Conservatives 41%, Liberals 30%, NDP 20%, Green 9%

East- Liberals 45%, Conservatives 28%, NDP 22%, Green 4%

This poll is essentially unchanged since the last SES poll in November. The Conservatives have bounced back in Quebec, up 8 points. Interesting that the Tory resurgence comes in a province where the attack ads haven't ran. Tory support is unchanged in Ontario, well down in the West and the Atlantic provinces.

Liberal support has fallen in Ontario, with the NDP and Greens picking up the difference. This is the first post-convention SES poll, and it shows a considerable leap in the West, solid support in Quebec and big jump in the Atlantic (although the Atlantic margin of error is huge).

I'd still like to hear some Dion negative numbers before I completely conclude the attack ads irrelevant, but these results are far more comforting than yesterday's. This is the poll you take to the bank in my mind, and in the words of Dana, it confirms the fact that Canadians are mostly "confused". Something for everyone, no clear indication of anything.


Anonymous said...

Aha, I was wondering why Harper was the one re-naming the airport earlier today in Halifax. Those poll results for the "East" explain it.

Gotta hand it to him - he does not miss an opportunity to promote himself - especially where it is needed.

Karen said...

Steve are the negative ad's scheduled to run in French, in Quebec?

Steve V said...


Anonymous said...

The numbers looking are good, and the Ontario numbers do not worry me at all.

THe NDP and Green supporters are far more likely to go Liberal during a campaign than they are to go to Harper.

The right platform and a decent campaign (no major gaffs and not to negative) and Dion and Liberals are in.

Steve V said...

As an aside, the CBC political roundtable came to the conclusion that the polls showed the attack ads worked. The Ontario slippage of the Liberals is an indication of negativity. Of course, you can point to the British Columbia numbers to show the opposite, so I'm not sure you can come to that conclusion. What may be relevant, as the environment becomes a higher priority, the NDP and Greens benefit in Ontario. None of the lost support went Tory, which suggests a center-left vacilation, that ultimately remains hesitant when it comes to Harper.

Anonymous said...

Harper will be appealing to pocketbooks big time in the next budget. Income splitting across the board, sharp income tax reductions for the middle class and so on. He knows that's his bread and butter.

But the dilemma is going to be getting to the budget before his 60 days runs out after the Kyoto vote next week.

Of course we still can't discount the spinelessness of some opposition members. A few sick days is all it would take for the Kyoto bill to Republican Senators voting against their own motion only to try and revive it after making sure it loses and hoping the press doesn't call them on it.

Never understimate the venality of the honourably elected.

Monkey Loves to Fight said...

I trust this poll over the Leger marketing. Still it is interesting that in Ontario 36% and 40% are both within the margin of error. As for Atlantic Canada, the results mean diddly squat there since the margin of error is too large. I've seen the Tories polling anywhere from the high 20s to high 30s and I've seen the NDP range from 10% to 30%. The only way to get an accurate picture of Atlantic Canada is to take a poll there.

As for the West, I would like to see a more accurate province by province breakdown since most polls show the Liberals making big gains in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and British Columbia, but doing terrible in Alberta. As for BC, I suspect we will gain seats since the governing party almost never gains seats in BC. However, if we win the election, I do expect we will lose seats in BC in the following election.

As for the Quebec numbers improving, I think with Afghanistan being off the table is playing a major role so that is why I think Harper wants to go before the summer since he knows his numbers in Quebec will tank again then.

As for Ontario, I think a more regional breakdown is really what is needed. I've heard that in the 416 are lead has widened (which does us no good since it just means more wasted votes) in Eastern Ontario the Tories have fallen badly and this is the most conservative part of the province. In Southwestern Ontario they have fallen slightly although the rural/urban divide is so sharp here that the only ridings in play are mixed urban/rural ones like Sarnia-Lambton, Brant, and Kitchener-Conestoga. Asides from Paul Steckle, I expect the rural ones to go solidly conservative. In fact if I am not mistaken this was the region the Christian Heritage Party is strongest in. In fact whether the CHP runs in some ridings could actually make a difference here in 2004 Rose Marie-Ur would have lost her seat were it not for the CHP and Paul Steckle would have lost in 2006 if not for the CHP. I wonder if SSM being off the table will help them.

The 905 belt shows the Tories gaining, but this is the most volatile region, so this really means nothing. In addition the white suburban Canadian born voters tend to be oversampled while the ethnic community is under-sampled which is partly why the Tories always do worse in the 905 belt than the polls say.

The best news of it all is the Bloc Quebecois is falling in Quebec and with both the Tories and the Liberals doing reasonably well, this could be good news in the long-run as the Bloc Quebecois will have to fight a two front war in the next campaign. I've argued that the Bloc Quebecois is the biggest obstacle between any party and a majority and since Quebec is centre-left getting rid of the Bloc would benefit us more than the Tories.

Karen said...

Frankly, I'm not that chuffed about these numbers.

I think it's time for the Lib's to come out fighting a bit more...staying above the ugliness, but IMO, they are not being strong enough.

Their presence needs to be higher, their message stronger, and they need to quash the lies being spewed, by some of the conservatives. I heard some pundit tonight say that the Lib's are introducing NEP 2. Of course that is a lie, but it's not been shown to be in a strong enough fashion, both by the party and the media reporting it.

While I do respect SES polls, I would like to see this one in more depth. A break down of the west for instance.

I think we have to face the fact that the Con's are in full election mode, while claiming otherwise. They obviously have more money and can afford to do this, but we cannot let Dion be defined by them.

Though, to underestimate Mr. Dion, I think, would be foolish.

Steve V said...


The last I heard income-splitting is off the table, but I'm sure the money will be flying in many other ways.


That is a great breakdown. Interesting to point out, this is the first SES poll since the entire "nation" question, which may explain the Tory comeback, and the Bloc fall, given that they came off foolish.


"I think it's time for the Lib's to come out fighting a bit more...staying above the ugliness, but IMO, they are not being strong enough."

I completely agree, and I would add that too often we play into the Conservative hands with the tone of questions, allowing for EASY rebuttals. I have heard two different pundits mention Dion's relative weakness in the H of C, and I have to admit Harper has gotten the better of him to date IMHO.

Karen said...

Miles, I was in a rush so hadn't read your comment.

Interesting, but I'm still a bit perplexed about Quebec. I'd like to hear from someone in the province to know what is going on there. Who is getting air time, (aside from Boisclair).

We agree on the west...more data needed.

I agree that the 905 is the most volatile, but disagree that it means nothing. AM radio jocks are pumping it up and take every opportunity to mislead. I also heard that there was an anti-abortion ad on CFNY, FM today, which is pretty bizarre in 2007. Wedge politics are abounding in the 905, Wajid Khan, Garth, these things have tangible results and are being exploited.

Steve, I read today that Flaherty hasn't ruled out income splitting. I presume they are playing head games with this one.

I'll be interested to see what comes out of Quebec if the negative ad's show. Mocking a native son is not likely to go over well.

Monkey Loves to Fight said...

knb - I am not saying the 905 belt means nothing. I am simply saying we should trust the polls of this region the least as being an indicator of what is to come. The reality is this is probably the most crucial part of Ontario and it is not decided by the local MP, but rather the national campaign (sorry Wajid Khan and Garth Turner, but your fate will depend more on your leader than anything you do).

I think Dion needs to find a right balance here. I would argue we can go positive and be successful. I seem to recall McGuinty in 2003 stayed largely positive while the Tories went negative. Instead he left the attacks to people like George Smithermann. I think we should have a group of MPs charged with attacking the Tories much like the Rat Pack, while leave Dion to go positive. Whenever the leader goes negative, it doesn't seem to work, but if you use the good cop/bad cop as McGuinty did, it tends to work.

Karen said...

On that I would agree with you.

Dion is not negative by nature to begin with, so it would look silly and fall flat.

I agree, keep him positive and even the attack people need to stay somewhat above the fray, IMO. Hard hitting doesn't mean attack. You can hit hard with facts and honesty.

As to the 905 and my comment about Wajid and Garth, I would agree with you. It's up to the leaders. It's volatile all right.

Steve V said...


I stand corrected.

Anonymous said...

knb & steve,

Your wrong about the need for LPC to be more aggressive.

Right now they are wearing the fatigue of losing battles in QP and at some point the CPC will quit propping them and let them tumble down.

The LPC is losing support because it is too aggressive. They have begun to lose a share of credibility that they thought they had captured with the Convention. That is at least a portion of the poll results.

Dion is not an aggressive person. If the party does not reflect the leader, people will see that as weakness in leadership.

Sorry to say, but you voted for this guy, you have to let him lead you.

Dion is never going to win anything by shouting at people. If that's what you wanted, you should have elected Rae or Volpe.


Karen said...

Sorry Steve, I should have linked it, but as I said I was in a hurry...that dinner thing, lol.

Anyway, I still think they are playing games with this and when I watch this man's face, I see only dishonesty. If you live in Ontario, it's difficult to look at Flaherty, Baird or Clement, with any credibility.

Hmmm, should be more focus there from the Lib's. Let's talk about records shall we.

Monkey Loves to Fight said...

Steve V - Since Garth Turner is a big fan of income splitting, one of my questions is what happens if the party decides to vote down the budget but Garth Turner decides to vote for it to get income splitting. Should we then disqualify him from running under our banner or let him vote his wishes. I support free votes, but I believe on confidence matters the party must vote in unison and as what happened to John Nunziata in 1996 and David Kilgour in 1990, anyone who breaks party lines on confidence matters should be ejected from the caucus. On the other hand if Turner votes down the budget, he will look like a flip flopper. I am not saying they will do it, but this would present any interesting trap here. If I were Dion I would discuss this would Turner and find out his plans. Perhaps maybe he could introduce an amendment to pull out the parts of the budget the Liberals don't like and if that fails then use that as an excuse for voting it down.

Steve V said...


No worries, Garth is a team player now ;)