Monday, February 19, 2007

Dion: "Nosedive"

Allan Gregg, commenting on Dion's leadership. The latest poll has little in the way of good news for Liberals:
But when asked how respondents would vote today, the Liberals showed a significant drop since Dion first won his party's leadership race (percentage-point change from a Dec. 3 poll in brackets):

Liberals: 29 per cent (- 8)
Conservatives: 34 per cent (+ 3)
NDP: 14 per cent (none)
Bloc Quebecois: 11 per cent (none)
Green Party: 12 per cent (+ 5)

just 18 per cent of respondents thought the Liberal leader would do the best job as prime minister, compared to 36 per cent for Stephen Harper..

In Ontario, the difference is just two per cent, less than the five per cent margin of error for the province's sample size (for details see 'Technical notes' below). Here are the results (percentage-point change from a Dec. 3 poll in brackets):

Liberals: 39 per cent (- 9)
Conservatives: 34 per cent (+ 2)
NDP: 14 per cent (- 1)
Green Party: 13 per cent (+ 8)

But the poll hints that Canadians do not consider his environmental plan much more effective than that offered by the Conservatives:

Liberals: 23 per cent
Conservatives: 20 per cent
NDP: 21 per cent
Bloc Quebecois: 6 per cent
Other/don't know/refused: 31 per cent

Dion also scored very low on leadership and national unity, relative to Harper. Watching the CTV news there was also some comments about Ignatieff having too high a profile, a question of who is actually running the show.

The only glimmer in this poll, Harper isn't anywhere near majority terrority, despite outpacing Dion on every issue imaginable. Particularly worrisome in my mind, it would appear Harper has neutralized the environment as an issue, which is concerning given Dion's high-profile on the issue.

I would call "nosedive" a tad harsh, but these findings should give Liberals pause.


I'm not sure why Gregg doesn't reference his last poll:

14/01/07 CPC 31 Lib 35 NDP 15 Bloc 11 Green 8.


A really insightful, balanced reading of this poll from ottlib that is worth a read.


Steve V said...

As an aside, the Green Party appears to benefit at the Liberals expense, which is an interesting dynamic.

Red Tory said...

I think a lot of Liberals have a quite favourable view of Elizabeth May. The NDP fear the Greens as a threat and the Conservatives dismiss them as loony leftists (which they’re not). So it’s little wonder that whatever increase in support they may be gaining is coming at the expense of the Liberals.

Torian said...

I've already commented somewhere that the greens will do incredibly well in the next election.

People are not happy with Dion. They also don't like Harper. They're not going to go over to the NDP-many still feel anger at Layton for triggering the last election.

So where will they go?

Either they will stay home or vote green

Jacques Beau Vert said...


Saturday night perhaps, but shall I never stay home on election night!

And yes, I'll almost certainly vote Green next vote. Sure to be a proud loser in my riding, but at least I'll be able to say I tried. ;)

Torian said...


you and me both, jason!

I dont get how people dont go out and vote. Election night results are more fascinating than the Oscars for me.

I dont think you green vote will be in vain.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't they dealing with the issue of "so-many" undecided.

Also, I didn't hear anyone complain when Ann McLellan had so much of the show.

The Green Party is gaining which is good - we don't need the NDP anymore and she said a few months ago that it she had seats in the HoC she would form a coalition of sorts because in her words "a Harper majority" scares the hell out of her. The has principle - Jack Layton doen't.

Steve V said...

" So it’s little wonder that whatever increase in support they may be gaining is coming at the expense of the Liberals."

Also interesting that people aren't parking their vote with Harper, which suggests some hesitation. His minor bump is striking, given the Liberals erosion.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! I figger Dion's 2 bigass troublems is he looks an' seems too meek'n'mild an' he ain't good enuff at English. Dion's gotta start lookin' more pryministerial an' less perfessorial, sez I. He also comes across as a bit of a whiner.

I'm happy as can be that the Greens are pickin' up support from the Grits. The GPC paints itself as so-lib, fis-con. The LPC is also fairly fis-con an' became moreso under Martin. The Greens have a lot more in common with the LPC than with the NDP on fiscal policy.

I've heard rumblings of a GPC-LPC alliance of sorts. I ain't sure what anybuddy has in mind, if anything, but I'm reservin' judgment.

One thing I don't think enuff people are payin' attention to is that in a 4-way race that includes a strong GPC, Cons could take the seat with less than 30% o' the vote thanks t' FPTP. Multiply that scenario across 308 ridings and factor in 5-way races in Q-beck an' we could see the Cons with a majority gummint with less than 40% percent o' the national popular vote. This is especially true when the GPC is takin' most of its new votes from the 2nd place Grits.

I reckon the Liberals got more t' worry 'bout than what a lot'd like t' think.


wayward son said...

I think that more Liberals (versus NDPers or CPCers) have a positive view of May.

But I am little cautious about saying where that rise in support is coming from. If you compare current polls to election day then the NDP is down about 6% and the Greens up 7% or so. Mind you a lot of that 6% was not really "NDP" votes but more or less votes up for grabs (could go Liberal, NDP, PC if they still existed, or maybe Green) and after the election that vote made its way to the Liberals and now seems to be heading to the Greens. The NDP scored many soft Liberal votes with their "lend us your votes campaign" but I don't see much of that sticking and I can't see them scoring those votes again.

As far as I am concerned the NDP has been a disaster and I imagine that only the most hardcore party supporter really fells that they got their "money's worth" from voting NDP last January. I view that hardcore element as being completely out of touch of the majority of Canadians and I am amused to see that on certain sites they are, six months later, still bashing May daily for her stance on abortion (that it must be legal under all circumstances, but more should be done towards prevention of unwanted pregancies and that, horror of horrors, on a personal level she is uncomfortable with it) even though almost every NDP supporter I know would consider themselves more in line with May's views then the NDP hardcore, the party faithful continue to shout from the roof tops that anyone with a view not completely in line with theirs is "regressive".

The Liberals have a hard fight in front of them. I thought that Dion would go over better with the public, it is still early and I still hold out hope that he will turn the fortunes of the Liberals around. They will be going into the next election with a lot less money then the Conservatives and again we will have almost every one of the newspapers endorsing the Conservatives. Could a situation with both the Liberals and NDP not in great shape and the Conservatives being weak on the environment which has been become such an important issue spark the perfect storm for the Green Party? Especially with a leader like Elizabeth May? No, the reality is that the Greens still don't attract strong enough candidates to win many ridings. My suspicion is 8 - 10% for the Greens (if they could out poll the NDP I would be in heaven), with a solid chance of winning a handful of ridings. Imagine a Liberal minority propped up by a half-dozen Green MPs.

Karen said...

I think the bottom line is still that fact that Canadians don't know Dion.

How do you speculate (if polled) on an unknown commodity?

Harper has done a great job of getting out in front of this. He's in election mode and has had the advantage of rolling out programs, getting face time as a result, a presenting a platform.

Dion has had two months to put together and gain concensus on a platform from his caucus. Harper, the strategist, is taking full advantage of that. It's smart. It's not always honest, ie, re- announcing cancelled Liberal programs, but the public doesn't know that and the media doesn't call him on it.

I have no doubt that the Party and Dion are well aware that they are under pressure to "present" something to Canadians and I look forward to it. That said, I want it to be solid. There is no point in coming out with half-baked ideas just to pacify the perceived dearth.

I'm not sure why Gregg doesn't reference his last poll:

14/01/07 CPC 31 Lib 35 NDP 15 Bloc 11 Green 8.

I don't know either Steve. Doesn't support the point he's trying to make I suppose.

Steve V said...


It's a bit disingenious to use a post-convention poll as your base point. A seasoned pollster knows there is a certain artifical character to such a poll, and yet he ignores his other poll, even though he can still make the same points. It's almost like Gregg is trying to overstate the slide- maybe the 76000 check he just received from the government helped his methodology.

It is completely understandable that Dion has focused on building the team, getting acquainted, the problem the calendar has become the enemy. I don't think half baked policies are the answer, but given the fact we just went through a long leadership race, with ideas a plenty, it shouldn't take too long to get a platform together.

Anonymous said...

It is not a nosedive. Harper has been a party leader for 5 years in Ottawa and Prime Minister for over a year.

Dion has been a party leader for 75 days when the Gregg poll was done.

He is an unknown, and with the Harper name recognition and 5 years of exposure, one at the top job, I wonder why is Harper still at the level of support he was a year ago. BECAUSE we don't trust him.

Dion needs time.

Steve V said...

"Dion needs time."

Fair enough, it's just a question of whether or not the calendar affords him that.