Saturday, July 21, 2007

"Neither" Ahead In Poll

Angus-Reid online poll, with some curious results. Horserace numbers echo the steady Conservative erosion, Liberals stagnant, NDP relevant:
In the online voting intention survey of a representative national sample of 2,716 Canadians, 33 per cent respondents say they will cast a ballot for the governing Conservative Party in the next federal election. The Liberals stand at 28 per cent, followed by the New Democratic Party (NDP) with 19 per cent, the Bloc Québécois with nine per cent, and the Green Party with eight per cent.

In a graphic illustration of Canadians complete lack of enthusiasm for either choice:
The two main party leaders are ineffective when Canadians are asked which one of them would make the best Prime Minister. Neither (40%) is still the favourite answer, while Harper stands at 33 per cent—unchanged since last month—and Dion at 14 per cent, down three points.

As a quick aside, I have been really impressed with "Neither's" ability to articulate complex policy issues into language that resonates well with average voters. Harper and Dion beware, she/he isn't a flash in the pan.

Dion has work to do with the faithful:
81 per cent of respondents who cast a ballot for the Tories in 2006 think Harper is the best person for Canada’s top political job, while only 29 per cent of Liberal voters believe Dion is presently ready for 24 Sussex.

Curious regionals, particularly the Quebec numbers, that are completely opposite the results of Strategic Council's poll, earlier this week. The online sample has the Tories firmly in second place:
In Quebec, the Bloc is first (36%), followed by the Conservatives with 27 per cent, and the Liberals with 16 per cent.
NDP up to 12%, which shows a consistent rise, relative to other polling. One small glimmer for Dion, negative impressions of him in Quebec has fallen to 41% from 51% last month.

In Ontario, the two main federal parties are virtually even (34% for the Tories, 33% for the Grits), with the NDP at 20 per cent, and the Greens with four per cent.

British Columbia, Tories fall to third, Liberals lead:
Liberals 32%, NDP 28%, Cons 27%

I'm starting to take the NDP rebound, articulated in all of the polls, as more a case of people's dis-satisfaction with the two primary parties, more than some endorsement on policy. The "neither" choice is really the point that sticks out- Canadians aren't satisfied with their leadership. This fact also explains why the Liberals can't seem to take advantage of Harper's freefall. Charisma anyone?


A View From The Left said...

I was talking to my dad about this the other day, and his theory was that the Green's being so strong is hurting the Liberals from picking up the unhappy Conservative voters as the NDP is often in the 15%-17% range. I think there's a lot of PC voters who are really unhappy with Harper's Conservatives but wont vote Liberal because they've never voted Liberal going to the Greens in recent months.

At the moment we really have two strong parties and three protest parties which is keeping anyone from getting a good soild lead in the polls.

Steve V said...

That could be true, which might make the Green-Liberal pact dynamic particularly interesting in an election.

northwestern_lad said...

view from the left... "two strong parties and three protest parties"??? are you kidding me???

The NDP is ahead of the Tories in BC, tied in the Atlantic Provinces and ahead of your Liberals in Saskatchewan. They are also at 20% in Ontario. And, that's not to mention the fact that they have been an official party for 40 bloody years. That's not a protest party. That's a party that has been the only true opposition party in the Commons. Stephane Dion himself is at 14%, and I wonder where Jack Layton would have ranked in that if they had included him. Seeing as how he has been consistently polling ahead of Dion, I bet it would be decent.

The fact is that Canadians know they have more than two choices, and are tired of being told by tired Liberals that they only have two choices. Dion has shown himself to be no different than Chretien and Martin, and that is why the Liberals have not been able to rebound. The Tories have their core group that have no where to really go. The NDP has been steadily tracking upwards thanks to Dion's lousy track record so far. And the Green's have seemed to have trailed off (stuck at the 8% level, and only 4% in Ontario)

At the moment we have a government that knows that they are facing a weak opposition leader, and knows that the other parties will need more time to catch up and take that support. That simply means we have a deadlock, until we have something major that will shake things loose.

bigcitylib said...

I put it all down to AR's weird online polling methodology

Oxford County Liberals said...

Um.. I will repeat to you NW Lad what I normally tell Steve on here as he publishes the Angus-Reid stuff.

Don't take these numbers too seriously - its an online poll.

Oxford County Liberals said...

Touche BCL :)

northwestern_lad said...

thanks for the Scott... I was not upset by the poll but the "protest party" comment...

northwestern_lad said...

*thanks for the comment Scott (damn typos)

Steve V said...


Could you just once acknowledge the links I've provided before, instead of this broken record response? You seem to ignore the counters, and just continue on with your bias (Zogby's traditional polling is suspect as well, as evidence in the 04 New Hampshire primary)

Let's say for arguments sake, that this poll overstates the Tory support. If that is true, there is still relevant findings, in that, you would expect Harper's approvals to be higher. The fact they are abysmal, despite the relatively high horserace number, seems to lend some credibility in my mind.

The NDP numbers are not outliers, within the MOE of every major poll. Ditto for the Liberal numbers, with the Cons a tad high and the Greens a tad low. In other words, these aren't WILD results, with no relationship to more established polls. I acknowledge results that look strange, although there are other polls that show the Tories in second in Quebec too.

The trends are what I find interesting, while the baseline might be off, you can still see mirrored results in terms of momentum- Tories down, Liberals stagnant, NDP up. How is that any different from other polls?

I found this Tyee article interesting.

Steve V said...

northwest lad

I don't necessarily disagree with you comments. One caution, the Green numbers are not lagging, they are firm in every poll, with just the original number relative.

northwestern_lad said...

Point taken Steve... I should have said stagnated rather than trailed off... my bad

Anonymous said...

NDP ahead in Sask - would it be any other way? No surprise there.

Atlantic - NDP doing OK no surprise either.

BC is up and down like a yo-yo all the time anyway

Dion better perk up

Oxford County Liberals said...

Gee whiz, Steve.. you're a tad touchy :)

BCL is the guy who called Angus-Reid's online polling methodology "weird".. I merely restated a general position on online polling I've held since AR started trying to claim these polls were as accurate as telephone polls... yet I'm the one you go after.

Steve V said...


Sorry :) It would seem they can make that claim, based on the last two elections we have available. I have read BCL's posts, but that pre-supposes the theory that telephone polls are without flaws, which can be argued as well.

ottlib said...

northwestern lad said:

"The fact is that Canadians know they have more than two choices, and are tired of being told by tired Liberals that they only have two choices."

I would point out that the Federal NDP has rarely broken the 20% mark amongst Canadians, and never for long, so it is not the Liberals telling Canadians that only have two viable choices, it is Canadians telling the political establishment that they only see two viable choices. Do not blame the Liberals for the perennial third party status of the NDP. On second thought keep on doing so. If the NDP ever stops blaming the Liberals and actually begins to look at itself with the goal of changing itself to be more electable the Liberals could be in some difficulty. So yes Lad the fault lies squarely with the Liberals.

"Dion has shown himself to be no different than Chretien and Martin, and that is why the Liberals have not been able to rebound."

Maybe to obvious Dipper partisans like yourself but to the average Canadian he has not shown himself to be anything of the sort. Indeed, I would say that has been his problem. He has been invisible.

"The Tories have their core group that have no where to really go."

That is true for all of the parties. All of them are polling at levels that reflect their core support. The real question is which party is going to do something to break the deadlock and have the big, mushy non-aligned middle move towards them?

"The NDP has been steadily tracking upwards thanks to Dion's lousy track record so far."

It is being very generous to state that the NDP is tracking upwards let alone "steadily upwards". All of the main parties have been stagnant for months, with the exception of the Conservatives who have lost support.

There seems to be a general malaise out there amongst those who do not live and breath politics and they do not seem to be too impressed with any of the parties or their leaders. Nobody has the advantage right how and the polls have been saying that for months.