Despite a hellish month, a new poll suggests the federal Liberals remain in a statistical dead heat with the Conservatives in public support.
Although they've been bombarded with negative news coverage, suffered disastrous byelection results and are feuding publicly, they're only two percentage points behind the Tories.
The Conservative 33-31 per cent national lead in the latest Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey falls within the margin of error. The NDP is at 16 per cent and the Green party is at 10.
Anderson makes some comments about the Liberal support in Quebec, but at this point, relatively good news:
The overall numbers in that province show the Bloc Quebecois at 31 per cent, the Liberals at 23 per cent, the Tories at 22 per cent, and the NDP at 13 per cent.
But those numbers hide a key reality: the Liberal numbers and, to a lesser extent the Bloc ones, are inflated by a small group of Montreal ridings where those parties rack up gigantic majorities.
Tory support is spread more evenly throughout the province's outlying francophone areas, where there are a number of winnable seats.
That's because the Tories appear to be winning the lion's share of soft nationalists, many of whom appear to be abandoning the Bloc.
The Harris-Decima poll showed Liberals with a 15-point lead among voters who described themselves as "federalists.''
The Bloc Quebecois had a 40-point lead among those who called themselves "separatists.''
The Liberal problems are obvious, but the bigger story is how Harper can't capitalize. Can you imagine more favorable conditions for the Conservatives at the moment?
The same theme.
Knb sums it up nicely:
Sorry, but I find this hilarious. If Harper can't move his numbers with the way things are going for the Lib's at the moment, how on earth will he move them?
How on earth indeed. If you looked closely at Harper today, you could see that massive goose egg, from hitting the ceiling over and over.
I'M not surprised. Let it be known far and wide that I predicted this.
Hence, Harper's sudden press conference - now wasn't that press conference a lot of BS.
Harper trying to convince us he wants to govern, doesn't want an election - duh - he wasn't required to have a Throne Speech and parliament and committees could have been working like busy little bees the last couple of months.
What utter BS Harper spews.
What does it say about Harper, that he can't capitalize on a Party in apparent disarray?
It says Stephen Harper is not a leader!
Senior Conservative choices tell me there's a lot of displeasure with Harper. While Harperistas complain McKay loyalists have been sabotaging the Cons chances in Atlantic Canada, senior maritime Conservatives say Harper just won't sell in that region, and would prefer someone like Peter McKay as leader...
"It says Stephen Harper is not a leader!"
It also says that 30% is rock bottom for the Liberals. The more the Cons take glee in the Liberals failings, the more they are confronted by their own glaring weakness. What we are witnessing now is a unique predicament, the usual up and down between the two parties doesn't hold.
Would that what you say Jeff, be true. Though would it be reported?
Anon, the press conference wasn't BS as much as it was PR, no question.
Steve...bang on. The question is, what will sway it?
My take, people are sick of the "spin" tack. Sincerity can sell, if we have our house in order.
Sincerity indeed. There is a reason why politicians have such low approval and it is all about spin. I guess the question, can a person pierce through all the digestion and be taken at face value? Spin seems more a by-product of the environment, if you admit weakness, mistakes or revision, you're dead in the water.
Been saying this all along. The Canadian public don't give a crap about internal squabbles on staffing. The press gallery (and the caucus members) should get over themselves.
You all do realize that because of the notable location regarding the new conference today that every news organization is going to talk about the fact that Harper called out Dion, right?
Brace yourselves for the CPC to throw last weeks Liblogs talking points right back at the Liberals regarding the Throne Speech.
You know which ones, you all wrote them.
Lance, you sound really frustated, which is understandable. Maybe a 3% drop in the tax rate might move it a point or two, or maybe not.
Gee Lance.. like he hasn't done that before.
Go back and get new talking points, yourself.
Not at all Steve, just waiting. Today's poll doesn't fill me with dread, indeed, I tend to follow the Staples law of Green support being in two digits. :)
Scott, I don't have any talking points. I have the stuff I believe. For the moment the CPC have more in common with those beliefs than the other parties.
If Dion goes (which I see as highly unlikely given the talking points that have come out) I think he'll get creamed.
Thanks lance. From your statement I am betting the throne speech is going to have a focus on the senate.
While Libs cling to a poll showing they still trail Cons, PMSH called out Dion.
“We're going to ask Parliament for a mandate. Once we have that mandate, we're going to consider that basically gives us the right to consider those matters confidence going forward and to get results and get things done,” Mr. Harper said.
“Obviously, if we don't get approval, the opposition will force an election. That's not my preferred course of action, but if they force that, we'll be ready for it.
“It's not a matter of threats, they have to fish or cut bait.”
So.... if opps pass the throne speech, voting against anything in it later (confidence), will be forcing an election.
"While Libs cling to a poll showing they still trail Cons"
I believe the term was "statistical dead heat". You can't deny what this says about PMSH, it says NOT BUYING.
Let's not forget too, while the Liberals were imploding, Harper was making the high profile pitch on climate change. NOT BUYING.
Well maybe if you could acknowledge an obvious truth, instead of spinning back to Harper you might come off better. I've acknowledged the Liberals problems, can't you do the same with Harper, the NOWHERE man. It really is a fascinating dynamic at play, which probably explains why NEITHER outpaces everyone for first PM choice.
Perhaps Canada itself is as institutionally corrupt as the Liberal Party, a dozen years of Liberal budgets bought out a lot of unions and other organizations that will always vote Liberal in order to put more cash in their pockets.
When it's plain to see that the Liberal Party always put its own interests before Canadian interests, it's not surprising when large groups of people ditch their own principles to jump on the bandwagon.
"Perhaps Canada itself is as institutionally corrupt as the Liberal Party, a dozen years of Liberal budgets bought out a lot of unions and other organizations that will always vote Liberal in order to put more cash in their pockets."
Yes, lets blame Canada when things don't go you way. Perhaps Canada isn't America ;)
I thought this was the perfect news title:
"Liberals Still Even With Tories Despite Bad News"
I think you've been hanging out too much at SDA, Lance. Either that, or all Saskatchewan-based Conservative bloggers are a tad delusional.
Good grief wilson, if the polls had shown the con's with a huge lead...you'd be here and everywhere on Liblogs, typing juvenile taunts.
Now you're saying that no matter what the Lib's do they are playing into Harper's hands?
He's smart, but not that smart.
If the Throne Speech is open enough to allow the Lib's to vote for it, then it's also non-specific enought for them not to approve of all legislation that flows from it.
If you guy's could move away from gotcha! politics, you might see a rise in your numbers.
PMSH has not been selling. He has been following thru on the 5 priorities and dealing with the day to day jobs.
I look at it a different way (big surprise eh).
PMSH and the Cons have been under attack for 18 months, by 4 opposition parties, all on the left.
One lonely rightie party under daily attack from 1 direction, the left, and Canadians haven't budged.
When PMSH (and his Ministers) start 'selling' their vision for Canada, the polls will move.
;If the Throne Speech is open enough to allow the Lib's to vote for it, then it's also non-specific enought for them not to approve of all legislation that flows from it.'
Are you missing the point that PMSH said EVERYTHING in the speech will be a confidence matter.
If opps vote against anything that was in the speech, we go to the polls.
I wonder what will be first on the agenda....should the Throne Speech pass.
"PMSH has not been selling."
Man, that's a strong batch of koolaid. Wilson, piece of advice, lose the PMSH, it sounds creepy.
Sure Steve, I wish that Harper had the charisma of a Trudeau.
Beyond that my criticisms are mine alone, I'm not a Liberal party member from Quebec. I don't claim to be non-partisan, I'm just on the blogroll.
Scott, Heh. Funny that. You should check out the top post at SDA, see the author. :) You know I live down the street from Kate, right?
"PMSH has not been selling."
Other than what was in the 2006 campaign, what new ideas/direction had PMSH been selling?
It's all followthru.
Vision for Canada to be announced, the Throne Speech.
We all drink the koolaid.
"We all drink the koolaid."
Yes, but the size of the glass is staggering. Harper is unabashed about the retail politics, and his man Flanagan brags about selling.
Just got back from "La Commission Bouchard-Taylor" (hey, I was featured on RDI!)which was in my village today and was blissfully ignorant of these polls but I doubt that they would have made much of a difference to the people I talked to afterwards - who universally despise Harper but who cannot vote for someone of Dion's history and particularly someone who can only so unenthusiastically react to the latest crisis. And who is to replace Carroll (who still is to have a post at the heart of the liberal party) - a relic from the Chrétien era.
There is a HUGE potential out here - which the Harper 'ceiling' shows clearly - of people almost begging you guys to change. God knows, many of us would vote for Rae or Iggy himself: to get rid of Harper but also as a clear break with the past.
What do we get: re-hashed Chrétien crap.
It is truly sad.
I take your insights to heart, and your frustrations. I was on RDI once too :)
As someone who has voted Liberal and Tory in the past (I would be the voter either party would like to identify with, btw) while the polls show both parties in a tie, I am searching for a reason to vote Liberal if an election is held this fall. Yep, Harper is a fucking jerk. Yep, he's petty and calculating and a bit too chummy with the US. BUT, his party isn't at war with itself where members are threatening to sue each other.
In short, it's hard for me to get my head around supporting the Liberals if we have a fall election simply because if the Liberal party is is complete disarray, I don't exactly get a good feeling they can run the country better than the Tories.
I suspect a lot of voters see it that way.
My two cents.
The Canadian public don't give a crap about internal squabbles on staffing. The press gallery (and the caucus members) should get over themselves.
+1 Anonymous. The Liberals aren't disadvantaged by staff infighting and thus it isn't affecting polls, however they will be disadvantaged if because of the personnel changes they are not ready to go when Harper forces an election.
a bcer said - Senior Conservative choices tell me there's a lot of displeasure with Harper.
does anyone else find it odd that Flanagan is coming out with all of this inside info on how he helped shape Harper's policies and campaign? CPC isn't happy to see this come out right now, and it makes me wonder if there isn't a rebellion in the works.
" I am searching for a reason to vote Liberal if an election is held this fall"
I'm of the opinion that we should be releasing some policy now, instead of whating for the traditional election blitz. Beyond all the squabbling, the biggest challenge is overcoming the perception that people don't know what the Liberals stand for.
I suspect some have asked Flanagan to put a lid on it. None of his admissions are particularly flattering, in fact they feed voter cynicism about real motivations.
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