Friday, November 02, 2007

Ipsos Poll

New Ipsos-Reid poll, that shows little national movement, but a bizarre shift in Quebec:
The Ipsos-Reid poll says the Conservatives gained no immediate bounce in popularity, despite the relatively positive response to its mini-budget.

The survey, conducted Tuesday through Thursday, said the Tories have the support of 39 per cent of respondents, the same percentage as it got the previous week. The Liberals inched up one point to 28 per cent, the NDP dropped four points to 13 per cent, and the Green party slipped one point to seven per cent.

In Quebec, the scene is volatile. The Bloc Quebecois moved to 50 per cent, up 16 points from the previous survey. The Conservative remained in second spot at 22 per cent, down eight points from last week. The Liberals crept up one point to 17 per cent, while the NDP fell six points to seven per cent.

MOE 6.6%

Quebec results from the same outfit, last week:
In Quebec, the Bloc leads with the support of 34% of Quebecers (9% nationally), which represents a decrease of 2 points within Quebec since last week, while the Conservatives are not far behind at 30% support (an increase of 4 points in Quebec). The Liberals have the support of just 16% of Quebecers (decrease of 3 points), and the NDP trails at 13% support (increase of 1 point). The Green Party has the support of 7% of Quebecers (unchanged).

Put away the partisan lens for a moment, you just can't explain the massive shifts in Quebec, over such a short time frame. I'm just not buying the Bloc at 50%, nor do I think the NDP fell six points in one week. There isn't one other poll of Quebecers that shows anything close to these figures, with the exception of the Liberal numbers. Last week's numbers are far more reasonable, relatively speaking, this week looks like a 19 out of 20 scenario, it just doesn't add up.

As it relates to the national numbers, Ipsos still over-states the Conservative numbers, but it is noteworthy that Conservative hasn't increased support, despite another Ipsos finding, showing widespread support for the mini-budget.


Anonymous said...

Hi Steve.

Long time reader, and while I have been both a Tory and Liberal supporter, I am currently a supporter of the Tories. They are not perfect by any means, and I look forward to the day when there is a realistic choice for me between Liberals and Conservatives, but that time is not now.

Getting to your analysis on the Ipsos poll, I definitely agree with you on the weird Quebec poll. while I would not be surprised with a Torie drop of 3to4 points, and equal growth in the Bloc, an 8 point drop and and a 16 point rise does not seem to be realistic within a weeks timeframe, especially with the larger CROP poll earlier this week as well.

I applaud you for your down the middle analysis. Nothing gets me going more than blind partisanship, either Liberal or Tory. I find myself reading your blog much more often lately, as I find it informative and pretty even keeled, examining problems within the Liberals as well as the Tories (and neither party is far from perfect!)

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Possible outlier (i.e., the 20th/20), possible delayed reaction to not getting what some wanted in the Throne Speech re the spending power. (It's possible that people are re-thinking things.)

Wait till the next Quebec polls come in...

ottlib said...

All of the national polling firms have been showing big swings in Quebec for awhile. How much of it is polling error and how much of it is real? There is no way of really knowing.

Not to keep harping on this, but the poll continues to demonstrate that Canadians have just parked their votes and are not inclined to move them just yet.

Although the polls produced from the different companies all have different estimates the one common thread is the lack of movement of those estimates.

Hence my conclusion. The differences in estimates is more likely the result of the different polling methodologies.

As for the reaction to the mini-budget, it is going to take a few more days for it to sink in. My guess if the Conservatives will have a little uptick in the next week but it will not last, as budgets tend to have a short shelf-life in the consciousness of the electorate.

Steve V said...


Thanks for the comments. I have a sneaky suspicion next week's Ipsos will tell us of the Bloc swoon in Quebec ;)


"All of the national polling firms have been showing big swings in Quebec for awhile. How much of it is polling error and how much of it is real? There is no way of really knowing."

I don't doubt there is some volatility, but I do believe the general themes, apart from some bad polling. Bloc, healthy but vulnerable, Conservatives with real potential for large gains, Liberals a right off in francophone ridings, 8-10 seats a real possibility, NDP are getting a look.

ottlib said...


I am not so certain about your assessment of the party fortunes in Quebec will stand the test of time.

Although people have been writing its epitaph since the Quebec election the separatist movement is not dead and Mr. Duceppe is still the only game in town for them.

The Conservatives are on the wrong side of two very important issues in Quebec and I can guarantee you that both the Liberals and the Bloc will remind Quebecers of that fact on a daily basis during an election campaign.

As well, there is not much more Stephen Harper can offer Quebecers. He cannot go much farther on the nation issue without alienating as many voters as he might attract and the same is true of any more offers of fixing any fiscal imbalance.

Throw in the general volatility of Quebec voters and their penchant for surprising people and you have a situation where the term "conventional wisdom" is an oxymoron.

Steve V said...


I thought MacDonald had a good synopsis of the situation.

ottlib said...

McDonald is a Conservative and he has always been so. He once worked for Brian Mulroney.

He has been saying the Liberals and the Bloc have been going down for years.

He was one of those who said the Liberals were finished in Quebec in 2000 only to see them increase their seat count.

Like many Conservative pundits and all of their trolls he latches onto polling results and stories that will support his assertions.

He is totally lacking in anything resembling intellectual honesty.

He is the Lorrie Goldstein of the Montreal Gazette and his opinions should be taken with the same amount of salt as Mr. Goldstein's.

Anonymous said...

Not to depart from the fact that the conservatives clearly have an advantage in all recent polls (though no sure majority by any stretch), what bugs me about this article is as much as the pollster crows in his comments about how this should all be rosy for the conservatives - actual numbers withstanding, of course - the poll itself seems to beg some basic questions.

Why, when 3 basic types of tax cuts (personal income, corporate, and GST) were announced - and the Liberals publicly stated support for the first two - would you not at least venture a question about the specific GST tax cut? You know, the one for which the Liberals stated a different opinion.

Seems like a basic question to ask would be "do you support the GST tax cut or feel other tax cuts should have been considered instead? But instead the poll was based on generalities only, essentially asking "Are you happy tax cuts were announced?"

Frankly, I'm surprised the numbers aren't higher with that type of question.

It just seems strange to ask general questions, that yield dubious results, and then have the pollster talking to a reporter to "connect the dots" and explain why its a good thing. If the poll numbers don't show it, the last thing I need is a pollster to spin the results for me.

Either ask more specific questions in your polls or let the numbers for your general mood questions stand for themselves.

Good polls don't need extrapolation. In this case, his attempts to reach a conclusion border on mental gymnastics.

Steve V said...


Well said!


Political leanings aside, the numbers speak for themselves. Just to add, you hear plenty of rumblings in Liberal circles that there will be no rebound in Quebec short term, which tells me that internal polling mirrors what we read.

ottlib said...


That is my point, the numbers do not speak for themselves because we are getting conflicting numbers.

You can cherry pick all of the polls you want to support any hypothesis you want but that does not mean it is right.

As for Liberal rumblings I would point out that Mr. Harper and the Conservatives had pretty much written off Quebec in 2006. They planned on one big speech early in the campaign and then focusing on Ontario and the West. It was only after they began to show a pulse that they switched focus a bit.

As I have stated before. You cannot predict how Quebecers are going to react during an election campaign based on polls going in.

The Conservatives bounced between single digits and the low-teens in the period between the 2004 and 2006 election. They were still there when the writ was dropped in 2006. We all saw what happened, much to the surprise of everybody.

I would again point out the results of the last Quebec election. No one expected the ADQ to amount to more that a couple of seats going in. The pundits were certainly right again were they not?

Bottom line, in Quebec the pre-election polls are virtually meaningless. Anything can happen, including I might point out, a disaster for the Liberals but the opposite is also true and so are many other scenarios and results that have heretofore not even been considered.

Steve V said...

" the numbers do not speak for themselves because we are getting conflicting numbers."

Not on the Liberal side we aren't, consistently now in the teens.

liberazzi said...

Why all the hangwringing about Quebec? The numbers are not that far off what happened in the last election. The real problem is that the Libs cannot count on Ont as they once did and the Cons still have their trump card in Alta. The rest of the country is status quo. The Libs needs to concentrate their efforts in Ont and hope to make small gains elsewhere. The Cons at the level of support they are in Que can only hope to regain there current level of seats. In fact, if you look at this seat tracker, if the Libs actually raise their support to 32 to 33% they actually have a shot of winning the election.
(Take no notice of that bogus Ipsos poll). The last SES(the only credible polling firm out there) in Aug had the Libs at 33%. Of course, there is no chance of the Libs winning a majority at this point, but it is not a foregone conclusion that the Cons can win another minority and they need to get up to about 42% to gain a majority. The election at this point will not be won or lost in Que, it will be won or lost in Ont and we are still in minority territory here one way or another. Geesh, Libs need to relax, if they fall further, ok then start the handwringing, but at this point all is not lost.