Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chicken Or The Egg

Given the fact the election coverage seems to be poll driven, it is nice to see NANOS shows a tightening race. Other polls have decidedly different results, with the Conservatives enjoying a massive lead, the Liberals mired in historic low numbers. NANOS also showed a big Conservative lead, just two days ago up 11%, but that gap has narrowed quickly, down to a managable 5%. Clearly, the NANOS poll shows that Ritz has impacted the race, whatever momentum the Conservatives had gone, some pull back, Liberals and NDP up.

I honestly can't see the narrative changing until the polls change, which is a interesting dynamic, considering coverage affects the polls. It's almost a chicken or the egg scenario, but it is very hard to close any gap, when the coverage is fickle, it almost feeds what the polling says. Whatever, at least somebody is showing a different trend, good news for the Liberals, but also very good news for the NDP:
Cons 36
Libs 31
NDP 20
Greens 7

The NDP total represents the highest number we've seen in a NANOS poll, since before I can remember, only ten days ago the party was at a lowly 13%. If you look at the regionals, you see the NDP doing well just about everywhere, Ontario particularly striking:
Libs 36%
Cons 34%
NDP 21%
Greens 9%

On Sept 10th, the NDP were down to 10% in Ontario. Since then, its been a steady march upwards, the NDP now slightly above their 2006 total. The NDP are also up in other regions, so clearly some sense of momentum for Layton.

For the Liberals, NANOS has never shown them in the mid to low 20's like some other pollsters. However, today's result puts the Liberals back within range of the government, although you clearly see a dispersal of the anti-Con vote, something that must be addressed moving forward if the Liberals have any hope.

Let's hope the Liberal team is pumping this NANOS poll, reminding people of their past accuracy, because sad to say, we need something to derail the Liberal bashathon. If a couple more polls start to show a narrowing, then the campaign might reach another stage, one that comes with some scrutiny, as opposed to the coronation style laziness we've heard to date. Dare to dream.


Anonymous said...

Also, the NDP has just been starting to get under seige with all this weird pot tv stuff and candidates dropping out. Not sure with that kind of attention leading the newscasts how long they can hold that 20 number.

RuralSandi said...

Jack Layton did everything he could to get off topic when Jane Taber questioned him on his deal with those candidates who had to drop out because of their drug videos.

Layton kept on about kitchen table stuff....hey Jack, do you not think parents worry about their children and drugs at the kitchen table?

Why aren't the press pointing out that Jack Layton is using Gary Doer as an example of a successful NDP government....Gary Doer "lowered" corporate taxes. I don't think Doer is as left as Layton.

According to a NFLD blogger - Layton has promised Danny Williams anything he wants for votes - where are the media on this?

We are so cheated by our so-called journalists/pundits who are supposed to be the voice of the people, not specific candidates.

Raphael Alexander said...

Nanos is the aberration right now. I won't believe it until it shows the same results over 2-3 days, which will pull down the other numbers and close the gap.

The Nanos numbers indicate a highly unlikely -3/+3 gain for the Liberals, a 6 point overnight closing of the gap.

Gayle said...

This was in an Edmonton Journal article today:

"Bricker said Canadians have a "ho-hum" attitude toward this election because most think another minority government will take power. Canadians don't want to invest time getting into the campaign, just to get a similar result on Oct. 14 as the previous election, he added.
"To the extent that people believe there's going to be a Harper majority, they'll start paying more attention because, as we know in other polling we've done, that still is an issue with the Canadian public. They believe he's got a hidden agenda. Fair or unfair, that's what they think," said Bricker.
Despite their trepidation over a Harper majority, the new poll found 48 per cent of Canadians would prefer to have a majority government, compared to 32 per cent who want a minority. Twenty per cent were undecided.
"They say they'd prefer a majority, but only a majority for the Liberals or the NDP, not necessarily the Tories," said Bricker. "The stability of a majority is something that's appealing to people."
While most respondents said they want a majority, 41 per cent of those polled think a minority government will be elected, while 28 per cent think a majority will win."

liberazzi said...

The first good poll in a week or so, so I hope the Libs are pumping it up. Unfortunately, the polls are so erratic, even on the same day, so its hard to get a read on things. Greg Weston was on his usual bashathon, as you call it, today, so stories like that are giving a bad impression. I think the Lib campaign has been not been great, but steady. If they can get around 32% and hold there for a week, then it should start to get interesting. I keep saying it, but it is still a status quo election. The Libs have until the debate to make up ground, the it will turn into a save the furniture campaign.

Steve V said...

" a 6 point overnight closing of the gap."

Raphael, pay attention, if you're going to posit your pro-Con perspective. It was over two nights, and it's dropped off most of the pre-Ritz polling. And, anyone who is surprised by soft support moving around, seems to forget what ALL the pre-writ polling showed. We're not talking hardcore Con vote here, it's more soft Lib vote that's drifting around.

Raphael Alexander said...

There's no procon perspective here. I'm dealing strictly in hard numbers [even if reality doesn't have a liberal bias]. And if you want to be intellectually honest, you'll acknowledge that Nanos is the aberration while others, like Harris-Decima, is examining a widening of the Con lead.

I put the Con gap at 13 points.

Anonymous said...

Another interesting tidbit is what Nanos and Decima are showing in Quebec where the NDP is getting into the high teens and surpassing the Liberals.

Steve V said...

"There's no procon perspective here."

Yes NANOS is the outlier. LOL.

You can put the gap at whatever you want, using your flawed methodology. Enter bullshit data, you gonna get bullshit results. You just assume that all the polls should be weighted the same, with no internal mechanism to gauge past accuracy. You don't just throw them all together, or you can, but don't freaking come here and tell me it's "intellectually honest", because most of your DATA set uses pollsters with a dreadful track record. Who cares.

I actually like Decima, and the fact they have a gap like that worries me, because they were one of the one's to consistently show a statistical tie pre-writ. That said, for NANO to show a closing gap, while everyone else has a huge lead, means he is putting his reputation on the line, which means I have confidence that the numbers are solid. Is it really that shocking, it was soft support anyways, it might even move back tomorrow, but Ritz always had the potential for damage.

Pal Hal Pall said...

Is anybody else sick to death of the constant barrage of polls? They all vary so much from one to the other that they really have no meaning anymore. All they were ever meant for was to give a broad indication of who supports who and where. Are we ever going to actually discuss and debate issues, some of which are extremely urgent? This is embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

when are we going to start talking about Harper's hidden agenda.
I hear he wants to privatize the CBC.
C'mon, we'll be screwed!!!

Anonymous said...

"That said, for NANO to show a closing gap, while everyone else has a huge lead, means he is putting his reputation on the line, which means I have confidence that the numbers are solid."

His reputation will only be on the line when he publishes his final numbers the night before the election. There is no way of ever knowing who was right or who was wrong in the polls they published three weeks before the election.

susansmith said...

Thanks Steve for posting a fair representation of the poll, and saying this was good news for the NDP too. Good post.

burlivespipe said...

These constant polls just make me jittery. It's worse than that 'Who Shot Mr Burns?' tease...

Anonymous said...

Well, CBC just covered the Dion platform announcement followed by "insightful" (note rolling of eyes) questions for Dion afterwards - Can people trust the Liberals when the Conservatives say we can't? Why wasn't the panel jumping up in the chairs if they are "really" supportive? Won't people be "confused" if you campaign with a teams? (huh, maybe the brain-dead electorate would have been my response) was the basic subtext of the questions regardless of what words she might have used.

And, of course, moments afterwards they trotted out their "official" pollster for an even longer chat. So, within moments, they defined the race as a coast for the Conservatives and a never-ending struggle for the Liberals, even managing to dismiss Ritz as an issue because, hey, the 4-day numbers show it as unimportant.

It's just banging your head against a wall. Dion showed I think correctly some frustration that he is criticized for not "having support from the team" when he campaigns alone and equally criticized for "relying" on a team when he campaigns with other candidates.

I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for them to confront Harper on if anyone actually likes him since he is never seen with another person when making announcements? But if they do, maybe they'll follow-up with a question about his "frosty" relationship with his son who only shakes hands with him on occasion.

Anonymous said...

Oh wait, even as I've been working since sending that last comment they've brought back the pollster to talk with the noon hour host.

So sounds like he'll be giving his 5-minute "pronouncement" every half-hour all day.


TV going off now ; ).