The polls today show little change, Decima has the gap narrowed to 14% from 17% yesterday, NANOS unchanged, slight NDP uptick. The Strategic Counsel poll of battleground ridings maintains, the Liberals are in serious trouble. I'd like to focus on the common theme, a theme we've seen for months and months, and something which needs to receive laser-like focus from the Liberal team.
Question: Of the following individuals, who do you think would make the best Prime Minister? [Rotate] (N=1,201,MoE ± 2.8%, 19 times out of 20)
Conservative leader Stephen Harper 36% (-2)
NDP leader Jack Layton 18% (+2)
Liberal leader Stephane Dion 13% (-1)
Green Party leader Elizabeth May 3% (-2)
Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe 3% (NC)
None of them 9% (+1)
Unsure 18% (+2)
Question: Which of the federal leaders would you best describe as:
The most trustworthy leader
The most competent leader
The leader with the best vision for Canada’s future
Leadership Index Score (N=1,201, MoE ± 2.8%, 19 times out of 20)
Stephen Harper 102 (+13)
Jack Layton 53 (+2)
Stephane Dion 42 (NC)
Elizabeth May 14 (+1)
Gilles Duceppe 10 (-2)
A new Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll suggests the leadership gap may be the single biggest obstacle standing in the way of the Liberals as they compete for the right to govern the country the next four years(or less ;)).
“The challenge for the Liberals appears to rest squarely on Mr. Dion,” said Harris-Decima president Bruce Anderson.
“The Liberals must find a way to improve his appeal or make clear that they offer an appealing team of capable and experienced people.”
At week's end, 52 per cent of respondents said they had a positive feeling about Mr. Harper, compared to 34 per cent for Mr. Dion. Fifty-five per cent reported negative feelings about Mr. Dion, compared to 40 per cent for Mr. Harper.
Which leader talks about issues you care about?
20 Ontario battleground ridings (Sept 11-13):
Quebec battleground ridings:
British Columbia battleground ridings:
Liberals simply can't take any comfort in their brand anymore, in this campaign Dion is so far behind, that even Layton is a serious threat. The above numbers are dreadful, if anything they are worse than the pre-writ floor. Bottom line, Dion closes the gap or we are toast. Period.
I've watched about a half dozen Dion events, in their entirety, and in contrast to the media frame, he's looked very good, quite feisty in my estimation. One can hope that Dion starts to get traction, but it's better to make something happen, rather than passive rely on events to unfold. The good news, the Liberal braintrust can now focus with singularity, it has to be Dion. The "this is Dion" online application is great, but it's not enough. If the party has Dion-centered ads in the can, now is the time to unleash them, and maybe tape some more. THIS WEEK Dion desperately needs to gain some credibility, and sadly policy announcements don't seem to be changing poor perceptions.
We can't count on the debates, the fact there are five participants, and some of our opponents could well shine, should tell us that any reliance is pure gamble. Much better to be proactive immediately, and throw everything in our arsenal towards boosting Dion. IMHO, it's really the only option, other things merely bandaids, other ideas don't deal with the core problem. Dion, Dion, Dion, and then some more focus on Dion.