An Ipsos-Reid poll of 1,003 adults completed Aug. 26-28 found a majority of 51 per cent support for the Green Shift in July has flipped to a majority of 52 per cent opposed now. That is a seven-point decline in support and a nine-point rise in opposition. Four per cent are undecided.
A partial explanation for the rise, in a province that isn't in the cards electorally for the Liberals anyways:
Opposition to the plan soared 18 points to 64 per cent in Alberta
Opposition is also strong in Saskatchewan/Manitoba, the poll treats the two provinces as one- 29% support the Green Shift.
Some quick math, a good percentage of this fall in national support is directly attributable to greater disapproval in the prairie provinces, a fact which surprises no one, nor is it particularly relevant to Liberal chances.
The poll, did however, find that opposition is also rising in Ontario, but there's a catch:
But the pollsters found grounds for Liberal worry in Ontario, a key electoral battleground: the portion of respondents who may vote for Prime Minister Stephen Harper specifically to block the Green Shift rose eight points to 43 per cent. Everywhere else in the country consideration of that voting tactic fell
The pollster also finds that support for the Green Shift is evenly split in Ontario 49-49. Ipsos argues that the rise in people who would consider Harper because of the Green Shift is a clear sign of trouble for the Liberals in Ontario. What Bricker fails to mention, this is from the exact same Ipsos sample that also found the Liberals opening up a large 12% lead in Ontario, pulling away, relative to older offerings. Apparently, there seems to be an inverse relationship between the Harper question and actual voter intentions- I think I'll give more weight to the latter.
but majority support of 52 per cent holding firm in Atlantic Canada and residents of Quebec and Ontario evenly divided with support at 49 per cent in both provinces. In British Columbia support is 43 per cent, a three-point drop that is within the margin of error.
Basically, the Liberals are essentially losing the argument, in parts of the country that frankly aren't part of any Liberal minority equation anyways, so I would factor that into the overall numbers. Elsewhere, more relevant to Liberal fortunes, no need for panic, as the pollster infers. That's not to say no concern, but it's important to see where the dip is coming from.
I made this argument with the Green Shift was released, and I'll repeat it here. The Liberals don't need the majority to support their policies, they only need 35-40%, so when you see 45% support nationally, better numbers in key regions, there is still plenty of scenarios that play well for the Liberals. You have the Conservatives and NDP both forcefully arguing against the plan, as well as the Bloc in Quebec, so when you drill down, you see much of it boils down to party affiliation. The Liberals scored 31% in the Ipsos poll, yet 45% support the Green Shift, hardly bad news, if one is looking to expand support.
I'm not particularly worried if the Liberals lose by 45% in Alberta ridings, as opposed to 35% pre-Green Shift, same goes for regions of Saskatchewan where the Liberals were lost to begin with (it's like the Democrats getting worried that Obama is polling lower in Utah). What matters, is the calculus in the areas of the country where they must do well, and if the only province in this category that shows a hint of negativity, Ontario, also comes with a corresponding big lead for the Liberals, then all is well. The Green Shift has considerable appeal, well above Liberal party preference, the key is too appeal to enough outside of the core to get the party over the hump.