Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Guru Speaks

Here's the poll we've been waiting for, if former accuracy is your guide. NANOS shows many of the same trends as others, although not as prononced. The Conservatives do have momentum, Quebec is up for grabs and Ontario has tightened:
Our first set of CPAC-Nanos nightly tracking indicates the Conservatives have entered the campaign with a five point lead over the Liberals among decided voters (CP 37%, Lib 32%, NDP 13%, BQ 9% GP 9%). Notably, the Conservatives are showing strength in central Canada where they are statistically tied with the Liberals in Ontario (Lib 41%, CP 39%) and close on the heels of the Bloc in Quebec (BQ 35%, CP 32%).

The last NANOS poll showed the Liberals out front by 2%, so essentially a 7% swing. In Ontario, the Liberals 13% lead has evaporated, the Conservatives move from 29% to 39%. Interestingly, the Liberals numbers haven't eroded in Ontario (down only 2%), so this uptick for the Conservatives comes largely at the expense of the NDP, which explains why we've seen a 4% NDP drop nationally since the last poll. Previous NANOS polls have consistently given the Liberals a solid lead in Ontario, this poll confirms what others have said, with the added dynamic of a clear two-way race.

NANOS also shows a big Conservative move in Quebec, up a full 7% from his last offering, in line with what others have shown. What is interesting, while the race has tightened, the Bloc are actually up 4% since the last NANOS poll, so this move for the Conservatives comes at the expense of the Liberals and NDP.

I sort of expected to see some movement from NANOS, almost a pipedream to think he would still have the Libs ahead, considering all the evidence to the contrary. However, these numbers are manageable and the one word that comes to mind seeing the swings, is VOLATILE. The Conservatives are peaking, the question then becomes, will they maintain? Certainly not good news, but hardly a "jump off a cliff" moment either.

This prophetic reminder from Nanos:
Despite Harper’s strong leadership numbers, the Liberal brand remains strong trailing by only five points nationally. Any significant missteps by Harper could potentially push this block of voters over to the opposition.


Anonymous said...

This isn't a bad place to start, and it is good to see the numbers in line with reasonable expectations.

But it is clear at this point that not making a misstep will only get the Liberals and Dion so far. That is particularly true given the amount of free passes handed out to Harper and company.

Can you imagine the writings if the Liberals had such a start? They media would be ready to mop up the floors and toss out the party signs.

But that is what it is.

The liberals need to stay on message, but step it up. Take the argument to Harper!

So far the Liberals are "on message" but they aren't engaging the public on the other parties and why they deserve to run the government. There is no reason to be in response mode. This is an election.

Time to step it up!

That's how I see it.

Mike said...

Yeah that makes more sense than that Angus Reid one I poster in the other thread.

I found out later the AR one was an online poll...sheesh, notice they didn't say that in the link?

Karen said...

Is this as of today? I see the methodology and the rolling average etc., but I can't make out if it is as of last night.

Gayle said...

FYI - a good post from Andrew Steele in the Globe.

Hopefully the LPC braintrust is listening. If that message went out we would see different numbers!

Anonymous said...

knb, it said it was from Sept 8-10, averaged over those three days. So some of this was before some of the CPC missteps.

Oxford County Liberals said...

This will be a daily tracking poll that Nanos releases.. so it will be interesting to see if any blowback occurs to the Cons from the gaffes they seem to be doing on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but the liberals cannot rely on gaffes. They have to lay out an argument for their policies and a direct argument against Harper.

Have not seen that yet on the trail.

Karen said...

Thanks catherine. I read it in a rush.

I read that too gayle. Interestng.

Anonymous said...

meanwhile the Strategic Counsel daily tracking show the Liberals on track to lose just about every seat they have in BC - with Dosanjh possibly the only survivor.

But with almost 5 weeks to election day - it will be an emotional rollercoaster for all.

Steve V said...


Compare SC accuracy with Nanos the last two election polls. If you subsribe to past accuracy as indicative, I know who I'm paying attention too.

liberazzi said...

Ok, so we all agree Nanos is the guru, so we must take it is as it is. Therefore, what does this mean as far as seat projections then? 32% usually translate to around 125 seats for the Libs? In addition, it looks like strategic voting is in full effect, which can not be music to Layton's ears. I am actually quite happy with this poll, since Harper's gang has been stumbling this week, so its not over like the media is playing it this week. However, it looks like the Lib vote is holding, however is there any room to grow?

Koby said...

The polls are clear. Liberal support has not moved up at all since the last election in any region of the country and the green shift is a political dud. The Liberals have to change course if they are avoid a Conservative majority.

WesternGrit said...

Online polls are completely unscientific, and are literally a joke that should not be allowed to be "reported" except on the websites they are on.

An online poll basically discounts a vast swath of the population - pretty much anyone who can't afford a computer. Those people typically vote on the left. Online polls reflect a demographic that is young (20 to 30-somethings), male, and generally more on the "technocratic" side of the spectrum vs. people with more "liberal arts" perspectives on life.

It will be interesting to see any blowback on the Conservatives from their siding with the RAI in trying to kill music and video downloads. These downloads have already been paid for by the tax the previous Liberal government levied on recording media like CDs, DVDs, etc. What Harper wants to do is completely side on the side of the big corporations - once again.

Steve V said...

I don't dismiss online polls, but this is the gold standard. Period. And, I base this on evidence, seems pretty simple, it't not "picking".

Anonymous said...

I don't buy this notion that nanos represents any "gold standard". He is just one of half a dozen pollsters who does political polling in Canada - most of whom use virtually identical methodologies. He happened to luck out and be closest to the final result in his election eve poll in 2006 - but we forget how during the course of the 2006 campaign his numbers were incredibly volatile and went up and down like a yo-yo. But in any election, just by chance someone is going to get closer to the final result that anyone else. In the last Ontario election his final poll was actually one of the most INaccurate.

So, I will look at the nanos poll just like i will look at any other - but i don't give it any greater weight than I give Environics or Ipsos or Decima or Ekos etc...

We have to look at the polls collectively and see what the over trend is.

Nanos should be careful about bragging too much about being so accurate in 2006 - because this time he could easily be the most inaccurate and if you live by the sword you will die by the sword.

Steve V said...


As I recall, he nailed 2004, not to mention the Ontario elections. They don't all use the same methodology, and the trick is identifying likely voters, which is what sets him apart. You just don't like him, because it is the least kind to the Cons, and your feeble retort speaks to that.

Anonymous said...

Nope, he was off by a lot in the Ontario election and he was also off by a lot in the Quebec election.

He doesn't screen for "likely voters" either. That has never been the norm in Canada like it is in the US, his company just calls people at random like anyone else and asks if they are eligible to vote.

I have nothing to complain about in his numbers - he has a solid Tory lead like everyone else. I'm just saying that his polls are no better than anyone elses.

Similarly in the US, John Zogby got named the "guru" after he nailed the 1996 presidential election - for a few years people would pronounce his polls the "gold standard" and yadda-yadda. Then he was off by a country mile in his final state polls in 2000 and 2004 and now we never hrea much from him anymore.

In polling you are only as good as your last election.

Steve V said...


Whatever. And, I love the way you think you know what he does, or doesn't do. All I know, in the last election, everyone was off except him.

As for Zogby, everyone knows he alters his results, he is the least trusted pollster in the states, at least when pollsters are surveyed. Comparing NANOS to Zogby is so weak, but it does show you don't have a clue what your talking about.

Steve V said...

"but we forget how during the course of the 2006 campaign his numbers were incredibly volatile and went up and down like a yo-yo."

And frankly, this is why you are clueless. You mean to say, he tracked voter volatility, you mean that the numbers moved around. I've never heard of such a thing, clearly a sign of something, voters shopping, almost unheard of in an election. I'm supposed to take you seriously, when you see moving numbers as suspect. Good grief. You sure don't know anything about elections, that's for certain.

RuralSandi said...

O/T - I had a strange, well sort of strange encounter today. My husband and I went to a funeral today. A relative of the deceased was up from the US (New York) for the funeral and started talking US election stuff. He is apparently a very successful business man and what he said to my husband kind of caught my interest.

He said that having NDP as government or of any great influence would hurt investment in Canada from US business men. He said he knew better, but a lot of Americans that know about our system view the NDP as communists without guns.

But mostly, the American business people would be very concerned about the "strong" influence unions have with the NDP and he was aware how many of the NDP party were either union activists and/or union employees. They are also aware of the disdain the NDP have for corporations - he said their equivalent is Ralph Nader.

Now I don't know how much credence can be put in this and if it's just his view (although he claims is not), but I thought it was interesting.

Steve V said...

"He said that having NDP as government or of any great influence would hurt investment in Canada from US business men."

Did you tell him, no worries?

liberazzi said...

What does this mean in terms of seat projections? Anybody?

Steve V said...

Strong Tory minority, within sight of a majority.

Steve V said...

Nanos has the NDP down to 10% in Ontario, tied with the Greens. He has the Liberals down to 17% in Quebec, the NDP at 10%. Interestingly, the Liberals are at 32% in the "west", well ahead of the NDP, trailing the Conservatives.

Anonymous said...

This site had the seat projections for this poll

Cons 125
Libs 122
Bloc 45
NDP 16
Grn 0

I'm not familiar with these seat projections. Does this make sense? Why so close for Cons and Libs?

Oxford County Liberals said...

Those are numbers generated from being manually plugged into that vote predictor that John mentions at his site. The Hill and Knowlton election predictor, I believe its called...

That same site also plugs in the various polls into its election predictor as it receives them.. so it will be interesting to see what Nanos numbers gives them.

Steve V said...

I think it might be because of the perceived collapse of the NDP vote, which allows the Liberals to take more seats, particularly in Ontario. When I commented earlier, I didn't realize the NDP was that low in Ontario, and that helps the Liberals. That said, I'm a bit surprised he has it that close, we must be doing well in BC too, for that to be the case, and the Cons are nowhere in Atlantic Canada.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised at the low NDP number too. This is before things got really heated up with debate issue. The federal-BC Liberal site:
hits the NDP pretty hard over (see video) what the Conservatives said about the debate deal. If this gets much play in BC, I would imagine it having some effect.

Steve V said...

Well, it' quite a contrast from the earlier polling, which argued that the NDP was closing in on the Liberals. NANOS shows the exact opposite dynamic, which I'm more inclined to believe, simply because I doubt the uproar over May was helping the cause, that's seems counter-intuitive.

Anonymous said...

Nanos overpolls Liberal support. There is an EKOS poll out today with a much bigger sample, 2300.

Cons 37
Libs 26
NDP 19
Bloc 8
Greens 10

They also give a seat prediction with the Toreis getting 156 which is a majority, although just barely. To put this in perspective in the Mulroney sweep of 1984 Liberal support was 28%.

Steve V said...

"Nanos overpolls Liberal support."

LOL, you're priceless.

Anonymous said...

I think the Conservatives have peaked (knock on wood).

I do hope the Ekos poll released today is more of an outlier and I wonder how reliable it is. (Their seat projections show a Harper majority.)

I agree Dion should stay on message. The Green Shift will sell once Dion gets people to truly understand it.

Anonymous said...

Who the heck is Ekos? I've never even heard of them until today.

Are they even credible. Seems to me a lot of new pollsters coming in being given tons of "instant credibility." I am wary of pollsters more and more (i.e. "Strategic Counsel")

Does anyone know what is the story with Ekos

Anonymous said...

Joseph - Ekos, Segma, Angus Reid, Strategic Counsel, it's all pretty dismal so what does it matter. And it looks like the NDP is ready to fill the void in Quebec. They've just come out with a dynamite ad in Quebec going right after Harper.

Steve V said...

One thing to consider, it looks like the Cons have peaked with EKOS, their last night was down to 35%, so we should see a down trend in the next few days, especially once yesterday is factored in. Even SC suggests the crest is passed, so I'd rather look at the trends, than fixate on dubious overall results.

liberazzi said...

Catherine's Lib seat projections seem to make sense, because whenever the Libs are around 32%, they are close to minority territory, even if the Cons are slightly ahead. I believe that is because the Cons vote is mostly concentrated out west. I think Duffy referred to it as Intensity polling or something last night. It is also important, although bad to say, that the Bloc needs to hold around 40 seats to minimize Tory damage in Que. In any event, not a great week for the Libs, but some positives overall. Radwanski has consistently given Dion a B this week on his report card, so we will see. At this point, I am predicting a slightly stronger Con minority, but there is still time.

Anonymous said...

"...that the Bloc needs to hold around 40 seats to minimize Tory damage in Que."

Dion did a pact with May, maybe he should do a similar pact with Duceppe?