Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Liberals Coming Home In Ontario?

Not much change in the national numbers today, but there does appear to be a favorable trend for the Liberals in Ontario. Important to remember, in the months leading up to the election call polling generally showed the Liberals well ahead in Ontario, so the recent flip to the Conservatives is clearly soft support. What we might be seeing now, those voters returning to the Liberal fold. Whether it be NANOS, Decima or Strategic Counsel, they all show a good trend line for the Liberals.

NANOS shows the Liberals re-taking the lead in Ontario:

Libs 40% (up 3%)
Cons 33% (down 5%)
NDP 17% (up 1%)
Greens 10% (-)

A pretty sizeable jump, but that tends to be borne out in the Strategic Counsel battleground poll:
The Conservatives have lost altitude in swing Ontario ridings, a new poll suggests, with their lead shrinking to its lowest level so far this campaign in these key battlegrounds.

The Tories have a five-point lead over the Liberals in 20 Ontario ridings where the race was tightest in the last election or by-election, according to Strategic Counsel polling conducted for The Globe and Mail and CTV between Sept. 13-15.

That's down from the 19-point lead the Conservatives enjoyed over the Liberals in those battleground ridings Sept. 10-13.

Decima has different numbers, but the all important trend is the same:
In Ontario, the race continues to narrow, with Conservatives at 39%, Liberals 36%, the NDP 14% and the Greens 10%. The Liberals have picked up 6 points from a low-water mark last week.

Something to keep an eye on...


Anonymous said...

i am afraid that my be lost with Dion's deficit comment

Karen said...

Wrong. Dion has just said that a Liberal gov't would NOT go into deficit.

What he cannot guarantee is that they will not inherit one.

Anonymous said...

I missed that . what did Dion say?

Karen said...

What I wrote.

He added that Harper should provide some transparency as to where the books are now.

liberazzi said...

Dion should have just pledged that the Libs would not allow the finances to go into deficit and moved on. Honesty is not always the best policy in an election. A dumb dumb move. (I'll actually be at a Dion event in Hamilton tonight.)

Steve V said...

If want to know about deficits, just ask Flaherty, he's an expert- well, at least after elections that is.

liberazzi said...


You know the MSM is going to pounce on any perceived gaffee by Dion, so he should have played it smarter. Anyways, Dion et al need to keep pounding away on the economy. Hebert says that they should actually keep Rae under wraps, because of his Ontario years and trot out Martin. Perhaps, but the old Martin/Chretien crap would come out again.

On a side note, the whole Cons basically admitting to the in/out scheme never got any traction. Curious.

Dr. Tux said...

Dion is a man of his word and he cannot possibly promise that we aren't already in a deficit situation.

How can we trust this government, with it's lack of transparency and prominent members having a record of hiding deficits.

If Dion promised we would not go into deficit, it would be a hollow promise. He cannot control what he's about to inherit from this government.

cls said...

These Ontario numbers probably explain the rather strange press conference given by Jason Kenny that Kady blogs about today. Rae as boogy man to scare voters back to the Tories!

Steve V said...


He should turn it around, and remind everyone of Flaherty.


Flaherty was out today too, doing radio shows, attacking Dion, saying the Libs don't understand how to manage a budget. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what the polls say, the election is almost 4 weeks away and so it makes sense for the Tories to attack the Liberals on any vulnerability. Since the vast majority of people do NOT equate Bob Rae with sound economic management - it stands to reason that the Tories will try to exploit that.

If the Liberals had any brains they would put Rae on an ice floe until election day and trot out the old economic crowd of Goodale and McCallum and maybe even Martin.

History may record that the Liberals had a golden opportunity to take advantage of the economic situation and they chose to instead talk about carbon taxes.

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that Harper will be tossing the terms Liberal and deficit around like confetti tomorrow as his daily press sheep exercise.

Let's see if anyone actually has the stones to call him on it - but don't get your hopes up.

I say if Harper wants to go there with talking about deficits and elevate the discussion to a larger playing field of just how close we may actually be to a deficit, I think that would be a welcome exercise. I don't think the Liberals should be too concerned since it would give plenty of opportunities to question just what we've gained from Harper's spending habits over the past 2 years.

Regarding the polls, excellent news.

I do want to take the opportunity to voice that the Strategic Counsel poll sets a new standard for possibly the ABSOLUTE WORST POLLING EXERCISE I have ever seen.

The proof is in the insanely wild gyrations that occur on a nightly basis. 20 point swings in 3 days are "common," according to their polling.

The concept is beyond bizarre. Take a collection of supposed close election ridings from 3 provinces, poll a surprisingly small number of people on a nightly basis from throughout those many ridings, then collectively report the results and attempt to make grand observations on what that might mean with regards to seat counts after the election. They often compare the "close ridings" with the overall results for entire provinces in the last election, as if that says anything at all.

They claim the Province margins of error are about 5%, but I suspect it is much greater than that just due to huge volatility from night to night. And even if you accept that shaky premise, the margin of error for any individual riding must be astronomical.

It is a poorly conceived, badly executed, and horribly explained poll - from probably the most blatantly partisan polling outfit in the country. I would just love someone reputable to call them out on it and shame the G&M that faithfully produces an article each day like the results are the word of God in defining "what is really going on," as they try to attribute every gyration the result of some tidbit from the campaigns the previous day.

There, better now ; ). But I would recommend just ignoring that poll in meaning anything at all. I have no doubt they'll show the conservatives with a 15 point lead in Ontario by the end of the week, which will mysteriously evaporate 2 days later.

Steve V said...


I agree on SC, the fluctuations are insane- do it right, or don't bother.


I would recommend bringing Martin out on the economic front, he has credibility on that score, so I wouldn't worry about the "loser" angle, people take him seriously on the economy.

Rae on foreign affairs, economy, not so much, especially in Ontario.

Anonymous said...

Plug those Ontario numbers into the Hill-Knowlton predictor:

You get for Ontario:
Libs: 80 seats (up from 54)
Cons: 20 seats (down from 40)
NDP: 5 seats (down from 12)

In other words Liberal government :). Goes to show what a decline of 4% in the CPC vote and 2.5 % decline in the NDP vote can do.

Too good to be true I'm afraid though...

Steve V said...


Well, it looks better than when you did that the other day :)

liberazzi said...

Just came back from the event in Hamilton. A very good event/spectacle, good energy and a good speech by Dion. Well done. Hmmm, where are these small crowds the MSM keep talking about?

Sidekick Rae has generally gotten good reviews, but Nanos is saying that it is having a negative effect on Dion's leadership numbers? Nanos states that it looks like the stars are there to bail Dion out, rather than it looking like Dion is emphasizing the team. Nanos says that the next few polls will determine if this is the affect this new strategy is having. In my view, it is the right strategy, so it is odd that it might be having a negative effect.

Steve V said...


I saw some of that on cspan, looked good. Seemed a big crowd.

I don't know about Rae and NANOS, hard to see how that hurts Dion the way they argued. He did say it was having no effect, bet it's a blip.

burlivespipe said...

I think it's important that not only does the team highlight Dion's recent leadership rivals, but the leaders of tomorrow - that would be Trudeau, Kennedy, Leblanc, Findlay, Yuan, Hoskins, Garneau. These won't necessarily be running for the top role someday, but they lead in a variety of areas.
It would be a huge asset to have PM PM here in the Lower mainland, too. He's still pretty popular here in BC.