Saturday, September 13, 2008

Trending Conservative

Both the NANOS and Decima polls out today, confirm a trend towards the Conservatives, although with much different spreads. First NANOS:
Conservative Party 38% (NC)
Liberal Party 30% (-1)
NDP 15% (+1)
BQ 9% (NC)
Green Party 8% (-1)
Undecided 20% (+1)

Two days agos NANOS had a 5 point, now the advantage is up to 8%. The Liberal vote in Ontario is waning, which raises the prospect of a Conservative majority. The only silver lining for the Liberals, and not much of one at that, Harper's personal numbers have taken a hit.

Decima, shows a gigantic Conservative lead:
According to The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey, Liberal support slipped to 24 per cent, a full 17-points behind Stephen Harper's Conservatives at 41 per cent.

The NDP and Green party made modest gains at the Liberals' expense, ending the week at 16 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

The Liberals were ahead of the pack only in Atlantic Canada, with an eight-point lead over the Conservatives.

In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois led with 36 per cent, followed closely by the Conservatives at 30 per cent, the Liberals at 16 per cent and the NDP at 10 per cent.

This isn't the first poll to show the Liberals down to 24%, and it should be cause for concern. It would appear that Liberal support is collapsing in Quebec, which would certainly help the Conservatives on the vote splitting front.

Decima offers compelling evidence to explain why their polling has gone from a statistical dead heat to a romp in the span of two weeks:
Stephen Harper's Conservatives were the hands-down winners of the air war during the opening week of the federal election campaign, a new poll suggests.

The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey indicates Conservative advertisements had almost double the impact of those aired by the Liberals.

Conservative ads ran early and ran relentlessly, said Harris-Decima CEO Bruce Anderson.

"In terms of sheer tonnage, it was shock-and-awe," the pollster said.

Twenty-two per cent of respondents said they'd seen or heard a ``great deal" of the Tory ads while another 28 per cent said "a fair bit."

By contrast, only eight per cent had seen or heard a lot of the Liberal ads, with another 21 per cent saying a fair bit.

Recall levels for other parties were even lower, with roughly half saying they'd seen or heard no advertisements at all from the NDP, Bloc Quebecois or Green party.

It might time for the Liberal strategists to rethink the "long haul" view on advertising, there is a real risk in the next two weeks, that if things don't change, a blitz of ads late ads will be irrelevant. Dion MUST bring up his leadership numbers, it is clearly the achilles heel, as Harper towers above him relatively. If there are any Dion ads in the can, now might be the time to get them out, before the gradient becomes too steep.

One caveat, EKOS had shown Conservative erosion in the last few days, and today they noted that the Liberals are rebounding in the big urban centers, the reason being fear of a Harper majority. I'll add those EKOS results when they come out, to see if the trend cuts across all the polls.


Anonymous said...

Great Post, Steve.

I have resigned myself to just watch to see how things unfold with the Liberal campaign (what else could I do ; ). But if their continues to be a lack of spark, I will be at a loss for words because it just seems so screamingly obvious what is needed.

Coming out forcefully - which is NOT the same as negatively - during the first week would have helped Dion's numbers too.

As it is, it all just plays into the negative image of Dion Conservatives have worked so hard to build.

On a positive note, Dion appears to be getting good kudos for his visit out here. I still think the message is getting lost a bit in the media, but what I have seen was presented positively.

Call me waiting ; ). That about sums it up.

Francesco said...

Hey Steve,

it is early, and in an election four weeks is a long long time...we shall see what happens...dion's campaign team needs him hitting the airwaves everywhere and all the time with a consistent and focused message...we need to bring up his personal numbers..


liberazzi said...


The fellow on Newman yesterday, said that these daily tracking polls are misleading and are being misused by the media. Daily tracking polls are intended to be used for party strategy, but not for the horserace. The traditional weekly polling give a more accurate reflection, according to this professor whose name escapes me.

In any event, if you are looking at trends you have some having the Con trend going up and some having them go down?

However, if the given is 37-38 Con, 30-32 Lib then the Lib strategy needs to change. As I have said previously and going along with Francesco then its time to be more agressive. Why are they holding back? For instance, they should have ads with the mugs of Baird, Van Loan et al with clips of their various bullying ways etc. Lots of meat on the bone, if they would just start chewing. The war room needs to be more war like.

lance said...

Nanos during the last election was the only pollster to use daily and rolling tracking.

His company is acclaimed as the be-all end-all of pollsters in Canada on the reputation garnered from that election.

Tell me again how daily tracking polls are wrong?

liberazzi said...


Watch Friday's show and the guest will be able to explain it better than I can.

Raphael Alexander said...

You might be interested in a daily update I'm posting of aggregate polling numbers from all companies combined to create a kind of super poll [I'm not doing the research, a reader is]. You can see it here:

2008 Federal Election Poll Tracker: Day 5

My current numbers:

CPC: 36.6% [-0.3% 1 day change, -1.2% over three days]
LIB: 27.9% [+0.7% 1 day change, +1% over three days]
NDP: 16.2% [+0.7% 1 day change, -0.9% over three days]
GRN: 10.8% [+0.5% 1 day change, +1.5% over three days]
BQ: 8.5% [-1.4% 1 day change, -0.1% over three days]

RuralSandi said...

Apparently, Elizabeth May is claiming there's a report that Harper is hiding which says the carbon tax will not have an adverse effect on the economy...know anything about this? If it's true - can't the reporters get on this?

It would make a huge difference. I thought it odd that Harper went so negative so soon on this...almost an obsession and I wondered when this all started if he knew something he didn't want others to know....he came on so strong against and it was in every speech, partisan shot, etc.

I find this curious.

Steve V said...


Here's a link. Jaccard was hired by Natural Resources, I guess they didn't like what he had to say.

liberazzi said...

Another WTF moment for Harper

Raphael: I like your method, but I still do not believe the Libs numbers are that low.

liberazzi said...


The media will just ignore it, since it doesnt jive with their nice guy in a sweater on his way to a majority story lines.

Steve V said...


Compilation polls aren't terribly relevant, especially when you look at the track record of the past. Using potentially flawed data to get a sense serves no purpose. The only way that might work, if you weighted the different polls, based on past predicative values, to weigh them equally is just mush really. I suppose you get target some trends, but...

Steve V said...


Harper doesn't even make sense:

"That means not only that we want to pull Canadians towards conservatism but Conservatives also have to move towards Canadians if they want to continue to govern the country.”

If Canada is more conservative, why do conservatives have to move towards Canadians? That implies that they aren't conservative, and you need to amend your policies to relate.

liberazzi said...

Yes, I am bombarding your blog with comments today, but there is so much to be pissed off with. Plus, I cant volunteer today, since its raining. This from Don Martin's column:

"Not to quibble, but given that student enthusiasm, one wonders why there's not more support from the tree huggers and planet savers spooked by the alleged Conservative climate-change-deniers now commanding an early lead? If this is indeed a showdown between good and evil in the struggle to curb greenhouse gases, they should at the very least be disrupting the Conservative campaign's easy ride if they can't bring themselves to support Dion."

Liberal media eh? I guess were tree huggers now?

Steve V said...


Inside the snark, there is a grain of truth, and it's Dion's best chance. Dion must make a pitch to galvanize support behind the Liberals. Dion has to raise the stakes, and no offence, go after the Green vote HARD, not to mention a few points from the NDP. Call people out, this is the moment, you have two choices, if Dion fails, then Harper the "laggard" sets the policy. It's so simple, but we're too busy playing footsie with everyone.

Demosthenes said...

It's about fundraising.

The Liberals long relied on big donors. The Reform (then Conservative) party relied on small donors. Then the big donors went away, because Mr. Chretien and Mr. Harper took them away. But the Conservatives' small donors stayed, and became even more generous as the prospect of a Reform majority government took hold.

Then the Liberals had a long and expensive leadership battle. The Conservatives didn't. The Liberals were divided afterwards, which pushed donors away. The Conservatives weren't.

And once the Liberal leader became clear, they were able to use that money to attack him. It didn't really matter who he was: it was the money that talked. They're still using that money. They're still attacking. If they win, and another leader comes along, they'll attack him, too.

And the next.

And the next.

Until the Liberals realize it's not about leaders, and not about photo ops, and even necessarily about the media. It's about the small donors, and how they're revolutionizing politics in every other party in North America...

...except theirs.

Anonymous said...

Steve. Doesn't that comment make sense to you?

Canadians have become more conservative but they are not yet as conservative as the CPC so the CPC will have to both pull them further and move closer to them.

Make sense to me :)

liberazzi said...

Yes, go after the Green and Dip vote and go after it now. You bleed enough Green and Dip voters that I would hope would be turned on by the Green Shift and would hopefully be turned off enough by Harper. It is much like Obama going after Palin. Palin is not the target, McCain is. In this case you are not going to win over Harper supporters, Bloc supporters and those center-right voters that still want to bitch about adscam. Go after the soft Green/Dip vote. Maybe even be obvious about it, like Layton was ala 'lend me your vote'.

If the core of the Dips is roughly 15% then go after the 3 or 4% soft Dip voters. Same for the Greens. If their core is 5%, then go after their 3 or 4% soft vote. I would almost say forget about Harper, since you are only going to siphon a couple of % from his vote. Dion has about 8 - 10% from the voter pool to attract. If the core of Lib support is around 28%, then that gives them a minority or holds off a majority for Harper. Is anybody is the war room listening?

Steve V said...


If you say the country is more conservative, but then say you need to move to them, that means you VERY right wing.

Steve V said...


I agree on fundraising, but I think that just another symptom of a passive party, that still has a sense of entitlement. In my view, the only person who GOT it straight away was Kennedy, and many didn't appreciate the message. The problem, you have entrenched people, who don't like to hear criticism, much easier to just arrogantly think all will eventually right itself. The party brought Trippi up here, two years ago, and he laid out how a modern campaign needs to raise money- we basically ignored the advice.

I agree with everything you've said, I just think it's only part of the equation.

liberazzi said...

Harper's comments prove what he a Flanagan are up to. I have the book actually, so I should read it. Although, it'd make me so angry that I would probably just rip the pages out.

Steve: As you have said b4, Dion should be using this majority talk to his advantage to woo Greendip voters. Use Harper as a prop, more than a target, such as playing up this latest thing about a Con nation. Play up what a Con nation would become etc etc. Do you agree that there are about 8% of left leaning voters to woo?

liberazzi said...


I agree that the Libs need to improve their grassroots game, small donors and such. However, it is a mute point right now, since all the parties started at 18m. Although, the Cons did get a head start, because they did have money in the bank.

liberazzi said...

Now for the joke of the day

liberazzi said...


We are not voting for a President. Look at the Conservative ministerial talent pool. There is none. The Cons had to bring in a former Lib to run Foreign Affairs. In fact, employees at Foreign Affairs openly mocked Bernier and Mackay for their obvious incompetance. The Cons have taken a 13b surplus and brought us on the verge of a deficit. They basically deny that climate change is a real problem. They've cut funding to successful social programs. On and on and on.

A quality of leadership is not only the ability to make decisions, but to make the right ones. Harper fails on the second point.

Steve V said...


If the Liberals are far back, then the media will look for a fight for second. Findlay responded to that tonight, and was excellent, without sounding at all arrogant.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they are very Conservative, now you understand it. Right, Steve?