Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Tightening

Oh, the NANOS poll brings a smile. The race is down to a 4% lead, and Dion is closing in on the best PM rating. Today's Decima poll also shows a 5% tightening in just two days (although still a 10% gap), the Conservatives at their lowest since the election, the Liberals getting breathing room from the NDP. One other note from Decima, Harper's unfavorables are rising, his favorables at the lowest this pollster can remember.

This is good news:
Conservative Party 34 (-1)
Liberal Party 30 (+2)
NDP 19 (NC)
BQ 10% (NC)
Green Party 7% (-1)
Undecided 14% (-2)

Note the high undecided. Also, NANOS has the Conservatives at a low water mark for the campaign, mirroring Decima.

Of the following individuals, who do you think would make the best Prime Minister? [Rotate] (N=1,202,MoE ± 2.8%, 19 times out of 20)

Conservative leader Stephen Harper 32% (NC)
Liberal leader Stephane Dion 20% (+3)
NDP leader Jack Layton 19% (NC)
Green Party leader Elizabeth May 4% (NC)
Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe 3% (-1)
None of them 6% (-2)
Unsure 16% (-1)

Still a gap, but quite simply the closest Dion has been to Harper since the early days of "not a leader"

Liberals up everywhere, but what is really striking, NANOS has the Liberals up to 28% in Quebec (plus 2% from yesterday). This poll now encompasses the full debate effect, and the Conservatives are now a full 12% behind the Liberals in Quebec.

Big lead in Atlantic Canada, margin of error aside, these trends have held for four days now, so it looks credible. Slight uptick in Ontario, although the NDP remains strong at 22%. Slight uptick in the "west" for the Liberals.

The gap is miniscule, and when you look at my last post, the scenario becomes more realistic if true. What really excites me, Dion's numbers are up across the board, this isn't a Quebec only circumstance. A credible Dion, voters will make the leap back to the Liberals more easily.

Should be an exciting week...


Anonymous said...

I don't think 14% undecided is particularly big at all. We know that 35-40% of eligible voters won't even vote - when the dust settles people who say they are undecided are almost all non-voters. People who vote will typically give an answer (which may vary over the course of the campaign) as to who they will vote for - they may change their mind - but they will give an answer.

If there are last minute shifts it will be from weakly committed voters shifting - the "undecideds" will almost all stay home.

The Nanos and Decima and Ekos polls (as of Friday) all have virtually identical CPC and NDP numbers as well as for the BQ in Quebec - the polls that have the Greens high tend to have to have the Liberals low and vice-versa. I predict that the NDP vote will be quite solid because they have the money to run tons of ads and they have a popular leader and active campaigns in many ridings - the really "soft" vote is for the Green Party and they just don't have the money or the organization or the history - to be able to fight against a last minute polarization.

I predict that when all the dust settles, the final popular vote will be something like CPC 34%, Libs 27%, NDP 20%, BQ 10% (high 30s in Quebec) and Greens 8%. This will produce a house with a a few more Tories and Dippers and somewhat fewer Liberals and the BQ about even.

The question will then be - does Dion feel that he has "exceeded expectations" enough to try to stay on.

Anonymous said...

The different questions are being asked may account for some of the difference.

Harris Decima: “If a federal election were being held tomorrow, who do you think you would be voting for in your area?”

Nanos: If a FEDERAL election were held today, could you please rank your top two current local voting preferences? (First ranked reported)

ann d said...

I wonder if this is why Harper chose to have such a short campaign. Five weeks is pretty short by Canadian standards. (I remember one of the papers published the stats when the election was called.) Maybe he felt his popularity with Canadians could only hold so long while he was out in the (relative) limelight.

Steve V said...


Well, I think that is a terrific filter. If you can't even name a party, umprompted, what are the chances you will actually vote? I like it.


It's still a large undecided, although you're right, only about 1/3 of these usually vote. Still, late deciders tend to go for the Liberals, so it's certainly noteworthy.

Anonymous said...

"late deciders tend to go for the Liberals"

There is some reason to believe that in Canada late deciders tend to go to the incumbent party - it just happens that in the last 5 elections that was the Liberals - whether that will happen when the Liberal are in opposition is another question.

I would go along with the theory though that the relatively few people who are both undecided and likely to vote - are often people who don't like Harper and still playing "spin the bottle" between the opposition parties.

Scott Tribe said...

Steve: I like this headline even more:

The Tories are in trouble over at Andrew Coyne's blog.

Steve V said...

Isn't Coyne the guy, who just two days ago said Dion did nothing to improve his chances?

I hope these numbers hold, if only to watch the fickle media pivot madly, and then act like they expected it all along.

Anonymous said...

It has been somewhat tactitly reported, but it seems someone in the media might hit upon the headline showing the conservatives polling BELOW their last election results.

They were certainly quite hip to pointing that out (incessantly) on the Liberals earlier in the campaign.

It does bug me tremendously that the "so late it almost doesn't count" platform will end up getting presented like the unveiling of the Magna Carta.

Here's hoping all the opposing parters are ready to step in front of cameras immediately to shoot down any false assumption, outright lies, or reversals contained within it.

With the numbers where they are, I expect the conservatives to pull the ultimate makeover and suddenly decide bold action in the finale needs to replace "the calm stead hand" production they presented in Acts 1 & 2.

They are counting on having just enough razzle dazzle for a week so I'd love to see them fall on their faces with it.

Steve V said...

In all seriousness, this is the best we could have hoped for, heading into the last week. It was imperative that the storyline changed from Dion and the Liberal woes, to Harper fading, a sense of wind in our sails. The campaign needs to pump these numbers, and when Harpo releases his platform, show it for the opportunistic bandaid it is.

Scott Tribe said...

Steve: Andrew does a mini mea culpa over there on that. I'll let it slide. I'm just pleased to see at least 1 media person figure it out the Tories are starting to slide and the Liberals are making it a horserace.

Steve V said...

No that's great. Get out the smelling salts boys and girls, nothing WAS written in stone.

liberazzi said...

Awesome! Your last post might be coming true...Tomorrow's another day, but today taste sweeeet!

liberazzi said...

I am comfortable with Dion's leadership numbers. I think the PM would generally get the higher numbers by default, but Dion has closed the gap substantially over the past few days.

liberazzi said...

One last thing, if the CPC vote does not grow this election or goes down is it not Harper that is in trouble, not Dion?

Anonymous said...

All this news makes me happy today!
Liber - I would agree that Harper is the one in trouble. A Liberal Minority and a Conservative leadership race would be a great accomplishment, wouldn't it?

I like the french ads over at Aaron's beard right now; too bad I can't understand them. Why can't they do these in english or at least do them with closed captions? Woman at mile 0 has a great video up re: the green shift. Again, another one that snags the MC = priceless theme would be great to see. Take some of the good one-liners from the debates for this.

Some of these are reverberating in my brain this weekend - May's lovely female voice coming from off camera as Harper listens to himself talk - "That's a lie!"

Another was when Duceppe rattled off the Quebec lowering their greenhouse gases by such and such a percentage VS Alberta and Saskatchewan's #'s going up by such a much larger %. Loved this Quebecker putting our western failings in such stark contrast to the eastern efforts. I hope I wasn't the only voter feeling slightly embarrassed and even ashamed. Especially when he followed that with a plan to see Quebec profit from their good behaviour. Priceless.

C'mon, someone with some cut n paste of debate clips and voice over saying priceless at the right moment. This would be fun and cathartic. Let's make hay as the sun shines.


Steve V said...

Duceppe was all over the plagarism angle today on the stump, which I found interesting.

Scott Tribe said...

Steve, on that note:

New Harper plagiarism accusation imminent?

Steve V said...


I've been wondering that, because it was speculated that more was too come, when the first split screen was offered up. We keep pumping this angle, maybe it's because there is another chapter in the hopper. Wouldn't surprise me, nothing Harper has done is original, policy or tactics included.

Anonymous said...

I am chanting in unison with eugene today. Time to rip the kitchen sink right outta the wall and throw it. Cows, barrels of hot oil, anything not nailed down, over the ramparts! Heave ho!


Jerry Prager said...

Some weeks back I suggested that the two electorates in North America would both begin to liberalize the closer to election day we came. I will vote Green myself unless Frank is in danger from Gloria, but I never underestimated Dion's strength of character. What I want out of this election is for May to defeat MacKay, he deserves it for destroying the PC's and giving us Harper. But green is a movement more than a party, and it will take a liberal to introduce green capitalism before we can turn Canada into cooperative commonwealth in a post corporate -post socialist world.