Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Liberals On The Move

Encouraging horserace numbers, Ignatieff getting high marks, the new Harris Decima poll is all good for the Liberals:
The poll also suggests Conservatives and Liberals are statistically tied, with 33 per cent and 31 per cent support respectively, well ahead of the NDP at 15 per cent, the Greens at 10 per cent and the Bloc Quebecois at 10 per cent.

Within the margin of error, a statistical tie. Another poor showing for the NDP, and although we don't have the regionals, the Bloc is clearly formidable in Quebec.

The leadership numbers tell a striking story. Ignatieff's negatives are quite low, partially a result of his relative "unknown" status, but still a clear indication that he's had a very good introductory period as leader. Partisanship aside, I've always believed that Layton has handled recent events poorly, and this poll confirms a seismic shift in public sentiment for the NDP leader:
Indeed, Ignatieff was the only national leader to score a net positive rating, with 43 per cent of respondents saying they had a favourable impression of him versus 32 per cent who had an unfavourable opinion.

Harper was viewed favourably by 43 per cent and unfavourably by 49 per cent, relatively unchanged since last October's election.

Layton was seen positively by 37 per cent and negatively by 49 per cent of respondents, almost a complete reversal since the election campaign when the NDP leader was the most favourably viewed national leader.

I've never seen any finding as bad as this one for Layton, it would appear people are tiring of the predictable act. Lesser stature also means the NDP assault on the Liberals is more likely to be seen as posturing, rather than principle. Many people concluded that Layton was "the big loser" in the budget debate, this poll reaffirms that perspective. From most popular, to least popular, hard to fluff that off.

Harper's numbers have actually remained steady, but this poll reflects a 5% drop in support for the Conservatives since the election. The Liberals are up 5%, the drag of the coalition gone, Ignatieff is clearly helping the cause.

I'll post the regionals when they're released :)

Good news on the "growth" front for Ignatieff:
More importantly, the leadership favourability numbers suggest theLiberals under Ignatieff have more growth potential than their rivals.

Ignatieff was viewed more positively than negatively all across the country, except Alberta, and across all age and gender groups. While he was most favourably viewed among Liberal voters (70 per cent), 33 per cent of Conservatives, 44 per cent of New Democrats, 32 per cent of Bloquistes and 38 per cent of Greens said they too had a positive impression of the Liberal leader. By contrast, Harper was viewed favourably by 90 per cent of Conservatives but only 27 per cent of Liberals, 22 per cent of New Democrats, 14 per cent of Bloc supporters and 30 per cent of Greens.


Anonymous said...

Great news yes, this would definitely translate into a Liberal minority victory :).

BUT I can't help but note that you were CERTAIN there would be ZERO blowback in Quebec from supporting the budget and looks like I was right in predicting we'd lose ground there since this is the second poll in a row that shows the Bloc strong again.

Anonymous said...

To be fair though I should point that the overall national Liberal standings post-budget are better than I myself predicted.

Steve V said...


Quebec is beyond fluid, and on balance, the reaction to Ignatieff's budget support has been fair. The Bloc just had their convention, which I'm sure didn't hurt. I wouldn't draw any conclusions just yet. I think Ignatieff is fine, after all this same outfit showed 70% of Bloc supporters wanted the budget to pass, so it's hard to see BLOWBACK.

WesternGrit said...

There may be moderate gains in Quebec for the Bloc, but I think that we are up from the period before the last election - which is telling. I look more at the race between the Libs and Cons in Quebec. Sure, it would be nice to make inroads into Bloc territory, but if we can grow our seats in "federalist" areas, we will have much success in the next election. I also feel that Mr. Ignatieff has many strengths in Quebec, and when we are in an election, our attacks on Conservative policy will help us win more seats. This budget will be forgotten under a mire of partisan attacks flying in all directions. Michael will be the voice of reason, and will benefit.

Steve V said...

Just to clarify, HD found last week that 76% of Quebecers supported Ignatieff's stance on the budget, including 75% of Bloc supporters. That tells me, it's wrong to assume that the Liberals were hurt in Quebec, and any Bloc bounce (remember the MOE's in national polls) might be other considerations.

Steve V said...

Quebec numbers from the poll, which are good:

In Quebec, the Bloc led with 41 per cent, followed by the Liberals at 27 per cent, the Tories at 16 per cent, the NDP at 10 per cent and Greens at 4 per cent.

The Cons are taking the hit for the budget, not us it would seem. In fact, we're up since the last election, about the same as the Bloc.

Anonymous said...

How are the Quebec #s good?
I've worked election after election in this province and my new magic formula has the NDP draining from the Bloc and the Conservatives in no mans land.
Only then do seats swing Liberal. Unless of course, Iggy can beat the seperatists at their own game and play 1 on 1 for the francophone vote.
Otherwise I'm not seeing alot of additional wins in our corner.

Anthony said...

i believe its time to wait for the French polling firms with huge sample sizes for real quebec results.

Steve V said...

"How are the Quebec #s good?"

Oh, I don't know, the Conservatives are in the toilet and we're up a bit from the election. I can't help people with their built in pessimism, forever looking for doom on the horizon. Lose the grudge, maybe you'll start to see the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Back to Stephane Dion category for Michael Ignatieff :)

"Unless of course, Iggy can beat the seperatists at their own game and play 1 on 1 for the francophone vote."

This is the attractiveness of Michael Ignatieff. A Grit leader who can open roads to Quebec that have been shut for more than 20 years.

Anonymous said...

Scratch what I said about reading too much into the Quebec numbers. Steve did you see the regionals on the Strategic Counsel poll?

26% for the GREENS in Quebec, they are listed as being in FIRST PLACE! They were only at 8% in Quebec in their last poll in Jan. Absolute nonsense and completely impossible. I'd love to see them explain this as anything other than massive error on their part.

If there was ever CLEAR evidence that regionals can often be completely useless this would be it.

Steve V said...


Those numbers are off, looks like a Bloc-Green problem.

Are you still trying to making this same POINT, using this turd to discredit everything? It's getting old.

Anonymous said...

No not really, other polls showed a Bloc resurgence in Quebec but the SC poll made me think that Antonio's advice is best: wait for a bigger sample from Quebec because regionals with MOE of 7% just aren't that reliable (and the Green numbers are just so far out of the MOE that makes you completely scratch your head at what they did there).

My point remained that the Bloc would benefit most in Quebec from the latest budget (I never argued that we wouldn't do well in the rest of Canada). But at this point, particularly with the SC mess of a poll out, the fairest assessment I think would be to say the jury is still out on that one.

Steve V said...

I don't disagree the Bloc might benefit, but I don't agree the Libs are necessarily hurt, in any lasting way. As for this poll, apart from the Bloc and Green disparity in the regional, everything else looks about right, relative to others. I put up a post.