the Messiah-like arrival of Michael Ignatieff seems to have reduced the appetite for rebellious mischief to record lows...Cautiously optimistic indeed Mr. Nanos. Moments in time...
In the meantime, the Liberal team around Mr. Ignatieff is over-joyed at the progress made since he became leader. “It feels like 1993 all over again,” said one veteran, referring to the period before Jean Chrétien became Prime Minister. MPs say the mood in the party is the best it has been in six or seven years.
There are few signs of internal division, even among Liberals who supported other candidates in past leadership campaigns.
But no-one should be in any doubt - Iggy is this year’s model. In a matter of weeks, he has succeeded in building what he calls a “culture of belief” in a fractious, if desperate, Liberal Party. The suggestion from the new Nanos polls is that he is piquing interest right across the country. “He should be cautiously optimistic but not doing a victory lap just yet,” said Mr. Nanos.
Nanos also finds, what we already know, Ignatieff did well during the budget debate:
with 35% of those surveyed saying his performance was good or very good, compared to 14% who thought he did poorly. Stephen Harper was also given pass marks for his handling of the budget, with 40% thinking he did well or very well, compared to 24% who thought he did badly.On the importance of the leader, Ignatieff, at the moment, would have the advantage over Harper:
But there was less encouraging news for Mr. Harper when respondents were asked whether leaders would have a positive or negative impact on local party candidates. Thirty-eight per cent thought Mr. Ignatieff would have a positive effect, against just 19% who believed he would be a negative influence. He recorded positive numbers in every region of the country.You can't expect hostile media to remain friendly, but when you see pieces like the above, it's a statement on objective respect. The new swagger Liberals have is undeniable, projecting confidence, all oars rowing together, and even the most slanted, once and while must take notice. Couple that, with the most amazingly lame attempt to cobble together a feeble attack line against Ignatieff, and you know these are positive days for the Liberals.
By contrast, while 37% felt positively about Mr. Harper, 32% felt negatively, with much of the ill-will concentrated in Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
“That’s a problem,” said Nik Nanos. “If you were developing an election stratey in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, you would run on the local candidate, not the leader. Michael Ignatieff has coat-tails across the country.”
And, I have no doubt of this from Ivison:
The clever money is on the Conservatives going on the offensive at the first sign of economic recovery.
No signs yet, haven't even touched bottom. In the meantime, Ignatieff is framing himself, before the Conservatives try to do it for him. I'm thinking June should be seriously considered as the election prepardness goal.