Saturday, March 21, 2009

Looking Good

A new NANOS poll, which translates to objectively good news for the Liberals. Nanos pegs the Liberals national support at the highest we've seen since Harper was first elected, and the regionals look even better. First, the horserace numbers:
Liberal Party 36% (+3)
Conservative Party 33% (-1)
NDP 13% (-3)
BQ 10% (NC)
Green Party 8% (+1)
(*Note: Undecided 11%)

Another poll, which confirms the same trends. Liberals on the uptick, with the NDP support tanking to worrying levels( the last NANOS poll also showed a 3% erosion for the party). This poll, while still quite close, gives the Liberals the largest "gap"(still within MOE) we've seen in years.

NANOS gives the Liberals a huge edge in Ontario:
Libs 44%
Cons 31%
NDP 14%
Greens 10%

Those numbers would represent a huge seat swing in Ontario, particularly if the NDP is less of a vote splitting factor.

In Quebec, more good news for the Liberals, as NANOS puts them within striking distance of the Bloc:
Bloc 36%
Libs 32%
Cons 19%
NDP 7%
Greens 6%

The last batch of polls all show a rise for the Liberal in Quebec, which translates into plenty of potential come the next election.

The Liberals are way ahead in Atlantic Canada, with 46% support, a dynamic which is confirmed elsewhere. Also, the Liberals are up to 30%(plus 4%) in the "west", a steady rise over the last few NANOS polls. As a matter of fact, it's pretty much good news across the country for the Liberals, all the numbers pointing in the right direction.

In terms of the best PM measure, no movement from the last NANOS poll, but Ignatieff is very well positioned:
Stephen Harper 33 (+1)
Michael Ignatieff 27 (-1)
Jack Layton 12 (-2)
Gilles Duceppe 6 (+1)
Elizabeth May 6 (+1)
None of them 7 (NC)
Unsure 9 (NC)

Again, we see that Layton's popularity is really suffering. It is quite encouraging to see an opposition leader so close to a sitting PM, and these type of findings bode well for a campaign(Ignatieff now leads Harper in Ontario, which is exceptional).

I don't think it a stretch, to say this is probably the best poll we've seen for the Liberals in literally years, all factors considered. The nationals and regionals point to a clear minority victory.


RuralSandi said...

Now, if memory serves me correctly, Harper usually rises in numbers when parliament is not in session. So, to me, it looks even better.

sjw said...

Take that, Cherniak_WTF!

Zorpheous said...

Polls are polls, and they do not change the situsation in Ottawa,... until someone has the ballz to pull the trigger.

That being said, one point that still concern Iggy and the Liberals is that all the poll movement has been one the left (nationally) since the last Nanos polling numbers. The Liberals need to pull support from Harper and the CPC. Pulling support from the NDP, Bloq and Greens is all fine and dandy, but the Liberals have to defend their from all sides, the NDP and CPC don't have this exposed flank.

Just saying,... you know,... so until the Liberals are up into the high 30's and the CPC are at 31 or lower, it is to risky. Since we know Harper, the cpc and Blogging Tories have no issues to using pure bs to attack the liberals.

Steve V said...

No need for a parade route at this point, but don't expect the Cons to fall much farther, especially in Ontario. They're down 5% since the election, so it's not just a "left" drift. High 30's seems a false ceiling in my mind, unless we see some big breakthrough in the "west", given it's a long term exercise, not really expecting that. We're doing quite well, where we have to do well, any thoughts beyond a fragile minority isn't in the cards. Given our seat total at the moment, I'd call that a roaring success.

Jeff said...

That being said, one point that still concern Iggy and the Liberals is that all the poll movement has been one the left (nationally) since the last Nanos polling numbers.

Look beyond the Cons' national # to the regional numbers: high Con pluralities in the West are masking regional weakness, particularly in Quebec and Ontario. They'll drop seats in both provinces right now, and they don't have the too to make it up in the West. Increasing their margins there doesn't get them more seats.

Still, we do need to drive their #s lower.

liberazzi said...

The most important thing to notice is that the trend for the Libs is consistently going up, while the CPC is stagnant or down slightly. Also, anything above 31% starts putting the Libs into minority territory due to regional breakdowns and the Libs have been consistently in that territory since Iggy took over. 36% actually puts them close to majority territory, but I'm not planning the parade route either. Now the attack ads will start probably after the convention, so we'll see what impact that has, but my prediction is that it will have minimal impact this time. The reality is that the Libs actually have an easier path to government than the CPC, since the CPC base is out west.

Éric said...

I'll be updating my projection on later today, I suspect this poll will cause some changes.

Steve V said...


How far back in the polls do you go to make projections?

burlivespipe said...

Nice news indeed. As mentioned above, however, the launch of some nasty CON-bought neg-ads will likely hit the airwaves or at least the zombie media soon (my guess just before the convention - perhaps with some creative faux Torytot spilling them onto u-tube...)... still, i like the cut of this jib.

Steve V said...

I admit a real curiousity, if they do go negative now. I'm not convinced it will have much impact this time. They will look desperate, don't see much in the way of media tolerance and it could reinforce their own negative perceptions.

JimmE said...

Nice trend, hope we keep it up!

Anonymous said...

You know Mr.Ignatieff is the only liberal leader in a long time that I'm tempted to vote for. The last time I voted for the liberals was in the early 90's. He is bringing the liberals more and more to the right. I could have never voted for Mr.Dion or Bob Rae for that matter. So far I agree about 90% of the things that he has said. Lets hope it will continue. I'm still center right that wont change. He has moved much closer to my position. If it continues I'm back in the fold.

Ryan said...

Good post. Steve I think it's important that we not get too carried away with the "this is the best we've ever done" narrative.


On Aug. 27 2008 (two weeks before the election was called):

Nanos has it Libs 35 - Cons 33

On May 11 2008, it was Libs 34 - Cons 33.

On April 09, 2008, it was Libs 36-Cons 36.

On Feb 20, 2008, it was Libs 34-Cons 34.

And this was all at a time when Dion was supposedly reviled across the country and was counted out by everyone, but Dion and his team ran an AWFUL campaign and blew it They could have won even with the Green Shift (note that August poll two weeks before e-day is LONG after all the Green Shift attacks the Cons put out).

The intent here is not to sound like a downer, but just that it will be the campaign that matters and we have lots of reason to believe that the upcoming campaign will be waged MUCH better than the last.

We will have solid momentum coming out of the convention, THAT may be when he see our best numbers and THAT is the time to go in my opinion.

If we squander that opportunity waiting for a poll dynamic that will NEVER come outside the writ we WILL regret it in my view.

Negative ads will dominate the summer and we won't have Parliament to hold Harper and his ministers to account for dumb things they say. They will dominate the narrative for months and we will have lost an opportunity.

Not to mention the Ontario PCs have a leadership race going till June and possibly September so they will be divided in the most key province.

I REALLY REALLY hope the Libs don't squander this opportunity and go in June. We WILL win if we go then, I have my doubts about the fall....

sjw said...

"You know Mr.Ignatieff is the only liberal leader in a long time that I'm tempted to vote for."

Good bloody gawd...if there is anything that may send me back into the arms of the NDP it is sentiments like that coming from individuals such as TRIWIA. I guess I just need to keep reminding myself, "Big tent party, big tent party"..

Steve V said...


You'll note I said "all factors considered". These are the best numbers, combined with positive leadership scores, and that's an objective fact. The Liberals are scoring higher in Quebec than the period you've referenced, so again the regionals give us our best seat projection. People might recall, that I used to worry about Dion's numbers, even when the "brand" was still a draw, because as you say a "campaign matters", within that the ability of the leader to articulate, to be seen as credible paramount. Sadly, that wasn't the case in the last election, and if you canvassed Liberals doing door to door, you would see that Dion was a drag on the party. When you plug in these numbers, with openness to Ignatieff, it is fair to say, this is the best poll we've seen since Harper was elected. I'm comfortable saying that, but that doesn't translate to rose colored glasses about the challenge ahead. The polls may well vaciliate from here until a campaign, so I won't get excited if we see that. What is important is a credible alternative, with a PM in waiting. We have those variables, add in better fundraising and a more diverse, seasoned team, I like our chances.

Seems like June isn't on the table for some reason, more and more it appears people prefer fall. I've been a "go early" guy, and these polls support that, but I can see the other side. We need to attract strong candidates and there's work to do on the organization front. I guess we'll see...

Ryan said...

Fair points Steve - though I would say objectively our best poll numbers were Jan. 07 but of course that was a convention bounce that didn't last long.

As for the election timing, I agree on the organizational front, but it's really a credibility issue.

When the guy tasked to run your war room keeps writing things like "we must defeat these idiots, there is no time to waste" - - it starts to wear a little thin, and Ignatieff and others' remarks of "losing patience with this government" start ringing hollow.

We have the soft NDP vote for now, but we did for a time under Dion too, let's not forget how we lost it because we will need to get back to government.

Not to mention Harper is badly wounded now - a summer to rebuild would a mana from heaven for him, just as it was in the summer of 2005 - we all know how that turned out - Martin would have won a summer election had the government fallen then even Conservatives admit that - heck perhaps we would have won the last election if we brought down the government last June when even Don Martin said at the time the Cons were terrified of an election in the immediate aftermath of In and Out, Benier, immigration changes and other scandals that had them on the ropes.

Steve V said...

I don't really count the convention bounce, it lasted about a nanosecond.

I hear you on the timing, summer is usually a good period for the incumbent government, and the opposition struggles to get much traction, or hold them to task. The only caveat there I suppose, Harper didn't benefit last year, at all. The real unknown, if these economics show the slightest indication of "the worst is over". Not good numbers, that won't happen, but we are getting used to horrible indicators, a few relatively positive, it can change the mood. We saw a hint of this psychology this week, where people CLUNG to objectively bad numbers, but better than expected. You wait until the fall, if we see hints, Harper will claim his stimulus is working, take credit for fast track and start arguing you don't change captains when the other side of the storm is at hand. I think we really need to balance all the factors here, and if sacrificing a little on the readiness front is required, then we should move.

Steve V said...

Interesting take from NANOS on attack ads. He argued that any sense of the Conservatives being distracted with partisan posturing, while the economy is in trouble, could actually make things WORSE. Nanos said his mood of the country shows little tolerance.

Anonymous said...

"He argued that any sense of the Conservatives being distracted with partisan posturing"

Bleeding Red Tory votes to Iggy from the centre right and discredited from the libertarian front. Only one place for Harper to go. Hard, populist, and possibly so-con right. Uncharted territory for the blue sweater man.

I think Iggy needs to offer Layton a coalition deal right now and try to topple the government. Only this time, instead of forming the government, go with the immediate dissolution of Parliament and straight to election.

marie said...

Good bloody gawd...if there is anything that may send me back into the arms of the NDP it is sentiments like that coming from individuals such as TRIWIA. I guess I just need to keep reminding myself, "Big tent party, big tent party"..

Sjw, nothing would send me anywhere near the NDP. They would give away the lot for a few votes. They did here in BC and nothing would change my mind. They sold us right out of business by turning them away at every opportunity. They have this mentality that forgets that to create jobs you need bussiness and their tax dollars and the business needs some tax relief to do business which create jobs.

Anonymous said...

If there is one thing that I will never get when it comes to politics is socialism or the left it's one of the same if you ask me. It's what turned me away from the liberals in the first place,when it seemed that the left had taken control of the party. There is no way that I could ever vote for a left wing government.

When I listen to Mr.Layton I get hives. You would think that BIG business are out to get us. They (NDP/Left)seem to think that the government are the ones who create jobs in this country.

To a certain extent they're right. But they're only temporarily,here today gone tomorrow. It's only the private enterprise that can create sustainable jobs in any country.

To do this we need to convince companies to invest in this country by lower tax's with a stable political environment.

Just take a look what happens when a left wing type government are in control of a country.

Mr.Ignatieff reminds a lot of the late Mr.Pierre Elliott Trudeau.This is why I'm leaning towards the liberals.But of course I need to see more of the same and that he is not just saying anything so he can get votes. So far so good. As to polls when there isn't an election going on I just don't put much stock in them.

Steve V said...


You don't even make sense. If Trudeau was around today, he'd probably be on good terms with Chavez.

Trudeau had a flair for being tough, but he was a "lefty" by any definition. Were you a big Jimmy Carter fan too?

Steve V said...

As to polls when there isn't an election going on I just don't put much stock in them."

This isn't to pick on you HERE, because it's a common refrain. It doesn't matter if you put stock in them, because the political parties and the media that gives us the frames are entirely influenced by them. Do a test for me, watch the next Jack Layton interview and tell me how the line of questioning goes? Then read a few stories on the Liberals, and look for the line that says "improving fortunes". Psychology, the polls rule the mindset. Just look at Harper, how he carries himself, much of it is influenced by perceived feedback.

Anonymous said...

"You don't even make sense. If Trudeau was around today, he'd probably be on good terms with Chavez."

Sorry to disagree with you but Trudeau wasn't left. I wouldn't say that he was a Reaganite by any stretch of imagination. But not left for sure. No politician today would have the courage to bring in the war measure's act that brought down the cancer of the FLQ before it even had a chance to spread. They would have been labeled a dictator if they would even try to do so. Mr.Layton with the rest left wing politicians would have been leading the parade in labeling the P.M.a dictator.

Would you characterize Mr.Ignatieff a left wing politician?

You said:

"Trudeau had a flair for being tough, but he was a "lefty" by any definition. Were you a big Jimmy Carter fan too?"

No I was never a Jimmy Carter fan! I don't pay that much attention to the politics south of the boarder except when their laws affects us.

I will say it again Mr.Ignatieff is the reason why I'm leaning towards the liberals. I like his stance on the oil sands,on tax's, on the military,throwing away the so called green shift etc... I still need to hear more from him. But he is going in the right direction. I'm not saying that I agree with him 100% what he has said nor do I agree with Mr.Harper 100% either.

I'm not a Conservative nor a Liberal. I'm a center right wing first.

Anonymous said...

Steve I don't feel picked on.I do agree with you that the parties are influenced by them. That's why I laugh when I hear politicians that say that they don't look at polls when their own party use's them. I personnaly don't buy into them when there isn't an election going on.

I keep hearing the liberals should bring down the government around June. But there is a problem with that.If the block or the NDP feels threaten by the liberals I don't think it would be in their best interest to have an election. Especially with the Bloc.if they would lose seats it would set their cause back. It would have a big ripple affect here in Quebec.

Steve V said...

Ask Fidel what he thinks of Trudeau, and it's too bad you couldn't ask Nixon or Reagan. Yes, he was tough, and the WMA speaks to that, but the majority of his policy positions, his legacy, was left by any definition.

Steve V said...


If the Libs try to force one, and either of the other parties resist, then that's great news, because all their attacks would be neutered. They're boxed in now, to then pivot and prop up the Cons, well, that's gold for us down the road.

JimmE said...

The positive I see from these polls is the Fear it gives the present PM. Press see the fear & are picking at the present PM's half truths & fibs. Fear puts him off balance, so we get MP Fred Flintstone, & Gun Door Prize MP making headlines. Fear causes him to go after his red meat crowd asking for help getting rid of the Gun registry. This means they fear the trend & they've written off Quebec & are hoping women & Urban Canada won't notice - but they already do. The trend that has been set in motion is emboldening folks like Dodge to speak up.
If you start to see more mouth breathers dragging their knuckles off the ground & into their mouths, more brown envelopes into reporter's hands, & more reporters, well, doing their jobs then the present PM will soon be the former PM as long as Iggy keeps looking like a PM in waiting.

Anonymous said...

Steve I hope that you wouldn't compare Fidel to Trudeau. As to Nixon or Reagan I've never compared
them nor would I.

Steve I don't want to argue anymore on whether the late Mr.Trudeau was left or not. You have you're opinion and I say that he wasn't on the left.

I'm just looking to the future and see how Mr.Ignatieff has impressed me so far. I just hope it's sincere and not just votes buying that's all.

sjw said...


Without getting into a litany of what I hold dear in regards to how I would like to see my country managed, I'll just tell you that ideologically my heart is with the NDP, but my head is decidedly pragmatic. Particularly during these days of inept, right-wing rule. It is a situation not unlike Pierre Trudeau found himself (contrary to what TRIWIA is conveying above), who as a young man was a supporter of the left-leaning NDP with very few ties to the LPC. Trudeau's pragmatism is what brought him to the Liberals where as far as the internal machinations of the party were concerned he was a virtual unknown. Trudeau knew that in order to be politically successful he needed to attach himself to an organization that could offer up the reigns of power and that in turn would enable him to implement his visions for the nation. It was a compromise with his beliefs. Reason over passion if you will.

That and I just can't stand Jack Layton.

sjw said...

After rereading that, I should point out that Trudeau did become decidedly more conservative in his golden years particularly in regards to his Roman Catholicism. His religious beliefs were an integral aspect of his life from earliest childhood, through his classical education and certainly upon his death. I suppose some might say he strayed from his path of faith during his political career. That would likely be a fair statement.

Éric said...

Steve V asks: "How far back in the polls do you go to make projections?"

Sorry I didn't respond sooner. Technically, I don't go back farther than 12 months, or the last election. But, after several months and depending on the source of the poll and its size, a poll could drop off earlier because it's weight is less than 0.01.

For the next federal election, I chose to take polls that were done only after Michael Ignatieff became the Liberal leader, since the Dion-era polls were no longer relevant.

While my current projection (35.9% and 135 seats CPC, 31.3% and 103 LPC, 15.3% and 20 NDP) might seem a little, well, conservative, keep this in mind. My first projection in mid-January had the Conservatives with 37.5% and 138 seats and the Liberals with 29.9% and 95 seats. The Liberals have been gaining ever since.

Steve V said...

Thanks Eric. I was just curious, because if you average the last poll from each outfit, the results are much closer. Great site!