Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Angus Reid

Angus Reid weighs in(no pdf yet), and we see a significant change, particularly in Ontario. The national numbers (last poll two weeks ago in brackets):
Cons 36% (33%)
Libs 29% (32%)
NDP 17% (19%)
Bloc 10% (9%)
Greens 7% (7%)

A noticeable difference, further indication that the Conservatives are winning the election speculation debate.

Most of this gap seems to be a function of a large change in Ontario. The last AR poll had the Libs 40%, Con 37%, NDP 14%. While we don't have the full numbers yet, quite a shift:
The Conservatives held a commanding 12 point lead over Michael Ignatieff's Liberals in Ontario.

A 15% shift in two weeks is massive, by any measure. Ontario has fluctuated quite a bit this year, quite volatile. I can't recall this sort of lead for the Cons in Ontario from this pollster. Part of this may be explained by this finding:
The poll also showed almost six in 10 – 58 per cent – were against any move by the opposition to topple the Harper government.

The question now becomes, is this a temporary wave for the Conservatives, borne out of immediate election anger, or does this momentum "stick"?


Here are the internals. A couple of raised eyebrows. Not a dispute of changing fortunes in Ontario, but that Liberal number looks odd:
Cons 41%
Libs 29%
NDP 18%
Greens 10%

I expected another Con at mid 40's to justify the gap, but AR has the Liberals below 30%, which I'll put in the "one off" category for now. What's interesting, despite these seemly horrible numbers, AR finds that Ontarians pick the Liberals as their first choice to look after their interests, above the Conservatives. That suggests support beyond election reaction, a underlying number that bodes well in a campaign. Anyways, I'll take the trend, but the spread is questionable, given the Liberal score.

It's a good thing AR has the Liberals relatively high in Quebec, or the national number would look worse. Not sure I buy this number necessarily:
Bloc 40%
Libs 36%
Cons 13%
NDP 10%
Greens 2%

I haven't seen a Liberal number that high in quite some time, so another "one off" perhaps. Anti-election sentiment is weakest in Quebec, so it's believable that there is no backlash for the Liberals.

AR also asks people which type of government they would prefer. The Liberals come out on top, as the preferred future government. 54% prefer a Liberal minority or majority, 46% some form of Conservative government.

Only 1/3 support the opposition taking out the government. Interestingly, there is quite a bit of opposition from Liberal and NDP supporters.


CanadianSense said...

Is it possible the $ 2 million media buy introducing and contrasting the Liberal leader is too late?

Has public opinion has already begun to take hold since the June 2009 press conference?

Did the MSM and public end the honeymoon as a result.

Oxford County Liberals said...

Nice concern trolling there, but if I may offer a serious answer, we wont know the answer to your question til an election campaign is commenced and we see how the public reacts to Ignatieff and the Liberals.

DL said...

Have the Liberals actually been spending that $2 million on ads introducing Ignatieff? I see the Tory ads attacking Iggy CONSTANTLY on TV, but the only time I've seen the Liberal ads has been on YouTube. Did they ever actually run?

DL said...

btw Steve, I hate to be petty but according the the Star the ARS poll has Liberal support at 29% not the 30% you have in your post.

Gayle said...

IF Harper really believes these poll results we will see a poison pill.

DL said...

If I was Harper though, I would realize that people are not voting today when the number one issue in the country seems to be "should we or should we not have an election?". If he put in a poison pill of some sort, we would have an election almost two months from now and who knows what would happen then. There is a good chance that the "liberals, socialists and separatists" would have a majority between them.

Fabio Van Manly said...

Should have gone in June.

Steve V said...



As for the 2 million, nobody will confirm the actual number, so it makes me wonder. I will say, the Con ads seem to be on the air much more, but that's just my perception.

marie said...

Dl, I too have not seen the Liberal ads on CTV. I see the Harper ones constantly. This from the Toronto Star.

In an online survey of 1,002 voters completed Sunday, the Conservatives had a seven-point lead over the Liberals, 36 per cent to 29 per cent, among committed voters. The New Democrats had the support of 17 per cent, the Bloc Québécois 10 per cent and the Green party 7 per See what the problem is. On line voting that takes in the pimply teens that are to young to vote in an election and more likely sent by the Reform/CONS/Alliance members .

The total voting public do not all have computers and in my book, the total public counts not just the online people.

Steve V said...

I've actually seen them on CTV more than anywhere else.

DL said...

check the Angus Reid website, the internals of this poll are now posted.

DL said...


I agree with you that the Tories are probably not as far ahead in Ontario as this poll shows, but I think you are barking up the wrong tree with your comment below. Ontarians almost never vote based on which party is going to defend the interests of Ontario. This province has a very weak sense of identity and people tend to vote in the national not the provincial interest. It makes sense that people would think that the Liberals would be best at defending the interests of Ontario - over half their caucus is from Ontario and so is their leader...but I think of all the reasons why someone might vote Liberal - the idea that they will "defend the interests of Ontario as a province" is not likely to be one of them.

"What's interesting, despite these seemly horrible numbers, AR finds that Ontarians pick the Liberals as their first choice to look after their interests, above the Conservatives. That suggests support beyond election reaction, a underlying number that bodes well in a campaign."

Steve V said...

Let's put it this way. I'd rather have that factor on my ledger than against.

Anonymous said...

I still tend to put this in the category of an immediate reaction rather than a cemented framing. The very nature of "momentum" is that it tends to shift.

Ignatieff took a hit as well when he didn't pull the plug in June . . . back then it was the show of weakness that had everyone "paying attention" fearful and the masses feeding on the perceived weakness. Strange how that move went widely unappreciated at the time.

Now it's the opposite action causing consternation.

In the long run, I'd rather the Liberals be the party that acts like a true opposition than the party that craters every time. It's a lot less corrosive in the long run.

For that reason I remain relatively unconcerned about the current batch of polls. Nothing here points to anything near a collapse of support as much as some conservatives might like to think that it does.

I suspect the Liberals knew very well that the NDP and/or bloc might step in and keep the conservatives afloat. I think they - rightly - determined they could no longer carry the water of being Harper's life buoy.

If an election unfolds and the Liberals put out a compelling alternative to the conservatives in a well-run campaign, I think this all gets forgotten.

And if the election continues to be delayed due to the Bloc and NDP providing "reluctant" support to scraps from the conservatives, so much the better in allowing the Liberals to move forward with their own competing vision and policies.

The key is to continue the efforts recently started to lay out that competing vision. I also look forward to Liberals being able to openly lambast the continuing saga the conservatives have in providing the "open ,honest and transparent" government they seem utterly unwilling to provide. Many failures during the last sitting of parliament (isotopes, partisan release of stimulus projects, etc) remain unresolved.

One final note, I'm very curious what the wording of the Liberals motion of non-confidence will be in a couple of weeks. Normally, I would think a basic statement would suffice. But in this case I hope they provide a litany of reasons for putting forth a vote of non-confidence.

Monkey Loves to Fight said...

The spread seems a bit large for Ontario while the Liberals seem to be doing better in Quebec than what other pollsters say. The only plausible explanation here is the coalition issue is having some impact as lets remember the Tories in this poll and Ipsos Reid are down in Quebec and attitudes on the coalition were totally the opposite between Ontario and Quebec. Still I think the spread between the Tories and Liberals is much smaller than 12 points in Ontario and barring some major mess-up it will probably be much close and in many ways there is still a very good chance the Liberals will come out in front in Ontario.

Besides, it looks like an election may not happen until next year anyways, so that makes the polls even less relevant as a lot can change between now and then.

Monkey Loves to Fight said...

I should Ekos came out with a poll today with somewhat similiar numbers. The Tories are at 40% in Ontario, while the Liberals at 36%. Also the poll shows more want a Liberal government than Tory government although slightly more want a Tory majority than Liberal majority. It also gave a few other interesting breakdowns such as land line only, cell only or both. The Tories were at 22% amongst those with cell only, 32% for land line only and 38% for both. Also it asked on place of birth and the Tories had a nine point lead amongst those born in Canada, while the Liberals have a seven point lead amongst foreign born Canadians, so at least some of the ethnic vote might be returning our way. It didn't give breakdown by race like most American pollsters did though as 40% of foreign born Canadians are from Europe and I would expect the Tories are doing better amongst this group than those not from Europe, especially considering most of these would be older Canadians.