Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Nanos Internals

The regionals are out for the Nanos poll, and they provide a slightly different take than the national numbers suggest. For one thing, the Liberal vote is virtually unchanged, with strong numbers in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. The Conservatives are way in the "Prairies" and Atlantic Canada, slight rebound in Quebec and Ontario. This isn't to say the poll isn't good news for the government, because it is, only that it's strange in one sense- normally when one of the two principles rises by a noticeable margin, it comes at the expense of the other to some degree, this dynamic is absent.

Ontario (last Nanos in brackets):

Libs 39.6% (38.4%)
Cons 38.4% (35%)
NDP 15.6% (17.3)
Greens 9.2% (6.2%)

The Liberal vote is actually up slightly in Ontario, the 40% score consistent with most other recent findings. That said, a very good number for the Cons, anything close to this at election day, the Liberals can forget about forming government. This polls shows a real two horse race, and I think there is an inherent danger in the coming campaign, that the focus narrows to the principles and others are marginalized. We'll see.


Bloc 37.3% (35.8%)
Libs 32.5% (34.1%)
Cons 19.3% (13.1%)
NDP 8.9% (14.3%)
Greens 2% (2.4%)

Nanos gives the Conservatives a noticeably uptick, more in line with recent trends. Somebody told me yesterday that this Nanos poll would confirm the Strategic Counsel dud, but they were on the Con glue it seems. A good result for the Liberals, very manageable gap behind the Bloc- the slightest of movement. Very bad result for the NDP, another single digit poll, noticeable drop from the last offering. Liberals stable in Quebec, Cons coming off the mat.

Nanos has the Liberals and Conservatives tied in British Columbia, 35.6% Cons, Libs 34.3%, NDP 22.8%- almost identical to the last Nanos poll. That's a great number for the Liberals, poor result for the NDP. Again, no Liberal erosion in this region.

The Atlantic Canada numbers provide a huge and frankly suspect bounce for the Conservatives.
Cons 42% (31.5)
Libs 39.3% (39%)
NDP 17.2% (27.7%

A suspicious drop for the NDP, as well as this sudden surge for the Conservatives. The margin of error is huge, and I think Nanos got this one wrong. Again, the Liberal vote remains unchanged poll to poll.

Nanos also gives the Conservatives the Cons a 10% in the "Prairies" up to 58.6%. Liberals remain in the low 20%, NDP down to the low teens.

In the big picture, this poll demonstrates a rather consistent Liberal vote in all regions. The Conservative lead is more a function of their own improvement, rather than Liberal erosion, again a strange dynamic using the past as measure.


Anonymous said...

You would call the Liberals numbers in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia strong? Either we've dramatically lowered our standards as Liberals or you mischose your words.

Steve V said...

Or, you're an idiot.

Those BC number are quite strong, Ontario at 40% is also good and above 30% in Quebec is encouraging. Get a clue.

Oxford County Liberals said...

I can't speak for Steve, but personally, if you were to tell me as a Liberal that we'd get a low to mid 30's result in BC on election day, I'd tell you I'd take that number.

With regards to the Ontario/Quebec numbers, 32-33 isn't a bad # in Quebec; that probably means we take a few seats back from the BQ in the Montreal area, and with the NDP numbers being that low, Muclair might be in trouble in Outrement.

I do agree I'd prefer a bigger Liberal lead in Ontario... but I'll take these #'s pre-election writ as a good starting point - something for Iggy and the Liberals to work with.

Steve V said...

I'd prefer a bigger lead in Ontario too, but that's a strong number for us. We have room to grow a few more points, and if we get the Cons down to mid to low 30%, which we've seen plenty of, we're good.

It's really sad the way people can't deal with the realities of today- there is no more "divided right" that we can exploit, that has no standing in central Canada. There is also no scenario where the Libs can win a majority in the near future, perfect storms aside. It's just crap to attach these artificial benchmark which operate in fantasy lands of days gone past. You're basically saying the Libs can pick up 80 seats, hello in there, hello.

Jeff said...

While the Atlantic Canada numbers look like a big swing, you could argue the NDP was artificially high before because of all the publicity around the Halifax convention, and maybe the Dexter effect. The convention bounce now gone, they've just come back down to normal.

The key thing in these numbers overall is the low NDP figures, which could create favourable splits in some regions. Much of the Con national strength is also built again on over pluralities in the Prairies/Alberta.

One note of caution, while Nanos talks about election blowback, it appears he was actually in the field before the Sudbury caucus, when an election wasn't thought in the offing.

It will be interesting to see if the Liberal numbers continue to hold in the next poll, once the election speculation has digested.

Anonymous said...

With us at 39.6 in Ontario and the Cons at 38.4 we would likely win fewer seats in Ontario because of our vote concentration in Toronto. So frankly I think it is a stretch to call a 1.2% lead in Ontario strong.

Paul Raposo said...

I wasn't going to talk about this because I have no way to prove it, but a co-worker--a lifelong NDP'er--stated that when she got a call from a polling firm, she answered every question pro-CPC. I asked why and she said anything she can do to scare the Liberal party off an election she will do, even lie about her support for the Cons to screw up the numbers.

Has this become a new "strategy" being used by the NDP to try and retain their tiny bit of pull within gov't? Could some Liberals be doing this, those who hate Ignatieff maybe?

Steve V said...


The Liberal number is strong, in and of itself. That doesn't speak to the Con number, it needs to go down. Read my post or put a sock in it:

"That said, a very good number for the Cons, anything close to this at election day, the Liberals can forget about forming government."

A Eliz. said...

I would not read too much in this poll,it is over a month old .. July 30th to August 2nd.

Steve V said...


That is reference to the last poll, this one if from Aug 30-Sep 2.

CanadianSense said...

Does any expect voter turnout to increase for a vote in November 2009?

I agree with Jeff's post. It is too early to measure the blowback from the Nanos Poll.

Does Nik breakdown the 905/416/705 vote splits?

If Liberals support increase in 416 does that mean bad news for the NDP.

The CPC are not a factor in 416.

DL said...

""That said, a very good number for the Cons, anything close to this at election day, the Liberals can forget about forming government."

Why so pessimistic. I think that unless the Conservatives get a majority, there will be a Liberal government of some sort after the election. Which of the three opposition parties do you think would vote confidence in a harper throne speech post election? We have learned our lesson from last December. The opposition only has ONE opportunity to get rid of Harper and that is to vote non-confidence immediately after an election.

CanadianSense said...


that is an interesting statement. Why bother with elections if that is the "plan".

I wonder how many Liberals who blog share your views?

Steve V do you?

Steve V said...


Fair enough on the coalition option, I was speaking more to traditional "wins".

DL said...

The Liberals have to walk a very fine line. Here it makes sense for them before the election to try to get people to think that the only way to get rid of Harper is for there to be more Liberals MPs than Tory MPs. If people think that Harper can be deposed through any non-Tory combination then it makes it easier for people to vote NDp or BQ. But on the other hand, I don't see Ignatieff saying categorically "I promise that i will refuse to try to form a government unless my party wins the most seats" because that would be closing off an option post-election.

What is he to do?

Steve V said...

I don't think it works for the Libs to entertain any coalition option. Just say we need the parties to work together, Harper has shown he can't do that and leave it vague on that score. The LAST thing the Libs should do is get drawn into a protacted debate about the merits of a coalition, that's exactly what the Cons hope. Fluff it off with a pan answer, then widen to a larger question of co-operation in Parliament, something which Canadians overwhelmingly desire.

DL said...

On this we agree Steve. I think that Ignatieff and Layton (and Duceppe) ought to (and almost certainly will) be as vague as possible and will just mouth bromides about being willing to work with other parties etc...Then Harper's retort can be "Vote for me! I REFUSE to work with anyone!!"

Steve V said...

"On this we agree Steve."

Let the record show :)

rockfish said...

If anything this poll hints to the NdPers out there that they better not trigger an election. The air is out of the balloon, as tiny as the balloon is.
Liberal #s are fairly decent, but as Jeff said the next poll (or 2) will reveal more. But even if there is some blowback, so what? Immediate reaction last year was 'We don't want an election!' but once it began people started absorbing the messages and voted (those not turned off politics, mainly by Harper). There can be no room for waffling at this time, and I think the heat right now is on Layton and team. It looks good on them.

Steve V said...

"But even if there is some blowback, so what?"

I expected something, if it happens so be it, matters not in the final analysis. It just sets us up for future momentum as any weariness wanes- and it will, it always does.

Anonymous said...

I think that unless the Conservatives get a majority, there will be a Liberal government of some sort after the election. Which of the three opposition parties do you think would vote confidence in a harper throne speech post election? We have learned our lesson from last December. The opposition only has ONE opportunity to get rid of Harper and that is to vote non-confidence immediately after an election.

Good plan. It worked so well the last time. Jeez....

DL said...

As you may recall, last November the Liberals voted FOR the Tory throne speech when Parliament met after the October '08 election. That conferred legitimacy onto Harper and allowed him to ask for prorogation etc...

This time around, it will be crystal clear after the election that the opposition parties have two choices: vote down the throne speech and have the GG ask some combination of opposition parties to form a government or let Harper form another minority government and be there for years to come.

Anonymous said...

I read somewhere this morning that this latest Nanos poll contained a much higher percentage of undecideds than their last couple of polls. Does anyone have any validation of that bit of information?

If so, this poll becomes even more interesting since the reported numbers are all of "committed" voters.

I wouldn't want to exaggerate the effect. However, if the NDP or Green vote has weakened and more of those folks now report as undecided, this poll could actually be showing an opportunity for liberals.

I have never had any doubt that the conservative vote base is pretty solid at this point. I see them more and more like the far-right in the US which would be committed to a kangaroo as long as they stick to the regular script and stoke their fears and prejudices enough.

The more I see these polls this week, the better I feel about the chances of Liberals in election. This is yet another poll that shows the liberals 30 or higher. I think that is a great place for Liberals to start a campaign, especially given the notably negative media meme playing currently.

When an actual campaign begins and focus shifts to issues and what a new result in parliament might mean, I think there is a vast record to hammer the conservatives with. The Liberal's vision, style of governance, and policy planks contrast positively with the conservatives, which are a known quantity at this point, with barely any positive results to tout.

The Liberal plan appears to me to make this a referendum on the record of the conservatives. That's hard to do outside the campaign call, but it - along with a palatable and reasonable platform - could easily shift a small gap and attract undecideds.

Steve V said...

Undecideds did go up in this poll Joseph. The fact the Cons have gone up, here and Decima, and yet our vote hold is a fascinating dynamic.