Thursday, January 07, 2010

Nobody Should Care About The "Unaware"

Another EKOS finding, this time on prorogation, effectively mirroring today's Angus Reid poll. There are a couple additional points to consider, to fully understand just how devastating these numbers are for the Conservatives.

I know desperate apologists will seize on the "not following" segment of the electorate, to try and undermine the powerful results. Both polls show that one third of people are completely "unaware" of the prorogue debate. Not an abnormal finding, but one that needs to put into context. It is fair argument to posit that the VAST majority of the completely ignorant DON'T VOTE. It's a statement on the utterly disengaged, that segment of the population that doesn't enter into any electoral consideration. Maybe a sad commentary on the state of the country, but we all know voter turnout numbers. In other words, nobody sifting through these numbers should give any consideration. In fact, the awareness level is well above expected voter turnout, that's your pool of voters to consider, that's where the problem for the government becomes even more acute.

EKOS finds that of those with the even the slightest awareness, a full 69% oppose the government, a limp 31% support. Further, and Graves made the point as well, the strongly oppose is the largest sub group, by 2 to 1 over any alternative answer. These numbers represent landslide rejection. Another worrying sign, undecided voters oppose Harper's decision by more than 6 TO 1.

In addition, EKOS mirros Angus Reid, showing strong opposition in Ontario. Interestingly, EKOS also shows the highest resistance in all the "battleground" regions, Quebec, British Columbia and the Atlantic. 2/3rds of Canadians view Harper's decision as "undemocratic".

There is actually a VERY high level of awareness on this issue. Graves also alluded to the fact that awareness INCREASED over the polling period. If you're looking for a Conservative comfort blanket, don't look to the portion of "unaware", because they'll be equally "unaware" of their polling station location on election day. Bottomline.


D said...

I like your post Steve, and while I find the Ekos poll very refreshing (perhaps even hopeful glimpse into an re-emergence of political consciousness in Canada) the numbers are not surprising in the least.

61% oppose prorogation - roughly the number of Liberal, NDP, and GPC supporters.

31% support - roughtly Harper's base.

What does this really say? Maybe some Conservatives are not happy with prorogation, but is that enough to vote Liberal in the next election? Has Harper really lost some undecideds? And if so, does he care if that potential support lost to the GPC or NDP?

The next Ekos federal party poll will be interesting, and hopefully it will come out sometime soon, like the end of the month when Parliament is supposed to resume - for Harper to really get a scare.

That being said, the last time the LPC narrowed the gap, Iggy came out with some brilliant ads and subsequently took a dive in popular polling.

If the media start talking about a spring election, the public will be more supportive of it. And if the media like CTV/National Post/MacLeans starts turning their back on Harper, we could see an Ignatieff minority in May.

One step at a time though...

Steve V said...

I think you have to look at the regionals. In Ontario, his "base" numbers translate into a massive seat loss, if this was the primary deciding factor. It doesn't shake out completely based on party affiliation, and you must remember, this isn't pure partisans in this poll, just vague leaners and whatnot. It denotes weakness, particularly where it matters.

What's more important than this poll, the fact the media conduit will follow its lead. You already see it today, complete 180's from the former scoffers. This validates the narrative, you can't understate. As a matter of fact, the only reason I follow polls, is because I know the media class lives by them. All of sudden today, it's "serious", the FB group is real and anger suddenly exists in the land. It was there for a week, but we needed some polling to nudge the cynics.

One step, but a good one.