Monday, April 04, 2011

A Poll For Everyone

Can't recall the last time we've seen such bizarre, conflicting trends, from two of the heavyweight pollsters. This morning Nanos came out with their poll, which showed the Conservatives have built up a "commanding 14 point lead", taken Friday to Sunday, suggested a worrying trend (outside of Ontario) for the Liberals. Now Harris Decima has just released their latest, taken Thursday to Sunday that shows the Liberals have cut the Conservative lead from 14 points a week ago to 7 points this week. In addition, Harris Decima shows Ignatieff starting to gain traction with voters:
These results, compiled March 31-April 3, see the Conservatives with 35% support, the Liberals with 28%, the NDP 17%, the BQ 10% and the Greens 8%.

•In Quebec, the BQ remains well in front. Over the last two weeks, the BQ stands at 42%, to 20% for the Conservatives, 16% for the Liberals, 15% for the NDP, and 6% for the Greens. Over the latest week, the BQ holds 42% support, to 19% for the Liberals, 17% for the Conservatives, 15% for the NDP and 5% for the Greens.

•The Conservatives hold an 8 point lead in Ontario over the last two weeks. Here, they stand at 41%, to 33% for the Liberals, 17% for the NDP and 8% for the Greens. In the latest week, the Conservatives hold 43% support, to 34% for the Liberals, 14% for the NDP and 8% for the Greens.

•The Conservatives remain in front in BC. Over the last two weeks, the Conservatives are at 34%, to 28% for the NDP, 23% for the Liberals, and 13% for the Greens.

•The Conservatives remain the dominant party on the Prairies. In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, they stand at 50%, to 22% for the Liberals, 18% for the NDP and 8% for the Greens. In Alberta, they stand at 56%, to 23% for the Liberals, 14% for the NDP, and 5% for the Greens.

•The race is tight in Atlantic Canada. Here, the Conservatives are at 38%, to 36% for the Liberals, 18% for the NDP and 6% for the Greens.

The regionals don't capture the last four days the nationals speak to, so a bit outdated in certain respects.

Nanos shows the gap widening considerably, Harris Decima shows a decided narrowing in short order. Who to believe? I'm not going to venture a guess, let's see if we get a more overriding trend, but at least for the Liberals some evidence that all the "good first week" talk isn't just idle chatter.

Encouraging news for Ignatieff from Harris Decima:
Perhaps even more encouraging for the Liberals is the fact that their leader, Michael Ignatieff (while still having the highest "unfavourable" ratings of all of the five federal leaders) has improved his favourable ratings by 12 points since we last probed this question in February. Conversely, his principal rival, Stephen Harper has seen his unfavourable scores increase by almost as much (9 points)."

Interesting again, Nanos shows a flat trend for Ignatieff, Harper doing relatively well. Go figure.

So, it's Conservatives way up, Liberals closing quickly then...


Oxford County Liberals said...

Leger showed a slight narrowing as well today, from 15 to 11 I believe.

Scott MacNeil said...

Polls are but one thing... baubles that are distractions. Rightfully, during an election campaign, they should be banned! Let the followers, minions, mouthpieces and partisan home-guard of all parties think for themselves. THEN, we would see changes! Ignore the polls, they but shiny things designed to distract. PLATFORM is everything!

Steve V said...

It would be interesting if we banned polls for elections. I think it would allow for deeper debate, people take cues from campaigns rather than poll simply shaping opinion.

You're right Scott.

Saskboy said...

The polls are a snapshot of the past, and the present is here. It's not useful to know until a week before the election when they might be close to accurate. Now, people are just waking up to the fact that they're going back to the polls to repeat their 2008 vote.

Steve V said...

HD also says Harper's unfavorables now the highest since the 2008 election, Ignatieff's favorables the highest since the fall of 2009.

Jerry Prager said...

Saskboy, no, the majority of Canadian voters who have voted against Harper three times in a row - the people who voted for the majority of representatives whose tyranny in the contempt commitee decision Harper complains about, have been the brunt of Harper's real contempt, those whom he hates more than Liberals, New Democrats or Elizabeth May - those Canadians who won't for vote him - so, no Saskboy, that we are just waiting to get a feel of where the votes are needed to defeat Harper once and for all. This is between him and us.

weeble said...

It is a confusing situation. Harper seems content to 'say no evil' and the Canadian public seems to buy into that.
The only real poll is on May 2nd. In theatre, a bad dress-rehearsal leads to a good first performance. So, if the polls show Harper with a lead it will hopefully inspire to get off their butts and vote.
We want a monster turnout. Make your vote count and hopefully we will see the last of Harper, but not unless we vote.

Kirk said...

I'm still sticking with John D., "Polls are for dogs".

Liberals just need to keep working to put out their message. We'll have a very reliable poll on it all come May 2nd.

Also, do pollsters ever use any control questions to test their polls?

If you want me to take a poll seriously I would like to see them ask these 3 questions first:

1) Were you eligible to vote in the last election?

2) Did you vote in the last election?

3) Who did you vote for in the last election?

We have concrete numbers on questions 2 & 3 so any decent survey should/would show basically the same % of respondents who did/did not vote and basically the same distribution of those votes ie. Cons 38%, Libs 26% etc. then you know the poll is not valid for the current election.

Steve V said...

"I'm still sticking with John D., "Polls are for dogs"."

True. It's also true that perception is everything, and as long as media, columnists, fixate on polls, then they do matter to a certain extent. I fluffed off Nanos today, because I agree with you, but you start to worry if the media won't turn unless they see evidence to support.

Jerry Prager said...

They're afraid of Harper, and he poured hundreds of millions of propaganda dollars in their bosses coffers...
government by consortium spin cycle.

Unknown said...

The polls are whacked this election. I'm going to ignore them until week three when things get interesting.