Thursday, April 07, 2011

Poll Roundup

Three polls released, EKOS, Nanos and Angus Reid, all of which show very similar spreads. EKOS and Nanos show a 9% gap, AR a 11% gap. AR and EKOS both show a narrowing trend, relative to their last offerings, all show a relatively tight race in Ontario.

We are starting to get a clearer picture of the dynamics in play, although still some completely contradictory findings. On the latter point, I note that AR shows Ignatieff gaining traction, his approval rising a statistically significant 6% to a still modest 25%. Nanos shows a flatline number, even erosion, day to day, no sense of any direction. Of note here, Harris Decima earlier this week also showed a sizable 12% rise in Ignatieff's favorables. In addition, AR also mirrors Harris Decima, in finding rising disapproval for Harper, lowering approval.

As far as clarity, somewhat consistent national results, general provincial themes. Since the start of the campaign, the huge gap has narrowed somewhat, if anyone has momentum it's the Liberals. That said, the gap is still FORMIDABLE, so optimism also factors realism. For Liberals the trends are positive, chipping away was the only avenue, so in certain regards, so far, so good. Another commonality, in a general sense, it does appear that the Bloc is somewhat vulnerable in Quebec, most pollsters show mid to low 30's now, EKOS comes in with a 28.3% finding (down a full 8%). I'd be cautious about EKOS, does seem a tad low, but maybe they are capturing a downward trend. Stepping back from individual findings, it does appear Bloc fatigue maybe real, although it remains to be seen if any other party can capitalize.

There was one striking result in the EKOS poll that deserves consideration. Graves finds a sharp spike on the wrong direction score for the government:
Direction of country:
¤ 52.5% right direction
¤ 36.4% wrong direction
¤ 11.0% DK/NR

Direction of government
¤ 40.1% right direction
¤ 51.3% wrong direction
¤ 8.5% DK/NR

Noteworthy, the wrong direction score for the government is the highest we've seen in months. Perhaps an even bigger concern, the disconnect between apparent optimism about the country and attitudes towards the government. It would appear, Harper isn't directly benefiting from improving economic fortunes, given this is their cornerstone argument, a surprising weak point.

In summary, narrowing but big Conservative lead, Ignatieff showing signs of life, Liberals can claim limited momentum.


Larry Jones said...

Ahem. Does AR agree w Ekos that Libs gaining at Bloc expense? Or is some other pony coming up on the outside?

Steve V said...

You'll note I made no mention of Libs gaining at Bloc expense, just Bloc weakness. To early to give that angle any credence.

Tof KW said...

Steve, just noting your Twitter comments on the suspected possible Papineau/Outremont alliance between the Bloc and the NDP. Is this becoming a reality? If so this could explode in the NDP's face. Best time to expose the dippers in Quebec for what they are ...separatist supporters.

PS - ties into this topic as it would help any erosion in the BQ vote go to the two real federalist parties dans la belle.

Steve V said...

A couple reporters said they heard the "rumor" of a mutual non aggression pact in Outremont and Papineau, then nothing, now this story today. I was told that the Bloc have a lot of signs up in Outremont, so... Is it the Libs stirring it up or is there something here? If it's real, it's HUGE. I am wondering though, since the story seems to die when mentioned.

Tof KW said...

I can imagine some Quebec Libs stirring the pot, because if this was real the NDP would get pummeled for it in the media. Think of the optics of the NDP helping separatists take a federalist riding. Dippers would be foolish to risk that just to help Mulcair.

Unknown said...

Encouraging the gap is narrowing - not sure it will be enough for a Liberal win, though. That said, I'm fascinated by what might happen IF the Liberals formed a coalition not with the Bloc, but rather, with the NDP. I don't think mainstream voters want anyone from the NDP anywhere near a cabinet table.

Omar said...

Not unlike the westerners, you folks in Ontario seem to have an over the top Chicken Little mindset when it comes to the the BQ. In the maritimes you just don't seem to get this preoccupation with the Bloc separatist bogeyman who lies in wait to bugger confederation. I think we tend to respect more the fact of their elected legitimacy then the unlikely specter of them ever managing to bust up the nation. I think I've mentioned before that for the average east coaster the Bloc Quebecois represents as a political force whose sole raison d'etre is looking out for its region. Not many here really buys the federal BQ sovereignty angle much any more. Now, the provincial PQ? That's another matter.

Tof KW said...

Omar, you are of course correct that the Bloc haven't been doing a whole lot of separating for 16 years now, and are exactly as you stated - a regional rump party looking after their own.

Still, you saw what happened in the polls in 2008 once Harper started his original rants against coalitions. The Maritimes recognize the BQ for what they've become, and Ontario to a point (we 'elitists' anyhow) but the west sure doesn't. They're still considered treasonous scum running on the taxpayer's dime.

That said, Duceppe has been facing criticism this election about the BQ burying the sovereignty debate. Likewise, the BQ knows what they've become as well.

DL said...

"Best time to expose the dippers in Quebec for what they are ...separatist supporters."

That's very funny. i hope you're aware of the fact that the previous Liberal MP for Outremont Jean Lapierre was the co-founder of the Bloc Quebecois alongside Lucien Bouchard and actively campaigned for the Yes side in the referendum of 1995. People in glass houses should not throw stones.

Gayle said...

Oh DL, what a lame comparison.

Did he work to help the separatists win while he was running as a liberal? The election results would say otherwise.

One wonders why you are not asserting this is untrue instead of trying to suggest the LPC did it too (especially since your example says no such thing).

The truth is the NDP have also worked with the CPC to ensure the LPC loses seats. It is one of the reasons why voting for Linda Duncan is so hard for me to do this time around.

Eric said...

"a regional rump party looking after their own."

Do you mean the Liberal Party of Toronto?

rockfish said...

Harper's strategy is a peculiar one, for sure. All coalition boogeyman, 24-7 for the first week; did he dump it because of the backsplash of his own dabblings, or is he reloading, taking things back a bit to launch something more after the debate? The polls seem to show some rumblings or my hopeful results at least, but the negative blitzing of Ignatieff's character seems to be set in cement. Not that all these mini-scandalettes would knock off your average government; however, when added with all that is on their record it just may be the final card to weigh down their house... I just wish we had a strong, more steady message on the CONs economic record -- do you realize, not withstanding Harper's burning off of Martin's last surplus, that you have to go back 50 years to find a CON government pull out a balanced budget? Who's the fiscal management party? We need to provide refresher courses for everyone...