Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One Of Those Polls

Angus Reid poll on the Turmel affair offers a bit of everything, depending on how you spin the results.

Bottomline, the horserace numbers show little NDP erosion in the wake of the leadership issue, so that should give dippers some comfort. As well, only 41% of people are concerned about Turmel's past ties, 51% are not. On the face of it, no issues for the NDP, numbers solid, a bare majority not concerned. I suspect we will see these numbers highlighted to support the "witchhunt" argument.

On the other hand, I can point to a couple findings which suggest potential problems. I see this issue of the NDP flirtation with separatists- both in terms of people and MORE importantly policy- as a festering issue that will be on the political radar for sometime. With that backdrop in in mind, the overall numbers are somewhat skewed by the Quebec offset. For example, in Ontario 49% are concerned, only 44% are not. This result feeds the argument that any fallout is more an "outside Quebec" concern for the NDP, which is the central issue from my perspective.

In addition, while overall numbers suggest less concern, there is a strange disconnect on whether Turmel should stay on or not. On this clear question, 45% think she should resign, 35% do not. Again, take the Quebec numbers out of the equation, you see an almost 2 to 1 finding in Ontario, 49% want Turmel to resign, a lowly 29% think she should stay. British Columbia 49% to 21%, despite respondents not expressing much concern. These numbers suggest, that outside of Quebec, Turmel has some serious credibility issues, which is very concerning for a shiny new leader.

This is a "one of those" polls, wherein you can cobble together various conflicting arguments. For example, I think the NDP's "footsie" routine is a problem, one that the Liberals can provide a robust federalist counter to. This poll does nothing to dissuade me from that perspective, Turmel looks quite vulnerable, and in vote rich Ontario, the past ties aren't a "big whoop" consideration. It's an open argument.


Scott @ Prog Blog said...

If an election was pending and Turmel was the leader going into it, I'd agree.

Seeing as Turmel won't be the one leading them into an election, regardless of Jack's health, and an election is 3 1/2 years or so away, I think folks are overstating this.

Steve V said...

You could say that about every issue though.

I think this issue of how the NDP became so popular in Quebec is one that will continue to be discussed and hopefully exploited by the Liberals. And, for a party looking to reassert itself, a relatively weak interim leader of the Official Opposition isn't exactly a "whatever" consideration.

DL said...

Another interesting tidbit in the poll is that despite being totally unknown at the outset and even after a week of a full court press of media vilification - Turmel has 22% approval and 23% disapproval (i.e. net approval -1%). In contrast Bob Rae has been a household name for over 20 years and has been getting an endless stream of fawning media coverage for the past couple of months - he gets 23% approval and 33% disapproval (i.e. net approval -10%). Do you think this is all because of his "I am Super-Elite" incident?

Steve V said...

Yes, and Harper continually has received a net negative score for two years on that poll. Beyond useless, particularly for Turmel.

CK said...

The Liberals are wasting their time going on so-called 'sovereigntist' witch hunts. Furthermore, it makes them look like hypocrites. Saaa-lut Jean Lapierre!!

There is much for the Liberals to do, like, oh, I dunno, rebuilding their party, preparing for the fall session. To find every tool at their disposal to oppose Stevie. A hideous tough on crime themed omnibus bill is on the way, comes complete with warrantless internet spying. Already Mme Turmel has missed a trick when she refused to comment over the week-end on government service cuts, thus proving she'll miss other tricks Bob Rae and the Liberals can surely pick up. They don't need this witch hunt.

In fact, federalists of any partisan stripe should be welcoming sovereigntists looking toward teh federalist side with open arms instead of condemnation. That is, if your Canada really does include Quebec.

Furthermore, this witch hunt is counter procuctive in La belle province, unless, of course, you're suggesting to the Liberals that they tell Quebec to screw off. Already, attempting to regain support in Quebec was (is) problematic. This witch hunt may well hammer the last nail in that coffin.

This witch hunt suggests that once a separatist-always a separatist and a separatist, even if he or she wishes to change their mind, is never welcome to do so. This kind of attitude may well be another step in further waking up the sovereigntist cause, regardless of the state of the Parti-Quebecois. Nothing like alienation to bring it all together. At the very least, the Bloc Quebecois may well be resurrected.

Then again, after watching the witch hunts as of late, maybe your Canada really doesn't include Quebec.

As for you, DL, your silly statement over Bob Rae using his Air Canada's Super-Elite membership status, get over it. If you flew all those kilometers to earn it, don't tell me you wouldn't use the 'super-elite' status neither. At least he didn't use a tax-payer funded private plane to go to Boston to watch a hockey game.

Purple library guy said...

Hrm. Both nationally and, for instance, in Ontario, the numbers upset about it seem to be almost exactly the same as the numbers who voted Conservative in the recent election.
OK, I'm not going to claim that the two groups are identical. But I would not be at all surprised if the overlap was considerably greater than a random distribution would give you.
How much should the NDP worry about what right-wingers think?

Steve V said...


If you take the narrow view, perhaps they are wasting their time, but I take a much wider theme approach:


I wouldn't make that connection, and the Cons didn't get 49% in Ont and B.C. Not sure why people think an adversion to separatism is right or left wing?

DL said...

CK, can I just say that I was not personally attacking Bob Rae about the "SuperElite" incident. I'm an Elite member of Aeroplan myself and I am quite happy to enjoy whatever privileges that gives me. I was simply noting that Bob Rae has high disapproval ratings despite an orgy of fawning sycophantic media coverage and i was wondering if the explanation might be the negative publicity about his "Super Elite" story. That's all. Any other theory on why Bob Rae rates worse in the poll than Nycole Turmel does after a solid week of her being red-baited as someone who wants to "destroy Canada"?

CK said...

DL: Three words to answer your question: Harper sympathizing media.

Sorry. Thought you were on the jump on Bob Rae camp because he dared to use his aeroplan membership.

JimmE said...

This illustrates why I cannot abide the Dipper MORE HOLY THAN THOU BULLSHIT & Jack's famous lack of good judgement. When I think of the place our nation is in I can only barf in my mouth so I can feel better. FECK