Sunday, February 13, 2005

Poll pourri

A few interesting polls have come out over the past few days that deserve attention. First off is bad news for the Liberals from SES:

LIB - 38% (-3)
CP - 29% (+3)
NDP -17% (0)
BQ - 11% (0)
GP - 5% (-1)
*12% were undecided (-2)

In short, nothing at all has changed since the last election. Yawn. But regionally, since the last poll, the Liberals are down 10 points in Ontario and Atlantic Canada. Why?

Well, perhaps the reason can be attributed to this poll in the Toronto Star. It shows that Canadians favour same sex marriage by a razor thin 42-40 margin. Interestingly, Ontario is right behind Alberta in the intolerance field with a shocking 48% opposing equal marriage, and only 35% in favour. Given that the Tories are up in Ontario, it seems pretty self-evident to me that the rural Ontario vote is sliding towards Harper on the Same Sex issue.

Everyone in the media has been slamming Harper’s stance on SSM. But consider a few things:
1. The country is fairly split on the issue
2. Bloc and NDP voters overwhelmingly support equal marriage
3. The Conservatives are the only party opposed to it
4. There are more Liberals than Conservatives out there

Do the math in your head and it becomes clear that Harper stands to gain a lot more votes than he’ll lose on this issue. The Globe & Mail yesterday mentions an internal Conservative poll that said the party could gain 6 percentage points from the Liberals on the issue and only lose 2 percentage points. Given the Liberals only won by 7% last June, that’s quite significant. It won’t help Harper break Quebec or the GTA but those seats in rural Ontario and the Maritimes are ripe for the taking.

Also in the news is missile defense. More and more Canadians are strongly opposing the idea which is going to put both Martin and Harper in difficult situations. I’m not sure how this will play out, but nuclear missiles brought down Diefenbaker so it’s not surprising that this is turning into a major issue. Much like equalization, this is an issue Martin has brought upon himself. By dithering on this, it's turned from a non-issue into an explosive one.

9 Comments:

  • CalGrit:

    There's a similar story talking about Martin's dithering by James Travers of the Star..

    Paying The Price For Martins Dithering The difference is Mr. Travers almost seems resentful he let this go on long enough for significant Canadian opposition to build to this... In that sense.. I'm glad Martin HAS dithered.. I dont think we should go anywhere near this plan.. seeing that the lunatics are running the aslyum down south.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 6:18 PM  

  • I would be shocked to see missile defence hurt the Cons. But, if this blows up in the Libs face, it'll do one of two things:
    1. Benefit the NDP, at least in polling numbers (look at the number of people who support the NDP everywhere but the ballot box)
    2. Make Martin look weak, helping equally every other opposition party. Hence, mostly, the Cons.

    By Blogger matt, at 6:34 PM  

  • Oh yeah, and irony of wooing rural Atlantic voters with a policy of Francois Mitterand??? Rich. So rich.

    By Blogger matt, at 6:35 PM  

  • As the article said.. Harper faces the problem of a slight majority of his voters approving of it.. but that then means he is off-side with the big majority of Canadians who oppose it.

    I do agree that this should benefit the NDP of all 3 parties... but enough to leach seats from the Libs and cause the Cons to sneak in the backdoor? Doubt it..

    I quite frankly wouldnt be shocked to see the Liberal Convention reject it and a majority of Libs oppose it in Parliament.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 10:29 PM  

  • Well, let's see the four options.

    1) Martin says no and Harper says no: Layton loses his issue and Harper upsets a lot of his supporters...but looks more moderate.

    2) Martin says no and Harper says yes: My guess is this wouldn't effect the electorate too much. Martin will look weak for stalling but he'll be able to play up the Harper/Bush connection. But Harper's base will be happy with him.

    3) Martin says yes and Harper says yes: This means big gains for the NDP.

    4) Martin says yes to Star Wars, and Harper says no: This one would just be too weird...I'd have no clue what the result would be.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:28 AM  

  • Not totally sure that I agree with the #3 senario. I'm not convinced that it would mean "big gains for the NDP," I think this leads back to the strategic voting thing - vote Lib to keep the Cons out (unless you really believe the ND's will form gov't...).

    But then again, "big gains for the NDP" doesn't add up to too much (considering the're only sitting around 17% - 3% to 4% magin of error?). But I guess seat-wise...FPTP can do weird things...

    By Blogger daveberta, at 1:53 AM  

  • The poll in the Star today is rather different, showing the Liberals at 40%. Kind of made my entry at blogscanada look off, but the thing is that they show the same numbers in Ontario as the SES poll shows.

    Either way, the future doesn't look rosey for the Grits. I agree that BMD is likely to be rough for the Liberals, same with gay marriage, Gomery, equalization and every other issue on the horizon. The equalization thing is really getting bad here in Toronto. There are a lot of people - even left wing intellectuals - who are just sick of constant abuse heaped on the Province.

    By Blogger Gracchi, at 12:48 PM  

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