Monday, April 11, 2005

'Cuz I'm Free...Free Falling...

It may not be surprising, but today's EKOS poll is still shocking:

Con 36.2%
Lib 25.0%
NDP 20.5%
Bloc 12.6%

Take a minute to let that sink it.

Now think about what this means:

1. The NDP are within striking distance of the Liberals. They're in first place on the Prairies and in BC. The real question is how many Canadians will grudgingly vote Liberal after hearing the four magical words "Prime Minister Stephen Harper" over and over again. At the very least, if Harper appears poised for a majority, I think we'll see some people holding their nose and voting Liberal.

2. That aforementioned majority is going to be hard to pull off. With the Bloc at 65 seats in Quebec and the NDP looking to win at least 25, the Liberals would have to fall bellow 65 seats for the Conservatives to win a majority. They'd also have to swing 35 Ontario seats their way. That's not an easy task for a leader most people outside of Alberta don't really like.

3. The Liberals are at 10% in Alberta. Good grief.

4. The Conservatives are ahead of the Liberals in Quebec: good grief. We likely haven't seen that in 15 years. With the Bloc at 50% and no federalist party over 15%, Ducceppe could sweep nearly every French riding in the province.

5. If the Conservatives really cared about finding the truth, we'd wait until Gomery's final report for an election. But, this is all about political opportunism, rather than finding out the truth. Then again, that's likely fair enough. As others have pointed out, after last spring, the Scott Reid talking point of "wait for Gomery" isn't going to be very credible.

6. Finally, these polling numbers were taken when sensationalistic front pages were splashed on every newspaper across the country. People were mad as hell when the poll was taken. I tend to think these numbers and whatever other polling numbers come out this week will be the low water mark for the Liberals. Which, at the very least, means we're not heading for another John Turner 1984 meltdown.

Monday Night Update: Ipsos paints a much less scary picture for Liberals. Considering they were down 3 points to the Tories at times during the last campaign, this clearly isn't an insurmountable gap.


  • Your post seems off, like points 2-5 are missing.

    By Blogger Bill, at 2:52 p.m.  

  • OK - it should be better now.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:04 p.m.  

  • I think you're on the money; I don't think there's many Ontario seats that will change hands. I will be surprised to see the Tories hit 30, and shocked to see them hit 35.

    Also, am fascinated by the Ekos poll and what it says about BC.

    By Blogger matt, at 3:46 p.m.  

  • Just as one shouldnt jump to conclusions on the IPSOS poll - since its only 1 poll... one shouldnt be predicting doomsday for the Libs over this 1 bad poll, til we see a trend of them (from Gallup, SES, etc).

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 4:38 p.m.  

  • Good.

    This party needs to fall hard before I support it again.

    By Blogger Jim, at 5:33 p.m.  

  • I agree that this is just one poll taken while there's very bad news for the Liberals; however, let's play!

    It shows that, in Ontario, the CPC is at 40% and the Liberals are at 33%. The ridings in Ontario exactely mirror the provincial ridings. Historically, a 40/33 split is enough, barely, to capture a decent majority of the ridings in Ontario in a provincial election.

    Watch the Liebrals now try to push through as much progressive sounding legislation as they can, hoping to get Harper to oppose it, thus reminding everyone of who the CPC really is.

    Gomery will report regardless of which party is in power. Either there's a huge copnspiracy, or the Liberals are dirty enough to justify replacing - so goes the thinking.

    However, I believe this poll also found that a majority of Canadians don't want an election yet. I think Harper needs another event of bad Liberal news to justify forcing an election, else he'll lose a few points. He has to be careful of that.

    A difficult reality for Harper is that if another elction is called, and we end up with no majority, convention has the Liberals getting first crack at forming the government, regardless of who has the superior seat count. Nevertheless, I think the Liberals would concede, less they be perceived as power-hungry. Their best chance in such a case would be to give Harper the reigns, and hope for him to stumble.

    Harper would have to deal with parties all to the left of him. Fun.

    Then again, he could come of as a moderate in such a case. Then force another election (ugh) and get a majority based on the moderate perception he gained by dealing with the centre and the left.

    Anyway, just playing around. Stuff to think about.

    Bill: That eletrical strike is the same one that was on the cover of my 1st year university economics intro course. Terrible, terrible memories.

    By Blogger Mark Francis, at 10:57 p.m.  

  • Ontario could grant 40 seats to the Conservatives easily, I think. I mean, they've given that many and more to Mike Harris. And another feature of the province is that it hedges its bets. Look through history: whenever the Liberals sit in Ottawa, the Tories are pretty comfortable in Queen's Park.

    Today, Ontario finds itself with a Liberal government sitting pretty comfortably in Queen's Park. They're ready to hand some keys to the Conservatives in Ottawa.

    By Blogger James Bow, at 12:05 a.m.  

  • "The ridings in Ontario exactely mirror the provincial ridings"

    Since the last Provincial Ontario Election was held before the new federal boundaries took effect, the provincial boundaries in Ontario are the same as the 2000 federal boundaries, not the 2004 boundaries.

    D :)

    By Blogger daveberta, at 12:21 a.m.  

  • Today's new poll shows the Liberals up 8% in Alberta. All together, I think the only thing we know for sure is that the parties are close and that Canadians don't want an election or Harper as PM.

    By Blogger Jason Cherniak, at 11:14 a.m.  

  • Jason:
    When you're referring to the "new poll".. are you talking about the updated IPSOS poll that Calgrit mentions in his update?

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 12:14 p.m.  

  • It's just me or Harper is stronger in Alberta than Bush is in Texas ?

    By Blogger David, at 2:47 p.m.  

  • I don't actually think that Harper is all that strong in Alberta. It seems that people are willing to vote for anyone because they're running for the Tories even if they don't particularly care for him. I would think that the average Albertan would favor someone who stood a little further to the right, a la Ralph Klein, than Harper.

    By Blogger Socialist Swine, at 3:13 p.m.  

  • I thought I saw one Monday on Newsworld that got little coverage otherwise, but I could be wrong.

    In any case, today's poles show that the real numbers are closer to where the stood the day before the debate in the last election. Martin's team already knows how to come back from this. Maybe this time they have learned enough to really get back from it.

    By Blogger Jason Cherniak, at 8:11 p.m.  

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