Saturday, April 16, 2005

Polls, Predictions and Prognostications

-Jack Layton has got to be feeling a little antsy right now. One day, polls show his party three back of the Liberals and poised for their best showing in years. The next, it looks like they might even lose seats. A lot has been made about the political future of Paul Martin and Stephen Harper, but with the NDP capable of winning anywhere from 15 to 45 seats next election, it's clear Jack Layton's future and, to a lesser extent, his party's are very much still up in the air.

-The same Ipsos Poll shows that Stephen Harper is actually more trusted than Paul Martin. Methinks this will make the "Stephen Harper will eat your children" campaign a lot more difficult to pull off this time. With a moderate policy convention behind him and a year to see that Harper isn't the monster he was painted to be last year, a smear campaign is going to be very difficult. Instead, the Liberals are going to need to give Canadians a reason to vote for them.

-A better reason than this...

-There are some interesting seat projections up all All Things Canadian.

-There are some wild theories being tossed around. In the past two days, I've seen theories printed about:
1. The Liberals proroguing the House to wait for a fall election
2. Paul Martin going to the GG and telling her to let Stephen Harper form government with Liberal support
3. Martin asking the GG for a longer election campaign than last year, feeling the longer it runs, the less the Tories can run on Adscam.
Will any of these happen? Uh...no, but the papers do need to find a way to fill space.

-The Tories are going to have a huge advantage on the ground war next election. Maybe it's only because I'm in Alberta, but Liberals here are the most dejected I've ever seen them. The ridings can't find candidates and are going to have a hard time rallying volunteers once the election starts. Most alarming is there seems to be a feeling of acceptance that the Conservatives will win. I've heard a lot of long-time "true believes" saying stuff like "a Harper minority government wouldn't be the end of the world" and leadership talk has really been heating up - not a good sign heading into an election.

-I think the smartest thing Harper can do would be to reveal a massive ethics package as part of his platform. He needs to keep the issue on corruption and having a strong ethics platform would do something to remove the "all the parties are the same" mentality a lot of voters have. This week's CBC poll found only 29% think some parties are more ethical than others and Harper needs to fight that perception.

16 Comments:

  • Excellent post today CG. You're analysis of the situation is very similiar to my own so I like having someone from the other side backing me up.

    By Blogger The Hack, at 3:59 PM  

  • 1) CG agreed on the comments re: Layton/NDP.

    2) As for you point on Harper and his trustworthiness...I'm not certain. I read that poll as meaning people believe Harper will do what he says, but they wouldn't want him as PM. (Much akin to many in Ontario and Mike Harris)

    By Blogger Stephen, at 5:12 PM  

  • I think the problem with the NDP at the moment is that it's not actively going after the moderate vote. It seems to me that the strategy this time, at least in Alberta, is to take back votes that went to the Greens and assuming that ex-Liberals will vote NDP before Conservative. If the NDP went after the moderate vote that the CPC is trying to get, I would think that the NDP could get the 45 seats rather than the 15. Then again, sometimes I'm more optimistic than is warranted.

    By Blogger Socialist Swine, at 5:57 PM  

  • P.S. I also think that the Globe and Mail is getting a little too excited about the prospect that Harper will take a majority. I really doubt that'll happen unless the Liberals and the NDP really drop the ball, though, I grant that they might.

    By Blogger Socialist Swine, at 5:59 PM  

  • If I were a Liberal in Alberta, I;d be depressed most of the time anyhow... not to mention nowadays, with Kilgour defecting (yea yea, he was a token Liberal, but nevertheless) and the Gomery stuff taking its toll... not like we have a lot of Liberals left to lose in Alberta anyhow, other then Land-slide Annie.
    :)

    Who knows what the campaign workers modd on the ground is like here in Ontario, however.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 6:47 PM  

  • Also.. quite frankly.. if Martin or his advisers were on the ball (debatable at best) it would be them who would seize the initiative by issuing their own ethics package.

    I also think that doing something to give the Auditor General more power in auditing the books and being able to have legal power to stop it (as I've written to CG on the matter) would also show some initiative on Martin;s part other then merely parroting "We are the ones who cancelled the sponsorship program and set up the Gomery Commission"

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 7:26 PM  

  • PS - "stop it" meaning power to halt expenditures in Depts if proven wasteful or worse - or something to that effect

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 7:27 PM  

  • I ran the numbers that came out of the last Ipsos Poll through the UBC election projector and the Western Canadian Caucus could be a lonely place to be a grit if the mathematics of that model hold up as they show Goodale and Stephan Owens becoming the sole Liberals east of Ontario. I'm willing to concede this strikes me as a bit optomistic, as Manitoba being Grit free seems a bit much..and yet it could happen.

    Considering the same projector has the Liberals plumeting to 8 seats in Quebec, 28 in Ontario and 12 in Atlantic Canada and 2 in the north. (while also correcting for close races by awarding them another 2 seats for a grand total of 52) I'm not terribly sure its a good time to be a Liberal anywhere.

    If the Liberal polling numbers continue to head south its a distinct possibility that not only will there be a Conservative majority government, at the moment its a possibility that the Bloc will form the official opposition. While Paul Martin will be remembered as having been an even more overhyped choice as leader than John Turner.

    By Blogger Chris, at 2:44 AM  

  • Just a as post script, it seems possible at the moment that the Conservatives can form a majority government while only being competitive in a handful of Quebec ridings and a good chance of winning two, with an outside chance at a couple more. I think picking up a few seats there would mostly be a symbolic victory to allow them to position ourselves as the federalist alternative in subsequent elections.

    By Blogger Chris, at 2:46 AM  

  • CG, I hope spirits improve among the volunteers. Dismay at Brault's testimony has demotivate centrists and volunteers, but talk of a CPC majority may have the opposite effect.

    In Calgary, it is easy to abandon the Liberal ship when a pollster calls. Most of us non-insiders do not even know who our Liberal candidate will be. You on the inside probably know that there were some fine candidates last time and many of them will be back.

    By Blogger Psychols, at 4:24 AM  

  • The Land of Annie ought to be interesting this time around, though I'm not convinced yet that this is really any different than the last twelve times the media have claimed the Liberals are done for. . . I recall that there wasn't a piece in the papers here last time that predicted even a Liberal minority. by my recollection, it was Stephen all the way. . . Anyone else recall the Edmonton Journal's little front page editorial featuring Harper as 'The Next Prime Minister of Canada?'

    I'll be sitting on my opinion about whether our money will indeed be further thrown away on another election, but I will say that I don't believe a word of what the polls (or papers) say.

    Not a word.

    By Blogger Sigma-6, at 8:19 AM  

  • CalgaryGrit, if I were you I would seriously consider running in Calgary West. I have no idea where in Calgary you live, but I know that a Liberal who was willing to take the gloves off could put in a good showing in that riding.

    Hell, you tell me there's a candidate in Calgary West who's worth supporting and I'll make sure he gets volunteers (lots of family and friends in Calgary).

    By Blogger Gracchi, at 4:45 PM  

  • Also as a note, I'm compilling my own seat projection. In short, that one you are linking at All Things Canadian is utter nonsense. It's garbage and Don should be ashamed for having posted it. His methodology is a joke and is blatantly biased in favour of the Conservatives.

    By Blogger Gracchi, at 4:47 PM  

  • Hey Gracchi, send me those projections when you're done with them. I'll be curious to see what they look like.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 7:07 PM  

  • Grachi,

    Alot of people use the UBC Election forecaser for election projections, it bases its projections on vote shifts since the last election and computes changes in the various ridings across the country.

    By Blogger Chris, at 8:22 PM  

  • Why don't zee liberalatos be honest?

    Jus say they are greedy for power and money and they have not a shame?

    It is not wrong to make Kanada a one-party state, No? Jus like Kuba, a one-party state run by ze liberals!

    Amigo yeaha!!

    By Blogger Walsh Writes, at 10:29 AM  

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