Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Outlier?

Allan Gregg seems to be the one hold-out pollsters who has the race neck and neck. In the latest Strategic Counsel poll, it's down to 33-31, with Canadians "screaming out" for change.

On the other side, SES, Decima, Pollara, Ipsos-Reid, Leger, and (I can only assume) Ekos, all have the spread between the two parties at around 8 or 9%.

I don't really have a theory for this one but I feel it's my duty as a Canadian political blogger to post on polls at least once every three days. And between Income Trusts, Beer and Popcorn, we've all been neglecting our dirty little addiction to polling.

24 Comments:

  • Gregg has implied loosely, in my opinion, that he is focusing his polling on the swing ridings rather than just a random sample of the population at large. I'm not sure if this is actually correct, so take this with a grain of salt.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:58 AM  

  • I hope the Liberals believe they are 8-10% ahead nationally and 40% ahead in Ontario. The Liberals lie, cheat and steal but they are not stupid enough to believe those polls. When you have a nation with 58% of the people desiring change, and a leader who is slowly but surely losing his credibility every time he opens his mouth...
    well it is just becoming... very, very clear what the fundamental problem is, and let's be very, very clear about this, it is the number 1 issue we are going to deal with aahh aahh aahh on the 12th of Never. Run Stephen Run

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:15 AM  

  • Could it be that Allan Gregg has been a longtime Conservative supporter and then PC party supporter before that?

    I wouldn't go so far as to question his accuracy or the ethics of his methods, but sometimes the biased-forest is impossible to see for the trees.

    A.L.

    By Blogger A.L., at 1:52 AM  

  • Gregg, must be imploying a different methodology for his sample or script for his surveyers. Nothing else can explain his substaintial differences.

    I haven't read his methodology, is he allocating the undecided to the parties they are leaning too?

    Hopefully after the first rounds of debate, a poll is taken with a substaintial enough sample to do accurate seat predictions, other than using Hill Knowlton's algorithm

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:54 AM  

  • Bear in mind that SES is a "rolling poll". In other words, its methodology does not allow it to detect a "sea change". However, that makes it ideal to test the staying power of what Gregg detects; should SES climb to match it over the next 3 days, we have ourselves a race.

    That said, Gregg and SES have been far apart the whole time. I think the latter doesn't discriminate between urban/rural ridings in the way it obtains its phone numbers, but have nothing to base that on.

    By Blogger matt, at 2:03 AM  

  • Now to revise my comments.

    The CTV headline says, "Prairies and Quebec screaming out for change."

    Well of course! Isn't that why we are having an election?

    So if the Strategic Counsel is giving any weight to the change mentality in his polling, they could be mis-translating this.

    Not sure how a change mentality transfers into numbers, unless that just means Gregg breaks the undecideds for the challengers?

    A.L>

    By Blogger A.L., at 2:05 AM  

  • Gregg includes the Greens (who got 4.3% in 2004) while the others either a.) do not or b.) haven't conducted a poll since Saturday, when conservative fortunes have improved.

    SES has Greens at 0, which is ridicolous since they received almost 5% last time and have a lot more funding now. That's skewering everything. What it doesn't answer is why it's helping the liberals in the SES poll. Maybe the greens are strong in areas the liberals are also strong in?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:10 AM  

  • I guess the question here is whether Allan Gregg is an out and outlier.

    By Blogger Aeolus, at 2:31 AM  

  • Actually anonymous, the SES polling has the Greens at 5%.

    Check it out yourself at this link: http://www.sesresearch.com/main.asp and be sure to wait for it to scroll across the red bar on the screen.

    You'll see it. I know you're not blind.

    A.L.

    By Blogger A.L., at 3:02 AM  

  • Believe the SES polls boys, you're comfortably ahead, don't worry.

    By Anonymous MSFan, at 7:15 AM  

  • Polls are stupid.

    By Blogger v, at 7:27 AM  

  • Yes, my Liberal friend,

    you are comfortable, very, very comfortable.

    No need to go knocking on doors for a party you're holding your nose at anyway.

    No need to get off that couch and vote for a party you've sort of been questioning for awhile now.

    Because the Liberals are just going to win any way.

    Yes, ignore those silly objective factors which would suggest Martin is finished, and believe the polls.

    Oh, and no need to watch those polls after Christmas. If they start to go south its just an anomoly.

    Just keep repeating to yourselves, the Liberals are comfortably in the lead.

    By Anonymous Biff, at 7:42 AM  

  • I figure the best approach with these polls is just to look at the trend... and take that trend with a grain of salt. That's especially true in this election, as everything could "reset" over Christmas.. or "Chrismakah" as they've taken to calling it on CTV.

    By the way, A.L. - Allan Gregg is actually a Liberal.

    By Blogger Toronto Tory, at 8:02 AM  

  • It's heartening to see that it isn't only Conservatives who start screaming "bias!" "screwy methodology!" "outlier!" when confronted with unhappy poll results.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:15 AM  

  • It seems the difference is the questions asked? Ses asks a quick horserace question first, and then a few questions about leaders, etc.

    SC asks a bunch of questions regarding momentum, need for change, and then asks the horse race questions.

    What is significant is that the order of questions influences the result. I expect the parties have noted this, and will try and influence voters to ask the "right/correct" question just prior to the vote.

    The ability to do this will mean victory or defeat unless someone gets some traction in this compaign.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:22 AM  

  • Sorry Toronto Tory, Allan Gregg is your guy. Has been since before Mulroney was your leader.

    Check out this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Gregg

    Here's my favorite part of the entry:

    "He first came to national attention as the national campaign secretary of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada successful effort in the 1979 federal election.

    Soon after that campaign, Gregg founded Decima Research, a joint polling/public relations firm. The company became the Tory party's polling firm, and Gregg played an important role in the 1984 election when the PC Party was led by Brian Mulroney. With the Tory victory, Decima Research and Gregg entered the halls of power, and he was frequently at Prime Minister Mulroney's side. Decima and Gregg worked for the federal Tories, operated in many provincial elections, and expanded world-wide, participating in over forty-five elections on three continents."

    So, sorry he's yours.

    A.L.

    By Blogger A.L., at 9:41 AM  

  • Gregg must be a Conservative. Especially if wikipedia says so. But apart from the impeccably reliable material on that site, we all know that every single Progressive Conservative joined the new party when it was formed, and not a single one expressed any disagreement with the merger, and none of them became Liberals or Liberal supporters. Nope, never happened.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:57 AM  

  • "sorry, he's yours"?

    It doesn't make a difference, so why are you sorry?

    By Blogger Toronto Tory, at 11:39 AM  

  • Dodn't you people all learn your lesson last time around? Ignore polls. Ignore them now, ignore them a week from now, and for Crissakes, ignore them the weekend before the election. Remember how accurate they all were? Anyway, none of us are working in any of the war rooms.

    I will thank again, one of my favourite Tory Prime Ministers: "Dogs know what to do with polls."

    By Blogger Don, at 12:33 PM  

  • The Liberal "BEER & POPCORN" tour 05/06! Starring Paul 'Bush Basher' Martin, Scott 'Fuck Alberta' Reid and John 'I Love You Scott' Murphy.

    Paul is trying to win an election but his two crazy kids are out of control. What will Paul do? Fortunately YODA (played by the US ambassador) arrives to save the day. But wait, are Scott and John safe? Not a chance, the nasty media types are out for Scott and John's blood. Years of abuse and having to lick Scott's ass (something John's always wanted to do for real) have pushed some media trolls over the edge. Stay tuned for this classic clash between Liberal Arrogance and Media Revenge... "the mother of all cat fights".

    By Anonymous Sailor Man, at 12:36 PM  

  • Carolyn Parrish is really hoping for a 905 swing to Harper

    http://tinyurl.com/8bvcf (full Red Star article)

    "Have you been watching him?" she asks. "Harper keeps coming out with a juicy new thing every day that all the young families love...

    "I wouldn't want to be running in this election right now," the former Independent MP for Mississauga-Erindale says. "I agree with the stuff he's giving, too. Money for sports, to register your kids in sports. Good thing."

    She says people come up to her at local shops to talk about the issues.

    "They say, `Yes, this is really good. Is it okay if we vote Tory, Carolyn?' Yeah, it's okay, I'm not running," she whispers.

    "I hate to be doom and gloom," she says. "I've been watching Harper and he's a whole different guy than he was in the last election.

    "He had a short-fuse temper, a fanatical look about him, an edge, his lips were always pinched. He looks far more relaxed. Someone has gotten hold of him or he's decided to take it in his own hands."

    She thinks Harper's promises to give parents $1,200 a year for each pre-school child and $600 a year for kids to play sports or other activities are timely.

    And his pledge to reduce the GST by 2 per cent?

    "It's about bloody time somebody did that," she says, recalling how she and other Liberal MPs unsuccessfully pitched the same idea to Prime Minister Paul Martin when he was finance minister.

    "I'm a hardcore Liberal my whole life," she says, parsing the question. "I believe him.

    "And that's a bad thing if I believe him. I wonder how many other Liberals believe him? The man has got some credibility, doesn't he?

    By Anonymous yyc, at 1:16 PM  

  • One bit of advice to Harper in the debates:

    When Martin refers to Bush, neo-cons etc (and he loves this)...

    Look him in the eye and say "my name is Steven Harper, NOT George Bush. I am the Leader of the Conservative Party NOT the Republican Party. This is the CANADIAN election. But if you are seeking the Democratic nomination then go ahead you certainly have enough money to buy it.

    By Anonymous Sailor Man, at 1:37 PM  

  • sailorman,

    harpers already nailing Martin on that with Layton delivering the punch of the day:

    "I actually think the (U.S.) ambassador's intervention was inappropriate... I don't think foreign ambassadors should be expressing their views, or intervening in an election," Harper told reporters in Vancouver.

    But Jack Layton, leader of the left-leaning New Democratic Party, who has demanded the Liberals take a tougher line with Washington in the softwood fight, dismissed Martin's comments as "shameless posturing."

    "Whipping up the rhetoric about George Bush is very easy to do... Canadians have known that the Liberals will say anything in an election to get elected. I think now the ambassador has discovered the same thing," Layton said.

    Harper equated Martin's dealings with the United States on softwood to a kid who calls names but is afraid to fight. "He hasn't thrown a punch. He couldn't throw a punch to save his life," he said.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/americas/12/14/canada.martin.reut/

    By Anonymous yyc, at 3:47 PM  

  • yyc - do you think this "I am Paul hear me roar" act could help the opposition more than the Liberals? I find it hard to think of Martin as a tough guy, he looks too much like the pudgy kid with braces who has a big mouth, cries and runs to 'mummy dearest' when things get rough. If Bush said boo I think Martin would shit his drawers...

    By Anonymous Sailor Man, at 4:23 PM  

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