Wednesday, October 18, 2006

No Leader? No Problem!

Looks like an outlier to me, but here's the latest Gregg poll:

Lib 32%
CPC 32%
NDP 17%
BQ 11%
Green 9%

While Gregg also has a "John Kerry poll" out on Liberal leadership, judging from his numbers, there's only one conclusion which can be reached: The best person to lead the Liberal Part is...Elizabeth May!

27 Comments:

  • It doesn't matter what people in Ontario will think now about Bob Rae, it matters what they will think after 5 weeks of attack ads against Mr. Rae.

    I wonder if you prefaced the question with a blurb about the candidate, if the numbers would be vastly different.

    I agree, that polls such as these can be bad political medicine, leading to Kerry like results.

    I wonder if they (Mulroney's old pollsters at the strategic council) had done a poll like this before delegate selection, given that Gregg poll showed Dryden with the most support at that time, if Dryden would have come out on top?

    I just don't trust Gregg's polling firm, with their crazy outlier poll in the last election, and their willingness to conduct polling on dubious questions.

    I am sure Nanos will laugh at this when he sees this poll in tomorrows paper.

    By Blogger Liberal Pebbles, at 3:40 AM  

  • This might be accurate, but it could be a rogue poll since this is the same firm that showed the Tories with an 18 point lead a week before last election. SES is supposed to come out with one in mid November, so I trust them the most of any polling company. Still I hope these numbers do stick.

    By Blogger Miles Lunn, at 3:47 AM  

  • Maybe is says the best person to lead the Liberals is ............. Bill Graham.

    By Blogger Hammering Jow, at 6:20 AM  

  • As a Conservative supporter, this latest poll doesn't faze me in the least. I usually don't pay much attention to polls even when they favour the Tories and the only poll that really matter is Election Day.

    Besides, Gregg's polls in particular are a pathetic joke; we have the last election to see their polls "speak" for themselves, with the Tories and an 18 point lead.

    When the Tories run on their record in contrast to what the Liberals "did" in the last 13 years, it will be a cakewalk for the Tories.

    And when the Liberals finally manage to narrow down their 544567 leadership candidates to one leader, then they will have a leader for the public to see and focus on and for the Tories to attack. And there IS plenty to attack. The way it looks now, Rae is gaining momentum, and the very thought of a Rae Liberal leader is making many Tories jubilant. In fact, there is no Liberal leader that worries me whichever one is going to go up against Harper.

    I can't wait for the next election.

    By Blogger Ontario Lad, at 8:35 AM  

  • Even as a card-carrying CPC member, I have got to say that I would be very amused, watching the reaction if a Bob Rae-led Liberal Party retook government next election.

    I mean, I'd be very sad and pissed-off, but seeing every head explode on Canada's right (including mine) has got to be worth something...

    ***

    I do think that Rae is more dangerous to the Tories than Ignatieff. I've had that feeling for a while.

    By Blogger The Tiger, at 8:55 AM  

  • This is the poll from the guy who said he would put money on Rae leading after delegate selections. Hmmmm.

    And how accurate can a poll be that concludes a Liberal party led by Dion and Kennedy would get less than 20%. That result alone shows that this kind of poll is only about name recognition and nothing more.

    That being the case, Ignatieff, Dion and Kennedy seem to have grown in their support levels from prior polling whereas Rae seems to have flattened. Indeed, he and Iggy are in a statistical tie.

    While you would think that would get me excited, I maintain that this type of poll is pretty meaningless.

    By Blogger Cerberus, at 9:18 AM  

  • A few days ago, Ekos had it 36-32. At the end of the day, I don't think a lot of people are paying attention to politics right now, so a lot of voters are going to be fluid - as they were in December-January, when Harper forced an election despite being well behind in the polls.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 9:58 AM  

  • well anyone female at least would have been something new to vote for. I'm really missing anne and sheila, even belinda right now, why not? oh yeah women don't become leaders in the Liberal PArty, I forgot.

    By Blogger s.b., at 10:18 AM  

  • Cerberus you are completely misreading the poll. Did you pass math in high school? Ed Broadbent was always the winner on who Canadians liked most among the federal PArties or who they thought would make the best Prime minister or who they thought won the debates. He always polled highest. It didn't mean people voted for his Party. The question was who would make the best Prime Minister? The answer is Ed Broadbent but unfortunately he doesn't even lead a federal PArty anymore and well he's retiring.

    By Blogger s.b., at 10:21 AM  

  • a) every pollster I spoke to had the Tories up by something like 18 points at the moment Strategic Counsel had them up by 18 points. Much of the dynamic of the campaign's last 10 days can be explained precisely by the Tories' formidable lead at that point -- Tory over-confidence, the firmer NDP vote (NDP voters are easily scared to the Liberals UNTIL they are sure the Liberals will lose, in which case they are more confident voting their true allegiance), etc. It is infantile to dismiss Strategic Counsel because the voters did not behave, on voting day, the way a poll said they were leaning more than a week earlier. This is the most basic error committed by people who believe themselves to be sophisticated poll readers: they think a poll is meant to be a prediction. No serious pollster claims it is. Allan Gregg is a serious pollster.

    b) Nor can Gregg be blamed for the idiotic play several of his polls received in the Globe during the election. The Globe has still never apologized for repeatedly misreading its results, in two cases leading to front-page stories that were unsupported or contradicted by the polling data.

    c) That being said, precisely because a poll is not a prediction, this one is of limited value. Parties without leaders always poll higher than they will, later, once they have a leader. This is a robust trend that I'm amazed nobody else notices, and it has an easy explanation: the Liberals with an imaginary perfect leader are more attractive than the Liberals (or whoever) with a real, fallible leader. (Note how Harper is seen as a better PM than any of the Liberal contenders, once they are actually named to respondents.)

    d) So the Liberal number is certainly soft. Similarly, two constant trends for the Reform/ Alliance/ Conservatives since 1994 or so have been that their numbers always sag considerably between elections; and that they routinely performed several points better on election day than on the day of the writ drop. That may be because they were in opposition, and the trend will reverse now that they're in power. I'd be leery of betting it that way though.

    e) That being said, is this poll comforting for Harper? Uh, no. I think Ibbitson's column this morning explains a lot of the reason why.

    By Blogger Paul, at 10:52 AM  

  • Fortunately May ran for a party that is concerned enough about the ecosystem to do something positive for us. She's right when she said she had to give up on working from the outside of government. She needs to BE government to fix Canada's messed up policies.

    By Blogger Saskboy, at 11:09 AM  

  • "Note how Harper is seen as a better PM than any of the Liberal contenders, once they are actually named to respondents"

    That is true. But people can only name one person. CalgaryGrit would likely answer Kennedy. Someone else would answer Rae and a third person would answer Dion.

    But when the question is narrowed down, as it inevitably will be, to a choice between Harper and the Liberal leader, all those people are going to pick the Liberal leader over Harper.

    In the current race there are only two people I have negative feelings towards - Iggy and Volpe. Nevertheless, I will happily support the winner. I would happily support Jack Layton for PM over Harper. I would happily support Gilles Duceppe for PM over Harper. Ditto for Elizabeth May.

    How many Conservative MPs are the right amount?

    1993 was a good start, but it was still one too many.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 11:46 AM  

  • RE: Elizabeth May.

    A woman leading the Old Boys network? That's rich.

    This will be the second consecutive Liberal leadership election where the first ballot support for women candidates has decreased. In Two-thousand-and-whateverty when the Libs have another one of these, the vote share for women candidates is likely to be negative.

    By Blogger greeen party voter, at 12:29 PM  

  • CG: Do you still see one of your three compromise candidates - Kennedy, Dion or Dryden - as coming out on top, or have you stepped back from that?

    By Blogger Dana, at 12:57 PM  

  • dana; Well, obviously Dryden won't win. I think Dion and Kennedy could win. Any of the top 4 likely could and if you asked me to pick odds for any of them, I'd have a really tough time doing that. One newspaper had the betting line something like: Iggy 3-7, Rae 7-3, Dion 8-1, Kennedy 9-1. Give me numbers like that and I'd bet a dollar on Dion and Kennedy for sure.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:11 PM  

  • I will cry if Rae or Iggy win.

    Bob Rae, like Joe Clark, doesn't have a clue. They are nice guys and all.

    And well, Iggy preferred hanging around the Imperial courtyards, rather than hanging out in Canada. A "progressive" David Frum, if you will. Choosing Iggy might stir delusions of megalomania in David Frum, that Canadian wannabe imperial hanger-ons can come home.

    By Blogger godot10, at 1:52 PM  

  • No need to panic everyone.

    All polls like this will do is reduce the enthusiasm to call an election anytime soon.

    The conventional wisdom was a spring election anyway, after a Conservative budget is tabled in the house.

    That still might happen.

    Polls are virtualy useless unless a series of them detect a trend.

    A single poll is obsolete the moment it's announced.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 2:14 PM  

  • Reality Bites:

    In the poll, the respondents were given the choice between Harper, Rae, Layton and Duceppe. Then given another choice between Harper, Iggy, Layton, Duceppe, and so on.

    It was not Harper, Rae, Iggy, all compared against one another. Harper was compared individually against each one.

    Reality bites huh?

    =P Sorry, i couldn't help myself.

    By Blogger SouthernOntarioan, at 3:29 PM  

  • It should be noted that the question asked was not "who would you vote for?" but "who would make the best PM?".

    Given Rae's experience as Premier and certain statesmanlike characteristics he's taken on in recent years, it stands to reason that people would see him as more of a PM than the others.

    Like I said, these polls are mostly about name recognition since the general public just doesn't know much about these people.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:47 PM  

  • You're right, SouthernOntarioan. Thanks for pointing that out.

    However, I would just like to point out to you that while my display name is Reality Bites, my user name is realitybitesback. ;)

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 4:21 PM  

  • Three points:

    1. This poll may be about name recognition, but so are elections to a large degree.

    2. As for the name recognition, given that the Liberal leadership race has more or less been underway for about six months, all four of the leading candidates should have pretty good name recognition by now.

    3. Given these two points, assuming that you see this poll as reasonably valid, anyone care to offer up a reason for why Gerard Kennedy does relatively poorly in Ontario, despite being an MPP for 10 years there, and a cabinet minister for 2 1/2?

    By Blogger Alex, at 4:51 PM  

  • Someone slap me... I'da thought you guys would be happy to see this poll result.

    Personally, I thing Gregg is a hack of the worse kind, but I must admit I'm taken aback by your lack of excitement over it.

    Wow, maybe it's time someone started an actual centerist party, and put all the left and right wing nuts on ice.

    By Blogger Joe Calgary, at 5:24 PM  

  • alex;

    1. Name recognition matters in elections, but so does running a smart campaign and policy. Guys like Ignatieff and Kennedy are pretty much blank slates now so perceptions of them will be formed once the public tunes in.

    2. I think a lot of the general population just don't know the candidates that well. It's kind of like the Olympics. Between Olympics only the real junkies pay attention to the world championships and track meets, etc. But everyone tunes in at the Olympics. It's the same thing for elections. I really think the general population doesn't know much about the candidates but over the next year, they should become very familiar with the winner.


    3. Kennedy does alright in Ontario. He's in a statistical tie with Iggy and Dion - it's the outside Ontario numbers which drag him down, like you might expect.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:14 PM  

  • I do think that Rae is more dangerous to the Tories than Ignatieff. I've had that feeling for a while.



    Right on the same page as you, Tiger - nice to see you around more these days, btw.

    I think Harper would mop up the floor with Ignatieff. Not that I'm a psychic or anything, it's just a feeling, of course.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 6:21 PM  

  • I don't believe name recognition is that important, really. Doesn't "And in the Liberal corner, in the red tie, Joseph Schmoseph!" have enough name recognition come election time?

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 6:26 PM  

  • Did you hear Harper at the B'mai Brith dinner tonight?

    " I don't profess to be an expert on Israel and the Middle East"

    Thank you Mr, Ignatieff . . . .

    Serving up home runs to to the CPC

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 9:08 PM  

  • "I think Harper would mop up the floor with Ignatieff."

    Leaving Iggy to explain how the floor got dirtier.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 9:29 AM  

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