Poll Smoking the Ekos Numbers
1. This poll means Stephane Dion will win! No, wait! Bob Rae will win! Actually, it shows Kennedy has the momentum! The fact is, it's a poll which can be spun in a million different directions (well...OK...four different directions). I put a lot more stock in polls like this than I did in the ones which came out during the summer because this one is actually of delegates but people need to look at the massive undecided rates with respect to second choice before leaping to conclusions. The fact that 1 in 5 delegates have Stephane Dion as their second choice in a four person race does not mean he's an inevitable victor.
2. What's most interesting is just how high the numbers are for the bottom four candidates (as pointed out by UWHabs). Half of the delegates of the bottom four do not have a second choice. This is remarkable considering it's a lot more important for them to have a second choice than, say, Ignatieff delegates who will never have to vote for their second choice. Clearly an endorsement from a Scott Brison or Ken Dryden will bring a large percentage of their delegates with it and is therefore something which will be highly sought after. It may be small consolation for the bottom four but they can still have a huge say in who wins this thing.
3. Before people go bonkers on the second choice numbers, consider this: Stephane Dion is the second choice of 6% of Stephane Dion delegates. It certainly helps your second choice numbers when your own delegates have you as their second choice.
4. There's actually a lot of good news for Ignatieff in this poll, despite the spin that it's a cataclysmic poll for him. 36% of delegates think Iggy is the best bet to win the next election. And we all know that "winning" has always been the number one policy for Liberals. At the same time, at least 7% of Liberals think Ignatieff is their best ticket to win...and still don't want anything to do with him.
5. Despite all the doom and gloom about the Ignatieff campaign and all the hype about the Bob Rae momentum, when the two are put head to head, the numbers are:
A dead heat.
6. First ballot retention is something the mainstream media hasn't picked up on. A lot of delegates seem ready to bolt to other candidates on the second ballot. Kennedy is the best at retaining his delegates, at 93%, and Dion is the worst at 82% (significantly bellow the top 3). Kennedy is also at the top and Dion is in fourth for the percentage who will actually attend the convention.
I'm going to crunch the numbers and post some projections later this week but, at first glance, the conclusions from this poll are the same as before: Any of the top four could win this thing and it will be a highly unpredictable convention.