Monday, March 05, 2007

Green Answers - 3

Nick Nanos' blog put up the question yesterday about just how real the Greens' poll numbers are, leading to a wide range of answers. I asked the same question a while back so I figured today would be a good time to put up some of the answers.

(You can see the answers to some of the other environmental questions here and here)

3. Would Canadians actually vote for the Green Party? If so, who does that hurt the most?

Some Answers

-Green Party will get 5-10% of the vote in the next election. Probably hurts the Liberals the most as it might cost them some close seats in Ontario.

-It hurts the NDP the most as they've always been seen as the most environmentally conscious, and the Liberals the second most as they're now trying to cultivate a green image, but it hurts everybody a bit.

-The Green party will take young and urban votes away from the NDP and Liberals. It will have more of an effect on their dollars per vote financing than seats won.

-The Green Party's numbers will not change. They will only be supported by people who either a) actually care about the environment or b) are protesting the big three.

-No. (And I'll add: hahaha)

-Okay, but seriously - I say the NDP, in a perfect-storm sense when married with Jack Layton. If Ed Broadbent was leader, it would hurt the Liberals more, Dion or no Dion.

-if the Greens can't win a seat the next election (whenever that may be), with everyone talking about the environment, I don't see how they ever will.

My Take

The Greens always do better with hypothetical voters than with real ones and there's no reason to suspect that the next election won't be any different. True, they are hitting higher in the polls now than ever before, but when voting day comes, I can't see them with over 7 or 8%...which likely won't translate into any seats.

Still, they are taking votes away from someone and with politics being a zero sum game, that means someone loses when the Greens surge. In the past, studies into this showed that the Greens grabbed a lot of Conservative votes but I think that was because of Jim Harris being a Conservative and a lot of Red Tories looking for a home. Elizabeth May has quickly put her own stamp on the party such that people voting for the Greens are likely hard core environmentalists (or those casting a protest vote, in which case it doesn't really hurt anyone else since these people would be voting for the Canadian Action Party or staying home without the Greens). Given that, one imagines that any votes they drain are likely coming massively from the NDP and Liberals - probably more so from the NDP asI tend to think environmental idealists who don't care about voting for a party which can win would have left the Liberals for the Dippers a long time ago.


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