Thursday, December 08, 2005

Turning 40 - Part 2

SES proves more baffling by the day. The Liberals now have a stunning 40-26 lead in the SES poll. They're up by 20 in Ontario, and the two parties are neck and neck in Western Canada. What's more surprising is that the daily Gregg poll in the Globe has the two parties within 5 or 6 points of each other.

I stand by what I wrote yesterday, but I suspect this is going to cause a lot of frustration for a lot of people in the Conservative camp.


  • Maybe it's just part of normal poll reporting, but this shows 20% undecided. Should this poll not say:

    Liberal 32
    Tory 21
    NDP 15
    BQ 9
    Green 3
    Undecided 20?

    The numbers would make a lot more sense.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:24 p.m.  

  • It may not be as surprising as all that, or even, as you say, all that bad news for the Cons... yet.

    First, the Liberal numbers have increased because the Conservatives have taken the focus off of corruption with their policy-a-day approach. Generally, the economy is doing very well and Canadians are generally happy. Normally, this would lead to a lot of support to whatever party is governing in whatever jurisdiction. Corruption charges, despite the Prime Minister's complete exoneration, cut into that. Without the daily rant about Adscam, Canadians have slid back into the normal patterns. That will change when it gets negative after Christmas. What will be interesting is if the Cons can revive this issue for a fourth time (1. after the auditor general's report there was a spike, 2. after Brault testimony there was a spike, and 3. after the Gomery report there was a spike), or at least revive it sufficiently to get people angry enough again.

    2. The Conservative policy-a-day approach is what they needed to do (and what they should have done in 2004) and it is smart, but a side effect (related to the first point) is that people are talking about policy. A lot of the anger diffuses: even if you prefer Harper's GST and small business corporate tax cuts over Martin's income tax cuts, is that something you get angry about? Ambrose's children tax cut vs. Dryden's childcare funding: we can differ on policies but it's not something Canadians are going to get angry at the Liberals about. Moreover, the same people who might have been angry over corruption, when you start talking about policy, they start realizing that there really is a choice, a difference between the Prime Minister and Harper.

    3. The media polls, unlike the SES poll, don't count the undecideds usually (I don't think the Strategic Counsel one does) and the SES poll shows the undecideds growing (in Quebec by 5%).

    4. And this is the biggie in my view: Quebec. Look at the SES numbers out of Quebec over the last week or so: Bloc is down by a huge amount and the Liberals up by the exact same amount, hardly any of it to the Conservatives. The Liberal strategy of focusing on unity took everyone by surprise including the Conservatives - who's only real response was slow and came from a provincial premier (which included no alternative, just a nice catch-phrase critique) - and the Bloc who started the campaign off with arrogance (too bad about Lapierre's comment or the Libs would be even higher). This is a very very risky campaign focus, but it could end up being brilliant from an election strategy point of view: in Quebec where corruption is a hotter topic than elsewhere, everyone's eyes are now on unity. Pissed off federalists realize that the next federal government could be the federal government that has to face off against another referendum if the PQ win. Corruption vs. separatism? And because the Libs have caught the Cons off-guard on the issue, they don't have a prepared response yet. The Quebec federalists might be doubly concerned about voting Conservative: worried about splitting the vote and worried about what the Conservative position is. What will be interesting to see is the Bloc response to the numbers, especially after what we read today about some infighting about how much focus is to be given to separatism and how much leeway the party can give to its candidates on the issue.

    I'm not taking a partisan position here, just my view of why the numbers are coming out the way they do. And if I'm right it presents both parties with opportunities and it means this race is far far from over. Especially when you factor in the growing undecideds, the very high margin of error for SES (especially in the Atlantic) and just how strong/deep the Liberal support is.


    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 3:32 p.m.  

  • Maybe it's the Tories' high-school-health-class commercials.
    Or maybe it's re-opening the same-sex can of worms.
    And economists did completely blast the GST proposal, and I think people pay attention when non-politicans do that to party policies.
    Unity has been big, like cerberus mentions -- and unity always boosts the Lib standings. Hell, the CBC even had Justin Trudeau on last night (in the excellent "Road Stories" segment wherein they flew a Vancouverite to Quebec.) Framing the debate as Lib vs Bloc was already a plus for the Liberals, and everyone loves Justin.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:53 p.m.  

  • By Blogger v, at 4:12 p.m.  

  • The SES numbers aren't that surprising and generally match with other polling (allowing for the margin of errors involved).

    It also isn't that surprising given the Connie campaign. For example, if your leader is perceived as an untrustworthy dud, why would you build your campaign around him? Harper's negatives are worth all the drag on the Connie campaign that it would take to sink them.

    Look at the messaginbg. look at the ads. Look at the polls. it all makes perfect sense.

    By Blogger Edward Hollett, at 4:23 p.m.  

  • Some aspects of this poll make sense... the increase in CPC support in Atlantic Canada given the fisheries policy announced yesterday for one. Other aspects, like the huge CPC drop in Western Canada... it will remain to be seen if this is a trend, or an anomoly.

    40% would suggest a real possibility of a Liberal Majority... not a big one, but a real one. I may be a bit biased, but I don't see a lot of pull for that right now, and I would expect to see some of the soft Liberal support drop off to the NDP as voters caught between the two go NDP to avoid a Liberal majority. The possibility also exists that the NDP get the message out against strategic voting for the Liberals, wanting the $1.75/vote/year funding that they could lose.

    By Blogger Greg P, at 4:31 p.m.  

  • Or it could suggest that 400 people is an insufficient sample size to get an accurate read of public opinion.

    By Blogger Chris, at 4:46 p.m.  

  • Honestly, I'm not going to make up my mind based on T.V. ads, but the ads the Tories are running here in Ontario are TERRIBLE.

    I don't even care if they're saying "A Tory government would give Lord Kitchener's Own a million dollars a day for the rest of his life" I don't know how I could vote for a party that can produce such God awful ads.

    I swear the Tories lose a dozen votes everytime one of those awful things appears on an Ontario television.

    By Blogger Lord Kitchener's Own, at 4:59 p.m.  

  • I suspect this is going to cause a lot of frustration for a lot of people in the Conservative camp.

    I doubt it. Conservatives have become quite good at dismissing reality.

    By Blogger Robert McClelland, at 5:09 p.m.  

  • These numbers are a virtual match with the much-larger, much more accurate Leger poll that was released today. Libs: 39, Cons: 27, Dips: 16, Bloq: 12.
    In other words, the SES polls are the real deal.
    If this trend continues, things are going to get really ugly really fast for the conjobbers.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:17 p.m.  

  • Early lead. Long election. Libs haven't even started trying yet. No one's gone negative yet.

    The lead is a nice surprise for the Liberals, but this does not mean much. In fact, this early in the game it might work against us Liberals. The Conservatives wanted to look like unthreatening underdogs throughout the campaign, up until the end. If they look like serious contenders too early, they are done. If it looks like the Liberals are set for a majority or solid minority until late in the game, it's a lot easier for progressive Conservatives to vote Conservative, for Dippers to stay the course without strategic voting and for angry federalists in Quebec to feel comfortable with a Bloc protest vote.

    The game isn't even halfway through the first period.


    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 5:39 p.m.  

  • Canadian Liberals put up a valiant struggle, however....

    Liberal Party, = Canada's miracle! Is it magic that a political party can be up to it's armpits in quicksand and still have real hopes of winning an election?

    Or, is it simply that 98% of Canadian voters are absolutly asleep at the wheel?

    Even Buzz Hargrove may not be aware of the over 200 rip-off scams by the Chretien and Martin Libranos governments.

    What branch of organized crime does Buzz belong to anyway? A Martinite?...Amazing! Payola? C'mon Paulie, fess up. What island off Barbados are you giving to Buzz?


    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 5:42 p.m.  

  • I agree with the first comment about the undecided -- 20% [7Dec]
    That is an increase from 16% [2Dec]

    In Quebec from 11% to 26%.

    Looks like people are just letting the soapsellers generate a little uncertaintly.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:48 p.m.  

  • Chris: the sample size is 1200, or 400 a day for 3 days. Other polls are also done over a period of several days. The sample is larger than that of Strategic Counsel polls(usually 1001).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:59 p.m.  

  • Ah Liberal majority, yummy. Let's see that'll be at leat 16 years of Liberal rule in a row. Will that be a record?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:15 p.m.  

  • I suspect the difference between SES and Gregg is the questions which are asked. When SES asks a few simple questions, Liberals do better.

    When Gregg asks a number of other questions as to whether the government has been in power too long, etc., you get another answer.

    The trick, for the parties, will be to convince the voters to ask the right questions as they go to the polls.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:17 p.m.  

  • Actually, I think it would be great if the Libs (and all those on the fence who may vote Lib, but may not want to go out in the snow to do so) thought that the CPC was plummeting.

    But do folks really believe their support in the west is now even with the Libs?

    Heck, all you worried liberal voters, just stay at home. It looks like a Liberal cake walk.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:22 p.m.  

  • Seriously, if after 12 years of Liberal rule, more scandals, lies and corruption than you'd find in a mexican whorehouse, Canadians are still willing to vote Liberal then there's not a lot to be done. One party rule has its benefits, especially if you take out a Liberal membership (which I might hedge my bets by doing). For what it's worth I think the Cons need to get in the dirt and mix it up. Forget all that 'policy' horseshit that the media has been bleating about, and 'Harps is an angry man' crap. Get angry, get mean, and take a page out of the Liberal handbook on how to get elected - LIE!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:27 p.m.  

  • "... and take a page out of the Liberal handbook on how to get elected - LIE!"

    That's exactly what they have been doing and it doesn't seem to be working. Neither has the "..more corruption than a mexican whorehouse" angle.

    The best we can hope for is a minority government, followed by three leadership conventions.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:31 p.m.  

  • Meanwhile the SC is out again and hasn't budged from 34/35 to 29/30 over the last 3 or 4 polls.

    The SC oversample in Ontario is potentially good news for the CPC if true. It shows CPC- NDP+ in 416, CPC+ NDP- in 519 and 1/3 of the Lib lead gone in 905.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:32 p.m.  

  • Maybe with all the pollsteres crawling across Canada (what are there 5 now?) people are just giving false answers. there is a HUGE undecided in the SES poll (235/1200).... thats a huge skew. almost 20%.

    I agree with CalGrit. Harper is doing what he needs to do... set out policy so when Martin tries to go neg Harper can shoult back "Hey, is a 2% cut in GST scary? Is helping out our Canadian fisherman scary? Is standing up for tradespeople scary? No, your dithering and pandering to the causes of the moment is scary, Mr. Martin."

    Ahh... if only the chance comes up in debate.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:37 p.m.  

  • Re: trusts. Apparently Goodale is saying today that the problem is with the reporting, BUT:

    At you can watch William Gleberzon, Associate Director of CARP say:

    "They said something was going to be announced later in the day"

    At you can see the CARP press release stating:

    "Although CARP had no idea of what the announcement would be, or exactly when it would come, it was good news that something was being done".

    If CARP disagrees with Gleberzon why does their release end with:

    "Interviews/Information: Judy Cutler, Bill
    Gleberzon, Directors, Government & Media Relations, (416) 363-8748 ext. 241,,"

    Meanwhile the same press release says the real problem is.. get this... Warren Kinsella...Meanwhile Kinsella has reported the rumours he heard to the OSC.

    Goodale just keeps on digging a bigger hole.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:42 p.m.  

  • Bear in mind that Kim Campbell began with a 20% lead in the polls and didn't fuck up (blatantly) 'til the end...polls are volatile creatures.

    By Blogger matt, at 8:14 p.m.  

  • Liberal Support in Ontario Slipping

    Liberal support slipping in Ontario: poll News Staff

    A new poll has found Paul Martin's Liberals losing ground in Ontario, with a big dropoff in the populous Toronto area.

    According to the latest poll conducted by The Strategic Counsel for CTV and The Globe and Mail, 42 per cent of decided voters asked earlier this week who they'd vote for gave the Grits the nod.

    That's down from 45 per cent when they last went to the polls in 2004.

    Though still trailing the Liberals, Stephen Harper's Conservatives are up four percentage points from their 2004 election result -- to 36 per cent of decided Ontario voters.

    The NDP are at 17 per cent (down from 18 per cent in 2004) and the Green Party are up one percentage point to five per cent support.

    When the numbers are broken down by region, it's clear where the Liberals are being hardest-hit.

    In the downtown Toronto area encompassed by the 416 area code, the vote would break down as follows (change from 2004 election result in brackets):

    Liberal: 51 per cent (-5)
    Conservative: 17 per cent (-3)
    NDP: 24 per cent (+4)
    Green: 8 (+4)
    When voters in the suburban 905 area code that bounds Toronto were asked the same question, they said (change from 2004 election result in brackets):

    Liberal: 47 per cent (-5)
    Conservative: 35 per cent (+2)
    NDP: 10 per cent (-1)
    Green: 8 per cent (+4)
    The Liberals' downward trend continues outside the provincial capital, as seen in the Ontario results that exclude Toronto.

    When asked how they'd vote if an election were held right away, voters across the province said (change from 2004 election result in brackets):

    Liberals: 38 per cent (-2)
    Conservatives: 38 per cent (+3)
    NDP: 18 per cent (-2)
    Green: 6 per cent (+1)
    In Southwestern Ontario, the Liberals aren't losing support, but the effect is nevertheless approximated by the Conservatives there gained support. On the question of who they'd vote in an election held today, voters in the region said (change from 2004 election result in brackets):

    Liberal: 41 per cent (+1)
    Conservative: 43 per cent (+9)
    NDP: 11 per cent (-10)
    Green: 5 (+/-0)
    Technical notes

    Results are based on nightly tracking, between Dec. 5 and Dec. 7, among a proportionate sample of 569 Ontarians 18 years of age or older. Results are considered accurate within +/- 4.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

    Where necessary to report on sufficient sample sizes, findings have been rolled up and analyzed over an ed day period beginning Nov. 29.

    In those cases, the sample size (with the margin of error in brackets) is:

    GTA - 416 & 905 region: 688 (3.7)
    GTA - 416 region: 410 (4.9)
    GTA - 905 region: 262 (9.1)
    Outside GTA - Southwestern & Eastern Ontario: 922 (3.2)
    Southwestern Ontario: 311 (5.6)
    Eastern Ontario: 242 (6.3)
    To obtain a written copy of the poll, contact The Strategic Counsel, 21 St. Clair Ave. E., Ste. 2100, Toronto, ON, M4T 1L9.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:22 p.m.  

  • Those Ontario numbers are interesting...although they certainly contradict the SES/Leger/Decima polls.

    Obviously things are still fairly volatile.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:17 p.m.  

  • A new Leger poll backs up the SES numbers. They show the Liberals at 39%, the Conservatives at 27%, and the NDP at 16%.

    By Blogger riley dog, at 10:18 p.m.  

  • love of chair time...and meanwhile what about naomi...ipsos...or...ekos.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:28 p.m.  

  • I'd be suspect of any polls that show the Liberals leading in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Aside from Ralph Goodale and 3 Winnipeg ridings its always Conservative vs. NDP in the prairie provinces.

    And the Leger/SES poll seems to be directly in condradiction to the SC/Ipsos-Reid polls. Who knows what to make of it.

    By Blogger Chris, at 10:37 p.m.  

  • I'm not a bit surprised by this poll. I think Canadians are finally waking up and realizing that the Liberals are not so bad after all. I think the opposition made a huge mistake by taking down the government the way they did, especially after Martin already said he would call an election after the Gomery report. I think a Liberal majority is a very good possibility and it will be what's best for Canada.

    By Blogger Scott in BC, at 11:54 p.m.  

  • I am a new Canadian and as far as I see Liberals=Conservative=Same for people like me

    By Blogger Jamaican in Canada, at 12:20 a.m.  

  • Scott - are you being held against your will by Lib War Room Staffers and made to type this drivel under the threat of force? If you need help scream "shazam".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:41 a.m.  

  • Liberals not so bad

    How about sitting around all year opposing tougher gun crime sentences and then on the eve on an election changing your tune.

    You know what that says, it says all the Libs care about is getting elected. They know the country is fearful of gun crimes, but rather than substantively doing something about it while they govern, they leverage that fear for vote getting during an election.

    Your fears aren't for them to alleviate as a responsible government, they're there for them to foment and leverage for votes.

    Yeah, the libs aren't that bad at all.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:36 a.m.  

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