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Just to show you how fickle polls are..

Thanks to reader Joseph in the prior thread pointing me to this Decima Poll taken at the same time as the Strategic Council Poll that has some Liberals in a panic and some conservatives chortling. This one shows a continuing tight race:

Decima’s results, provided exclusively to The Canadian Press, place the Conservatives at 32 per cent and the Liberals at 30 per cent. The NDP was at 15 per cent, the Green party was at 11 per cent and the Bloc Quebecois was at nine per cent nationally.

More importantly.. look at the results in Ontario and Quebec:

In Ontario, the poll suggested the Liberals held a 10 percentage point lead – 40 per cent to 30 per cent for the Tories, while the NDP was at 17 per cent and the Greens were at 12 per cent. In Quebec, the Bloc Quebecois were at 37 per cent, the Liberals were at 25 per cent and the Tories were at 17 per cent. The Greens were at eight per cent and the NDP was at seven. Decima CEO Bruce Anderson said the Bloc’s support is significantly lower than it was before the last election.

So far, the Liberals appear to be the most likely beneficiaries of softening BQ support,” Anderson said.

I highlighted that for Antonio of Fuddle Duddle’s benefit 🙂

Seriously, Harper does not go to an election with those numbers being confident he can win… so.. as I said last thread.. let’s all take a chill pill here… but I’ll reiterate that the Liberals do need to come forward with some stances other then the environment that will get noticed (ie Proportional Representation) and work with their Opposition partners – particularly the NDP – to proclaim they helped push thru a legitimate alternative to the Tories CAA.


10 comments to Just to show you how fickle polls are..

  • “The libs bled; the Tories were not bolstered much.”

    This is the point of negative ads.

    I’m wondering: Who thinks the numbers would have looked like this at this point if Rae had become leader?

  • I agree, it’s not a panic situation.

  • I find the enviro marks concerning, but I think the test will be the emergence of the new Clean Air act.

    The other stuff on leadeership I think is just par for the course. And once people have decided to vote Lib (assuming they do do that), then these will follow. I am more impressed with the fact that six weeks of mudslinging have raised the Tories what, one, two points? Even the SC poll result wasn’t that impressive. The libs bled; the Tories were not bolstered much.

    Not that I think there isn’t some retuning needs to be done, but its a long way from a panic situation.

  • bcl

    Well, we are down aren’t we? I might add, those numbers become relevant when the election becomes a mono on mono affair. Why do strategists waste so much time trying to drive up negatives, if they are irrelevant? If you don’t find the environment numbers alarming, or at least concerning, then….

  • Steve,

    You (but not just you) have been pushing the “internals” on the assumption that they will eventually influence the horse-race numbers. Call me when they do.

  • It is disconcerting to see the consistency of the poll results over the past couple of months…from “euphoric” post-convention highs to a return to the January, 2006 numbers. I presume that the latest Strategic Counsel results underscore a number of conditions. Firstly, Tom Axworthy is right that the Conservatives are like wolverines and are not prepared to go gently into any post-election night. Second, the negative ads, no matter how repugnant or silly, do have their desired effect. Finally, the LPC and Liberal Caucus do not appear to have much coherence in how they have been countering the wolverines’ attacks and manouvers to ensure the Liberals remain the prey.

    It strikes me that a political party like the LPC should have developed, or should have been able to develop, a political strategy for a post-leadership period based on utilizing the talents of leadership candidates and their organizations, an ability to respond quickly and effectively to any situation and the notion that it too could lobe the occasional strategic handgrenade to disrupt the circling wolverines. This is paramount when the Party is in opposition and the Parliament is based on a minority government.

    By way of example, in respect of the negative ads, why has the LPC not better used the internet to counter the messages. Surely brighter minds than mine could conceive an effective use of the web to get out the counter position without resorting to costly television ads and the like. There must be ways to creatively introduce video clips of Stephen Harper and other Government MPs posted on the Party’s website a la You Tube which uses their words to present the LPC’s view of what the ads are really doing. The web could get these messages out further and faster to a larger group (including the fourth and fifth estates)… We hear constantly how effective this is in the case of other countries — the LPC could do the same.

    And in the end, we might not be commenting on stories about the changes — or as has been stated, “how fickle..” — to polls of voters’ intentions.

  • Joseph

    One last note on poll numbers themselves. Did anyone notice that Decima’s tracking poll last week compared to this week, while registering more support for Harper across the country, actually showed Libs improving in Ontario and Quebec:

    Last week Ontario: Libs 39 Cons 35
    This week Ontario: Libs 40 Cons 30

    Last week Quebec: Bloc 42 Libs 21 Cons 17
    This week Quebec: Bloc 37 Libs 25 Cons 17

    I find this interesting for two reasons. First, all the hype given to the polls today – funny that one could have easily have printed a story touting improvement of Liberal standing in the battleground provinces as contemplating a Conservative election call, which is where everyone went. And, secondly, I had always suspected the return of “Nasty Harper” last week with regards to Goodale, thumbing his nose at Parliament legislation, etc, would hurt him in Ontario. Polls, shmolls, I know. But it is interesting that the one tracking poll seems to support my theory despite all the headlines to the contrary.

    None of this is meant to take away from the very worthy discussion of how do the Liberals build and convey a strong message. But I find it interesting nevertheless.

  • Joseph

    I agree with your analysis of the current state of the party and the polls. I think these three things need to happen within the Liberal Party:

    1. Announce proposals on a variety of issues beyond the environment and actively work to keep them in the news (i.e., talked about by various members, actively promoted). I’m thinking, for example, of the alternative idea on income Trusts in one news article last week and now suddenly out of mind. I think ideas on improving health care, proportional representation (as you mentioned), and child-care, ideas on intelligent tax benefits, economic growth policy, etc. Show the country that you are not the one-trick pony the media is trying to paint.

    2. Focus on specific themes and ideas, and promote that the Liberal party stands for basic tenets. I like the Three Pillars but does Joe or Jill Public know what they are? And what they mean to them? The Liberals need a vision theme or mission statement that they abide by – and keep in mind. It is smart for the public, but in all honesty it’s smart for governing well. It is good to always remember what the big picture is – in business and in government.

    3. A bit more – i.e. fundamentally more – party discipline on the MESSAGE. The media loves the sound of their own “when will the knives come out” spiel, and public disagreements on bits of policy – no matter how minor – will get magnified to fit that story they are itching to report. So I think it would be in the best interest if all Liberal MPs (and Liberal MP contenders) would agree among themselves to present a unified front (repeat the vision theme verbatim if necessary) whenever expressing their opinion on a matter. And if they absolutely feel they must state their peace on any matter, give credit to the value of other views in the party. Far too much ammo is being given out during a transition period for the party. Transitions when new leadership comes in takes time, no matter who wins. The idle chat needs to take a back seat for a good long while; not sure when it ever really serves a purpose. The vast majority of that could stay behind closed doors. I’m not advocating that MPs can’t disagree, I just think the party needs to be more savvy on how that will be portrayed (i.e., think about it!), and express their opinions responsibly.

  • Point taken.. and I’m certainly not fluffing them off. As I said, I’ve already offered my suggestions what can be done in the prior thread. Jonathan at TDH Strategies has a couple other suggestions. Its whether the Liberal Party brass will listen or respond.

  • It’s not the horserace numbers, its the dismal internals. Frankly, how anyone with an ounce of objectively can fluff those off is beyond me.
    Harper is virtually tied with Dion on the environment, ahead on unity. Every category, another bad result.

    With regard to the horserace numbers, doesn’t anyone find it concerning that the Green Party is bleeding Liberal support. Translation, Dion, whose strength is supposedly the environment, is losing people over the environment.

    Tomorrow is a new day, the sky is not falling, but if anyone thinks Conservative strategists aren’t smiling ear to ear they are kidding themselves. Two cents 🙂

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