Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Polls, Aggregated

Macleans has taken the last six Federal polls (Decima, Angus-Reid, and Ipsos Reid from last week, as well as the SES, Léger and the Strategic Counsel polls from February) and aggregated the results. The result is as follows:

Conservatives 36.17%
Liberals 29.67%
NDP 14.67%
Green 9.17%
Bloc Québécois 9.17%

In other words, almost identical to election day, with the NDP doing a little worse and the Greens doing a little better.

All of which argues against a Spring election, especially since, should an election be called, everyone will know that it has been called at the whim of Stephen Harper and co. As Richard Gwyn writes in this morning's Star:

The politics of the matter are a bit different. While there's nothing to prevent Harper from calling an election tomorrow and explaining, "I'm doing it for no reason except that I'm going to win it," most political pros will judge this a Bad Thing for him to do.

Not bad in itself – since it would be the truth – but bad in its consequences. Canadian voters might get shirty.

Under this scenario, the Liberals might profitably dig up whatever piece of film has Stephen Harper telling the voters that he intends to govern until 2009/2010, and run it as their first attack ad.

But then why all the posturing? Well, it seems to me that the strategy works for the CPoC whether an election is called or not. They do have a budget to get through parliament, and would certainly like to move it through with as little compromise as possible. If empty threats work to grease the skids for this document, then what more is required? And if the next month brings even better polling numbers well, hell, they can still figure out a way to drop the writ. The point is, even if Harper et al didn't plan for a Spring election, it would make sense to behave as though they did.

4 comments:

richard said...

Surely the main reason for Harper to pull the trigger now is that there is little prospect of things getting better over the next few months. A spring offensive by the Taliban (Royal 22nd taking a hit; votes lost in Quebec) and growing threats of a recession in the U.S. (bye-bye budget surplus, source of pre-election goodies) would seem to lessen his electoral chances for the rest of 2007.

Saskboy said...

pollingreport.ca is fun to watch too.

The Tiger said...

It only makes sense for Harper to pull the trigger if he thinks he can get a majority.

Because -- as small as his minority gov't is, it is as strong as it can possibly be. He only needs one other party's support to pass any bill. Even if he picked up another ten to fifteen seats, it doesn't change the political reality.

But if he scares the opposition enough, 2007 can be like 2006, with the Conservatives getting a good portion of their platform passed w/o much opposition.

IMHO.

ottlib said...

Richard:

I agree. There are not many advantages for Mr. Harper if he waits and the future holds many potential pitfalls.

I suspect we will see an election sometime in May.

That way he can get some mileage ouf the budget and it will be before things really heat up in Afghanistan.