Friday, February 22, 2008

Angus Reid Says: You Fail, Stephen Harper

I know I've criticized the methodology of their on-line polls before, but if they're pumping out numbers like this they've obviously fixed those problems and deserve another chance.

The online poll shows the Conservatives with 34 per cent of the decided vote, the Liberals with 31 per cent, the New Democrats with 17, the Bloc Québécois with 9, and the Green party with 8.

I'll let Steve do the heavy analytic stuff, but here's a few quick remarks.

The poll shows that the Liberals continue to hold a healthy lead in Ontario, with 40 per cent of the decided vote, compared to the Conservatives' 34 per cent. The NDP is at 14 per cent in Ontario and the Green party at 10 per cent.

This looks far more likely than the Ontario result from the last couple of polls. And if Jim Flaherty wants to remind Ontarions on why we boooted him and his Mike Harris cronies out of office the first time around, then I say let him keep at it. Why anyone would want to go out of their way to attack a Premier who has just won re-election with a pretty solid majority is beyond me. Not that they love McGuinty around here, but he is pretty unsuitable as a designated punching bag for the Federal Tories. No, the Tories see Ontario manufacturing going South and they are looking for someone to blame. Perhaps, in their attempts to shift responsibility, they're willing to write the province off.

According to the survey, the top issue for Canadians is the environment at 23 per cent, followed by health care at 20 per cent. Only 6 per cent listed the Afghan war as the most important issue today.

Quite reassuring in that a bit of snow and cold weather has NOT apparently dulled Canadian's commitment to the climate change issue.


Anonymous said...

Ignoring the horrible news,

and interpreting the moderately bad news as "great".

The sad fate of those who've hitched their horse to Dion's wagon.

Anonymous said...

A lead wagon without wheels.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I know about he polls is that they always seem to have the Conservatives ahead.

Dion's now supporting the Afghan mission? He needs to take a stand and this poll shows we're within striking distance of the Conservatives. I'm tired of waiting.


Anonymous said...

No election this spring.

Dion sold the farm on Afghanistan, and it sounds like he's setting the stage to put his tail between his legs on the budget.

One thing appears to be certain. Harper will continue to be in power for the foreseeable future.

Please put Iggy in now!!!!

Anonymous said...

"online polls suck!

Unless they counter non-online polls which presumably don't suck but confirm that my candidate has zero chance of winning the election, at which point the on line polls miraculously unsuck."


Johnathon said...

I dont understand,

Maybe you can help me understand.

This poll was done Feb 14th- Feb 17th.

Stephen Harper's Conservatives have gained their strongest lead over the Liberals since first taking power in 2006, and have edged ahead in support on almost every key issue, according to a new Strategic Counsel poll.

"It's a cold shower for Liberal election plans," the Strategic Counsel's Peter Donolo told Wednesday.

When respondents were asked which party they would vote for, nearly 40 per cent said they would back the Conservatives (percentage-point change from a Jan. 10-13 poll in brackets):

Conservatives: 39 per cent (+3)
Liberals: 27 per cent (-3)
NDP: 12 per cent (same)
Green Party: 12 per cent (+2)
Bloc Quebecois: 10 per cent (-1)
CTV's Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife said Liberal Leader Stephane Dion was pushing for an election Tuesday, and was considering voting down the federal budget in March.

"He happens to believe that if Canadians see him in an election campaign, they'll like him and elect him as prime minister," said Fife.

"Of course, Liberal MPs have a different view of that. They believe that the party will get slaughtered in an election campaign, so they're telling him to please hold off and wait until it looks advantageous for the Liberal party to actually win."

Fife said the 27 per cent support received by the Liberals reflects a core of Canadians who will vote for the party no matter what.

"I would think it would be almost impossible for them to go below that because that's where their core vote lies," he told CTV's Canada AM on Thursday.

Donolo noted that the Conservatives have only been in power for two years, and the public usually demands a change in government after a far longer stretch in office.

The survey, conducted between Feb. 14-17 for CTV and the Globe and Mail, also suggests that voters in Ontario are largely responsible for driving up Conservative support.

In Ontario, the Conservatives have overtaken the Liberals for the first time since July 2006, when the Liberals were at 39 per cent and the Tories at 41 percent. Here are the current standings in Ontario (percentage-point change from a Jan. 10-13 poll in brackets):

Conservatives: 42 per cent (+5)
Liberals: 34 per cent (-5)
Green Party: 13 per cent (-1)
NDP: 11 per cent (-1)
"This is a significant lead -- it's an eight-point lead," noted Donolo.

But he also said that, considering the national results, the Conservatives are only at the low end of the spectrum for what they would need to win a majority government.

"Thirty-nine per cent is only flirting with majority government territory," he said.

Donolo also pointed out that "this is more a picture of how the horses are standing at the starting gate, not at the finish line" -- meaning an election campaign could drastically affect the numbers.

Most Canadians seem content with the current minority government -- 60 per cent feel that Canada is on the right track, with 28 per cent answering believing it's on the wrong track.

The Conservatives have also taken a lead over the Liberals when it comes to dealing with key issues:

When respondents were asked which party would best be able to manage the economy during an economic slowdown, 38 per cent said the Conservatives and 25 per cent said the Liberals;
Thirty-six per cent of respondents thought the Conservatives were best able to manage the Afghanistan mission, compared with 21 per cent for the Liberals;
On the question of which party has the best plan for Canada's military and defence, 37 per cent answered Conservative and 19 per cent Liberal;
As for who would spend taxpayers' money most wisely, 32 per cent said Conservative and 14 per cent Liberal; and,
When asked which party's values most reflected their own, 28 per cent said Conservative and 21 per cent Liberal.
Donolo said the low numbers for the Liberals may be a result of the public not fully understanding their positions on the issues.

"I think the Liberals being an opposition party in a minority government makes the situation even more difficult for them," said Donolo. "They kind of whip-saw between opposing the government and having to vote to keep it in office, and that ... makes it difficult for them to create a firm impression on the public."

The Liberals had a very slight lead on the Conservatives on the environment: 17 per cent said the Liberals would be better able to tackle climate change, compared with 16 per cent for the Conservatives.

Twenty-seven per cent also believed the Conservatives had a "hidden agenda," and only 20 per cent thought the same for the Liberals. However, 22 per cent felt the Conservatives had the highest standards of ethics and honesty, with the Liberals at 10 per cent.

Liberal Finance Critic John McCallum, speaking on CTV's Mike Duffy Live Wednesday before he had seen the complete poll results, said he believes the economy will become a major issue for the Conservatives.

"What I see in my riding and elsewhere in Ontario is growing concern about the economy, and the hemorrhaging of jobs, especially in manufacturing," he said. "And the finance minister has the nerve to lash out at the Ontario government while doing nothing himself to provide direct support for manufacturers. Support is what's needed, and that's what the government is not doing."

Technical notes

The poll was conducted between Feb. 14-17 by The Strategic Counsel for CTV and the Globe and Mail.
The national sample size is 1,000 people and the margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
In Ontario, 383 people were sampled with a margin of error of 5 percentage points.
Results are based on tracking among a proportionate national sample of Canadians 18 years of age or older.


Clearly, the polls are not a dure fire way to judge voter intentions.

Anonymous said...

Decima and Angus are closer in their numbers.

I'm waiting for Nanos myself.

John Miller - we have vehicles these days - no need to hitch horses anymore.

Anonymous said...


The consensus of the pundits is that Harper outmanouevered Dion on Afghanistan.

One of the more balanced columnists, Chantal Hebert lays it out well in today's column which ends with these words "...Dion will be defending a policy that many Canadians had come to see as a defining Conservative feature."

So Tired, you're perfectly entitled to ask what's up with the new Liberal position on the Afghan mission.

Jonathan, your cut and paste job rivals a ti-guy comment on the anoyance meter. This is for posting comments, give us a link if you must.

Ti-Guy said...

Six out of seven comments so far by sock-puppets. Is that a new record, BCL? Or is CPC Central put more meth into the coffee today?

*sigh*...And it'll just get worse if there's an election.

bigcitylib said...

Stupid filter is now on.

Greg said...

Please put Iggy in now!!!!

That's the funniest thing I have read today. Who do you think helped Dion create the "compromise" on Afghanistan? Who do you think is counseling holding off on an election (thereby showing Dion to be weak)?

Anonymous said...

I do not understand was not a Conservative motion on Afghanistan. Dion sent Harper a letter to clarify the deal in 2011 and he went by what the Liberals wanted (close) It is really more of a Liberal idea than Harper's.

Ti-Guy said...

That's the funniest thing I have read today. Who do you think helped Dion create the "compromise" on Afghanistan? Who do you think is counseling holding off on an election (thereby showing Dion to be weak)?

Is this the "Greg" associated with this abomination of a blog?

It's the degree of authority implied and the complexity of the smear that cause me to wonder. Internecine squabbles and insider intrigue as evidence to support Conservative propaganda? You can't get any more dishonest...or possibly crazier/Albertan...than that.

Anonymous said...

Correction, they're referring to 'the environment', that nebulous, feel-good touchy feeling concept that we all wish to "save", but nobody does anything about. Not Global Warming, or Climate Change, or Man-Made Weather (I'm sure that's what it'll morph into next to keep the beast alive). Perhaps 'the environment' means they want more national parks, or longer hunting seasons, or less actual pollution, or better litter control around landfill sites.

By the way, when was the last time you did anything out in 'the environment'?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

You know, when Liberals aren't in power, they really are insufferable crybabies. Control freaks, dictators, entitled to entitlements, the 'natural governing party of Canada', etc. Your whole world comes crashing down when you can't loot the national treasury for your own purposes. Tsk tsk.

Get used to it.

Ti-Guy said...

Your whole world comes crashing down when you can't loot the national treasury for your own purposes.

I didn't loot the national treasury. What the hell are you on about? Are you in need of medical attention?

Anonymous said...

Ti-guy, you may be going senile, but what the gentleman appears to be referring to is the Liberal pilfering the public purse with the adscam scheme.

Of oourse it is one of the reasons why the Libs are nowheresville in La Belle Province.

Have a nice weekend!