Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Two New Polls Contain Bad News for Iggy, Bad News For Harper, Good News for Bob Rae

An exclusive poll of Liberal Party members conducted by the Strategic Counsel for The Globe and Mail/CTV News shows that:

Mr. Ignatieff is the first choice of 19 per cent of Liberals surveyed, with Mr. Rae running a tight second at 17 per cent and Mr. Dion just behind with 13 per cent. Gerard Kennedy and Ken Dryden — with 9 per cent each — are tied for fourth. Scott Brison garnered 3 per cent of the vote and Joe Volpe 2 per cent, while Martha Hall Findlay got 1 per cent and Hedy Fry less than 1 per cent.

Why Bad news for Iggy? Because

According to the poll, Mr. Rae is the second choice of 23 per cent of party members and Mr. Dion is the second choice of 17 per cent. Mr. Ignatieff is well down, with only 12 per cent picking him as their second choice.

[Allan] Gregg said the race between Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Rae could be almost a dead heat after the first tier of lower candidates drop out after the first ballot.

Mr. Gregg sees the makings of an "anyone but Iggy movement", and in fact sees Bob Rae as the person most likely to emerge as nominee.

Meanwhile, in another Strategic Counsel poll for The Globe, Stephen Harpers approval ratings have fallen significantly over the summer. The overall numbers:

Nationally, the Conservatives had the support of 35 per cent of those surveyed, followed by the Liberals at 26 per cent, the NDP at 19, the Bloc Québécois at 12 and the Green Party at 8 per cent.

Both the Libs and Tories are down one point from the last Strategic Counsel survey. And, as most other recent polls have shown, the national numbers show a precipitous decline in Tory support in Quebec (16%), where they have fallen to third place behind both the Bloc (48%) and the Libs (18%). Interestingly, the NDP is up a couple of points to 11 per cent.

All of which supports the feeling that Gregg notes among Liberal Party members to the effect that they are voting for a potential Prime Minister, not just a Leader of the Opposition.


Anonymous said...

You fail to mention that the majority of non-Liberal party members on the same poll you mention spport Ken Dryden.

This Strategic Counsel poll was about three weeks after the Hastings and Main poll which I posted in the comments section of the same Globe and Mail publication. Some of you bloggers may have seen the repost by someone else in liberal blogland (progressive bloggers).

It is of no surprise that same G&M would bury such a significant fact at the end of the story with nary a bold quote.

Do we want to defeat Harper?

Then let Ken do what he has a chance to do better than any other Liberal candidate.

It is obvious that many of you have picked some incredibly talented candidates for very good reasons.
Let that same reasoning support Ken and do whats right for Canada and stop the narrow Harper agenda.

Walks With Coffee said...

Everyone is now noticing the elephant in the room who is Bob Rae. His ace card message is that he is the "unite the left" candidate.

Personally, I like my politics down the center... but hey, 2/3rds of Canadian voters vote center to left.

bigcitylib said...

Rrae is an excellent performer. An excellent candidate.

I worry that when people find out during an election campaign that he passed ant-scab legislation in Ontario, for example, they will sour on him.

But maybe not. Canadians seem to be able to forgive alot of things.

Michael Fox said...

Yes, pick Bob Rae to be your next leader.

Please. :)

Ted Betts said...

What I don't get is how people can conclude Iggy's losing momentum when there has never been a poll showing him in the lead. That's just spinning.

He and Bob are the frontrunners. I've been saying that for a month but everyone accused me of just spewing spin to take the focus off of Iggy. My opinion has been proven here.

Now the focus is on Rae. He's been given the kid-glove treatment to now and he's quickly finding out what it has been like to be Ignatieff for the last 4 months.

- we now know he was fundraising for the NDP against the Liberals in the last election
- we now know that he refused to put a Liberal sign on his property during the last election
- we now know that he was with Libby Davies on the night of the election and was ecstatic with the results for the NDP
- we now know that he was advocating amending the constitution to recognize Quebec as a nation just last month until he flipped on the issue as the wind seemed to blow against Iggy's suggestion along the same lines
- we now know that he has been slyly saying one thing in French and a different thing in English

If Liberals were aware of this when asked their polling questions, I suspect Rae would fall off the map and Dion and Dryden and Kennedy would soar up.

I think you got it smack on BCL when you said he is an excellent performer. The problem is that it appears that that is the extent of him.

Who is Bob Rae going to be today? Who is he going to be tomorrow?

These silly polls can be spun a whole lot of ways and they will swing a lot in the next months. For example, interesting but not surprising that you chose not to mention that Liberals think Ignatieff will be the most successful in a campaign against Harper, that by a large margin he is considered the most electible. Certainly most of caucus agress with that. He is also considered the most intelligent and the one who is bringing the most new ideas to the party. So are these polls worth anything?

Watch next time as the polls swing just as quickly as Rae's party affiliation and constitutional policy positions.

bigcitylib said...

Of the points you mention, the donation one bothers me least. Many people like myself can see dividing ones loyalties between the NDP and the Libs, and since most of the people he donated to were in his old government, I don't really have a problem with it (the loyalties were personal).

The changing comments he has made on the constitution are a little more worrisome, and its frankly odd that he shouldn't have been called on them sooner. I would give him some credit, though, in that before a televised forum in Quebec he took the position he did. There is such a thing as changing your mind, after all.

(Although, I gather iggy has been back-peddling on his position re. the Constitution latelyas well, so that one may be a wash)


Ted Betts said...

Come on BCL. A little consistency here.

Rae says he is an experienced leader and in particular an experienced leader on federal-provincial issues and has been deeply involved in these national debates for a long time. And suddenly a few weeks after making one statement, he flips around and makes the opposite statement? That's not changing your mind; that's blatant political opportunism.

His whole schtick has been that he really fucked up Ontario but it wasn't his fault and he's learned from that. Also that he was an NDP leader but he's moved on from that and is fully Liberal. These several tidbits - I acknowledge each one isn't huge on its own - totally undercut all of that schtick.

Like Iggy or not, I'm surprised how easy you are to give Rae the easy pass.

Ted Betts said...

A little consistency please BCL.

Rae claims he is best suited because he has vast political experience and in particular has been deeply involved in federal-provincial affairs before and after his premiership. And the guy suddenly changes his mind about the most fundamental issue in that federal-provincial debate a mere few weeks after making bold statements about the need for constitutional reform? That's not changing your mind, that's blatant political opportunism, shifting with the wind.

Like Iggy or not, I really surprised that the frank and hard speaking BCL is willing to give Rae such an easy pass.

Ted Betts said...

sorry for the double post. computer froze and I thought the first one was lost.

bigcitylib said...


And its perfectly legit to call Bob Rae on it, at least demand an explanation of what went into the apparent flip-flop. Personally, I am happy that he has come around to his current position, by whatever route.

In addition, I have read that Iggy also backed away from a stronger stand in meetings with B.C. Libs. Constitutional change is no longer at the top of his agenda.

Anonymous said...

Cerberus, you are playing fast and loose with the truth:

"we now know he was fundraising for the NDP against the Liberals in the last election"

Is that really what he did when he made a donation to Paul Godfrey's campaign. Where is the evidence that he was "fundraising" was he hosting parties, sending out mailings etc.?

"we now know that he refused to put a Liberal sign on his property during the last election."

So what? I've voted Liberal and been a member of the Liberal Party my entire adult life and I NEVER put a sign up during an election camaign? Big deal. Since we're on the subject of who has done what for the Liberal Party, maybe you can tell us what Michael Ignatieff did for the Liberal Party of Canada since was a delegate at the 1968 convention. How many lawn signs did he put up? How much money did he donate to Liberals? When was the last time he voted in Canada other than when he ran in 2006. Of course he couldn't vote in the riding he was seeking to represent because he didn't live in it.

"we now know that he was with Libby Davies on the night of the election and was ecstatic with the results for the NDP"

Where is your evidence of this? Were you there? Do you know how Rae reacted? Where is this story from?

"we now know that he was advocating amending the constitution to recognize Quebec as a nation just last month until he flipped on the issue as the wind seemed to blow against Iggy's suggestion along the same lines"

He has never said that he doesn't advocate it, in fact he supported Meech and Charlottetown. He is saying that he doesn't want to try to amend the consitution because it will do more than good. Nothing new here. What is new is Ignatieff's position on the constitution and Quebec. I remember him before he declared his run for the leadership that he was, shall we say, a "Trudeau Liberal" and then he turns around and says we have to declare Quebec a "nation." I went to a fundraiser for him at the National Club in Toronto and he gave his "I'm a strong federalist" speech and said that it was a ridiculous proposal to have Quebec sit at the table with Canada at International meetings. Does he still feel that way?

"we now know that he has been slyly saying one thing in French and a different thing in English"
Do you have any proof of this. Give us examples.

bigcitylib said...


Bob Rae did say this:

While [Rae] said in French that the unilateral repatriation of the Constitution without Quebec must be fixed, Rae added in English that Canada ``isn't something broken that must be repaired.''

I'm not sure how much mileage Ted and Cherniak et al can get out of this. He seems generally inclined towards Constitutional reform, but does not seem to have it high on his "to do" list.

Ted Betts said...


I'm not sure where you get that Ignatieff is backing off of constitutional reform. He said clearly that at some point we need to amend the constitution, but he never said that that's my first priority and by golly once I'm PM we're going right at 'er. It isn't even the most significant plank in his platform so he isn't backing away from it just because he's talking about his other priorities. In fact, he wasn't even asked the question at the BC debates so I'm really not sure where the "backing off" comment comes from.

Look, like him or not (and obviously you are a not), the man speaks his mind and sticks with it, no matter how controversial. Rae seems to shift with the wind. Kennedy never makes it too clear where he stands and Dion just plays it the traditional safe.

I actually like Rae and have been defending him and in particular his "Liberalness" quite strongly. Before now. While "fundraising" is maybe putting it a tad too strong, he was donating and working with the NDP or at least some of the NDP during the last election, only a month or so before he decided to run for a different party. He said publicly he couldn't take a sign because he had to remain neutral due to his involvement with Air India but then he's donating money to help defeat Liberals.

I don't see how this whole story helps anyone but Kennedy and Dion, frankly. But it sure as heck pisses me off.

I just have to laugh about the "Cherniak and co." comment though. I actually had an email from him last night. He has been saying just the opposite about Rae and turned down a request to post on this. This is actually being led by the likes of CalgaryGrit and Rob Edgar (and Steve Janke, conservative) and other Dion and Kennedy supporters.

Ted Betts said...

To clarify: he told me somone asked him to post some info on Rae and he refused. I did not ask him to post on Rae. Just read my comment back and wanted to clarify that point.

Gavin Magrath said...

The candidates on the left (if you will) are scattered and I think momentum will play a huge role in this thing on the floor. I can totally see Kennedy gaining each round and finally sucking up bob and taking it. I like Bob but I think he gives Harper sweet dreams.

bigcitylib said...

Forgive me Ted, I was not trying to suggest a blogger conspiracy in this case.

My current take right now would be that Bob Rae and Iggy have arrived at very similar constitutional positions (both think it should be fixed but not tacked immediately). For whatever reason, Iggy took alot of crap for the way he got to that position in his public comments, Bob didn't. Advantage Bob.

Look, if you want to go after Rae in a way that will at least make him sweat, "research" his record. There's:

1) Ontario's economic performance. But I think voters might forgive him this, for various reasons (The Tories that replaced him left us pretty much in the same boat fiscally).

2) Anti-Scab Laws. I actually supported this, and still do. Alot of business people gag at the very notion. I would love to hear Bob quizzed on why he did it, would he do it again?

2) Political Correctness. There is an infamous case where the Ontario Job registry advertised for a government position and basically said no white males should apply.

I can imagine how Bob would respond to all of this. Sure I made mistakes but I'm older and wiser etc. I personally would like to see him have to respond. This is the ground on which he will be truely tested.

Note: I am anti-Iggy, but otherwise still haven't decided. Kennedy can't speak French and Dion has the charisma of a dead haddock. So Bob is starting to have a certain appeal.

susansmith said...

Paul Martin did not have charisma. I felt total embarassment for him in the last - desparate - week of the election.