Sunday, April 08, 2007

Latest SES numbers: No one wins

The latest polling numbers from everyone's favourite pollster, SES Research, are out this Easter Weekend. The numbers show a continuing tight race with no majority in sight for Harper, but point to potential trouble for the Liberals in Quebec.

Says SES boss Nik Nanos:

The latest SES Research poll completed this Thursday evening (April 5th) shows the Conservatives are still short of forming a majority government. Nationally, the Conservatives registered the support of 36% of decided voters followed by the Liberals at 33%, the NDP at 16%, the BQ at 10% and the Green Party at 6%.
And here's the chart, going back to the historical Liberal highs of the giddy early Martin era. Since election day, again, very little change. Indeed, it's even tighter today that it was election day: (click for the PDF)


Anyway, as I said though, trouble brewing in Quebec. Says Nanos:
However, the federal budget, Quebec provincial election results and the new advertising scandal arrest has put downward pressure on Liberal support in Quebec. The Liberals have dropped nine points in Quebec in the past 60 days. Research conducted by SES has shown that in the past there is a direct relationship between federal Liberal support in Quebec and any new revelations regarding the sponsorship scandal. It is too early to tell whether the Liberal drop is short term or not.
I'll leave the Quebec analysis to others, but it certainly seems plausible to see the latest Lafleur news this week having an impact on Liberal fortunes in Quebec. I think the rest of the country has moved on, but it may well be different in Quebec. Short term or long term though? That will be interesting. This is the one spot of hope for Harper, or for anyone, in this poll though.

Also interesting however is the rest of the regional numbers:

The margin of error is why it's important to take all these regional numbers, even the Quebec ones, with a grain of salt.

Libs maintain a strong lead in the Atlantic, but dip a bit. Interesting to see the Cons just three points up in the NDP in the Atlantic. Budget not going over well there? An interesting increase in undecideds there too.

Quebec we've discussed but the NDP up five there, is this Jack's promised breakthrough?

Battleground Ontario (TM) is super tight for the Libs and Cons, but interesting they're both taking support from the NDP. Or perhaps votes are bleeding right, NDP to Libs and Libs to Cons. A little nose holding by Dippers to stop Harper maybe, a la 2004? If so, Jack should be worried.

And lastly, the West. Off topic rant, but B.C. should be its own separate region for so many reasons I'm not in the mood to list. Anyway, Cons holding steady but the Libs gaining five, just five back. Again, Lib gains coming from the NDP and the Greens. See comments above. Still, without more of a breakdown it's tough to evaluate the significance. Factor out the large Con pluralities in Alberta though and things could get interesting. Remember , Liberal vote and seat count has increased in B.C. over the last two elections. There's hope for growth too in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. If the stars align. If.

Really though, what these numbers show is that everybody hasn't been doing a particularly good job, and no one should be in any mood for an election because at the moment, nothing would change.

The Conservatives have done everything they can to bribe, manipulate and cajole Canadians, and all the taxpayer billions have gotten them is the same numbers they had on e-day, they're treading water. The Liberals have failed to build or maintain any momentum, or capture the imagination of Canadians. NDP support has been less fluid, it has been a nearly straight line. They've got their base, but no one else is looking. Dido the BQ, and despite all the hype support for the Green Party is stagnant.

It's kind of amusing to think that all the bluster, rancor, sound and fury of the past 14 months has been for nothing. Nothing has changed. Looks like it's back to the drawing board for everyone.

To find the silver lining though (at least, I guess, if you're a Liberal, and I am, so sue me) this is still anyone's election. The Libs are only back three of the Cons, with a three point margin of error. That's a statistical dead heat. To read the media you'd think Harper was running away with it but in reality, it's anyone's game. If, that is, anyone can get their act together.

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11 comments:

Steve V said...

I wish they would put British Columbia as a stand alone result, because it would give us a better flavour, instead of lumping everything west of Ontario as a single entity.

Gayle said...

I thought everything west of Ontario WAS a single entity :).

There is a chance for the liberals to re-take McLellan's seat, and a chance for the NDP to take Jaffer's seat, but otherwise it will be business as usual in Alberta.

Since it is obvious no one stands to gain by an election, do you think they could get back to governing the country now?

s.b. said...

Nah Harper has shot his wad in Quebec. There's nothing else he can do there. They will vote for Dion when he's given air time to speak to them.

The Jurist said...

Since it is obvious no one stands to gain by an election, do you think they could get back to governing the country now?

Is there much reason to think Harper draws any distinction between governing and electioneering?

A View From The Left said...

I think it's the adscam thing that's having the most effect in Quebec. When the Liberals were in trouble in the last election the NDP numbers went up, and the NDP numbers are up again. If it was the budget then the NDP numbers wouldn't have jumped like that, and we would have seen federalist votes going to the Conservatives.

If this thing stays in the news then I think it could have a lasting effect, if it doesn't then I think there's a much better chance of us rebounding quickly in Quebec.

s.b. said...

Counting on all Marva Wisdom supporters to be in Guelph Thursday. There's places to stay if you need one. Its going to be a late night.

There's lots to do for everyone who wishes to come out and help, even if you can't vote in Guelph. I said the same to alternates who were very disappointed they couldn't vote at convention. Every little bit of help counts.

We have gone from 200 members in Guelph six months ago, to about 2400 members today, final count isn't in until Tuesday. That's a lot of phone calls rides, conversations etc.

The conservatives only got out about 500 people to vote for their nomination meeting. Good news in a riding that the Cons want bad.

Everyone is welcome in Guelph to help Marva on Thurs and celebrate her victory Thurday night!!!

Call Saundra Anderton, Marva's volunteer chair at 519-763-0464.

Marva has given so much to this Party. Anyone who has been helped by her or worked with her or gone to a meeting she has chaired or participated in the Red Ribbon Commission or policy for the Liberal Party is most welcome to give something back to her.

Come out and help!

Glen said...

I can't really think of anything else Harper can do to improve his chances in Quebec and I'm curious if anybody else has an idea?

ottlib said...

Jeff:

The reason why they lump the Western provinces together is because the samples from each is so small that to separate them would put their margins of error above 15%.

For most pollsters that level of uncertainty in their estimates is unacceptable for publication. Hell, the 10% you see for the Maritime estimates is unacceptable but the only solution there is to lump that region into Quebec. Needless to say that is not going to happen.

Pollsters like politician believe elections are won and lost in Central Canada and that is where they focus their efforts when doing polls.

A BCer in Toronto said...

I wish they would put British Columbia as a stand alone result...

Exactly Steve. With Alberta in there it skews everything since the Cons are so strong there, but there's potential for movement in BC. I'd also be interested in seeing Saskatchewan numbers.

Gayle, no hope of taking out Anders? :(

Is there much reason to think Harper draws any distinction between governing and electioneering?

Not as long as he has a minority and needs to play nice...

f it doesn't then I think there's a much better chance of us rebounding quickly in Quebec...

I hope so. But if there's a long trial...maybe he'll take a plea.

I can't really think of anything else Harper can do to improve his chances in Quebec...

Short of passing legislation to put the Habs in the playoffs, I can't think of anything either...

The reason why they lump the Western provinces together is because the samples from each is so small that to separate them would put their margins of error above 15%

True enough ottlib, but the answer would be simple enough: take a larger sample. The different regions of the West is so diverse that to lump it all together renders the figure practically meaningless.

petroom said...

Do the people polled represent 1000 people across the country by regional populations, or is it 800 from Ontario and Quebec and 200 "other"?

just curious

Gayle said...

"Gayle, no hope of taking out Anders? :("

Hard to speak for Calgary - they are a whole different species down there :), but I think if they have not punted him thus far, they probably will not do it next time either.