Monday, July 30, 2007

Resource/equalization issue a potential factor in 32 ridings

An interesting story in the National Post today that contains some stark but unsurprisingly low popularity numbers for the Cons in Atlantic Canada, but also points out the resource/equalization issue may be a real ticking time bomb for Deceivin’ Steven.

Between February and May, the federal Tories' satisfaction rating with Newfoundlanders fell from 47% to 17%, according to a Corporate Research Associates Inc. poll. At the same time, dissatisfaction with the federal government's performance rose from 47% to 78%.

Things aren't much better in Nova Scotia. Satisfaction fell from 50 to 37%, while dissatisfaction rose from 41 to 58%.

Derek Leebosch, a senior associate with Toronto pollster Environics Research Group, reports that in March, 38% of Atlantic Canadians approved of the way the federal government was keeping its promises. By June, that had fallen to 22% -- far lower than the rest of Canada, where the figure is typically in the 40s.

While the Atlantic Accord has gotten most of the attention and it’s easy for the Cons to dismiss the non-seat rich Maritimes, when you factor in Saskatchewan things start to get interesting:

But the problem for the Tories may be larger than just Atlantic provinces. Between Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan the resource/equalization issue could have an impact on what voters do in a total of 32 ridings.

"I suppose every seat counts and if you lose a couple there, then in your odyssey to get a majority, you have to make them up somewhere else," Mr. Leebosch added.

Forget a majority; with 32 seats impacted they’ll be fighting to hang-on to their minority. Particularly when you factor in another ticking time bomb, income trusts, plus the wheat board, Afghanistan, and a host of other issues that are already sapping Conservative popularity.

No wonder Deceivin’ Steven is in no hurry to call the rest of those by-elections…

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1 comment:

ottlib said...

Between Saskatchewan and the Maritimes the Alantic Accord/Equalization dispute has put 20 Conservative seats in play.

That is not good news for a government that has just 125 seats.