Sunday, December 07, 2008

We're competitive with Michael, but not so much with Bob: poll

Interesting polling numbers from Angus Reid in today's dead tree edition of the Toronto Star.

First, the party support numbers are troubling for the Liberals, and I'd say speak to our inability during round one of this coalition battle to win the public relations battle. If an election were held now, we'd be in trouble:

Conservatives: 42%
Liberals: 22%
NDP: 18%
Bloc: 10%
Green: 7%

However, asked the pollster, were Michael Ignatieff the leader of the Liberal Party, how would you vote?

Conservatives: 38%
Liberals: 33%
NDP: 13%
Bloc: 10%
Green: 6%

So with Michael, we're still a few points behind but we're competitive, and it's ground we can make up in a campaign. He gives us an impressive 11 point swing in support, and what's interesting is where that swing comes from. He pulls four from the Conservatives but he also pulls five from the NDP. I'd argue that arguers well for Michael as a solidifying figure of the political centre, which is what the Liberal Party needs right now.

The pollster also asked respondents how they'd vote were Bob Rae the Liberal leader:

Conservatives: 41%
Liberals: 26%
NDP: 15%
Bloc: 10%
Green: 6%

Not impressive numbers, with Bob managing only a four-point swing in Liberal fortunes. The Conservative figure, well inside majority government territory, is virtually unchanged, with Bob managing to pull a few points from the NDP although, notably, not as much as Michael. Now, ground can be made up in a campaign, but to close a 15-point gap between the Liberals and the Conservatives would require a miracle.

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Mike said...

Interesting numbers don't look good for Rae, but I don't think anyone has any idea what either would do as leader or what sort of policies/plans they bring to the table. But this is also BEFORE ANY negative attack ads, remember Dion was 5 points IN FRONT of the Conservatives before those ads came out.

It will be interesting to see how these numbers develop over time and the public's views of the coalition as well.

If MI comes out solidly AGAINST the coalition in the near future will you still be supporting him no matter what?

Skinny Dipper said...

As long as Ignatieff doesn't make any mistakes and appears like a strong leader, he will win the Liberal leadership race.

Ignatieff also has to appear ready right away to run against the Conservatives in the next election. He can't be ready six or 12 months from now.

Finally, no deals with the Greens. They can run on their own.

Francesco said...


The poll appeared in the Toronto Star, and I was not surprised to see the numbers for Ignatieff. If we are going to be the natural governing party again - we need to move back to the centre of the spectrum. The majority of swing voters live in the suburbs of vancouver / toronto / montreal etc..they are not new democrat supporters but go between the liberals and the conservatives. Ignatieff is easily the best choice for the job of attracting those swing voters back to the party. Recently, I have had one to many conversations with ex liberals who live in guelph, vaughn, waterloo who are like what is up with you guys...we are the butt of the water cooler jokes!!! Especially the recent you tube video performance of Mr dion.

At this moment, the liberal party lacks a leader that has two qualities that are necessary to be competitive..the leader has to be seen as competent and credible. Dion is neither, that is the achillies heal of the coalition. Canadians are not saying they like harper better than the coalition, but i would argue they prefer harper over dion - basically dion at this point in time is not seen as credible nor competent. For example, last week it was reported (not sure it was true or not)that dion had met with Ms may to get her thoughts on the coalition and there were rumblings of a senate seat for her...the response from most canadians is WTF !!!! (whether the story is or was true doesn`t matter it just goes back to the idea that we are entiled to do what we want!!!! how out of touch can we be.....Canadians may not know the ins and outs of the parliamentary rules but the sure know a dud when they see one.

As for Rae's support of the coalition, it seem mr rae wants to move the party further to the left and vacate the ground in the centre to the conservatives....There is a reason why the ndp have not been able to increase their base and have hit a ceiling. They could not even make inroads in B.C. Also, jeff did you see that Carole James in BC has distanced herself from the coalition. I wonder why.

I would say that with a credible liberal leader it is best to have them in the centre and attracting the swing centre voters, that is where elections are won and lost. As for our support in Quebec - quebecors have taken to michael - i am surprised a blogger didnot see that 50% of bloc supporters prefer Michael as the liberal party. This came out in the G&M`s poll this week. Rae is well behind on that front.

As for thoughts on the liberal leadership race, my original intentions was to be neutral and see how things unfolded, but i am now a supporter of mr ignatieff...why -- there are many reasons and I will leave that for another day!!!! But as you can imagine the decision ties in with the competent and credible theme. Also my views are shaped on growing up in the bulkley valley skeena riding now held by mr cullen of the NDP..liberals were once competitive in this Northern BC riding but now have fallen to distant very distant third..i do not bring the ontario syndrome or view to the matters at hand. Thus Mr ignatieff is it!!!

Hope all is well.

Jeff said...

Mike, MI's comments have been very much in favour of the coalition. I just posted three videos and a news article that back that up. He has been loud and clear in his position, so I don't see much point in speculating on a complete reversal of it.

Mike said...

Oh I know he's supportive now, I hope he remains that way but I just remain concerns of all the "anonymous sources close to Michael" (per Jane Taber) saying MI's really not supportive and some of his most hardcore defenders online (like Cerebus, RuralSandi, etc...) now all of a sudden railing against the coalition.

Could be nothing, as I said I hope he's supportive till the end. You have to admit though that obviously some of his supporters are HOPING he does reverse his support.

I don't like hearing this though "Ignatieff caucus members are calling riding presidents and executives all weekend long asking them to send letters to the party office to 1) have Dion step down and 2) to install a permanent leader before Jan. 26/09." Number 2is acceptable, Number 1 I think is quite inappropriate.

RuralSandi said...

Hey, Mike, whoever you are - don't be so arrogant as to think you can speak for me.

I have concerns, legitmate ones about the coalition and I have a right to an opinion and speak for myself.

My problem is mostly Mulcair, if you really want to know and it's because of something he said in a scrum about public financing - and he said it was because of the sponsorship scandal - WHY? He's got plans.

The reason for public financing was to get corporations and unions out of funding and to make a more even playing field.

So MIKE - I suggest you ask Layton and Mulcair what their plans are?

Eugene Forsey Liberal said...

I fear Mike is pointing towards further problems of coherence & honour for you as you try, manfully, to square the circle of your positions & standards of conduct with the past, present & future of Ignatieff & his cĂ´terie.

I don't think you're going to be able to do it, as I've noted before, and are going to forced to make a (or several) very difficult, not to unpleasant, choice(s).

Maybe I'm wrong. I hope for your sake I am.

PS. I'm assuming, of course, that you won't try to feign naivete to explain away such "unforeseen" contradictions. This hasn't been your way up to now & I don't expect it will be in the future.

RuralSandi said...

Forsey - give it a rest. You've been on a childish trash Ignatieff campaign since day one. You think you are the only one with a right to have an opinion or thought and that you are the only one that is right.

So much for honourable campaigns by Rae - typical of him. Ya, politician, but policies?? He has a brad track record Sir.

And, what about LeBlanc? Where is he, why isn't he speaking up one way or the other?

You may have to make a decision yourself if it's not what YOU want - it goes both ways kiddo. Imagine that, Forsey thinks you have to be apologetic if you do not support Rae.

Again, grow up.

Jeff said...

Franceso, I think we should dissuade ourselves of anyone ever again being Canada's "natural governing party." I think the fragmentation of the political landscape in Canada makes the dominance of the past unlikely. That said, we are a country of the centre, and I think Michael best positions us to compete there. I was also impressed with the support he pulled from the centre-left, as it contradicts the conventional wisdom of the MI-haters.

Mike, I suspect much of the talk of lukewarmness is being fed by Conservative operatives to get Liberals feuding amongst themselves, so I dismiss it. And as for anonymous sources supposedly within his campaign, how do we know it's not the guy that empties the trash in the campaign office? His public statements have been clear.

Eugene, I'm nothing if not manful, to be sure.

Blues Clair said...

Wherever I go I go, Sandi is trashing Rae and scolding other's to stop trashing Ignatieff, bizare that! Anyways good poll for Team Ignatieff. Not so much for my fella.

BTW Rae's record isn't as bad as people suggest. Help out a fellow Liberal Candidate and stop spreading Corporate Canada's myth!

Eugene Forsey Liberal said...

Dear Rural Sandi:
I don't like Mike, that's for sure. But I'm still not decided about whom I will support in a leadership race. I've been having a think & I may write something that will surprise some in the days to come. I'll see.