I've made the point a few time recently that, while the polls aren't favourable for the Liberals at the moment, things can change. That's not to say that things will change. No one can predict the future with any accuracy. But a poll today is a snapshot, and isn't necessarily indicative of what an election six or seven weeks from now could show.
For example, take a look at this chart. It shows the Liberals with a 15 point lead over the Conservatives, 41-26. That's a healthy lead, and potential majority territory.
When was this Nanos/SES poll taken, you ask? December 9, 2005, near the beginning of the 2005/06 election that would see the Conservatives end up forming a minority government. The popular vote would end up Conservatives 36, Liberals 30.
Dive into the leadership numbers and you'll see that, while Stephen Harper wasn't as far back as Michael Ignatieff is today, Paul Martin still had a healthy lead despite the swirling sponsorship drama. Canadians weren't sold yet on Stephen Harper.
So what's the point? The point is, as we see, things can change, and campaigns matter. Things happened on the campaign trail in 2005/06 that couldn't have been predicted going in. The leaders campaigned, things happened, and opinions were formed. The same will happen during the next election.
And while there are differences between 05/06 and today, there are interesting parallels. An opposition leader who has struggled, and not connected with Canadians. A government with an accumulation of scandal that hasn't hurt it too badly -- yet. And an electorate that has largely yet to tune in to the political debate.
So while we shouldn't dismiss polls, we shouldn't live and die by them either. A poll today can't tell us how people will feel in May. Campaigns matter, and the next one will be worth watching. There's a reason we play the full nine innings. No one knows today what the future will bring.Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers