Sunday, May 13, 2007

Poll smoking

Came across this article by Decima Research boss Bruce Anderson on the CTV Web site, where he analyzes their “last 7000 surveys on voting intentions” and attempts to draw some trends. It’s well over 1000 words and near as I can gather he has no idea what’s going on either.

Basically, the electorate is very fluid, more people are undecided and most people have very little loyalty to any of the parties. In short, it’s anyone's game.

One interesting point was that people might make their voting decision next election in a more positive way. Last time many were voting to punish the Liberals, or were scared of the Conservatives. Both the fear and the anger have dissipated but while people can now vote for a more positive reason, Anderson concludes there’s nothing to get people particularly passionate at the moment.

Overall, the piece has plenty to please and displease everyone, but here’s some of the top line conclusions:

The Conservatives have done better at retaining the support of those who voted for them in 2006, losing only 15 per cent of their supporters. The lost points went to the Liberals (six per cent), the NDP (four per cent) the Green Party (three per cent) and the BQ (one per cent).

The Liberals have lost 22 per cent of their 2006 voters. Ten per cent went to the Conservatives, five to the NDP, five to the Greens and just one per cent to the BQ.

The BQ has lost 23 per cent of its support, with six per cent siphoned off by the Conservatives, six per cent to the Greens, five per cent to the NDP, and only three to the Liberals.

The NDP has lost a quarter of its support an even 25 per cent. Ten per cent went to the Liberals, seven per cent to the Greens, 5 per cent to the Conservatives, and 1% to the BQ.
So, really, everyone is at square one. With the Conservatives sticking to attack politics and lame political stunts and gimmicks, I remain convinced the Liberals need to do something to capture the imagination of Canadians. It’s not enough to give people a reason not to vote Conservative, we need to give them a reason to vote Liberal.

This summer, as I’ve written before, the Liberal team needs to hit the bbq circuit and put some meat on the three pillar policy bones, particularly the economy and social justice pillars. Then we need to come back in the Fall with some fire, and I think it would be a good time for a policy big bang, something that will give substance to the philosophies and connect with Canadians.

Any ideas?

UPDATE: The Tyee has an idea. They want Dion to embrace electoral reform...

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Steve V said...


I read the breakdown of supporters staying with a particular party. First of all, if you do some quick math, the percentages don't jive with the horserace numbers. If the Conservatives have kept their vote, relative to others, not to mention picking up others, then why are they below their election totals overall? The problem with Decima here, they go back to polling that had the Tories nearing majority, which warps the overall. Today, now, those numbers don't hold up, and you would see far more Tory leakage.

I was going to post on this finding, but frankly it seemed useless. You know what I mean :)

Jeff said...

Steve, I think they're saying the Conservatives have lost the least of their vote, they give the figure at 15 per cent leakage. But anyway, I think getting too wrapped-up in the numbers is counterproductive. I agree Anderson's analysis is all over the place but I think the theme is accurate enough: the electorate is fluid, there's little voter loyalty, and no one has captured the imagination of Canadians. In that, I think there's opportunity.

Steve V said...


I completely agree with the fluidity idea. What I don't understand, how you can lose less of your election vote, relative to others, subsequently gain of the likes of the Liberals and Bloc, and still poll less than you did election night. Sorry, I always get wrapped up ;)

JimBobby said...

Whooee! I think a lotta gung-ho party members don't realize that fewer than 10% of Canajuns are card-carryin' party members. That's fer all the parties, combined. Lotsa voters may usually vote one way or another but a large majority to do feel enough party loyalty to take out a party membership.

Even some card-carriers can be persuaded to vote for another party. We got a good Lib candidate runnin' in my riding -- Dr. Eric Hoskins. I carry a GPC card but if it looks like Hoskins needs my vote to beat Diane Finley, I'll vote strategically.

All this electioneerin' an' campaignin' an' 'pinion pollin' when there ain't even an election called is gettin' in the way of action. If there ain't any more action and we get bombarded with more campaign ads before the next election, it ain't gonna play well fer the Cons.

They say the Grits is all talk an' no action but the Cons're talkin' a blue streak an' gettin' squat done. That'll haunt 'em at the ballot box if they don't smarten up.