Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dion is becoming more of a leader, and other poll spinning

I was thinking just the other day that it has been a long time since we've had a poll released. Thankfully, on the eve (or, I guess more accurately, on the morn) of a cabinet shuffle the good folks at SES have obliged (opens a PDF).

First, the trend chart:

And the regional numbers:

And analysis from SES boss Nik Nanos:

Today's federal cabinet shuffle is another attempt by the Harper Tories to break away from what has been a neck-and-neck race with the Liberals over the past year.

The federal Tories and Grits are still close but the NDP numbers have slid in the past 90 days to 13% nationally - the lowest level of suppor
t for the NDP recorded by SES in almost three years. NDP support has slid in both Quebec (13% to 7%) and Ontario (19% to 12%). The Tories are ahead of the Grits by 17 points in the West, but trail the Grits by 7 points in Ontario and by 14 points in Atlantic Canada.

Some very interesting movement on the best PM front. The Harper 18 point best PM advantage over Dion has melted away to an 8 point advantage in 90 days. The noticeable gains for Dion have been in

Even with Harper's diluted leadership advantage, Tory s
upport moved up albeit just outside of the accuracy for the survey.

My thoughts

Once again nationally the Cons and Liberals are neck and neck. The Cons are up by three but that’s within the margin of error.

When looking at national numbers, it’s important in a FPTP system to look at where the support is coming from. While the Cons made small gains across the country with the exception of Atlantic Canada, their biggest gain (6 per cent) was in Western Canada, where they enjoy 47 per cent support.

This would tend to boost their national support a tad, but is deceptive because the Cons already hold many Western seats, and increasing their vote counts in held ridings doesn’t equal more seats. Their bump in Quebec, where they’re now just one point behind the Liberal for second, is more relevant though.

In much the same way, while the Liberals are at 44 per cent in Atlantic Canada there aren’t a lot of seats to be gained for them there. In Ontario though, a six point bump for the Liberals for a 43 to 36 lead over the Conservatives is quite interesting, as long as its not all confined to the GTA.

Nanos mentioned the NDP numbers and they’re not too good in this poll, nationally they’re only five up on the Greens. They’ve lost support in every region of the country and, most tellingly, dropped from 13 per cent to 7 per cent in Quebec. With all of their hoopla about a Quebec breakthrough that has to be sobering. They also dropped seven in Ontario, where it looks like a polarization between the Libs and Cons may be occurring. With NDP support at its lowest levels in three years Layton has his work cut out for him.

Take me to your leader

SES also included the ever popular/controversial best PM question:

Harper still leads but Dion has at least passed Layton for second place, and closed the gap with Harper to eight points. So, positive baby steps from a Liberal perspective.

Much of the Dion gain can be traced to a major upsurge in popularity in Ontario, where Dion gained 18 points to now lead Harper 33 to 24. Across the rest of the country Layton still outpolls Dion, although Dion did close the gap and post steady gains in each region.

Harper interestingly gained four points in Atlantic Canada, perhaps a post caucus meeting afterglow, and went up in the West, but dropped slightly in Quebec and, of concern I’d think, dropped nine in Quebec.

So, what to make of it all? Both Libs and Cons can find things to like here, but as a Liberal I’m pleased with the trends. I’d say the message for us is keep working hard.

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Oxford County Liberals said...

Actually... Dion leds Harper 33-24 in leadership in Ontario - he went UP from 15 to 34.. he doesn'e lead Harper 33-15 :)

DivaRachel said...

Why did they use the colour red for CPC and Navy for Libs in the first graphic?

Anyways, before we get all excited, note that the Libs are at a standstill (33% nationwide), and they've lost points in QC.

Obviously, Harpercrite feels he's stagnant and the cabinet shuffle is an attempt at fixing that problem.

What are the Liberals doing, I'd like to know. Laying low and waiting for Harper to misstep is nice, but "hope is not a stategy".

Jeff said...

Fixed, thanks Scott.

Rachel, the Libs are the red and the Cons blue. The dip in Quebec was within the margin but the jump in Ontario is significant.

The Liberals and Dion are out there working and I think that's reflected in the uptick in the leadership numbers.

Look at the trendlines for the national numbers. Not just the Liberals have been steady, everyone has been unable to grow. I think that speaks to a wider malaise in the public with elections and politics in general.

With the positive trend in the leadership numbers, the declining NDP numbers and the swing in Ontario it's a positive picture for the Libs, but they need to keep it going. We don't have a cabinet to shuffle, but I'll hope to see a lot of positive news out of the upcoming summer caucus meetings.

S.K. said...

Dion ha more than doubled his numbers in Ontario, WOW. That may be very important. The Con numbers have gone up almost entirely in the west, which means next to nothing in an election FPTP style. You can't win any more than all of the seats in Alberta. This probably translates to no more seats.