Sunday, February 24, 2008

Nanos: The Tums of polling

For Liberals SES, or Nanos Research as it's now known, spells relief.

After a scare earlier in the week with a nasty poll The Strategic Counsel showed a big Conservative lead, new numbers from Nanos, everyone's favourite pollsters, confirm the earlier Decima nunbers and cast doubt on The Strategic Counsel poll. It's still a statistical dead heat.

Canada (N=878, MoE ± 3.3%, 19 times out of 20)
Liberal Party 34% (+1)

Conservative Party 34% (+3)

NDP 14% (-5)
BQ 10% (NC)

Green Party 8% (NC)

And the analysis from Nanos:

Our latest tracking shows the Conservatives and the Liberals continue to be gripped in a deadlock. Support for the NDP has dropped 5 points nationally in the past 16 days while the Conservatives are up 3 points (within the Margin of Accuracy).

In order to understand what was drivi
ng the vote every committed voter was asked why they had a particular vote preference.

Conservatives were more likely to be driven by policies and job performance, the Liberals by a belief they were the best option and party policies/platform and the NDP by policies/platform and a belief they care for the average/working person.

Support for the Bloc w
as based on their standing up for Quebec/French and the belief they are the best choice. Green Party support was driven by their environmental credentials and policies/platform.
The drop for the NDP is interesting. I'd thought they might have benefited from the Liberals/Conservative detente on Afghanistan leaving them as the sole remaining strident anti-war voice. Perhaps the comprimise is going over better then I'd thought and the NDP is looking marganalized a bit, but that's all speculation on my part.

Interesting but no surpise are the answers to what's driving the voter preference numbers. The Cons think they're doing an awesome job, Liberls believe only they can do it, the NDP think they're all about the working person. Sounds about right.

On to the regional numbers:

Again reaffirming what we've seen in most earlier polls. A strenghtened Liberal lead in the Atlantic provinces and Ontario. In Quebec the BQ remains well ahead, with the Liberals and Cons in a dead-heat. And the Cons well ahead in the West, but those numbers are tough to read with Alberta included.The NDP at 15 there is shocking, as is their decline in all regions with the expception of Quebec, where they actually gained a point.

Also interesting to note is the decline in undecideds, from 16 to 12 per cent. It seems people are firming up there choices with the possibility of a forthcoming election and, while there's no clear favourite, their choice is solidifying around the Liberals and the Conservatives.

We'll see what the powers that be and the LPC caucus do with these numbers as we go into budget week. While these numbers do cast doubt on the earlier poll that showed a big Conservative lead, I'll still reiterate what I said then: if we don't smarten up that poll will be a taste of our future.

So, while everyone in Liberal land will breath a huge sigh of relief with these Nanos numbers, our job remains the same. Perhaps these numbers will stiffen some resolves. One can hope.

UPDATE: Steve and Scott weigh-in on the poll, as do Warren and Sun's Greg Weston with some interesting points.

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MississaugaJoan said...

Ontario is like the U.S. electoral college Florida. The reason is because it is the largest province/state that is most likely to change.

Since most of Canada looks like it will closely vote the same as in 2006, Ontario will continue to determine the final outcome of the next election: Conservative minority/majority, Liberal minority/majority.

Fortunately, the Ontario numbers you note still look good in preventing a Conservative majority. Everytime I remind myself there are 40 Conservative MPs in Ontario I reminisce the Chretien days when there were none.

Jason Cherniak said...

You like Greg Weston's comments? The guy says that Liberals who vote Liberal because of "policy" are people who vote Liberal by rote. Meanwhlie, those who vote Tory or NDP because of policy are to be respected. Not a very reasonable argument, in my view.

I cannot believe that of all the paper chains, the Sun is the one to use the best polling agency.

Oxford County Liberals said...

Jeff said Weston's comments were "interesting", not that he liked them, Jason. Big Difference :)

Personally, I thought was displaying a fit of pique that the Liberals weren't lower in the polls.. so I also found his comments both interesting and amusing... and telling that he spent more time blasting Dion then he did thinking it wasn't so good for Harper either.

Jeff said...

Jason, as Scott said, I did say interesting, not like. Certaintly I don't agree with the portion of Weston's comments you mention. What I particularly found interesting about his points were where he said this whole focus on leadership is meaningless, despite the Comservatives continually hammering that point voters don't care.