Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Don't make Dalton won't like him when he's angry

If there's a federal election coming up soon (fingers crossed), then Dalton McGuinty will be suiting-up:

Premier Dalton McGuinty vowed today to remind Ontario voters in the next federal election that Ottawa is short-changing the province, just as Prime Minister Stephen Harper took a campaign-style swing through Canada's most populous province.

"I think that's my responsibility," McGuinty said in Kitchener, ahead of Harper's scheduled stop in the southern Ontario city.

"I intend to be more vocal than I have been in the past and help Ontarians fully understand the nature of our economic challenge."


McGuinty, once dubbed the "small man of Confederation" by the federal Conservatives, shot back with a sharply worded letter to Harper, accusing Flaherty of undermining confidence in Ontario and failing the province by not using the hefty federal surplus to stimulate its economy.

The war of words died down after polls suggested the bickering was backfiring on the Tories and costing them crucial support in vote-rich Ontario.

McGuinty's pledge Tuesday to ramp up the rhetoric seemed to be aimed squarely at Harper, whose whirlwind tour through southern Ontario has heightened speculation that an election will soon be called.

Also suiting-up will be the team that helped the McGuinty Liberals clobber the Tory Tories and win a second, even larger majority in Ontario last fall. Just how popular are the provincial Liberals? Says Nanos:
The poll, conducted in early August, shows Premier Dalton McGuinty and the ruling Liberals are maintaining a 10-point lead over the second-place Progressive Conservatives -- similar to the results of last fall's provincial election.

"The NDP have managed to improve support in the last two months, but there's been no significant change in support for (party leader) John Tory's Conservatives since the last election," said Nanos Research President Nik Nanos.

The results show the Grits with 41% support among decided voters and the Progressive Conservatives with 31%. The NDP came in at 17%, followed by the Green Party, who sit at 11%.

What about the Harper Cons? Well, according to Decima:
In Ontario, latest results show the Liberals leading with 40%, the Conservatives with 31%, the NDP at 14%, and the Greens at 14%. Averaging three weeks, the Liberals lead with 40% compared to the Conservatives at 31%, the NDP at 15% and the Greens at 13%.

It's a nine point Liberal lead already in vote-rich Ontario. And with Team McGuinty suiting-up in a campaign, some Conservative seats are going to be in play...

That whole Stephen Harper/Jim Flaherty strategy of Ontario sucks, don't invest there is looking like more and more of a strategic genius move by the day.

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Mike514 said...

Polls are frustrating. Take this one, for example.

The Tories "Only Trail Grits By 2 Points In Ontario" according to the headline.

So what gives? Why does one poll show a 6 point lead, and another 1 point behind?

Jeff said...

You'll find it less frustrating Mike if you just pay attention to the polls that you like and ignore those you don't...

But yeah, I hear you. I think the thing to do, besides considering the historical accuracy of each pollster, is to consider all the various pollsters' numbers and look for trends and averages. My read int hat respect is the fed Libs have had a healthy lead in Ontario for some time, often tightening when the HoC is out, then widening again.

So, I'd tend to put more faith in the decima number, but then again I also just like its result better this time. There's only one poll that counts of course, although DVW and Guelph will be interesting, if tainted by byelection dynamics, indicators.

Mike514 said...

if tainted by byelection dynamics, indicators.

Problem with by-elections is very low voter turnout. That should be included in your calculation of dynamics and indicators.

Jeff said...

It's one of many factors. The incumbent party, the desire to send messages you wouldn't normally, and so on. The fun thing about by elections is you can spin the results to support pretty much any trend you want.

Barcs said...

I remember that decima poll...

That's the one where the Liberals are leading in Quebec.....

And the Bloc dropped below 30% in thr province (and down to 6% nationally)

That's the poll you are putting your faith in?

I am not sure I agree with Ipsos about a 2 point lead... I figger it is more like 5 maybe 6.

But that decima poll? I am wondering if they call people or if the guy throwing darts at the board and ticking off based on his results had a miss or two this week.

Barcs said...

on another note concering the decima poll...

Liberals at 30% in Quebec and 40% in Ontario,... but only 32% nationally.

Does that mean the liberals are polling below 20% in the RoC??? They would almost have to be to square those numbers.

Jeff said...

Faith is a strong word. And those Quebec numbers are too good to be true, though if they are...the Ontario figures, however, are consistent with the trendlines of most of the pollsters.

Barcs said...

yeah... can prolly agree with that.

Polls are fun to argue about tho.

Here is the latest reuters/zogby poll.

Is it bad for Obama that he has squandered a 8 point lead and turned it into a 5 point deficit (or on CNN's recent poll a lead of only 1 point? within the margin of error)

Another fun one they did earlier is their index poll. Do you know who as a lower approval rating than bush (29%)... That's right congress with a democratic majority (9%)

Barcs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Rat said...

Actually, I think the Conservatives are just working on a "Reverse-Trudeau": Demonize Ontario and gain all the votes available in the West. Sure, it won't work well this election but with the growth in BC, AB, and SK, the West may soon outstrip Ontario. The the only thing left will be how to rhyme "East" with "rest".

Jeff said...

Looks like its time for Obama to come back from vacation. As for the democratic congress, I don't pay much attention but as a disinterested observer it doesn't seem they've accomplish much of anything, so I wouldn't be approving either.

Rat, remember in BC the Cons have been losing seats each of the last, maybe 3, elections. As for Alberta, perhaps. But consider this. Do all those Maratimers moving to Alberta to work the oil sands just become instant Conservatives? Remember, these are people from an area where voting Liberal isn't necessarily a direct ticket to meet Satan. It won't happen any time soon but if we are talking long-term here, at what point do the ex-pats begin to swing some Alberta ridings?

Back in BC, look at the demographic trends in cities like Kamploops and Kelowna that are experiencing fast growth. I'll be watching the next election results in some of these ridings closely for possible trendlines.

The Rat said...

"But consider this. Do all those Maratimers moving to Alberta to work the oil sands just become instant Conservatives?"

Yes :-)