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The pepto-bismol of polls

Every time we get polls released each month, we always have at least† one poll where the Conservatives are up on the Liberals from the prior month, who also throw in leadership polls that show Dion doing poorly, and predictably, we get some Liberal bloggers getting heartburn and demanding either the leader resign or else be upended in a palace coup or else claim this shows Canadians won’t listen to Dion’s message in an election – specifically on a carbon tax. The next day, Nanos polling comes out with much more close numbers, and that usually calms the “nervous nellies”.

So once again, we have another poll from Nanos released.

A new Nanos Research-Sun Media poll shows the Opposition Liberals at 34% and the ruling Conservatives at 33%, compared to 36% and 36% respectively in April. The results indicated a statistical tie that could see either party win a minority…The poll, which asked committed voters which party they would vote for, showed the Green Party slowly inching up in the polls from 4% at the 2004 election, to 8% now. The Bloc is at 11%, compared to 10% at the 2006 election, while the NDP dropped three percentage points from 18% in 2006 to 15% now.

If you look at the provincial breakdown, you see a continued large lead in the Maritimes for the Liberals, a continued substantial lead in Ontario. a virtual tie with the Cons in Quebec for 2nd place, and while still trailing in the “West”, the Liberals actually have cut into the Cons. lead and have it in single digits. That type of breakdown to me indicates a far better chance of having a Liberal minority then a Cons. one right now if these numbers held to election day.

While I’m not going to call on people to quit whining, I do think some need to take the aforementioned pepto-bismol.† As I said over here in comments,† people elect political parties in Canada – they don’t elect presidents.† Furthermore, since some are worried about whether we can sell a carbon tax or not – if the majority of the Canadian public are starting from the position that they approve of a carbon tax, as recent polls indicate,† thats an automatic built-in advantage for the Liberals. We don’t need to “sell” it as hard if the public isn’t skeptical of it from the get-go.† Note also that a fair # of the pundits are starting to say this might be a better issue then some are giving Dion and the Liberals credit for. That’s a good thing too if the media are presenting that narrative to the public.

In short, I wouldn’t sweat leadership #’s too much, and I wouldn’t get our noses out of join over an individual poll here and there The election will not be won and the leadership #’s will not move before a general election gets called – these polling #’s seem to indicate that.

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11 comments to The pepto-bismol of polls

  • If any of the other leaders had won, they’d be under the same fire now. Any Opposition leader that had been under this sort of fire would be hurting; Iggy and Rae would probably be in single-digits, considering the pre-existing weaknesses Harper could have played up.

    But what can I say? Factions are always going to think that their patron, and only their patron, will be beloved by the people, because they love him and their judgement is clearly unbiased. This is true with the Dems, and it’s certainly true for the Libs.

    If they kicked out Dion, the next guy would take just as much heat, and be sabotaged by the other factions just as much. You saw it with Martin, you’re seeing it now, and you’ll see it with the next guy, until Liberals actually start believing in something more than their patron.

  • Ottlib

    Whenever a bad news poll comes out for the Conservatives, and this poll is bad news, Conservatives always seem to respond, “Well just wait…” What for what and for how long? It has been more than two years now.

    Although that approach is much better than the Liberal approach of taking every bad news poll for them and starting yet another round of recriminations and calls for the ouster of the party leadership.

    Still, the reaction of both of them to bad polls is rather pathetic.

  • Colin

    Dion has set the bar low not me.

  • “Listening to Dionís English is actually painful. His ability to debate will be overshadowed by his inability to speak our main language. Harper and Layton will walk all over him.”

    Yes, and we saw that in the English debates for the leadership. You remember the one, where Dion won the debate against the inarticulate Bob Rae, the can’t finish a sentence Michael Ignatieff and the less than persuasive Gerard Kennedy. You’ve just made up this theory in your head, I can point to real world application, wherein Dion did quite well, in English. Keep telling yourself whatever you want, and better yet, comment on media blogs, help set the bar so low, that it will look so impressive when he lands a few on Harper.

  • Colin

    Listening to Dion’s English is actually painful. His ability to debate will be overshadowed by his inability to speak our main language. Harper and Layton will walk all over him.

    The French debate is largely irrelevant because Quebec is already lost for Dion and the rest of the country doesnt watch it.

    The more people see of Dion the less they like him. And with approval polls consistently below 20% I cant see many people putting an X beside the Liberal candidate.

  • Steve:

    My point about the leadership polling is it doesn’t hurt the Liberal brand any, nor will it affect (I assert) any issue like carbon taxes. We don’t elect presidents up here, but parties, as I said.

    Colin: keep drinking that Con Kool-Aid.

  • “Post debate numbers in a campaign will show Dionís true value to the CPC and the dippers.”

    Maybe you need to pay attention, Dion does EXCEPTIONALLY well in a debate setting. That forum is the least of his worries, and I’m actually counting on the Quebec debate to bolster him. If people are so arrogant to think Dion will do poorly in a debate, then good, expect a surprise ūüėČ

  • Colin

    You can crow all you like about this or that poll but there has to be a reason Dion and co. havent pulled the pin.

    Post debate numbers in a campaign will show Dion’s true value to the CPC and the dippers.

  • Scott

    NANOS has Dion at 11% on competency, so how that translates to calming the nervous nellies escapes me, in fact he reiterates what other polls have shown.

    The national results are different, so that is fair, but on the leadership score, the opinion is universal, across every poll, showing the exact same thing. With that in mind, you can’t fault anyone for being concerned, because it simply isn’t based on one poll, it’s EVERY poll.

  • As long as that “dope” Dion, starts mentioning the income tax cut that will help most people pay for rising carbon product prices. And people who don’t pay many taxes to start with will need other incentives to vote Liberal.

  • hear, hear.

    Although I would go further and tell people to, quite frankly, quit their bitching. Chretien was by all accounts an awful opposition leader, yet, except for a few people loyal to one of the worst leaders our party has ever had following him, few would say that getting rid of Chretien would have been a good idea for the party.

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