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Ekos poll: Liberals take the lead (half point); detects 'significant shift'

This Ekos poll was released tonight, and you’ll be seeing plenty of it on CBC later today, since it was done for them. The Liberals have crept into a “statistically insignificant lead”, but a lead nonetheless – the first since August 2009. The numbers are:

    31.6% LPC
    31.1% CPC
    14.6% NDP
    11.0% Green
    9.1% BQ (37% in Quebec)
    2.6% Other

Some of the key analysis from Frank Graves that I find rather striking:

“At this stage it is probably safe to say that despite considerable initial confusion over whether the government’s problems were ephemeral or structural the evidence is that there has been a significant shift..the fact that prorogation backfired on the government, and that its response to Haiti has been well-received but has not translated into support for the Conservative party, suggests there may be some sturdiness to these trends… Certainly, it would be a mistake to assume that extensive coverage of the Olympics in coming weeks will bring the government relief simply by distracting voters,” he added.

There’s still some time between now and the next election of course. However, when one considers where the Conservatives once were in the polls, and how fast they’ve plummeted back into a tie in the past 2 weeks, it must mean there are a lot more ‘elitists’ out there who care about accountability in government (and the fact this government decided to prorogue for an extra month to delay that) then Tony Clement and the Conservatives thought.

Either that, or the Toronto Star and the rest of the “liberal media” and all those Liberal advocate groups out there (whoever that might be – CAPP looks pretty non-partisan to me) have even more power at changing people’s minds then Adam Daifallah of the National Post already thinks they do (his column got called “a whinefest” over at The Jurist’s blog -quite correctly in my opinion- though I’ll at least give Adam marks for conceding the Conservatives blew it on prorogation)

My view on this poll, as it follows other polls today and a few days ago, are that I continue to say that it shows Canadians are able to chew gum and walk at the same time. They’re also a lot more attentive and ticked off over a craven political move then some media folks were willing to give them credit for. I’ll also assert that the Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament Facebook group’s large growth (and continuing to grow; over 219 000 members tonight) and their organized impressive marches reflected that discontent/anger at the Conservatives – notwithstanding attempts by some Conservative-friendly commentators to claim the CAPP group failed to get a large portion of the Facebook activists away from clicking their mice and out into the streets.

Well, not everyone may have marched, but there are apparently a lot of people at home that are unhappy at this move. They may not march, but they certainly can vote, and they’re telling the pollsters right now they’d not vote Harper back into power because of this prorogation stunt of his. But by all means, Stephen Taylor/National Post/John Moore/various random Conservative MP’s/Cabinet ministers;  keep saying no one cares about prorogation, or find more excuses why it needed to happen.  The more you seem to try and justify it/say people don’t care about it (or my personal favorite, mention how many times it’s been done in the past and try to make this one out as “routine”) the worse in the polls the Conservatives are doing.

Maybe, just maybe, people hate getting told how to think or what they don’t care about.

(H/T Muskoka Liblog)

UPDATE: I didn’t really go into the Ekos regional #’s, which are available at the Ekos report, but I’m sure Steve V will do that later today. Keep an eye out at his blog, as he loves breaking down regional polling numbers in an overall poll.

THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE: Steve V doesn’t disappoint.

10 comments to Ekos poll: Liberals take the lead (half point); detects ‘significant shift’

  • Savant

    Does anyone remember the polls from a year ago? The failed coalition had the Tories seeing polls that were guaranteed majority. 44% was the lowest, one was over 50% – a number no party has seen for some time in our splintered political landscape that has 4 parties competing for votes, 5 in Quebec.

    Many people figured the Liberals were finished. I disagreed. Back then I said what I will say now. The public have a short memory. People seem to think a change like this will last, when it won’t. The Tories didn’t hold onto their 50%ish numbers then, and they won’t have to continue to deal with 30%ish numbers now. The real story is buried BENEATH the party numbers, in the leadership index. Back a year ago Harper’s leadership score wasn’t high enough to justify those high numbers, and his score now isn’t low enough to justify these numbers. What’s more, Ignatieff is still dead last of all the federal leaders, a full 10 points back of Harper.

    The issue of prorogation will die off just like the issue of the coalition. Give it 3-4 months and people will be saying “proro-what?” People give polls way too much weight.

  • kmartin

    As a liberal supporter I am somewhat dismayed by the poll numbers. Lets face it that Iggy hasnt exactly caught the attention of the Canadian people to gather any great support until now. And really has he earned this or is it just because people are pissed off at Harper for this little stunt of his? If it really is the latter then I am afraid that we will get exactly what we deserve every time we have an election whether it is the LPC or the CPC elected..like it or not. I would have really liked to see Iggy come up with something more solid in his platform on how he is going to make things better than riding the coat-tails of off Harpers f-up!

  • Naveed

    As a Liberal voter for many years (and hardly a Conservative), I’ve been concerned that Stephen Harper might bounce back somewhat in polls, and retain his power if an election was soon called.
    His Haiti photo-ops and the upcoming Olympics in particular worried me in that regards.
    However this latest Ekos poll seems to indicate that perhaps neither of the aforementioned will have a substantive effect on Conservative fortunes. But Ignatieff and the Liberals really need to “seize the moment”. In my opinion Iggy is pretty clear-cut on many policies (just read his books folks if nothing else!), but the Liberals have to spell out a couple of differences between themselves and the Cons very obviously for the average Canadian voter to understand the great, improvement in all aspects…were a Liberal government to be elected. For one thing some integrity and honesty in government, aside from more favourable economic policies.

  • TofKW

    Please someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it could go beyond us if Harper does not reconstitute the Afghanistan committee. Canada is one of the 110 signatory nations to the International Criminal Court, and as so is bound to internally investigate any wrong doing. If the government is unwilling to investigate, then the ICC could decide to do it. The optics of that happening can’t be good.

  • Gayle

    I don’t think Taylor is trying to say no one cares any more. Now he is just trying to normalize what Harper did. It seems odd to me since it is clear most people accept the prorogation was to prevent the committee from looking into the detainee issue.

    Did anyone else happen to notice the Globe reported there is a rumour Harper will not reconstitute the Afghanistan committee after the House reconvenes? I thought it odd no one has commented on that yet.

    • @Gayle, Indeed.. I’ve clarified that paragraph a bit and expanded on it.

      I saw that rumour from Kady O’Malley’s liveblog this AM with Paul Dewar. I think the feeling was from her and others they can’t believe the government would attempt this, particularly after how the whole prorogation thing has backfired on them. I mean, that would be justifying to everyone at CAPP and out in the land that they are indeed trying to avoid accountability here.

      • Gayle

        @Scott Tribe, But if they really are afraid of what will come out of this investigation, they may think it is worth the risk. They usually fly those trial balloons before doing anything.

        I believe if Harper asks the opposition to agree to reinstate all his bills they should demand something in return. I suggest they demand the unredacted documents and that the CPC members attend the committee meetings so they will always have a quorum. That suggestion was mocked mercilessly at RT’s (but I am used to that! :)) because they are basically demands that Harper do what he is supposed to do anyway. I just don’t think he is going to comply with any of this unless he is forced to do so.

        I believe his original plan was to prorogue, watch his numbers go up and then force an election in March. He gambled and thought this was the way to prevent any further investigation into this issue.

        • Frankly, when I first heard the rumour that he was going to prorogue I couldn’t believe that. The past use of the power has been beaten to death, but in this case the media was following the committee work extremely closely. So I wouldn’t put it past him.

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