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Decima: Liberals/Cons in dead heat – ‘Libs making substantial inroads..’

Another poll out; this one a new one from Harris-Decima, which shows that Canadians are still up in arms over the prorogation of Parliament:

Over the last two weeks, the Liberals and Conservatives are now tied in voting intentions. Nationally, the Conservatives stand at 32%, the Liberals 32%, while the NDP is at 15%, the BQ 10% and the Greens 9%.

The specifics for the regions of Canada can be found at the linked-to PDF file above, but I found the summary from Allan Gregg on the poll really interesting. Here’s some really bad news for the Conservatives; the Liberals have reversed their declines in key voter demographics:

…”it is clear that the Liberals are making some substantial inroads in battle ground constituencies. They are emerging as the dominant federalist alternative to the BQ in Quebec and they are now ahead in riding-rich Ontario for the first time since September…seats that looked to be in the Conservatives win column in the 905 area code are once again competitive and the Liberals are regaining their historic advantage with women voters. In sum, the Conservatives slow motion redrawing of the Canadian political map that we were witnessing for the better part of 2009 is now being erased in first weeks of 2010.

Remember all those analysts that said Canadians wouldn’t care about this prorogation? Remember those that say CAPP at Facebook was a “media-driven event”? Or even those who perhaps acknowledged there was anger, but that it would probably fade? It appears that Canadians have not yet forgiven or forgotten the Harper Conservatives for this prorgation stunt, and it appears they’ve given the voters a reason to give the Liberals and Michael Ignatieff another hard look/2nd chance. In that regard, the “return to work” and unveiling new policy initatives/workshops daily during this prorogation period has seemed have gone over pretty well.

The Conservatives claims about needing to recalibrate and focus on the Winter Olympics have gone over like a lead balloon on the other hand (which everyone knows aren’t the real reasons they prorogued anyhow).

UPDATE @ 6:27 pm: Whoa. Gregg’s analysis of the poll’s results at the Globe & Mail includes this hum-dinger on Stephen Harper, who he says is the reason for the Conservatives losing all their gains in those key voting demographics in late 2009:

Mr. Gregg lays the blame on Stephen Harper. He said the Prime Minister’s decision to prorogue Parliament has added to what has always been a character issue. “It’s about a guy who looks a little sneaky and un-Canadian in some respects, pressing an advantage like a bully.” The government’s handling of the Haitian earthquake won praise, but hasn’t shaken doubts about the prime minister. “It’s overcome by lingering animosity toward a political leader who has done something that Canadians clearly think is untoward,” Mr. Gregg said.

If I had said that, I’d be accused of being a Liberal “hyper-partisan”, but for a respected pollster to say that is quite an indictment of Harper.

5 comments to Decima: Liberals/Cons in dead heat – ‘Libs making substantial inroads..’

  • yawnr

    …and if this “respected pollster” put out an unfavourable poll showing the Liberals trailing badly, you would either (a) ignore it (b) play it down or (c) note that Gregg is an ex-Tory pollster and therefore not reliable.

    • @yawnr, it seems to be that you’re trying to imply with your quotations and such that Harris Decima isn’t a respected pollster.

      The polls are what they are. When the Liberals went into a nosedive after Ignatieff’s election threat last fall, we Liberal bloggers all acknowledged it.

      Now, Harper’s prorogation has cost him his lead (to my delight, of course) and all the pollsters are showing him and the Cons tanking. Statistics don’t lie.

    • Jon Pertwee

      @yawnr, sour grapes?

    • Mark Watson

      @yawnr, I return your comment to you asking how the Conservatives would deal with such a scenario… likely exactly the way you describe.

      Only a fool will outright ignore and deny the obvious facts. That’s why it is usually Conservatives who do so…

  • Mark Watson

    This poll backs up a sense of ‘motion’ in public opinion that I have felt over the past 6 weeks… This has been Harper’s majority to lose, and he seems to be doing just that! The man who could do nothing wrong in voters’ eyes for much of 2009 has revealed himself through his handling of the Afghan detainee issue, prorogation and economic statements to be a hyper-partisan bully who appears to despise democratic institutions in Canada.

    His handling of Haiti has been commendable, but even there, he would have been well-advised to get the other party leaders to present a united front on aid issues, instead of allowing each to play their own game. The Conservatives’ web site was slow to react to the crisis, while the Liberal site was quickly updated to implore Canadians of all political stripes to contribute to the aid efforts and provided a simple ‘one-click’ means for visitors to donate through the agency of their choice.

    The Conservatives’ best hope now is that Canada comes out of Vancouver with a respectable podium presence, so that they can ‘ride the Olympic bounce’ until they can rethink their strategies. Of course, if the Olympic athletes are less successful than hoped, the Tories will likely blame it on ‘Liberal’ sympathies and mismanagement…

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