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Environics poll results...

Environics released some interesting poll numbers yesterday that show the Conservatives picking up support pretty much all over the country, but especially in Ontario. The results are(change from the election):

Conservatives 41 (+5)
Liberals 22 (-8)
NDP 21 (+3)
BQ 10 (-1)
Green 5 (nc)
Other 1 (nc)

On the surface this is indeed good news for the Conservatives and NDP, whose 5 and 3% increase is just outside the statistical margin of error of 2.4%, and bad for the Liberals, who appear to be in somewhat of a freefall. This should be of little surprise - the Conservatives have made errors since the election but have continued to press mistakes of the previous government to their advantage, and the caretaker leadership of the Liberals has been unable to effectively counter this. What should be of greater concern for the Liberals is the regional breakdown - the bleeding continues in Quebec and Ontario where the Conservatives have picked up 4 and 5% respectively and the Liberals have lost a whopping 10 and 11%!

It might not all be bad news, however. The poll also asked what the respondents thought was the main reason the Conservatives are now in power, and only 5% responded that it was due to support for the party and their policies. This might reflect some distrust or wariness with the new party, or it could be that Canadians just have not bought the Conservative revolution yet. However, the question required that the respondent interpret what they thought the general mood was, not why they voted the way they did, so the question asks for an analysis of the political mood, not personal preference, so hanging too much hope on it is not wise.

Whatever the results, I have a feeling that the electorate is still in a state of flux and the Liberals could still regain some of the lost ground even before the leadership convention. However, if they continue to concentrate all of their attention on the leadership and not on real governance issues, they run the risk of solidifying the Conservative support in the high thirties or higher and then a majority Conservity government is a near-certainty next time around.

Polls are polls and you can read anything into them you want. However, the number that should be terrifying to Liberals is the 75,000 lost members in Quebec. Any rebuilding of the party has to include support from Quebec and I think the last administration's damage to that support will take years to erase . . . and well it should because lessons need to be learned.

Yikes! I didn't know that many people had actually left the party. That is scary.

Lessons do need to be learned. Even at the expense of a Tory government, even a majority. My lefty bones shudder at the thought, but that might just be me sloughing off the complacency. The Liberals are probably getting that goose-bumpy feeling these days, too.

The Conservatives may have had a few bumps in the road since taking office, however that is not the issue. The Liberals were trying to convince Canada that they harboured a secret hidden agenda that would destroy the nation. Now here's Stephen Harper, determined to deliver his "big five" campaign promises.

What I find interesting about this poll is that the sample didn't elect the Conservatives on their campaign platform but because they were more palateable than the Liberals. If they find that the Conservatives can run an "un-scary" government, it could hurt the Liberals to the tune of those numbers.

But, of course, these are polls. They may be an indication of something, but you can never say what or why. The only 'poll' that matters is the one taken on election day. Unless you're Prime Minister Paul Martin, in which case you wait for a consensus before deciding what tie to wear with your shirt.

(Sorry, couldn't resist that last one)

This is a very strange poll. It was taken over 22 days. I've never seen such a small sample size associated with such a huge period. Besides DECIMA released 2 polls taken during the same time period with the Liberals trending upwards slightly. The Liberals may be slipping now, but they certainly weren't in March when this poll was taken.

You're right Dan, thanks for pointing that out. I read through the questions to check for inherent weirdness but didn't notice the date.

That is weird.

the best part is :
vancouver: Cons 28(+6); Libs 30(-12); NDP36(+6)

After all that de-elect Emerson and planes with signs, Cons go up in the polls.

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