Monday, August 24, 2009

More Details of the Harris-Decima Poll

Harris-Decima has posted the details to their latest poll, taken between August 13 and August 23 and involving 2,024 Canadians. I talked about the national results in my previous post, but here are the regionals.

British Columbia is the most surprising thing from this poll. It has the Conservatives at a very low 28%, followed closely by the NDP at 26% and the Greens at 24%. Yes, the Greens. Now, the Ipsos-Reid poll had a strong 14% for the Greens in the province, so perhaps this isn't as odd as it looks. No doubt the Greens have been getting a lot of coverage in local media thanks to Elizabeth May's decision to run there.

Alberta and the Prairies are what you'd expect, good Conservative leads(62% and 44%, respectively) with the Liberals in second (20% and 30%). This is a very different result from the 9% in the Prairies we saw in Ipsos-Reid. The NDP's performance in those two provinces, 15%, is very worrisome.

In Ontario we see a six-point Liberal lead, which isn't unusual considering what we've seen over the past few weeks. The breakdown is 40% for the Liberals and 34% for the Tories, with the NDP languishing in third with 13%.

Harris-Decima does not agree with Ipsos-Reid in Quebec, as it has the Conservatives at a very bad 12%, much lower than the 20% in IR. The Bloc leads at 37%, followed by the Liberals at 28% and the NDP at 11%.

Finally, in Atlantic Canada we see a very bad result for the Tories: 23%. The fight is between the Liberals (38%) and the NDP (32%).

This poll would result in the following seat totals:

Liberals - 118
Conservatives - 109
Bloc Quebecois - 51
New Democrats - 29
Greens - 1

With the Greens at such a high number in BC, I had to give Ms. May her seat. And if the party actually got 24%, which would surprise the hell out of me, who knows how many seats they could win out on the West Coast.

This poll shows some discrepancies that doesn't make it infinitely more reliable than the Ipsos-Reid poll, but it certainly has a lot more going for it - it is within what the trend has been and involved twice as many people.

What can the two parties take from this poll? Nothing really. Business as usual, still a close race. The Ipsos-Reid poll no doubt sent some shivers down Liberal spines and glee up those of the Tories, but this Harris-Decima poll should calm everyone back down.

The Greens, however, need to reinforce their strength. They probably aren't actually at 1 in 4 support in British Columbia, but they are certainly doing better here. They should focus virtually all of their energy in the province. I know Greens will tell me that Ms. May isn't the party, but the Greens need to win a seat in order to gain some credibility (5%-10% of Canadians aren't going to throw their votes away to an unrepresented party forever!) and this is their best chance to do it.