Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nanos Ontario Provincial Poll

Nanos has a provincial poll for Ontario out, taken between October 24 and October 25 and involved 503 Ontarians. The result:

Liberals - 37%
Progressive Conservatives - 35%
New Democrats - 17%
Greens - 10%

This marks a significant drop for Dalton McGuinty compared to Nanos' last Ontario poll, with the PC and the Greens benefiting the most. The Liberal lead is thanks to women, who support the Liberals over the Progressive Conservatives by a margin of eight points. The Tories lead among males, 38% to 33%.

Dalton McGuinty is the best option as Premier for 27% of Ontarians, down from 42% in April. Tim Hudak is at 17%, but that is only up three points from April when Bob Runciman was the option. Andrea Horwath is the choice of 14%, up five points, while Frank de Jong is at 5%.

Interesting to see the margin has closed for the two major parties. But an election is still a few years away.


  1. Most interesting part of the big Liberal down-tick are the political beneficiaries: PC's and Greens.

    The NDP has remained relatively stable and are apparently not perceived to be a legitimate alternative.

  2. was Hudak languishing far behind Dalton for who the best premiere would be....gah.

    Stick a fork in Hudak, he's done already.

  3. Something I find fascinating about politics in general during this period is that right wing parties are prospering across the globe.

    So much for the end of Capitalism, the end of the free market.

    In the US, in Britain, Canada, Germany - ruling party or not those on the right seem to be winning elections.

    Frankly, i'm a little bit baffled by the trend. The only explanation I can think of is that stimulus policies around the world have pushed everyone's balance sheets into the red and people are gravitating to smaller government parties.

  4. The United States and Japan both have governments today that are a quantum leap to the left of what each had one year ago. These are the two most important countries in the western world.

    There are plenty of examples of parties on the right losing and parties on the left winning. The biggest example of all is the US which annihilated the GOP in two straight rounds of congressional elections followed by Obama winning the presidency a year ago. The US now has by far the most leftwing President in its entire history and he will inevitably bring in changes that will never be able to be reversed. That alone is of greater significance than any national election in Europe (the saying in Germany is that you have a choice of two socialist parties the SPD and the CDU). The Labor government in Australia is very popular and has double digit leads in all polls. Socialist parties in the past couple of months have won in Portugal, Greece, Iceland and Norway and Japan threw out the rightwing dinosaurs of the LDP and elected a left of centre government too. For the most part its all a mixed bag. Even here in Canada, Nova Scotia swung left, Saskatchewan swung right - if there was an election in BC today, Gordon Campbell would be flushed down a toilet.

  5. DL - "the saying in Germany is that you have a choice of two socialist parties the SPD and the CDU"

    Actually, two "neo-liberal" parties. The "socialist" party is Die Linke.

    As for BC, doubtful - Wait for the next public opinion poll.

    According to PublicEyeOnline, some BC NDP constituency associations are now even putting forward motions to have a leadership convention to dump inept Carole James - BC's version of Sarah Palin.

    Nobody hears much from the BC NDP these days anyway.

    Next BC Premier? Surrey mayor Dianne Watts for the Liberals. She was even at the very top of the heap (by a HUGE margin) in a BC premier preference poll undertaken by Angus Reid Strategies a couple of months back.

    Surpringly, Watts is also receiving alot of very favourable MSM coverage in BC now as well.

  6. DL,

    You completely misinterpreted the time frame I was refering to. I'm talking about the period AFTER the bank/stock market/GDP crash when economic conditions had stabalized enough for attention to focus on the employment picture, fears of inflation, and debt.

    There obviously was an anti-incumbent mood during the earlier catastrophic period and this would account for the US election.

    I'm talking about elections held after May of 2009 - there's definetly been a rightward shift.

    In the US alone Obama's numbers are down and the Republicans won some key off-off year races. This was right around when Harper's numbers turned around.

    Japan is a noteable exception but its also somewhat of an odd case - the party had ruled for almost half a century.

    Taken on the whole, however, its most certainly NOT a "mixed bag" and there is undeniably a rightward shift.

  7. Jesse, so in other words, you're saying that "there is a worldwide swing to the right as long as you only count the period from May to October of 2009 and you don't count Japan or Norway or Iceland or Portugal or Greece - or Nova Scotia".

    Strip it all away and this "worldwide pattern" is essentially just...the German election. And, the CDU has been way ahead in the polls for the last three years since long before the current economic crisis.

    Sure, the GOP won two governorships. I guess that within American politics that is about as indicative as the NDP winning power in Nova Scotia is indicative of broader trends in Canadian politics.

    All your other examples are not based on election results, but based on some current polls which may or may not be borne out once elections take place. If we want to play that game, I can show you countless polls that show that Obama would beat any Republican in 2012. Polls show that the left will win the next elections in Sweden and in Ireland and in the Czech Republic. Berlusconi is dropping like a stone in Italy (I know, I know that has NOTHING to do with his ideology - its just that he's a crook and pervert). Polls show that Kevin Rudd and the Australian Labor Party will be re-elected in a landslide next year.

    Two can play this game and try to dig up some weird pseudo-pattern and try to claim that its an example of some global trend.

  8. Incidentally, getting back to the Nanos poll of Ontarians. Does anyone else find it a bit weird that he would release a poll today that was done four weeks ago???

  9. It isn't the first time that Nanos has done this. We don't know the reason, it could be that whoever ordered it didn't use the story until now.

  10. DL,

    Still off base.

    "you only count the period from May to October of 2009"

    We could go earlier if you want to count Israel's big move to the right.

    But economically speaking it is distinct time period. In Obama's words its when "green shoots" started to appear and everyone realized it wasn't the end of the world.

    "you don't count Japan or Norway or Iceland or Portugal or Greece - or Nova Scotia".

    Norway (from wiki): Further to the right, both the Conservative Party and Progress Party posted gains from 2005.

    It helps if you don't list examples that contradict you!

    Examples of a move to the right:

    The European parliament elections were broadly seen as a move to the right (Macleans even ran a story on the scary far right).

    There was the US elections (far more than just the 2 gov's, elections for judges and town councils and everything else and across the board the Republicans were up).

    There were the big wins in the UK for the opposition when it came to municipal elections.

    There was Harper's big upswing in the polls.

    I think my point pretty much stands - right wing parties are prospering at a time when we were told free market Capitalism was dead.

  11. The GOP has had a little dead cat bounce in a couple of minor local races. Its still 20 steps back followed by a baby step forward. In any case, in the only election that had anything to do with national politics, the Democrats won a congressional district in NY that had been Republican for 140 years! and elected a mainstream Democrat whose first act was to vote for the health care bill. (I know, i know, the GOP had a split vote etc...) of course there's an excuse, there always is - every election in ever country has its own local factors etc... What's your excuse for the massive swing to the left in Greece? How come Labor is so popular in Australia and I see no one demanding that John Howard be brought back?

    Now you bring Israel into this which is probably the worst example of all since elections there are fought almost entirely on security issues and right/left economic and social policy as we know it are almost irrelevant. If anything, when the Likud is in power there it means bigger deficits and more wasteful spending because they buy off all these crazy religious parties by putting vast amounts of money into their pet programs etc...

    Where the rubber will really hit the road is when governments have to deal with the recovery and with towering deficits etc...How quickly will Harper's popularity crash once he starts cutting tens of billions of dollars in spending and drives provincial and municipal governments into the ground?

  12. DL,

    No, there was also a second congressional race in which the Republican vote share was up significantly in California of all places. Analysts say they could take back the house in 2010, hardly a "dead cat bounce".

    Regardless, i'm not going to explain away every example - I never claimed that the right was winning in EVERY single election everywhere.

    As I said, the elections across Europe, across America, the polling in Canada on the federal level seem to indicate that after the economy stabalized and debt, interest, and employment because key issues right wing parties were given a second chance.

    You may be right that people like the idea of small government only in theory, to deal with the big stimulus debts, but the period of stimulative spending doesn't end until Jan. 2011.

    When the cuts start we'll see what happens to Harper. Of course, the first thing that he will want to cut will be funding for political parties (very popular with the public), probably in a 2010 fall economic update.

    So he'll probably be in a majority situation when the 2011 spring budget rolls around. That'll be four years to do the hard work and slay the deficit. Doing so will guarentee him another expanded majority term.

  13. It is hard to argue that right-wing parties are doing well in Canada. The Conservatives may be tops in the polls at 36%-38%, but that just means that 62%-64% of voters support non-right-wing parties. Using this Ontario poll as an example, we're left with 65% of voters supporting a party other than a right-wing party.

    And the elections in the US and the response to them were a joke. The Republicans won local or state races, while the Democrats won a race they haven't won in over a century.

    The Daily Show demonstrated how ludicrous spin is becoming. They had the former White House spokesman on CNN telling how the Republican victories were all about a referendum on Obama. Then TDS showed a clip from 2001 or 2005 (can't remember) when the Democrats won local and state races, with the same person telling reporters how they were just local races and not about the President.

    Anyway, I see that some of who have gotten the memo.

  14. Eric,

    "The Conservatives may be tops in the polls at 36%-38%, but that just means that 62%-64% of voters support non-right-wing parties."

    Actually those are good numbers considering there is a three way split, plus greens and BQ in Quebec. Someone could say that 75% of voters don't support centrist parties like the Liberals or that 63% of voters don't support left wing parties.

    And Eric, Obama isn't on the ballot in 2010 so its irrelevent whether 2009 was a "referendum on Obama". It was actually a referendum on the Democratic party which IS on the ballot in 2010.

    However, Obama's job approval rating has dropped from 65/25 approve/disapprove to 52/43 (RCP average). In likely voter screens its actually more like 49/51, more voters don't approve of his work than do.

    The Republicans are up in the generic congressional ballot and seem poised to gain seats in 2010.

    I'm not quite sure what your point is ?

    That the NY 23 win is a good sign for the dems?

    That's sort of like the comment that the Liberals are doing good under Iggy because they got more votes than last time in Nova!

    How many elections are EVER going to happen again where the democrat wins with less than 50% and the Republican candidate ENDORSES the Democrat a few days before the campaign ends ? Zero?

    Eric, you gotta stop getting your US politics from The Daily Show. Its comedy, not serious analysis.

  15. No, the 24-hour news networks in the US are comedy.

  16. --- "Someone could say that 75% of voters don't support centrist parties like the Liberals or that 63% of voters don't support left wing parties."

    Of course you could. But no one made the silly argument that you did.

  17. Eric,

    "No, the 24-hour news networks in the US are comedy."

    I completely agree.

    The Page over at Time, The Fix from WAPO, McArdle and Ambinder (but not Sullivan!) at the Atlantic, gop12, 538, politico, the corner @ NRO are all much better sources of news and opinion.

    For polling data there's realclearpolitics or pollster.

    "Of course you could. But no one made the silly argument that you did."

    My arguement was that right wing parties have prospered at a time when pundits proclaimed free market Capitalism was dead.

    By prosper I mean improved their standing in the polls or their vote share in recent elections in the western world.

    I don't think I ever made the claim that a majority of Canadians are right wing...

    (You kind of responded to a non-existent arguement).

  18. DL did a good job disproving your argument, I just want a little further.

  19. Eric,

    You went further for what purpose though? You made a specious arguement that could be used against any political party in a three way system, as I noted.

    And DL was sloppy and listed 2 examples where right wing parties actually IMPROVED their vote share - Norway and Portugal - as evidence against my point.

    So I don't agree that he disproved my point. He pointed out a few actual exceptions - Iceland, Japan, Greece - which is fine.

    I never claimed that there were no exceptions to the general trend I identified.

    Any objective analysis would seem to support my claim that right wing parties in the western world, for the most part but not everywhere, have increased their vote share or standing in the polls since the economy stabalized back in may and people's concerns shifted to unemployment, the debt, and inflation.

  20. So, I guess when people stop thinking about their pocket books and start thinking about their fellow man they'll go back to the left-wing parties, huh?

  21. Eric,

    Helping the economy helps everyone.

    Besides the new political fault lines aren't going to form around rich versus poor, that's very last century. Now its human development versus the environment.

    With the rise of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) there'll be a big crunch on commodities and energy once the downturn ends.

    $100 a barrel oil is going to have the right pressing for more fossils fuel extraction, more hydro dams, and nuclear power so we can cash in on our natural resources and help bring down the price of gas.

    The left is going to argue that's bad for the environment and won't address global warming. They'll put foward carbon taxes to enforce efficiency, industrial policy to subsidize green jobs and solar/wind energy, as well as ideas about high speed rail and a smart energy grid.

    The divide is going to be classic rural versus urban with the suburbs being the undecided battleground. Classic Alberta vs Quebec, America vs Europe, oil sands versus Greenpeace.

    I honestly don't know which side will win. The media seems to be in the Al Gore/green corner so that skews things a bit.

    Anyways, that's my prediction for the next distinct economic period we enter, assuming there actually is an upswing and not a protracted flatline of zero growth and stagflation.

  22. Eric wrote:

    "So, I guess when people stop thinking about their pocket books and start thinking about their fellow man they'll go back to the left-wing parties, huh?"

    It is a dubious contention to assume that thinking about (and acting to alleviate) the hardships of one's fellow man necessarily involves support for a particular political ideology.

    Generosity is not the same thing as a desire for bigger government.

    The government doesn't provide sexual services via a Ministry of Intercourse. But that does not means Canadians never think about, or engage in sexual activity.

  23. --- "It is a dubious contention to assume that thinking about (and acting to alleviate) the hardships of one's fellow man necessarily involves support for a particular political ideology."

    Indeed. Similarly, there's no reason to believe that concern with unemployment, inflation, or debt has led people to vote right-wing.

  24. Eric,

    "Similarly, there's no reason to believe that concern with unemployment, inflation, or debt has led people to vote right-wing."

    I never said that one caused the other. I simply identified both happening in the same time frame.

    However, there is polling that does provide some evidence of a relationship between the two.

    (US polling, I'll concede that Canada doesn't have enough data to draw that conclusion.)

    Taken together these points provide a convincing reason to believe that one led to the other:

    1. Polls show the concern about the economy in general and the national debt and employment rate specificaly are people's top concern. Things like health care or Afghanistan rank fairly low compared to this.

    2. The polling question generally phrased like "who do you trust to deal with these issues" has seen a drop in people who answer the Democrats/Obama.

    3. The same question has seen an increase in Republican support for those questions.

    4. As Republican support on those issues increased, so did their support in general.

  25. When Bush was still President, problems with the US economy were associated with him. Now that the Democracts are totally in charge, as time goes by those economic problems will be more and more associated with them. Accurate or not, it's pretty clear that it's a trend that can be (and would have been) predicted.

    I don't think its indicative of philosophical shifts. It's more practical than that, whether in Europe or in the US.

    In Ontario, I think it's a combination of poor economic performance and EHealth. Also, before the blow up about school funding, Tory was competing successfully with the Liberals.

    So from a local perspective, it doesn't seem unusual at all and doesn't require any kind of change in Ontarian attitudes about tax cuts/spending/regulations aside from specific opinions of the parties.

  26. Since this poll is a month old, let's see how polling goes now that HST has been introduced. The problem for the opposition is that the HST deal signed with the Feds means that the combination of the taxes can't be undone until at least 2016. By then who ever wins the next election will be out of office or into a second term. ON,s next election is scheduled for Oct. 2011.

    No- one's right, everybody's wrong, a line from a famous song I think. Worth while remembering as we debate politics.

  27. Earl,

    Please explain the issue about Ontario being locked into the HST until 2016 for me.

    There's no way for the next gov't to change tax policy? That seems somewhat outrageous.

    Or is it that there is just a big penalty if they do ? Which seems fair, considering it takes a lot of work to change the rules.

    By the way, could you answer for me whether you want Harper to block the HST enabling legislation in the house ?

    I know that would benefit you and you think he may because it would be good politics but i'm wondering is if, from an objective standpoint, you actually think it would be FAIR of him to do so ?

    Considering other provinces have been able to establish an HST before Harper was elected it seems fair to me. Either every province has the option or none should.

    Anyways, if you could answer those two questions please.

  28. Hi Jesse:

    My understanding is that ON is locked into the HST until at least 2016. It may be that they could get out if they repaid the $4.6 billion the Feds are giving them to implement the HST. No way any government can do that, so effectively we're locked in.

    I don't want Harper to not pass the enabling legislation on a personal basis. It is pretty much revenue neutral to me.

    My concern, which you don't share, is the LPC could use it as an election issue. I know that it was under a Liberal government that Quebec and the eastern provinces harmonized their taxes. I don't think people in BC and ON would care IF they believed that Iggy would undo the tax. In my mind it's just a great election issue. People do not like new taxes they can see and they will see an extra 8% on their heating and electrical bills as well as at the Gas Pumps. Can you imagine if Campbell used his carbon tax to add 8 cents a litre to gasoline right before the last election in your province? Do you think the results might have been different? This is pure speculation on my part and if it is only the NDP that use the HST as an election issue I won't worry much here in ON but think a few BC seats could turn.

    Hope this is helpful.

  29. Eric just wondered if you can venture a seat projection for ON provincially , based on this poll?

    Thanks, Earl

  30. Ivison's take on ON poitics in wake of Nanos Poll:


  31. Sorry, I don't have anything setup for Ontario projections. I will start doing provincial ones after the next federal election, but I'll probably start with New Brunswick as that is the next most likely election.

  32. Thanks for the Response Eric!


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