Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sweet November

Time to look at November's polling. Six national polls were taken during this month (half as many as last month), totalling about 15,600 interviews. Here are the results we get at the national level, with the difference from last month's average in brackets.

Conservatives - 37.3% (-1.9)
Liberals - 26.1% (-0.9)
New Democrats - 17.1% (+2.0)
Greens - 9.8% (+0.9)
Bloc Quebecois - 9.5% (+0.3)

The Conservatives actually post a relatively large loss, while the Liberals have slowed the bleeding. They had lost more than three points in October, but have managed to shave those losses down to less than one point. In other words, you know you're in trouble when goods news is that you didn't fall on your face too hard. The NDP makes a big jump of two points, while the Bloc is up a little and the Greens are up a lot.The seat projection for these results is as follows, with the difference from last month in brackets:

Conservatives - 149 (-2)
Liberals - 79 (-1)
Bloc Quebecois - 50 (unchanged)
New Democrats - 30 (+3)
Greens - 0 (unchanged)

So, not much movement actually. The Conservatives drop two seats and the Liberals drop one, with all three going to the NDP. We're looking at a situation almost mirroring the current one, with the Conservatives having a few more seats coming from the NDP.

The regional results, with difference from last month in brackets:

BRITISH COLUMBIA (7 polls - about 2,200 people)

Conservatives - 38.5% (-2.7)
New Democrats - 25.9% (+1.2)
Liberals - 22.0% (-1.3)
Greens - 13.2% (+3.1)

The Conservatives have slipped here, more or less erasing the gains they had made in October. The Liberals post another loss, but the NDP is up again. That marks gains of almost 2.5-points over the last two months, and they've opened up a nice lead over the Liberals for second. Could this be the HST issue? The Greens put up the biggest gain in the province, but are still far away from electing Elizabeth May.

ALBERTA (5 polls - about 1,224 people)

Conservatives - 60.1% (+1.0)
Liberals - 17.1% (-0.1)
Greens - 11.8% (+2.2)
New Democrats - 10.6% (-1.6)

The Conservatives make a gain of a point, which is insignificant when they have this kind of lead. The Liberals have only lost 0.1 points, indicating that their decent polling numbers in Alberta might be for real. The NDP is down quite a bit, enough to allow the Greens to move into third place. They're actually up five points over the last two months.

PRAIRIES (5 polls - about 830 people)

Conservatives - 51.6% (-7.2)
New Democrats - 22.5% (+5.8)
Liberals - 17.6% (-0.5)
Greens - 8.0% (+1.9)

A big drop for the Conservatives, but this is probably due to the unlikely 73% result they posted in an October poll. The Liberals are down half-a-point, but the NDP is up six points, erasing their losses from October. The Greens are also up about two points.

ONTARIO (6 polls - about 4,830 people)

Conservatives - 40.0% (-2.2)
Liberals - 32.3% (+0.3)
New Democrats - 16.9% (+1.8)
Greens - 10.3% (unchanged)

The Conservatives have lost the gains they made in October, but still stand at the 40% mark which represents an improvement on their 2008 electoral result. The Liberals are up (yes, up) by 0.3 points. Nothing spectacular, but it could be a sign that Michael Ignatieff has turned the corner. The NDP can also look at the situation in Ontario with a smile, as they are up almost two points, in a province they desperately need to get back to the 18% level they posted in the 2008 election. The Greens have managed to maintain their support over the last month.

QUEBEC (7 polls - about 4,520 people)

Bloc Quebecois - 37.6% (-0.3)
Liberals - 22.6% (-1.5)
Conservatives - 20.6% (-0.3)
New Democrats - 12.2% (+2.1)
Greens - 7.1% (+0.4)

The Bloc is down by 0.3 points, reseting their 0.4 gain from October. In other words, they are stable. The Liberals are down, but seem to be approaching their floor as their decline has slowed. On the other hand, the Conservatives have halted their march upwards in the province, and have actually posted a small loss. The NDP put up a nice gain, and are above their 2008 election level. The Greens are up a little bit.

ATLANTIC CANADA (6 polls - about 940 people)

Conservatives - 35.1% (-0.3)
Liberals - 31.7% (-4.1)
New Democrats - 25.0% (+3.0)
Greens - 8.4% (+2.1)

The Tories are down a little bit, but are still at a very good level for them. The Liberals are down a big four points, representing a loss of more than seven points in two months. They're now in second place in what had remained their only stronghold. The NDP are the big winners in the region with a gain of three points, while the Greens are up two points. However, that gain is due to an unlikely 21% in one poll.Overall, it was actually a mixed month for the Conservatives. Of course, they are still well ahead and so from that point of view it was another good month. But relatively speaking, their strength is starting to fade. They are down in five of the six regions, and their only gain comes in Alberta where they have a lock on virtually every single seat anyway. The losses in Atlantic Canada and Quebec were small but the losses in Ontario, the Prairies, and British Columbia were not. That they are dropping in Ontario and BC - their two battlegrounds - is worrisome.

The Liberals, for once, didn't have a completely disastrous month. However, they still saw losses in five of six regions. Their small gain in Ontario is important because the province has traditionally been their bread and butter, and the losses out West were relatively small. The drops in Atlantic Canada and Quebec mean trouble, particularly in Atlantic Canada.

The NDP had a very good month, gaining in five of six regions. The gains in the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada were all significant, while any gain in British Columbia is a plus and Alberta is probably a write-off anyway.

The Bloc was stable, which is good as they have a strong lead. The Greens had a good month as well, gaining in five regions and remaining stable in one. But they are still far from electing anyone to Parliament.

This actually makes sense, if the narrative we're following is a return to status quo, circa Fall 2008. The Conservatives need to come down a bit to get back to that level, as do the Liberals. The NDP needs to inch back upwards, and the Bloc needs to stay where they are. If this narrative is the reality, everything is lining up as it should.


  1. Eric, Nanos released further poll figures today. They are listed (can be derived) in the "Vote Profile" section in the following link:

    C - 38%
    L - 28.8%
    N - 17.9%
    BQ - 9.3%
    G - 5.9%

  2. Eric, sorry, those are also the figures for Nanos' November 14th poll. So just ignore it.

  3. Wow, stable fall 2008 numbers are pretty amazing actually.

    Compare that to what this recession and the Afghan war has done to Obama's popularity.

    More people now dissaprove of his job performance than approve in several major polls.

    It'll be interesting to see where we are fall of next year, after we get lots of golds at the Olympics and the economy has recovered fully.

  4. The public does not always reward good government (if, indeed, what you say is true) with re-election.

    Changes happens when things are really bad, or when things are really safe.

  5. If BC voters have any sense they'll oppose anyone who had anything to do with bringing the Olympics here.

    They have been and will continue to be a colossal waste of money and we'll be paying for them for decades.

  6. Ira,

    Its way too soon to say really but this seems like an example of a well run Olympics so far. More like Calgary than Montreal.

    If anything i'm more annoyed at all the spoil sport social activists that are hijacking the media spotlight to complain about various causes.

    Of course, the Feds have nothing to do with it really.

    I just mentioned it to say what a boost it could be to the Canadian psyche if we win a gold medal at home for the first time ever.

    Especially if its in men's hockey. Talk about a way to put a lousy year behind us.

  7. I hope Canada does really badly at the Olympics and that people sub-consciously blame it all on Campbell and Harper.

    I have fond memories of the 1976 Olympics and how three months after the closing ceremonies - the corrupt incompetent Quebec liberals were demolished.

  8. I feel sorry for bloggers who hate people so much.

    DL wishes our athletes failure so his political party prospects may rise.

    Simply pathetic.

    Unlike you DL I can forgive a bitter troll. Have a Merry Christmas.

  9. DL - That's a silly comment. Really. The NDP initiated bringing the Olympics to Vancouver during the late 1990's and kudos to them.

    The demand for tickets has been so overwhelming that they could have sold 10 times as many. Everything is booked. The Today Show will be broadcasting from atop Grouse Mountain. Whistler has record snowfall amounts. All venue construction is completed and is either on or under budget.

    Large provincial/national Olympic pavillions are being set up all over the place (from Richmond to Vancouver to Whistler) for the extravaganza.

    It's reminiscent of Expo '86 just prior to opening day.

    And yep, based upon all indicators the 2010 Olympics will be a smashing success. Sorry to disappoint an apparently disgruntled and envious Torontonian.

    Oh well, at least Toronto has the $2 billion Pan Am Games to look forward to, which Jack Layton proudly congratulated the city on.

  10. OT Jesse:

    I choose not to interact with you for a number of reasons. Having a spine isn't one them.

    You say:

    "Earl, certainly. Spine and conviction are not for everyone.

    I'm well aware that its fashionable to be "moderate", with a grab bag of eclectic beliefs that don't form a coherent philosophy.

    How a complete and utter lack of principle became a virtue I do not know.

    But you are free to indulge whatever pretensions you wish."

    Spine and conviction when not tempered with flexibility are for fools. That's not pretentious but fact. Bush II had spine and conviction, he was the Decider He was also a failure. You said that Jesse not I. His father Bush I was smart enough to adapt and to realize that although he had promised no new taxes, new taxes were indeed needed. You said Bush I was a failure. I'll choose to disagree. His economic policies set the world on a path for the prosperity of the Clinton years. Brian Mulroney at one time said that Canada would never sign a free trade deal with the US while he was Prime Minister. He changed his mind. A smart man listens, and tempers or changes his beliefs based on new information. A pompous, arrogant man with spine and conviction does neither.

    You make what I call statements from God. God you're not.

    For example:


    There's no need to use the term "trickle down economics".

    In the future you can simply say economics.

    Here's your corrected sentence:

    "Unlike Jesse and Martin I don't believe in economics."

    Because what you call "trickle down" is actually an integral and proven part of the field."

    Who Jesse has proven that "trickle down economics" works? You? Do all or even most economists accept it as a proven part of the field? What are there names? Can you name a prominent school where "trickle down economics" is taught as economic theory? Can you provide some kind of reference for such a sweeping statement?

    So Jesse you have defined economics have you? If fact there are many economic theories, Keynesian, Austrian, Supply Side, Horse and Sparrow to name just a few.

    However these are really just details. I don't wish to correspond with someone who is rude, ignorant, and condescending in both tone and manner. You come across as a narcissistic know it all. I was really hoping to avoid having to say that but your response left me no choice. Good riddance.

  11. Not everyone likes the Olympics, not everyone has to "support our athletes".

    Frankly, I plan on watching hockey because I like hockey. I don't care if Canada wins 0 or 50 gold medals.

  12. Eric,

    It is one thing to be disinterested or not a fan of something but to actively wish for failure and fraud for political gain is simply pathetic.

    I don't watch xxx sports but I don't wish they fail to boost my party.

    Who wants corruption or fraud?

    Are these the same people who wish more deaths from H1N1 or cases of "torture" to win points for their party?

  13. I was kidding about wanting Canada to fail at the games. Frankly, I don't think that our "medal haul" will actually make any difference politically.

    The one thing I can do without is the usual hand wringing about "why aren't we winning more medals?" like we had at the Beijing olympics. Ultimately, who cares?? To me what matters is that Canadians we a fit people and participate in sports and that people enjoy themselves. I can think of few things more USELESS than having these pseudo-score cards of which country won how many gold medals etc... So Australia usually wins more medals than Canada - so what? does that make Australia a better country than Canada? No - it just means that the Australian government spends almost East German amounts of money on their Olympic team - we happen to have other priorities - good for us!

  14. DL,

    so you only hope for fraud, waste of taxpayers money instead to boost your party?

    My original comment stands.

  15. DL,

    Lol I was certain you were being ironic.

    Nobody is honestly going to blame or support politicians of any stripe for the amount of medals won - it'll have to do with cost over runs, planning, security, that people might make a judgement.

    However, not winning ANY golds at a home game is pretty discouraging.

    Anything above one is fine by me.

    And its a totally valid point that we shouldn't get caught up in the medal count in the manner that the old Eastern bloc, or the Russians, or the Chineese do.

    Child exploitation in the name of sport is pretty reprehensible.

    Nationalism and pride in country can turn pretty ugly when it becomes sneering and is built on cheating scandals and the equivalent of forced labour camps for small children.

  16. Earl,

    I think its become quite obvious that your dislike of me stems from my defence of the HST.

    Its unfortunate that your crusade has led you to lash out at people who disagree with you on the matter.

    Its understandable - temperatures are running very high in Ontario right now.

    But you're being incredibly stubborn.

    I've kindly described to you what trickle down economics means.

    In its most basic formulation it is that the less you tax the greater economic performance you will have.

    EVERY serious school of economics

    (including all that you have named, including the Chicago school under the famous Milton Friedman as a specific example)

    recognizes that the less you tax the greater economic performance you have.

    Its an axiom, a rule, a basic foundational principle.

    The only people who think differently are Marxists.

    There are, of course, different interpretations of this. Different implimentations. Different cost benefit analysis. People who believe growth is bad, people who believe sacrificing the growth is worth it for social spending.

    But EVERY serious economist agrees that higher taxes generally means less economic performance.

  17. I imagine that depends a lot on how the taxes are spent.

    For example, the countries with the highest GDP per capita also tend to be those with high tax rates.

    I don't think that what you're saying is as cut and dry as you seem to think. Economics is no exact science and is more of a religion, considering how dogmatically people cling to some of its precepts.

    A quick look at tax rates around the world show high performing and low performing economies in countries with high tax rates and low tax rates.

    I see what Earl is saying, Jesse. Sometimes, you give the impression of wanting to tell us the way it is (according to you) rather than debate.

  18. Eric,

    "Sometimes, you give the impression of wanting to tell us the way it is (according to you) rather than debate."

    Do you not contradict yourself Eric? Doesn't debate, by defintion, involve both sides stating the way it is and then making arguements for and against their positions ?

    I certainly do that, as we all do when we give an opinion.

    But i'm also interested in hearing from others, expressing my appreciation when my mistakes are corrected, and hopefully developing a broader perspective after listening to other view points (in a Hegalian dialectic sort of manner).

    I'm puzzled at how my opinions take on the voice of God though. Couldn't that be said about anybody who shares their view on things? Or nobody?

    It seems like a bizzare line of attack. Quite frankly an unfair personal attack, one that involves reading arrogance and condecension into another's words and thinking the worst of them.

  19. Eric,

    "I imagine that depends a lot on how the taxes are spent."

    Sure. For instance Keynes believed that certain government spending had a higher "multiplier effect" then tax cuts and therefore was more stimulative.

    But both are still a net positive, the disagreement here is on which is the more beneficial of the two approaches.

    "For example, the countries with the highest GDP per capita also tend to be those with high tax rates."

    Yes, rich European countries tend to have generous social programs that they pay for by levying high taxes. But their GDP exists in spite of taxation, not becasue of it.

    "I don't think that what you're saying is as cut and dry as you seem to think."

    Its a little frustrating because this is like telling a phycisist that gravity isn't as cut and dry as they are saying.

    An optimal taxation environment for growth is 0%. Growth is impossible, by defintion, at 100% taxation.

    Taxes are unfortunately nessecary to pay for government services. But nobody seriously believes that they help economic performance.

    Lowering them helps the economy. It can also create budget deficits, which are a problem all of their own but a seperate issue.

  20. J. Kenneth Yurchuk10 December, 2009 02:01

    Interesting summation of the month. It continues a trend that idicates the Cons have reached their ceiling at 40% and are declining well back into minority territory. The Dippers are looking strong and just a few months ago, the pundits were writing obits for the NDP. Libs are still in trouble. Have they found their floor yet or are they heading for the basement?

  21. ??

    The ceiling of 40% was last "hit" in 2000. The Chretien Liberals were able to frame the nutty left and scary right rather well. Look at the official election results.

    Since than the Liberals have fallen and the right has united, emergence of a "green" protest vote.

    The NDP have recovered from 8.5% in 2000. Green came to exist in 2004.
    Forrest Gump Post with and without right in 2000 line graph.

  22. J. Kenneth Yurchuk10 December, 2009 07:50

    With HST and the Detainee question in full swing for the last two weeks, the release of a new EKOS poll to-day should be very interesting.

    Will either of these stick to the Cons?

    Will continuing fratricidal infighting hurt the Liberals?

    Should be fun!

  23. In Ottawa the opposition parties tried many push many scandals and their numbers have not moved.

    I have lost count how many fakes scandals have been overplayed by the media and the scattershot opposition.

    Who cares about the detainee issue?

    2)Opposition MP's

    The H1N1 hysteria was the last overplayed hand by the media and the opposition.

    What did we learn?

    1)The media and opposition were creating hysteria and disinformation trying to score cheap political points.
    2)People in power and wealth jumped the line.(Shocking!)
    3)Liberals got a $ 56,000 donation from the single source supplier in Quebec.
    4)We will have enough doses for everyone who wants one.

    This pattern will be repeated with the field notes.

    This should be fun!

  24. Jesse, does a government in debt help economic growth?

    What you're arguing sounds like perfect theory, not practical economics.

    And there is always a trade-off. Do we want to encourage growth at the expense of everything else? No. Can higher taxes create a better country to live in? Yes.

    Anyway, if this is as obvious as gravity, you should have no problem providing a link backing up your assertion.

  25. Eric,

    "Jesse, does a government in debt help economic growth?"

    Depends what the money is used for. But excessive debt can dry up the supply of credit, cause interest rates to rise, or cause the currency to devalue/inflation.

    Worst case scenario is either total bankrupcy or a decrease in the relative value of growth in US dollars, or increased cost to import raw materials. A low dollar tends to help exports though.

    "What you're arguing sounds like perfect theory, not practical economics."

    The principle itself is true. What we do with it is up to us.

    I'd never suggest 0% taxation. I support tax rates around 30%, compared to around 50% in Europe.

    But lefties need to be aware that everytime they jack up rates they should expect growth to decrease. Money doesn't grow on trees! Its taken from the economy.

    "Can higher taxes create a better country to live in? Yes."

    To a point, studies show charitable donations tend to decrease as tax rates go up and high unemployment has social costs.

    "Anyway, if this is as obvious as gravity, you should have no problem providing a link backing up your assertion."

    The only thing that backs up a scientific theory is specific data points.

    So what we do is search for countries where the tax burden has decreased or increased but other factors affecting growth haven't changed that much or have a known effect that can be factored out.

    The best example is Reagan reducing income taxes from the 70's to about 30% and sparking multiple quarters of around 8% growth. Estonia and Ireland (before the crisis) are also frequent examples on the positive side.

    search "effect of taxation on growth" in any engine for various studies.

    For a very, very basic overview here's what has to say:


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