Thursday, May 27, 2010

New EKOS Poll: 8.2-pt Conservative Lead

EKOS's weekly poll shows the Conservatives down and the Liberals and New Democrats up. But, overall, there has been little change.

Compared to last week's poll, 33.9% represents a drop of 0.5 points for the Conservatives. The Liberals are up 0.6 to 25.7% while the NDP is up 1.1 points to 16.4%.

The Greens are down 0.1 to 11.9% and the Bloc Québécois is down 1.2 points to 9.4%.

In Ontario, there is no change at all. The Conservatives still lead with 38.9%, the Liberals are still far behind at 31.1%. The NDP is at 16.1%. The Liberals lead in Toronto with 39.4% while the Conservatives lead in Ottawa with 39.8% (down 10).

In Quebec, the Bloc drops five to 37.4% while the Liberals, Conservatives, and NDP each gain one point and are at 20.5%, 16.3%, and 12.7%, respectively. In Montreal, the Bloc is down 10 points to 38.2%. This is likely the reason for the party's drop in the province, as their 48% mark in Montreal last week was a little unrealistic.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives are down seven to 31%. That's a big drop. The NDP is steady at 24.2% and the Liberals are up three to 23.0%. The Greens are up three to 17.3%. The Tories lead in Vancouver with 36.6%.

In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals have re-gained a lead with an eight-point bump to 38.7%. The Conservatives lead in Alberta with 57.1% and the Prairies with 42.7%. The NDP is up eight points in that region to 25.2%.

The Conservatives win 66 seats in the West, 56 in Ontario, 6 in Quebec, and 9 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 137.

The Liberals win 15 seats in the West and North, 36 in Ontario, 15 in Quebec, and 21 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 87.

The Bloc wins 52 seats in Quebec.

The NDP wins 14 seats in the West and North, 14 in Ontario, 2 in Quebec, and 2 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 32.

Last week's poll resulted in seats of 140 CPC, 85 LPC, 55 BQ, and 29 NDP so this poll shows small gains for the Liberals and NDP and small losses for the Conservatives and Bloc.

The polls remain to be unhelpful for anyone. The low Liberal result and the big gap would seem to be good news for the Conservatives, but at less than 34% a majority is out of their reach and would be a moral loss. The Liberals look unable to go anywhere, while the NDP seems to have topped out in 2008 and appears to be set to lose some seats. The only party who might gain is the Bloc, who should be able to take advantage of low Liberal and Conservatives results in their province.

57 comments:

  1. I like the part of the sentence
    "...for the Conservatives, but at less than 34% a majority is out of their reach and would be a moral loss. 33.9% is less than 34 but...?

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  2. Eric

    Be interesting to see how this lines up against say AR or IR?

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  3. Never mind whether the Tories are at 33.9% or 34% - to get a majority they would need to be up around 39 or 40%. Remember that 38% in the 2008 election still left them 12 seats short of a majority.

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  4. Éric,

    We Liberals can win: I'm one who believes it's OK to be Liberals in a hurry -- as long as we are filled with determination stemming from updated policy.

    That process is moving forward with each passing week. We are well on our way. May it continue.

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  5. So this poll basically says, if an election happens soon we are looking at no real change. The CPC still runs the house with the support of just one of the other 3 parties.

    As long as per vote funding continues this would be a big dollar bonus for the Green's thus making the Green Party the only potential 'winners' even if there is still no seat won.

    One does wonder what it would take for voters to shift at this point. We've been pretty close to this holding pattern for a long time now with blips here and there over the prorogation but always going back to where we've been. Scandals don't hurt the CPC for long, lack of plans don't hurt the Liberals too bad, the NDP can't get traction, the Greens stick around 10%, and the Bloc is the Bloc.

    No new leader in sight for the CPC or Liberals until post-election, and I figure that is the only thing that could seriously change things. Finding that dynamic leader who just doesn't seem to exist.

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  6. "So this poll basically says, if an election happens soon we are looking at no real change. The CPC still runs the house with the support of just one of the other 3 parties."

    Not necessarily, what if we have an election with no real change but on election night all three opposition parties announce that they will vote down any Throne Speech from the Tories regardless of what it contains...?

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  7. No new leader in sight for the CPC or Liberals until post-election, and I figure that is the only thing that could seriously change things.

    John I have to agree and with the potential of three parties needing new leaders it's an even bigger mess.

    See nobody on the CPC side, nobody on the Lib side and the NDP looks equally lacking.

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  8. "Not necessarily, what if we have an election with no real change but on election night all three opposition parties announce that they will vote down any Throne Speech from the Tories regardless of what it contains...?"

    And then we have a repeat of December 2008 all over again. How'd that work out last time?

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  9. It's interesting to look at this latest EKOS poll to see how the support of the two big parties has evolved over the past two years.

    Basically, the Tories are exactly where they were in terms of public support at this time last year. Moreover, while Ekos didn't poll back in May, 2008, if you take the AR and IR polls from the end of May, 2008, and apply Eric's estimate of the house effects for AR and IR (and Ekos), it doesn't look like much has changed since May 2008 either. That's something people might want to keep in mind before suggesting that the Tories can't repeat their 2008 performance based on these polls.

    On the other hand, there's been a fairly hefty drop-off for the Grits since this time last year. For much of the first half of 2009, and throughout May, the Liberals were polling in the mid 30s (the last Ekos poll of May 2009 had the Grits at 34%, a couple of points up on the Tories).

    Moreover, if you look back at the AR and IR polls from May 2008, it looks like the Grits have dropped off precipitously since then(more so if you account for the EKOS, AR and IR house effects).

    What you get out of this is that, while the Tories are basically in the same place they were before the last election, the Grits have seen their support drop by 5+% percent (if you fidget with the house effects). That means, they're going into the fall with a much weaker hand than Stephane Dion did in 2008. That can't be comforting to anyone. Moreover, despite early hopes, Iggy hasn't done anything to reverse that trend (meaning he really wasted his one shot to bring down the government last june). Unless those polling numbers change drastically over the summer, I don't think the grits are going to be in any hurry to force an election.

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  10. Éric: The polls remain to be unhelpful for anyone.

    This poll is actually continuing good news for the Green Party. It's not instant gratification, but it's a continuation of the tortoise climb.

    The 0.1% national drop from last week still affirms a "real" EKOS polling level of 11.5%-12% and probably closer to the latter. (As always, look at the trend graph on page 3 of the EKOS report instead of fixating on a single week's numbers.)

    The noise level gets higher at the regional level, but the trends are still good. The BC Green support at 17.3% is a bit optimistic, but not way out of line. The 11.5% reported in Ontario looks about right compared to the last three polls. Green seats in a 2010 election will come from one of those two provinces.

    Elsewhere, the Green Party has slipped from second to fourth place in Alberta. Never Believe Any Single Poll, as somebody occasionally remarks. Neither second nor fourth are reality at this point and both are irrelevant for now. Saskitoba is down at a believable 8.3%, but given the poll sizes there the error bars are still large. The 10.7% in Atlantic Canada is in the middle of the realistic range and heading in the right direction.

    Finally, at 11.3% the Quebec Green number may be a touch high, but not much given recent polls. The vote is divided five ways and Green and NDP numbers in the province are very close. If Thomas Mulcair can win a Dipper seat, could the first breakthrough Green MP come from Quebec?

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  11. I know I have commented on it before... BUT the Liberals dropping 1% point and picking up 10seats!?

    I just don't see the Liberals getting 25% nationally and taking 2 seats in Alberta. It does not pass the smell test.

    What I do believe that the Liberals will gain a higher vote in Toronto and really win those seats by a lot.

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  12. --- I know I have commented on it before... BUT the Liberals dropping 1% point and picking up 10seats!?

    Did you not notice the Conservatives dropping more than three points? Do you think that has no consequences?

    --- I just don't see the Liberals getting 25% nationally and taking 2 seats in Alberta. It does not pass the smell test.

    I don't have the Liberals winning any seats in Alberta.

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  13. Carl -- The house effects is based on the pollsters somehow coming out with an accurate indication overall.

    This is blatantly NOT true.

    The only pollster that was with the MOE in the polls preceding in predicting the last election was AR.

    the EKOS bias to actual results and not other polls are

    add 3.3 to CPC
    add .1 to Liberal
    minus .6 NDP
    minus .1 BLOC
    minus 3.7 Green

    makes this EKOS poll

    CPC 37.2 (down .4 from last election)
    Lib 25.8 (down .4 from last election)

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  14. sorry you did last poll analysis.

    Where do the Liberals pick up 10 seats?


    I would be more able to accept that almost the doubling the Green total from 6.8 to 11.9 would result in some seats.

    I would think that the Green total increasing would be directly related in not having the Liberals being led by Mr Green-guy himself Mr. Dion.

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  15. John_Northey: No new leader in sight for the CPC or Liberals until post-election, and I figure that is the only thing that could seriously change things.

    That would indeed be the biggest game-changer, but it's not in the cards. However, the Grits are holding a potential wild card--or joker.

    The Liberals have said nothing interesting for some time. Their statements have variously been reactive and pandering. However, we have been promised a bold new vision from a revitalized party. That's supposed to presage a trip to the polls.

    If the Liberal platform presents bold ideas and concrete steps to address the issues of our day in a positive, cooperative way, they could propel themselves into plurality territory. At that point, a coalition, accord or simple understanding is a minor detail.

    On the other hand, a vision that has empty words for every group and platitudes for all will leave the Liberals where they are, or even boost the Conservatives to majority numbers. In that case, expect the Tories to turn all the screws they can find.

    No pressure, guys.

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  16. BCVoR,

    Why aren't you asking why the Conservatives haven't dropped more than six seats with only 33.9% support, almost four points lower than in 2008?

    Anyway.

    The Liberals gain seats in BC (where they are up four points and the Conservatives are down 13), in the Prairies (where they are a couple points but the Tories are down about six), in the North, and in Atlantic Canada where they are up a few points and the NDP is down a lot.

    Do you think the Conservatives can repeat their performance of 2008 when they are down huge in British Columbia, down in Alberta and the Prairies and Ontario and Quebec?

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  17. For Greens, the Fun With Numbers in this week's EKOS poll definitely comes from the under-25 vote. For the first time, Greens are ahead of all the other parties nationally in this demographic.

    That's not real. We didn't see this last week and won't see it next week. However, it highlights the fact that youth Green support is around double the support across all age brackets.

    Also, young Green support is an increasing trend. We've seen this phenomenon in BC before. This week (with an admittedly laughable margin of error) the BC under-25 Greens outpoll the Tories and Grits combined by nearly two to one.

    In the short run, this is a Green challenge since it's harder to get younger voters to the polls. However, it means that time is on the side of the Green Party with respect to election scheduling. Every day a disproportionate number of Greens become voters. They just need to be mobilized.

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  18. Éric: Why aren't you asking why the Conservatives haven't dropped more than six seats with only 33.9% support, almost four points lower than in 2008?

    Look at it this way: EKOS reports that every party is down from their 2008 vote except the Greens. If first-past-the-post means no Greens on the Hill, the seats have to go somewhere.

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  19. The opposition defeating the throne speech would not be a repeat of December 2008, because in 2008 the opposition actually supported the throne speech (thus giving tacit approval to the government's agenda) only to CHANGE THEIR MIND 7 days later despite no new legislation having been presented.

    The opposition looked crazy, and they paid for it.

    Defeating the throne speech would be the proper way to declare they have no interest in allowing the Conservatives to govern.

    However, a coalition lacking the largest party in the house would also lack legitimacy in the eyes of many Canadians. As long as the Conservatives continue to be that party, the opposition parties have a problem.

    Of course, that problem goes away if one of them is willing to work with the Conservatives in a coalition. Unless the party brass for both the Liberals and the NDP honestly believe that Stephen Harper is evil, why aren't they investigating that? I think a grand coalition of the Conservatives and Liberals would make for a terrific government. I think a Conservative-NDP coalition would even work, as long as they worked out specific compromises in advance (not compromise positions, per se, but specific areas of policy where each was willing to cede control to the other).

    And again, the obvious coalition partner for the Conservatives would be the Bloc. A massive campaign of decentralisation should make sovereigntists very happy, and would be entirely in keeping with Conservative ideals of small government.

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  20. BC,

    Are you telling me that AR's polling numbers must be right because their predictions were spot on last election? You're choosing your pollster based on one data point? That's the functional equivalent of saying weatherman X got the weather right on October 14, 2008, so all future weather predictions must be spot on. And conversly, any weather forcaster who got it wrong on that date must be a hack? Come on!

    Moreover, you're wrong to say that the actual results in 2008 were outside the MOE of the other pollsters. In the case, of EKOS, that clearly wasn't the case, their forecasts for the Grits, Tories and NDP were within 2 percentage points of the actual results (they were off on the Greens but, really, who cares?). And while Nanos's averaged results over October 10-12 were off, on a daily basis they showed the Tories with 37% on the last day of polling (October 12) which was close to where they actually ended up.


    And further to that last point, remember that all those polls were taken over the 3 or 4 days preceeding the election. If public opinion shifted in those last few days or if people's likelihood of voting changed (which was probably what happened to the Grits in 2008 - their voters stayed home), it isn't surprising that the earlier polling results didn't reflect the ultimate election result. There's a reason election campaigns don't shut down before the election is held, because opinions can still change in the last few days of the election.

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  21. "However, a coalition lacking the largest party in the house would also lack legitimacy in the eyes of many Canadians."

    A Conservative government representing values that at least two thirds of Canadians reject - also lacks legitimacy in the yes of many Canadians. George W. Bush "lacked legitimacy" after the fraud that made him President in 2000 and despite getting fewer votes than Al Gore - yet Bush forged ahead with his fanatical rightwing agenda and even served two terms.

    I say to the opposition parties - find a way to destroy Harper after the next election. "Legitimacy" is earned by providing good government.

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  22. DL even Nick Clegg recognized that party with the largest number of seats in the HOC should form the government. Given Eric's seats projections an NDP. Liberal alliance would still not command the HOC. They'd be 18 seats behind the Conservatives. Not good enough.

    To be honest a coalition of the CPC and LPOC would make more sense than an NDP/Liberal coalition. The Liberals are a party of the center as are the Conservatives. The NDP is a party of socialism and social justice.

    Here's the latest in coalition speculation:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/stephen-harpers-lock-on-lead-raises-coalition-stakes/article1582652/

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  23. Eric you'll Like this one:

    http://warrenkinsella.com/2010/05/thoughtful-coalition-post/

    From Bob Rae:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/bob-rae-hints-at-liberal-ndp-accord/article1582980/

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  24. Carl:
    How'd that work out last time?

    Been there, done that. Results known.

    No the real way is to vote down the Throne Speech, go to the GG and inform you have an agreement and demand the right to rule.

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  25. DL:
    "Legitimacy" is earned by providing good government.

    The problem with that is define "good govt" !

    Or "good govt" for WHO ??

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  26. Harris Decima:

    http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20100527/tories-widen-gap-100527/

    Gap widens to 9 points.

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  27. This recent poll continues a trend from last week regarding Conservative strength in Canada excluding Quebec and urban centres. Obviously, Quebecers vote and are entitled to the representation they choose. However, they have determined a preference to vote based on Quebec interests only rather than national Canadian interests.

    This being said, we can evaluate the poll also from a Quebec vs. ROC perspective.

    Last week, the Conservatives had support of 41% of Canadians in ROC. In the major urban areas, excluding Montreal, that support was 45%.

    In this weeks poll, little has changed. Support in ROC generally is 42% and it's 39% in the urban centres excluding Montreal.

    In both polls, Vancouverites, of those in the GVRD as showing more support for the Conservatives than in areas outside of the GVRD.

    When you look at support for the government and support for the country, again you will see that support for the Conservatives and the country is quite strong when Quebec is excluded.

    Quebec's support for the Bloc is not going to decline and this separation in perspective is not going to change in the near future if ever.

    Essentially the Conservatives are the party of English Canada, the urban centres in English Canada. They are increasinlgy the party of the centre, centre-right and the far right. The Liberals are increasingly the party of the left, while the NDP are the far left. Greens represent the more extreme environmentalists.

    The Liberals attempt to create a culture war has backfired. They have disparaged so many groups that few now fit under the small tent that is now the Liberal party.

    This is why any attempt to create a coalition for the left and far left is simple going to fail. The Conservatives represent the centre now.

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  28. "However, a coalition lacking the largest party in the house would also lack legitimacy in the eyes of many Canadians."

    That's just not true. Look at the Ontario Liberal-NDP accord in 1985. They lacked the largest party in the House, yet both parties won huge accolades. It's nonsense that you can't have a legitimate coalition without the largest party, simply nonsense.

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  29. Ira,

    The opposition didn't look crazy because the threatened to bring down the government only a few weeks after they voted for the throne speach. They looked crazy because they were proposing to enter into a coalition that the Liberals had originally rejected during the election campaign and which was going to include the separatists in some way or another. In other words, they looked crazy because their proposal was politically crazy. Had they done the same thing before the speach from the throne they would have looked just as crazy.

    As to why we haven't seen a coalition between the Tories and one of the other parties, there are a number of reasons. First, a coalition with the Bloc is off the table for anyone who wants to get elected in English Canada (see December 2008). Ideologically, a coalition between the Tories and the Liberals might make some sense (since there really isn't a lot of difference between them on a lot of issues). But tactically, outside of rare circumstances (a world war or something), it's rare to see a formal coalition between the two big parties, if only because the 2nd place party typically has designs on being the next government and isn't too inclined to "wear" the problems of the current government.

    Finally, and probably most importantly, we haven't seen a coaltion with the Tories because there hasn't been a need for such a coalition. Heretofore, the Tories have usually been able to find at least one opposition party to support their legislation (typically the Grits, but on occasion the NDP or the Bloc) or they've been able to bully one of the opposition parties (typically the Grits) into letter their legislation pass. So why would they want to enter into a coalition. And given that, why would any other party want to accept the responsibility of being part of the government when your coalition partner can just as easily get support from someone else.

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  30. DL wrote:

    "A Conservative government representing values that at least two thirds of Canadians reject ..."

    While that is richly partisan spin, it is little more than that.

    "George W. Bush "lacked legitimacy" after the fraud that made him President in 2000 and despite getting fewer votes than Al Gore"

    Americans do not vote directly for President but for Electoral College seats. Bush won more Electoral College seats and was duly made President according to their laws. To call this result a "fraud" because of "fewer votes" is itself a fraud.

    "yet Bush forged ahead with his fanatical rightwing agenda ..."

    Bush was a left-wing politician in almost all respects. See for example the massive increases in government spending during his time in office.

    "I say to the opposition parties - find a way to destroy Harper after the next election. "Legitimacy" is earned by providing good government."

    But to use your formulation, the opposition parties have to first get into government. The perceived legitimacy of a replacement government is bound to be one of the factors a GG considers if sitting PM is defeated and asks for a fresh election.

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  31. Harris Decima today (27 May 2010): 36 / 27 / 16 / 11 / 8

    British Columbia numbers:
    39 / 27 / 17 / 15
    Ontario numbers:
    39 / 34 / 14 / 12

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  32. With an adjustment for the Harris Decima bias (based on threeHundredeight.com) the revised numbers for 27 May 2010 are:

    38.5 / 27.8 / 16 / 9 / 8

    Looks like Tory Majority country.

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  33. I won't be able to post about the Harris-Decima poll untiil late Friday, at the earliest.

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  34. Carl you said "In the case, of EKOS, that clearly wasn't the case, their forecasts for the Grits, Tories and NDP were within 2 percentage points of the actual results (they were off on the Greens but, really, who cares?)."

    Election day CPC total was:

    37.6

    Ekos poll 13-oct 34.8 off by 2.8
    Ekos poll 12-Oct 34.0 off by 3.6
    Ekos poll 11-oct 34.0 off by 3.6

    How do you consider this within 2% points?


    AR got the results correct for the last election as this which is the only time that the pollsters are actually marked.

    Nanos, EKOS,Harris-decima all presented results that were outside the MOE on the closest polls that the actual universe was checked. They Get F for failed and are now in remedial polling.

    AR got an A in the last real test.

    You think that should be thrown away because the got lucky? And all other pollsters got it repeatedly and significantly wrong? Really?

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  35. Volkov, perhaps to rephrase the point, you can't have a legitimate coalition government when you and your coalition partners have fewer seats than the alternative. And legitimacy is the least of your problems in that case. The bigger issue is that you'll be hard pressed to get anything passed without the explicit support of the Bloc - say goodbye to your votes in English Canada if you're seen as dancing to the Blocs tune (and your government if you don't).

    But the bigger legitimacy issue with a coalition is campaigning on the basis that you won't enter into one (which Dion did in the last days of the 2008 election) and shortly thereafter entering into one. If you do that, I could see a GG telling the would-be coalition government to go back to the voters and get a mandate (and rightly so).

    On the other hand, if you run on the basis that, if necessary you'll enter into a coalition (which Clegg and Cameron did, and Dion emphatically did not in 2008), that's a different story. But the danger of doing that, if you're the Liberals is that you risk losing your right wing supporters who might be less than thrilled by the prospect of an NDP finance minister, but also your left-wing voters who decide that they can afford to vote their conscience (I.e.,b for the NDP) on the theory that they'll have a say in the government. And this raises the possibility not only that the grits could lose seats to the Tories, but also to the NDP, or at least that the NDP might be more than junior partners in your coalition government

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  36. Volkov two things. The Liberals and NDP combined massively out numbered the PC's in 1985. Second and more importantly the PC leader went to the Lieutenant Governor and resigned before meeting the legislature and asked the LG to call upon Mr. Peterson to form a government. There was no defeat of a throne speech and the arrangement was accepted by Frank Miller, the sitting Premier. I would hardly call the government that resulted, highly acclaimed. They spent like drunken sailors and raised taxes and invented new ones. Peterson was re-elected in 1987 and despite record prosperity left Bob Rae with a record deficit of $13 billion dollars.

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  37. "Bush was a left-wing politician in almost all respects. "

    I guess a lot of us here don't feel the need often to knock down such obvious buffoonery. That having been said, left wingers generally don't favor reducing regulatory oversight, cutting taxes on the rich, wars, unilateralism, climate inaction... I shouldn't even need to continue this. Left wing in almost every respect --by which you mean deficits, which Republicans have never governed without anyway.

    ~~~~~
    Re: GP

    Your analysis is totally incorrect. First off, unless everyone's decided to completely disregard what 'the center' means, (Though the above may be an indication of that) having 30-40% on the right unchallenged is not the center. Nor is your suggestion that Conservatives dominate urban centers in English Canada at all accurate. Nor does it make any sense as to why we should exclude all of Quebec's voters because 40% are voting for the Bloc. (Not that the Bloc somehow doesn't count)

    ~~~~
    Regarding the above possibilities of a grand coalition --it isn't gonig to happen because it makes little political sense and would be very unwelcome amongst the grassroots of the two largest parties. The CPC voters may not have anywhere to go, but LPC voters would. They could look forward to ending up like the Socialists in Germany and enter rumpville permanently.

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  38. More Coalition Fun!

    Anyone counting on a Governor General (present or future) to initially allow another party other than the duly elected government to attempt to command a majority in the House is living in Wishfulthinking North.

    It may have almost killed this Governor General to sound off twice on this Prime Minister's wishes but that my friends (whether we happen to like it or not) is the name of the constitutional game.

    Add a Stephen Harper appointed GG to the reality mix and that clinches it. Whether the new GG is Deb or another renowned Conservative, the air will rather quickly go out of a possible coalition balloon.

    The PM can lose the confidence of the House secure in the knowledge that the GG will automatically grant his request for dissolution.

    However, once the election is out of the way, then it becomes a different ballgame. That's where the UK experience can prove instructive. But again, as the outgoing PM (particularly if the CPC has more seats than the second party) Harper gets the first crack at it. Maybe he works out a deal and perhaps he can't.

    If we get past all these systemic hurdles, then we would finally have a chance at reaching agreement and possibly taking office in whatever form that can be successfully negotiated.

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  39. "DL even Nick Clegg recognized that party with the largest number of seats in the HOC should form the government."

    NO, Clegg said that if there was a "hung parliament" he would talk first to the party with the most seats. If Cameron had been really inflexible and refused to negotiate with Clegg then Clegg made it clear was quite prepared to see what deal he could get from the Labour Party.

    It could be said that the largest party should be given the first chance to prove that they can gain the confidence of the house - but if they fail - then the onus is on the next largest party.

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  40. BC Voice - While I'll agree we should grade he pollsters against election results, why are you only using one election? In 2006, Nanos was the pollster who nailed it.

    Re: Bush being left-wing - I would agree that the Republican party is traditionally a very authoritarian command-economy style party. The primary differences between the Republicans and the Democrats rest in social positions (which have no fiscal angle) and which group they'd like to enrich through their policies (Republicans choose corporate oligarchs, Democrats choose government bureaucrats).

    I see both positions as deeply flawed. Neither party stands for small government.

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  41. John

    Antanas
    Mockus


    elect the world's first Green party head of state

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  42. BC,

    You're right, I misread the Ekos poll. But my other points still stand.

    You're treating the poll results as forecasts. They're not. They purport to be representative of voting intentions on the day they're taken, which, incidentally, isn't the date of the election. No pollster (not even AR) purports that their poll results are indicative of what the results will be a few days, it's simply their estimate of what it is on the day it's taken.

    That the EKOS numbers on October, 10, 11, 12 didn't match actual voting decisions on October 14 doesn't tell us much about their accuracy or not (nor does the fact that AR's numbers on October 9, 10, and 11 ultimately matched the results), unless you're willing to accept that people couldn't have changed (or made) their voting decisions in the days of the election campaign. Certainly, that is the generally accepted explanation for why every pollster was off on the 2004 campaign (where the Tories blew their campaign in the final days).

    Moreover, you're also forgetting that no pollster measures the voting intention of actual voters (because that generally isn't known), they measure the voting intention of likely or decided voters. Since the percentage of respondents who indicate that they're likely or decided voters is usually far higher than the turnout (i.e., some of them aren't actual voters), it's not terribly surprising that what the pollsters report doesn't always jive with the actual results (in 2008, for example, turnout was unexpectedly low, probably because a lot of Liberal voters sat on their hands - that's why the Tories did unexpectedly well).

    And who says I'm discouting the AR numbers? I'm just treating them as one amongst a handful of firms producing polling results using statistically reliable methods. All I'm saying is that is that you shouldn't privilege their results because they got it right once. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

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  43. Kevin,

    GP isn't wrong to say that the Tories are increasing the party of choice both of English Canada (that's obvious from the polling numbers) and of urban Canada (outside of Toronto).

    Granted, the "metropolitain areas" used by EKOS and other pollsters typically includes the surrounding suburbs, so the fact that the Tories are running neck and neck with the Grits in "Toronto" doesn't mean that they're comepetitive in urban Toronto (understood as the City of Toronto proper).

    But if you look at the bigger picture, in English Canada, the Tories are dominant in a lot of urban areas. They control Calgary (Canada's third largest city) and Edmonton, they split the pot in Ottawa and Winnipeg. They take 11 of the 20 seats in the Greater Vancouver area (Vancouver, proper, is actually a pretty small city - it's population is less than the other cities I mentioned - what we identify as being Vancouver is really the GVA). So unless you think "urban" English Canada consists only of Toronto and downtown Vancouver, the Tories have a pretty strong hold in "urban" Canada.

    The fellow who runs ridingbyriding had a post on this: http://www.ridingbyriding.ca/2010/03/12/53

    As for why it makes sense to exclude Quebec, it's because by voting for the Bloc, Quebequers are choosing to vote for a party that has no chance of participating in the government of Canada. Essentially, 50-odd Quebec seats are taken out of play for any party looking to form the government. The existence of the Bloc means that federalist parties are really fighting over 258 seats (233 of which are in English Canada) rather than 308 seats. The long run effect of this is that Quebec is likely to have less and less say in Ottawa, as federalist politicians decide their efforts are wasted there (this will be particularly true after the proposed expansion of Parliament with new seats in Ontario and the West).

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  44. kevinsutton,

    For Bush, it is not merely the fact of the deficits; it is a matter of massive increases in government spending.

    Bush increased federal government spending from 18.4% of GDP to well over 20% even before the recession started.

    And, while part of it was increased military spending, he also initiated new spending initiatives that boosted health spending and education spending by huge amounts.

    You do realize that much of your list is mere sloganeering don't you?

    For example: 'unilateralism'

    U.S. governments of both major parties have engaged in a mixture of multilateralism and unilateralism as it suited them. Bill Clinton was famed for his unilateral cruise missile strikes, for example.

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  45. Earl,

    You are incorrect about Ontario 1985 when you write:

    'There was no defeat of a throne speech'

    The government was indeed defeated on a no-confidence vote via the Address in Reply to the Throne Speech.

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  46. Dio said: With an adjustment for the Harris Decima bias (based on threeHundredeight.com) the revised numbers for 27 May 2010 are:

    38.5 / 27.8 / 16 / 9 / 8

    Looks like Tory Majority country.

    -------

    Hardly, you need to look more at the regional numbers. The Conservatives are still down 5% in British Columbia, they are down another 5% in Alberta, but that doesn't really matter, and their Quebec numbers have plunged 7%. In Saskatoba the numbers remain pretty similar to 2008 and in Ontario the Cons and the Liberals are in the exact same place they were last election. The only region to see Conservative support rise was Atlantic Canada and most ridings there are safe Liberals seats anyways so the Liberals will still out number them in seats even if they don't in votes.

    So even with Eric's swing it would be unlikely the Conservatives could get a majority.

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  47. Funny how that 2000 US election keeps showing up - shame they never learned how to count ballots or set up a clear way to deal with recounts.

    As to polls here, the Liberals clearly have dropped the ball big time. The CPC has had a lot of bad news - from record deficits to gross overspending ($1 billion for security for 3 days?) to traditional scandals - yet the Liberals keep dropping in polls except when the CPC closes government for a stretch, a time frame that in theory should've helped the CPC instead.

    Traditional thought on how to quickly gain or lose votes is being shifted much like it did back when Clinton was caught with his pants down but was elected anyways (before him it was a political death sentence). I suspect Joe Voter doesn't care about scandals unless it hits in the pocketbook, and in a very clear way. Most swing voters want the parties to just do their job and if they are seen not to then they get punished.

    Harper seems to have picked up on this and keeps emphasis on 'getting thing done'. Layton also seems to have picked up on it, thus hasn't seen his base eroded. Ignatieff has not though - he keeps chasing scandals and looking to make the CPC look bad or just doesn't show up for votes to delay an election, or allows 'culture war' to become a rallying cry for the CPC.

    So, what do the Liberals need to do? Present an alternate budget, say where they'd cut or what the CPC needs to do to make government work more effectively. And do so in a way that sounds like you are trying to work with them. Avoid shots at the US or at the CPC, just present ideas and say how they'd work. After all, what they are doing now clearly has failed miserably. Especially when you factor in that ruling parties lose support between elections as a rule.

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  48. Sorry Kevin. GP is right.

    The center is based on the populations values, not the small groups representing them. If the Tories choose to stand in the center, then there is no right wing, and eventually someone will create one... reform, WRA, etc. Likewise if the NDP/Lib chose to stand in the center there would be no representation on the left.

    And as to his assertion on urban Canada and conservative control. He is also correct (based solely on the last election, but then,.. it is current stuff we are discussing)

    The liberals won 77 seats.... fully 1/2 of them were in Toronto, Bramton/Missasauga/Oakville and Montreal.

    They further won much of atlantic Canada.... but not much of New Brunswick.

    That can hardly be considered all of urban Canada.



    In ottawa, They won 2... the conservatives 4. The rest of the Ontario urban was basically split between the 2.

    In Winnipeg, Neville won her seat barely, The tories took 4.

    In Saskatchewan, Goodale won his seat. The tories won all other seats in every city

    In Alberta, The tories lost only 1 city seat, but it wasn't to the liberals.

    In all of BC the liberals won 5 seats, 2 were involved in recounts.




    So dominate is a strong word. Certainly west of Ontario they dominated the Urban areas as well as the rurals. The NDP took more urban seats there than the liberals.

    The liberals certainly dominated the metropolitan Ontario. But the urban areas outside of the metropolises? Tory blue, and again the NDP seats exceed the Liberal.

    I don't know enough about population distribution in Atlantic Canada, but the tories won 1/3 of the seats... name like Fredericton, Saint John, Edgmont.... not rural areas...


    So yea, I would probably contend that the Tories won alot of the urban area of Canada outside of Metropolitan Ontario.

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  49. Harris Decima poll-where is it?? Conservatives=36%
    Liberals= 27% Come on this is great stuff-don't hide it because we know Harris Decima is the most negative pollster to conservatives by -2.5% which indeed borders on majority numbers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  50. Is it only me who is absolutely appalled by this insane $1 billion for security at the G6/G20 meetings ??

    Talk about fiscal uncontrollabilty and we're obviously talking Tory.

    Allied with Flaherty's incompetence and some other questionable moves this has given the absolute LIE to the Tory claims about fiscal management !!

    Compared to Adscam then Adscam drifts into insignificance !!

    I mean how can you compare $150 million to $1 Billion !!

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  51. New Leger Out:

    C - 37%
    L - 25%
    N - 17%

    Huge regional lead variatons:

    BC - CPC - 47%
    ON - CPC - 42%
    QC - BQ - 42%
    AC - L - 46%

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  52. Eric et al: Does anyone know of a website where they try to take into account a political party's organizational stength into account in totally the potential seats?

    Perhaps I am biased as a Riding President but I would think that our ability to actually deliver our supporters to the polls would have an effect on the number of seats. At least just as much as trying to determine the national trend from totalling the various polls.

    I enjoy the site, and the analysis.

    Thanks,

    Paul McKivett

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  53. DL
    It could be said that the largest party should be given the first chance to prove that they can gain the confidence of the house - but if they fail - then the onus is on the next largest party.


    Completely agree

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  54. Peter: John
    Antanas Mockus
    elect the world's first Green party head of state


    Yes, this has been attracting some notice in Green circles. Mockus is running neck-and-neck with Juan Manuel Santos in Sunday's election. Under the Columbian system he doesn't have to win that vote; he's predicted to have a firm lead in the run-off in the third week of June.

    Greens in power: coming soon to a hemisphere near you.

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  55. Greens in power: coming soon to a hemisphere near you.


    Again another option. The more the better IMO

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  56. We'll see how that serves Colombia's economy. I expect economists the world over to examine Colombian outcomes very carefully.

    Really, if we want to know what happens when we choose various policies/leaders/parties/electoral systems, we should look to other examples that have already occurred in the world. Why reinvent the wheel?

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