Thursday, May 20, 2010

New EKOS Poll: 9.3-pt Conservative Lead

EKOS has its weekly poll, and it shows a big drop for the Liberals and New Democrats, with gains coming to the Conservatives and the Bloc Québécois.Compared to EKOS's last poll, the Conservatives have gained 0.8 points to 34.4%. The Liberals are down two points to 25.1%, and the NDP is down 1.6 points to 15.3%.

The Greens are up 1.4 points to 12.0%, while the Bloc is up 1.3 points to 10.6%. The other parties are stable at 2.5%.

This is a horrid number for the Liberals. Just terrible. And the NDP number is very bad as well. The Conservative lead is excellent, but they still aren't strong enough to eke out a majority.

In Ontario, the Conservatives lead with 38.5% (up three). The Liberals follow with 31.4% (down four) and the NDP with 15.5% (stable). The Liberals lead in Toronto with 38.4%, while the Conservatives lead in Ottawa with 50% (up 13). It is very difficult to figure out what is going on in Ontario, as the recent Harris-Decima poll gave the Liberals a narrow lead, while EKOS here has a definitive Conservative lead. We've also seen closer races in other polls.

In Quebec, the Bloc is up four points to 41.9%, a very good number for them. The Liberals are stable with 19.9%, but to be below 20% is a very bad omen for them. The Conservatives are down one to 14.7% and the NDP is down two to 11.7%. In Montreal, the Bloc is up 12 points to 47.9%.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives are up four to 38.1%, while the NDP is down two to 23.7%. The Liberals are down four to 20.1% and the Greens are down one to 14.0%.

The Conservatives lead in Atlantic Canada with 36%, the Prairies with 43.4%, and Alberta with 56.9%.

This is a very good poll for the Tories - except they are still not doing well enough in Quebec.

The Conservatives win 68 seats in the West, 55 in Ontario, 5 in Quebec, and 12 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 140.

The Liberals win 17 seats in the West, 37 in Ontario, 13 in Quebec, and 17 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 84.

The Bloc wins 55 seats, their best ever.

The NDP wins 10 seats in the West, 14 in Ontario, 2 in Quebec, and 3 in Atlantic Canada.

In last week's EKOS poll, the Conservatives had 131 seats, the Liberals 93, the Bloc 52, and the NDP 32. So, the Conservatives and Bloc make gains at the expense of both the Liberals and the NDP.

This would be an odd result for everyone. The Conservatives actually lose seats and a good chunk of popular support, but still form a comparable government to the one they have today. The Liberals make a few gains with less support, but are still very far from where they need to be. The NDP takes a big hit in support and MPs, while the Bloc stands to be the only party to make significant gains.

53 comments:

  1. This seems to me to be an anomaly. When compared to the track record of polls on here it's off scale

    http://www.sfu.ca/~aheard/elections/polls.html#NATIONAL

    Does anybody know what the cookie is called that holds the login info for here ?

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  2. Reassuring in the sense that the Conservatives are unable to make a majority under the most unfavorable circumstances for the Liberals. But not reassuring certainly in the inability of the Liberal party to avoid losing support when Harper isn't stepping on his own toes.

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  3. The gap is still smaller than the one in the 2008 election, and the Tories are down three points - so, they still have a long way to go before they can think of a majority. If they don't get over 35%, they have to knock down the Liberals to a very low number to hope for a majority.

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  4. The more seats the Bloc take the less chance of a coalition without the Bloc.
    Where do you see the liberals gaining 12 seats in the west.

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  5. This poll is very consistent with trends for the last month and a half. (As always, the greatest insights come from the graph on page 3 of the EKOS report.) The massive Liberal drop from last week isn't meaningful, but the contining drop since February is--in spades.

    The three smaller parties are fairly consistent in their trajectories. The Greens are the smallest whisker high in their tortoise climb, the Bloc are somewhat up from their steady state and the Dippers are a bit low, but within the noise level. The big story, as always, is the two largest parties.

    The Tories are on a steady course up. Could they actually be moving to their current "natural" state, absent self-inflicted wounds? They backed off from the Harper junta position on the detainee documents. Tony Clement's initiative on the digital economy is the right thing to be doing (although the devil is in the details and execution will be critical). Spitballs at the Grits haven't attracted much attention. In other words, they've been sounding like a government instead of an opposition and therefore haven't been turning off potential supporters. They may be near the level of support they could expect without voter manipulation.

    The Tories are getting help from across the aisle in their climb; the Grits are on a constant slide down. Ignatieff has done little to attract voters beyond his rural broadband announcement, which now looks like a tactical preemptive strike on the Tory digital plan. It's not enought to be inoffensive; the Liberals need something positive to offer. Ignatieff's reluctance to support MP audits will likely hurt his party even more next week.

    The obvious question is when and where the Conservative and Liberal trajectories will level off. The other three parties are arguably close to their natural levels at this point in time. If the Grits are truly low, that means the Tories are high; if the Tories are still moving to their natural support, the Grits will drop further. In the latter case, a fall election becomes less likely. An accord based on 85 Liberal seats would be a challenging sell politically at this point, its constitutionality notwithstanding.

    Is there a game-changer in the works? Of course. A key part of the Grit march to a fall election is the release of their vision and their plan. If it succeeds they'll draw Tory votes and possibly even chew away at the other three parties. If it's full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, count on Steven Harper at the helm for some time yet.

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  6. I think in an election the none of the above Green support will go down and the Liberals will benfit.

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  7. maryT,

    The Liberals won 8 seats in the West (including the North), not 5.

    Gains come in British Columbia (in this poll, the Liberals are up a little while the Conservatives and NDP are down between 3-6 points), Alberta (the Conservatives are down 8 points while the Liberals are up 6), the Prairies (the Liberals are up 8 points while the Conservatives are down 8), and the North (where I currently have them projected to win all 3).

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  8. Your model is broken.


    The Liberals are down .7% from the last election and you have them gaining 7 seats.

    Even Liberal back room boy Graves says that the Liberals would be hard pressed to hang on to their current seat count.

    The NDP are down 3.5% from last election and only lose 3 seats?

    At 12% the Green still don't get any seats?

    The elephant in the room is that under EKOS the Green and NDP are over stated and The CPC under.

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  9. Nope, do a uniform swing projection with these polling results and you get a similar result to my projection. In fact, you get FEWER Conservative seats.

    The Liberals are down a little more than 4% of their 2008 results, compared to more than 8% for the Conservatives.

    The NDP are also down big, which gives a boost to the Liberals.

    And the Tories are down huge in Quebec, while the Bloc is up. That means the Bloc picks up seats at the Conservatives' expense.

    The gap in 2008 was 11.4 points. This gap is 9.3 points.

    You expect a Tory majority with 34% of the vote? No chance.

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  10. It is a proven fact... based on the last 3 polls b4 the last election that EKOS understates CPC by 3.3% and understates the Liberals as well by .1 %

    Green at 12% and NDP at 15%... What 10-12 seats does Graves think the Green will take OR are the NDP being wiped out?

    The reality-adjusted Ekos totals are

    CPC 37.7 (almost exactly what they got last election)

    Liberal 25.6 down .6 from last election.

    NDP 14.7 down 3.5 from last election.

    Harper was only 10 seats from majority. This poll would indicate he is right on the edge.

    BUT Mr. Ignatieff might do well beyond expectations in his first election as Liberal leader and Harper might slip up after fending off non-stop election type smear attacks for the last 15 months.

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  11. Just ran it through the UBC election projection system, and I got:

    CPC 140
    LPC 82
    BQ 51
    NDP 32
    OTH 3

    So, despite the drop in support, the Liberals pick-up seats in this situation because the NDP and Conservative drops are larger.

    Hard to argue when both my model and the uniform swing models give similar results.

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  12. eric you might be panicking here a bit.

    Last election CPC had 37.6 - this poll has then at 34.4 - that is down 3.2% not 8.

    The Liberals in 2008 had 26.2 % - this poll has them at 25.1 down 1.1% not 4. But you have the Liberals gaining 7 seats.

    The NDP had 18.2 last election... this poll 15.3 -- down 2.9% and you have them losing 3 seats.


    The Green are 12% this poll up from the 6.8% - UP 5.2% and still no seats.

    If the Green can capture 12% of the vote and No seats it will be a CPC majority at 36-37%. That is well within Grave's 3% understatement of CPC support as the vote was being counted.

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  13. Voice of "reason": Green support is consistently overrepresented.

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  14. ---Last election CPC had 37.6 - this poll has then at 34.4 - that is down 3.2% not 8.

    I said they are down more than 8%, not 8 points. 34.4/37.6 = .9148, or 8.5%.

    --- The Liberals in 2008 had 26.2 % - this poll has them at 25.1 down 1.1% not 4. But you have the Liberals gaining 7 seats.

    Again, they are down 4%, not four points. And yet, I have them gaining seats because their losses are smaller than the losses of the NDP and the Tories.

    --- The Green are 12% this poll up from the 6.8% - UP 5.2% and still no seats.

    Yes, and that is what to expect. For Elizabeth May to win, the Green vote in that riding needs to increase by four times.

    For the Greens to win in Guelph, they need to gain more than the 143% this poll represents.

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  15. Again, do a uniform swing and you'll what I mean. The Conservatives are too far down in support to gain seats, even with Liberal and NDP losses.

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  16. To those of us living here, the west is Sask, AB and BC. These 3 provinces have just signed an agreement re trade and other joint projects. There were 2 liberal seats in BC that had recounts and Ujaal only won by 20 votes. Keith Martin also just eked out a win.
    The libs will not get a seat in AB, and the NDP could lose theirs.
    And yes, we could get a majority with those numbers and a fear of a coalition including the Bloc.
    I wonder if the coalition in Britain and the push from the media that it could work in Canada isn't the reason for our gain.
    And if our loss of 4 seats come in Quebec it means we keep all the rest.

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  17. BC Voice of Reason: Green at 12% and NDP at 15%... What 10-12 seats does Graves think the Green will take OR are the NDP being wiped out?

    Neither. The Green Party again suffers from the curse of being the most national party, although to a much lesser extent than in the 2010-04-22 EKOS poll. Under first-past-the-post, national support gets you funding and nothing else. Stoking one region at the expense of others gets you seats on the hill. The NDP has a sufficient edge in unevenness, incumbency and, yes, electoral execution to return a substantial caucus. The Green Party doesn't--yet.

    The flip side of the Green support distribution is that when the party hits the tipping point, the number of Green MPs will jump, not climb. Assuming, of course, that proportional representation doesn't come first.

    For your amusement, here are the "national support" numbers for this week. They're calculated as (maximum regional support-minimum regional support)/national support for each party. The number would admittedly be more meaningful (if less intuitive) as a root-squares calculation.

    Conservative 123%
    Liberal 57%
    NDP 102%
    Green 39%
    Bloc 395%

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  18. John, can you explain the meaning of that last calculation?

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  19. maryT: I wonder if the coalition in Britain and the push from the media that it could work in Canada isn't the reason for [the Conservative] gain.

    The challenge for party supporters isn't to understand what motivates their troops; it's to understand what motivates swing voters. "Coalition" is a four letter word to rock-ribbed Tories. To many Canadian voters it's a sign that their employees on the Hill are willing to grow up and get some useful work done.

    It's highly unlikely that a seemingly successful, stable coalition in Britain strikes fear into the heart of undecided voters here. And documents like this will only add to Canadians' comfort with the notion of sharing the playpen.

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  20. I understand what John did, but I'm not sure why he did it.

    That calculation would produce larger numbers where party support varies widely from region to region and smaller numbers where party support is fairly constant nationwide.

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  21. Éric: John, can you explain the meaning of that last calculation?

    It's a stone-axe measure of how evenly or unevenly support for a party is distributed between regions. The range of support (min to max) is divided by the national support.

    Of course, taking two extremes drops a lot of information. It makes far more sense to just take the standard deviation of regional support and I'll do that if I harp on this point again in future. For fairness, we then have to scale against total party support by dividing by the party's national share of the vote. The unscaled and scaled standard deviations in regional support for each party are:

    Conservative 14% 40%
    Liberal 6% 24%
    NDP 6% 36%
    Green 2% 16%
    Bloc 17% 161%

    Whichever way you slice it, the Greens are the most "national" party. One factor in the NDP's success is apparent and the two highly regional parties are the ones which wield disproportionate influence. Sad but true.

    [Somebody help me: I can't find the table-formatting tags that Blogger recognizes. Any suggestions?]

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  22. The price of the idiotic system we have in place is that regional parties, which push for separation and encourage radical policies are rewarded while those who push for ideas that have strength across the country are punished.

    Of course, those currently in power love it. 1/3rd of the vote can get you 100% of the power. However, this has lead to the Bloc having massive political power and to things like the NDP running Ontario for 5 years.

    I know I've been pushing, as have others, to get the Green Party to focus regionally. Put as many resources into a small area as possible and build it as high as possible. Guelph hit a burnout problem last election (two consecutive elections fought, just one seat available - stupid Liberals and media letting Harper off the hook for breaking his own law) while the battle for May to win a seat was not planned out as well as it should've been (going against a popular local figure and having her spend most of her time outside the riding).

    The Conservatives and NDP are masters of the current system. Both put resources into swing ridings while using just what is mandatory elsewhere. The Liberals...not so much.

    If the polling trends continue I could easily see the Liberals drop to 3rd and NDP move up to 2nd. In truth they should merge as the NDP has the local strength and the Liberals the 'trust' factor (many only vote Liberal or CPC no matter what). Green being in the merge mix would not help as Green strength would not move over easily or well (I sure wouldn't vote for the Liberal party under almost any conditions).

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  23. These are disastrous numbers for Iggy.

    How bad are these numbers? Even Dion, now widely acknowledged as one of the worst liberal party leaders in party history, never polled this badly before the 2008 election (he did poll this badly during that election, but that's unlikely to be much comfort to the Grits).

    In fact, in light of the suggestion in some parts that we might see a fall election, it's interesting to compare Tory and Liberal support, based on polls released in May 2010 with their respective levels of support in pols released in May 2008. There's no point comparing polling numbers with election results, we're not in the middle of an election campaign - let's compare polling numbers with where they were at the same point in the last political cycle (assuming that there may be a fall election - I doubt it personally, but I've seen it suggested).

    In May 2008, Tory polling numbers averaged 34.6%. This time around, they're at 34.54%. Basically, nothing has changed.

    Now let's look at the Liberals. In May 2008 their polling numbers averaged 29.6%. In May 2010, their polling numbers averaged 27.67%. Yikes! That's a 2 percentage point drop. Iggy's going into the fall in worst shape than one of the worst leader in Liberal party history. That's not a good sign.

    Mind you, elections matter, and the Liberals may be pinning their hopes on the theory that Iggy can't possibly run a worse campaign that Dion did in 2008. You'd like to think that, but that's far less comforting than it should be.

    First, nothing about Iggy's tenure heretofore suggests that he's that much more effective a leader that Dion was. He seems to be able to make himself understood in both official languages, I'll give him that, but given some of the things that come out of his mouth, that's not neccesarily as plus. Moverover, like Dion, he's still up against three opponents who are vastly experienced and campaign hardened leaders. In that respect, there's no real substitute for experience (as an endless number of hapless first term party leaders can attest (Turner, Campbell, Day, Harper, Martin, Dion). Unfortunately for Iggy (and like Turner, Campbell, Day and Dion, he's unlikely to get the chance to learn on the job)

    Second, to make matters worse, the Liberals seem to have forgotten just how badly they were being thumped in the 2008 election before the economy started to meltdown during the last two weeks of the campaign. Had the election been held on September 30th, we'd only be half-way through PM Harper's majority term. Ok, it's possible that something will happen to knock the Tories in some future campaign, but you don't really want to have to count on that (especially because events can work against you too - recall the Jane Creba shooting in 2005).

    Finally, the Grits are doing terribly despite having thrown everything at Harper but the kitchen sink. I mean, what else do they have up their sleeve to throw at him? Policies? We haven't heard anything but stale plattitude from the Grits (You're in favour of education, oh good, because I'm tired of all those parties saying they're against education). \

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  24. John,

    The Green's curse is not that they're the "most national" of all parties. Their curse is that they only get 6.8% of the vote.

    By your measure they are the "most national" of all parties. But, what is that measure worth? They are, after all, the least popular national party in EVERY province in the country (by a fair margin). All you're saying is that equally unpopular in all provinces. That's true, I'll give you that, but so what?

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  25. Of course, the Greens are not the most national party. By your measure, the most national party possible is one that gets ZERO votes, as then its support is exactly equal everywhere.

    I daresay if you looked at the 2008 election results you'd see a lower score (and thus a more "national party") for parties like the Libertarians, Marxists, or Christian Heritage.

    Be careful with what you're actually measuring when you make up stats like that.

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  26. Carl: The Green's curse is not that they're the "most national" of all parties. Their curse is that they only get 6.8% of the vote.

    Let's be careful with the tense. The Green Party got 6.8% of the vote the year before last. Support today would be much higher. In the fall, a bit higher yet. If we go all the way to 2013, substantially higher.

    Even that 6.8% understates past Green support somewhat. There were some very mixed messages about strategic voting in the last days before the 2008 election. That will not happen again; the lessons have been absorbed. We gained a lot of experience in 2008 so both the national and riding campaigns will be significantly stronger next time. No other party is at the Green point on the learning curve.

    Be very cautious in applying historical yardsticks to future elections. "All other things being equal" is a highly questionable assumption with respect to the Green Party. Even if it is an article of faith for some commenters here.

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  27. John,

    Yes, the Green party is polling much higher now than it actually achieved in 2008. Then again, as I pointed out to you the other day, it was polling much higher in 2008 IMMEDIATELY BEFORE THE ELECTION than it actually achieved in 2008 (and that notwithstanding the assistance of Stephan "Worst. Liberal. Leader. Ever." Dion). It was also polling the same (or better) then as it is now. It's all well and good to say that past performance is not neccesarily an indicator of future successess. But I'd suggest that the past performance is a somewhat more reliable indicator that blind faith ("I know we'll do better this time, I just know it").

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  28. The Greens were the only party to increase real votes in the face of lower turnout. They shouldn't be dismissed so easily. The political atmosphere is at least as apathetic as it was in 2008, which means we can probably expect more people voting Green as the traditional parties do nothing but tread water.

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  29. Ira: I daresay if you looked at the 2008 election results you'd see a lower score (and thus a more "national party") for parties like the Libertarians, Marxists, or Christian Heritage.

    Facts. They can be such a bummer.

    All "Other" parties together have a scaled standard deviation of 86%. Given that fringe parties run in few ridings and appeal to limited parts of the electorate, the individual results are likely to be much less national.

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  30. Really, both are correct. The Greens have the most consistent national support throughout the country, so they are the least regional, but all of the other parties have more support than the Greens in each region, so it is inaccurate to say that the Greens are the most national party.

    If the Greens have 100,000 supporters in every region, that's great, but if the other parties have between 200,000 and 5,000,000, they are actual the more pan-Canadian.

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  31. John - why are you summing the "Other" parties for that measure?

    Your measure does give added credit for running candidates in every region, though I fail to see how that's valuable.

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  32. When these polls are done are those being polled in 9 provinces asked questions re the Bloc, or just in Quebec.

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  33. Ira: why are you summing the "Other" parties for that measure?

    Those are the numbers from the latest EKOS poll. You're encouraged to provide data and analysis with finer granularity, either current or historical.

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  34. Eric,

    There's no doubt that the Green's experienced growth in 2008. I'm just saying that, based on the polling numbers, it isn't obvious that they are doing better now than they were then - since the polling numbers are the same.

    And I can think of a number of reasons why we might expect the Greens not to do as well as they did in 2008.

    First, the Liberal party is unlikely to repeat the mistake of, for all intents and purposes, endorsing the Green party by cutting a deal with their leader to give them a free hand in one of their ridings (which she blew).

    Second, it's unlikely that the Liberals will do the greens the favour of legitimizing, and arguing in favour of, a key plank in the Green platform, namely a carbon tax. You'd think that when one of the major parties makes the environment a fundamental component of their platform that would help the Greens (whose platform would otherwise be ignored or dismissed).

    Third, any bets on the likelihood that Liz May gets to participate in the debates this time?

    Fourth, and this may change, but I'd suggest that the environment does't have the "pull" as an election issue that it had in 2007 and 2008, as witnessed by the latest Nanos poll (I know John thinks the statistically insignificant increase in the last nanos poll is the start of a trend - I think it's a random fluctuations, but time will tell)

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  35. The Greens had the advantage of being apart of the debate in 2008 and the controversy surrounding Elizabeth May being included. The next election she will not be apart of the debate and the Greens will most likely not get as much media coverage which will effect their support. There is a good chance they will increase their percentage of the vote but I highly doubt it will be anywhere near 4%, probably between 1% & 2%.

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  36. John - I suggest that electoral results tell us more about how widespread support for a given party actually is.

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  37. Ira:
    I suggest that electoral results tell us more about how widespread support for a given party actually is.


    Dear me ?? Talk about a firm grasp of the obvious ?

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  38. Carl: Second, it's unlikely that the Liberals will do the greens the favour of legitimizing, and arguing in favour of, a key plank in the Green platform, namely a carbon tax. You'd think that when one of the major parties makes the environment a fundamental component of their platform that would help the Greens (whose platform would otherwise be ignored or dismissed).

    No, any time the Grits or Tories pay attention to the environment, they cut into the soft Green vote. People vote Green because we make sense. When other parties make sense as well, some of our support will move.

    For the good of the planet, I wish that were more of a problem for the Green Party. Michael Ignatieff is pro-tar sands. The Tories are ragging the puck in all directions on greenhouse gas reduction. Greens will apparently have the environmental field to ourselves in the next election.

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  39. Carl: First, the Liberal party is unlikely to repeat the mistake of, for all intents and purposes, endorsing the Green party by cutting a deal with their leader to give them a free hand in one of their ridings (which she blew).

    This was indeed a serious mistake; it muddied the clear Green alternative and siphoned Green votes off to the Liberals. The junior partner doesn't win in a deal like this.

    Rest assured that it will not happen again.
    No. Strategic. Voting.

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  40. Harper to vote against abortion bill. CPC MP's strongly encouraged to follow suit:

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=3053232

    Very interesting words from Mr. Harper and his spokesman.

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  41. I know predictions are a delicate art but, your prediction for the latest Ekos poll was favourable to the Grits out West.

    Strangely, the CPC, Libs and NDP are all down nationally compared to the last election (NDP and CPC - 3%, Lib -1.5%).

    In your prediction you suggest the Liberals with 20% in BC 25% in Man/Sks and 17% in Ab are on pace to win 17 seats. This would be an increase of 10 seats! Even if one includes the North this would still be an increase of 9 seats. I plugged the numbers into the UBC election predictor and the Liberal seat total was 8 seats (including the North).

    By comparison in the 2004 election the Liberals won 17 seats out West and North but, their total of the national vote was 11% higher than the Ekos poll and the Tories share 5% lower.

    I think you need to look at the seats out West and do a re-evaluation of your prediction methods. Identify where the extra 9seats are and the type of swing would be necessary for the Grits to capture them. Your West totals are a major flaw in your projection even if your national totals are accurate.

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  42. Let's delve into it.

    My current projection gives the Liberals all three seats up North. So there's that.

    In British Columbia, I gave the Liberals 7 seats with 20.1%. In 2008, they won 5 with 19.3%. In 2006, they won 9 with 27.6%. And in 2004 they won 8 with 28.6%.

    But the Tories are at 38.1%, higher than they were in 2006 and 2004, but significantly lower than they were in 2008. So, the Liberals won more seats in 2006 and 2004 in BC than I'm giving them with this poll, when the Tories did worse than they did here. In this context, and with the NDP polling worse than they did in all three of the last elections, my 7 seats there is certainly not unreasonable.

    In Alberta, I gave them 2. I know, that's going out on a limb. Giving them 1, when they are up six points over last election and the Tories are down 8, would certainly not be unreasonable. They did win 2 in 2004 with 22% of the vote, but even then the Tories were 5 points higher than they are now. And, again, the NDP polled lower than they ever did in the 2004, 2006, and 2008 elections.

    Finally, the Prairies, where I gave them 5 seats. In 2008, they won 2 seats with 17.2% of the vote, whereas they had 24.9% in this poll. In 2006, they won 5 seats with 24.3% of the vote, and in 2004 they won 4 with 30.4% of the vote. But don't forget that the Tories are down 8 points from the 2008 election in this poll, and are actually at their 2006 level when the Liberals won 5 seats. So, awarding the Liberals 5 seats in the Prairies, with this poll result, is not unreasonable.

    7+2+5+3=17, and I think I've explained why well enough.

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  43. Re the 2 liberals seats in Alberta. You must remember that one of those was David Kilgore, and he would have won for the Rhino or Green or any party he ran for. That was his seat. And when he quit, it did not go liberal. Re Landslide Annie, when she had to just depend on voters in her riding, she lost. Took a lot of investigation and time for Hawn to get it corrected and he won the next election.
    My son's father-in-law was very involved in that riding, and held an executive position with the libs. He quit in disgust and worked very hard for the conservatives, as a volunteer.
    But again, those seats were in Redmonton, and they had an NDP mayor and council at the time.
    I think we have a strong candidate in Duncan's riding this time and she will be gone. But, that is the granola riding so anything is possible.

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  44. John: "Greens will apparently have the environmental field to ourselves in the next election."

    Like they did in 2004 and 2006? Good luck with that. Having the field to yourself isn't all the useful if no one is watching the game.

    And I find it curious that you believe that the Greens (who picked up votes in 2008) nevertheless lost votes to the Grits (whose vote plumetted) because of strategic voting. As an occasional green voter myself, I suspect a lot of voters voted for the Greens in 2008 because they knew the outcome was decided (the Tories were going to win), their preferred party (the Grits) were going to lose no matter what they did, and in any event ran such a hapless campaign that it didn't deserve their vote, so voting Green was a costless protest vote (or for those who actually support the Greens, a costless way of giving them their $1.50). Certainly, that's been my thinking (albeit with the parties reversed) on the occasions when I've vote for the Greens.

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  45. People who think the Green vote will disappear once again and that the Green vote is a Liberal protest-vote that will return to Liberal are taking a stance that strategy trumps policy.

    Last election the main platform for the Liberals was total acceptance of the Goreian religion.

    That was basically the only platform presented by Ms. May as well. The real Green policies that would have traction... air polution, clean water, food safety, parks were all shunted to the background.

    The clearest, by far, of all Ignatieff's Liberal policy statements is the rejection of the Goreian religion and his support of the Oil Sands.

    I think that the 3-5% of Green voters that took Ms. May's advice and voted for Liberal last time might not stick to voting for Green this time around.

    Green will have to campaign against the Liberals. The Liberals have more Green as a second choice voters and basically as anti-green policy as the CPC. The CPC is probably a stronger second choice for Green for their parks and pollution record. As well the CPC did not go through a nasty policy divorce with the Green.

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  46. In Edmonton the NDP beat Jaffer!!! Not going to have him running again.

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  47. BC Voice of Reason: "Last election the main platform for the Liberals was total acceptance of the Goreian religion."

    Exactly, so it stands to reason that when the environment is one of the defining issues in the election, the Greens (for whom the environment is THEIR policy, almost by definition) will get more attention, have a higher profile and attract more voters.

    Next time out, neither of the big parties are looking like they're going to be waging a battle on the environment (if only because there probably isn't much to distinguish their policies in practice - the Grits have always talked a better game on the environment than they played). So the Greens are going to have to work to their strongest issue on the agenda, rather than have the Liberals do it for them.

    Coupled with the apparent decline in public concern about the environment (vis-a-vis the 2007 and 2008) and the reality that Liz May isn't going to get the same public profile she got last time, and I'd think the Greens would be hard pressed to match their 2008 performance. Certainly, I wouldn't be betting heavily on their making any significant gains.

    I wouldn't characterize it as a focus on strategey versus policy, so much as a belief that elections matter.

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  48. Uh, when your #1 plank - a carbon tax and income tax cut - is taken by one of the big 2 it just stands to reason that many of your voters will run to that party so that plank can actually be implemented. That is plain old logic people.

    As to why the Green vote grew - pre 2004 the Greens were purely fringe and ignored. 2004 established the Green Party as someone to take note of. 2006 solidified it. 2008 we finally had a true national campaign for the first time along with the media actually printing our parties name and leader's name once in awhile. That alone would cause a major bump as many won't vote for a party unless they see it in the media. The #(@! strategic voting shot down our poll numbers at the last moment (check the polls of the time and you see them drop from 10% to 6% in the final week).

    As to why the Liberals dropped as well - many just were disgusted with how that party was being run thanks to Dion being a very poor communicator and CTV doing a nice hatchet job on him (Mr Duffy got a nice reward didn't he) at the last moment. Thus many of their core voters, who wouldn't vote for anyone else if you paid them, just stayed home while others shifted to the traditional alternatives (CPC/NDP depending on viewpoint). Thus the Green's gave the Liberals (and NDP) about 3 points while the Liberals blew those points and more quite nicely.

    The next election? Who knows. Hopefully the public will insist on May being in the debates again as it is silly for a party that polls at 10% to not be included when a party that runs in one province only is always included. Hopefully the media will report on the Green Party during the election as well.

    However, I am seeing signs that the media wants to shift more toward a 2 party system (ala the US) as it is easier for them to report on. Thus I expect a major battle to get attention (as we have now) and for the NDP to fight any attention we get as they want to stay as the power broker in parliament.

    It is interesting that I am seeing anti-GPC statements more often here and in the media though. Maybe we are gaining more strength than we know.

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  49. John: "Uh, when your #1 plank - a carbon tax and income tax cut - is taken by one of the big 2 it just stands to reason that many of your voters will run to that party so that plank can actually be implemented."

    That's certainly one possible interpretation (although that assumes that anyone believed that Stephanion Dion would be (a) in a position to implement the Green Plan and (b) would actually do so. Few Liberal voters believed (a) to be true, but maybe Green voters aren't as savvy. As for (b), given the Liberal's record on the environment when Dion was environment minister - worse than Bush wasn't it? - I wouldn't have been sold on (b)). But as I say, it's equally true that having an election fought on a party's "strong" issue, tends to help that party.


    And you're right. The Media noticed the Green's in 2008. You think that had anything to do with the fact that they were endorsed by the leader of the Liberal party? Both by his giving their leader a free reign and by stealing their biggest policy.

    As for the claim that polls showed Green support falling off in the last week of the 2008 campaign well, as you said earlier: "Facts, They can be such a bummer."

    Take a look at the polling numbers (http://www.wlu.ca/lispop/fedsupporttable.html). For the most part, the four pollsters who covered the entire election campaign showed fairly consistent numbers for the Greens. Only HD showed any noticeable drop off in the last week (all within the margin of error) and right up to the last day each of HD, EKOS, and SC were predicting that the Greens would get 9-10% of the vote (AR, interestingly, seems to have gotten it right, though was putting Green support at 6-7% all the way through the campaign).

    I'd suggest that the problem wasn't strategic voting, but that the pollsters (with the exception of AR) seem to have trouble accruately measuring the support of the Greens amongst actual voters. And for what it's worth, the Green result in the last AR poll of the 2008 campaign - 7%. The Green result in the latest AR poll -7%.

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  50. In the 2008 election the Green had 6.8% of the total votes cast.

    In the polls published from Oct 10-13 ... immediately prior to the election the Green support was:

    Angus Reid Strategies 7
    EKOS Research Associates 9.6
    EKOS Research Associates 11
    Harris-Decima 9
    Nanos Research 8.2
    Harris-Decima 9
    Nanos Research 9
    Strategic Counsel 11
    Angus Reid Strategies 6
    EKOS Research Associates 11
    Harris-Decima 11
    Nanos Research 8
    Strategic Counsel 9


    Other than Angus Reid all the other pollsters had it WRONG. By wrong they were consistently and repeatedly outside the MOE that is supposed to happen 1 time in 20.

    There was NOT a last minute swing from Green and NDP to the CPC. The pollsters were wrong over this time period where the campaign was over and where they could be measured against the actuals. They were wrong all along and are likely wrong today.

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  51. Carl: As for the claim that polls showed Green support falling off in the last week of the 2008 campaign well, as you said earlier: "Facts, They can be such a bummer."

    Actually, he didn't say that. I did.

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