Friday, August 13, 2010

New Angus-Reid Poll: 4-pt CPC Lead (down five)

Angus-Reid released its new poll yesterday. In terms of narrative, it aligns with most of the other recent polls we've seen. But the poll doesn't only demonstrate this with its voter intention numbers. It also does so with its leader numbers.Compared to Angus-Reid's last poll taken between July 6-8, the Conservatives have dropped three points and now lead with 33%. The Liberals have (finally) taken advantage of Tory weakness, and are up two points to 29%.

The New Democrats are down one to 19% while the Bloc Québécois is steady at 10% and the Greens are up two to 9%.

In addition to these top-line numbers, we see that Stephen Harper's approval rating has slipped five points to 26%, while his disapproval rating is at 47%. Taking out the "not sures" we get an approval/disapproval rating of 36/64.

While Michael Ignatieff's approval rating is still abysmal at 14%, his disapproval rating has been reduced by six points, and is now at 47%. Doing the same as with Harper, that is a rating of 23/77.

Jack Layton's approval rating has slipped four points to 27%, but his disapproval rating is only at 32%, giving him a "decided" rating of 46/54.

Those numbers aren't terrific for the Liberal leader, but they are heading in a positive direction. This is shown by the amount of people who said their opinion of him has improved: 10%. That is much higher than Angus-Reid's last poll and is greater than the number of people who said their opinion of Layton (7%) and Harper (6%) has improved. While it isn't a barn-burner yet, the bus tour seems to be helping Ignatieff's image.

Now, let's get to the regionals. The Conservatives are down one point in Ontario but still lead with 37%. The Liberals are up three to 34% and the NDP is down two to 18%. Good number for the NDP, and a close race between the Tories and the Grits. This has been the story in every other poll.

The Bloc is down two in Quebec and leads with 37%. The Liberals are down four to 20%, the Conservatives are down three to 16%, and the NDP is up three to 18%. Terrific number for the NDP. They are almost in a position to over-take the Liberals as the top federalist alternative - which means it is probably a statistical anomaly.

The Conservatives are up four points in British Columbia and lead with 39%. The NDP is down six to 27% and the Liberals are up nine to 25%. While that much of a jump is unlikely, improved Liberal numbers on the Pacific coast has been a trend. The Greens are down five to 8%.

The Conservatives lead in Alberta with 61%, while the other three parties are tied at lucky 13%.

The Tories are down 13 in the Prairies to 42% while the Liberals are up nine to 32%. This is the second poll where we've seen the Liberals doing very well in the Prairies. Could this be a new factor?

Finally, Atlantic Canada. The Liberals lead here with 65%...which is unlikely. But before you laugh it off, consider that Angus-Reid's last poll had the Liberals here at 50%. So this isn't even much of a jump, relatively speaking. While we can consider 65% to be an inaccurate number, we do not have to consider a large Liberal lead to be inaccurate.

The Conservatives win 65 seats in the West and North, 50 in Ontario, 6 in Quebec, and 4 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 125.

The Liberals win 17 in the West and North, 41 in Ontario, 14 in Quebec, and 27 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 99.

The Bloc wins 53 seats in Quebec despite slipping in support since the 2008 election. This is due to the very low Liberal and Conservative numbers.

The NDP wins 13 seats in the West, 15 in Ontario, 2 in Quebec, and 1 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 31.

Considering that EKOS, Ipsos-Reid, and Angus-Reid have all shown a similar storyline of the Conservatives slipping and the Liberals growing, we can reasonably assume that Harris-Decima's recent poll (which did show the Liberals up) was the odd-man out.

But this isn't the kind of spectacular movement we saw last summer. Political opinion is shifting by inches, and it is impossible to tell if it will bounce back, stabilize, or continue.

Will we have a fall election? I don't see anything in these recent numbers that I would want to take to the bank as a party leader. And with New Brunswick's election campaign running from August 26 to September 27 (of which will be giving full coverage) that pushes us into October-November.

There is a lot of wait-and-see going on right now. No one is assured of victory, and everyone risks a crushing defeat. I don't think anyone will pull the trigger this fall without good reason.


  1. There's no way the opposition forces an election before Sheila Fraser releases here report.

  2. Don't forget that there are also municipal election in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta (and maybe in some other provinces as well for all I know) happening in late October. I don't think anyone is going to want to start a federal campaign while that is all happening.

    The thing is that for the opposition or the government to want to have an election - it will have less to do with current standings in polls and more to do with a behind the scenes read. Look at what happened in 2005. The Tories were relentlessly trying to bring down the Martin government and force an early election - even though every published poll at the time consistently showed the Liberals in the lead.

  3. BTW: I'm not sure why you think that 18% for the NDP in Quebec is an "anomaly" - that is very consistent with what recent polls by respected Quebec-based polling companies like CROP and Leger have shown.

  4. Will we have a fall election? I don't see anything in these recent numbers that I would want to take to the bank as a party leader. And with New Brunswick's election campaign running from August 26 to September 27 (of which will be giving full coverage) that pushes us into October-November.

    The New Brunswick campaign doesn't complicate much. The House won't resume sitting until that campaign is almost over. It would be hard to engineer a conflict even if anybody wanted one.

    The Ontario municipal election on October 25th is more problematical. The province has an order of magnitude more seats than NB and with current polls, many of them may be in play. Election confusion and fatigue would probably help the Tories given their money and GOTV, so the opposition should think deeply before forcing overlapping campaigns.

    The Alberta municipal elections are less important simply because they won't change the federal results. The Manitoba elections add to the Ontario calculation but probably wouldn't tip the scales by themselves if other factors suggested pulling the plug. The Manitoba seats in play are dwarfed by those to the east.

    The Ontario gorilla should loom large in Ignatieff's and Layton's minds. They both want every soft voter at the polls. They don't want a winter election, but they don't want a distracted electorate either.

    For this reason a fall election will likely be pushed into November.

    And yes, this is a slight modification to my earlier prognostications. Those blue spots on Ignatieff can justifiably be deferred until Remembrance Day. Not much longer, though.

  5. Actually, for the CPC (and to a lesser degree the NDP) an election while others are going on would be a very good thing.

    If the public is split between municipal and provincial elections (depending on province) they will be less likely to vote in the federal one. This skyrockets the importance of GOTV and the CPC is very good at that (extra cash always helps, but they also have a killer database that helps identify potential voters). This would hurt the Green Party the most, and would also hurt the Liberals I suspect.

    Lots to consider for the CPC and Liberals as the fall comes closer.

  6. If Ignatieff waits until november he might lose his golden moment.

    For a long time i've held the belief that getting under 100 seats would be a complete disaster for Canada's illustrious natural governing party.

    But at this point everybody knows the Liberal party of the past no longer exists, even most Liberals. Its a balkanized, three city party that might be heading for the dustbin of history.

    For Ignatieff an addition of 20 seats would cement his place as leader, quell internal dissent, and set him up for a run at a minority government in 2 years especially if Harper is replaced.

    It would not surprise me at all if Ignatieff withdraws confidence in Harper this fall.

    The guy is what 63 ?

    He ain't getting any younger. If he wants to be PM he'll probably figure now is the time to make his move.

  7. CROP and Leger do survey of 1,000 Quebecers at a time - that seems a lot more reliable than 200-odd people in Quebec who get included in a national poll by the others.

  8. Certainly in line with all the other recent polls.

    I'm still unsure why the Liberal rise. Sure I welcome it but the question still remains WHY ??

  9. I was surveyed for this poll.

    On that section where respondents describe the leaders from a set of adjectives, I see that Ignatieff is no longer widely described as "weak", but the populace also wasn't nearly as kind to Gilles Duceppe as I was.

  10. "I'm still unsure why the Liberal rise. Sure I welcome it but the question still remains WHY ??"

    Because the Liberals are still the "default party" in Canada. I think that more people think of themselves as "liberals" than actually voted Liberal in the last election. When people get irritated with the Tories - for most people the default alternative in a non-election campaign situation - is Liberal.

  11. for most people the default alternative in a non-election campaign situation - is Liberal.

    You're probably right DL. Certainly there is annoyance at the Tories.

    Now if the Liberals could just come out with some popular policies we could see a real shift ?

  12. If the Liberals want to charge the centre, then they'd better get their act together on the fiscal side.

    When guys like me hear them muse about national child care, or more stimulus, then there is just no way we can vote for them.

    I've seen enough of buying peoples votes with their own money from the Tories. When I think of a future Liberal government it's like that too, only worse.

  13. and start attacking on this crime agenda for christs sake. The CPC has given you all the ammo you need, if you can frame the debate correctly.

    Try pointing out that by the new letter of the criminal code, your local workplace hockey pool now fits the criteria to be considered "organized crime".

    If you people can't raise more outrage about that then the little I've seen, then you really are pathetic... and probably don't deserve to govern.

  14. AJR79 by the letter of the law people go to jail for not completing a 40 page booklet about their personal lives.

    Politicians make laws but their practical implimentation involves the interacitons of police, prosecutors, defence lawyers, legal advocacy groups, and judges.

    Until we actually see a case of somebody's gambling pool being targeted under anti-gang laws Canadians will recognize such rhetoric for the paranoid hyperbole that it is!

    As is people are still smoking pot on the streets out here in BC and the police couldn't care less.

    So much for the new Harper police state.

  15. Shadow,

    Weren't you arguing that even the threat of such a law was an infringement on our rights? Even if it was never enforced?

    Chasing down vice peddelers, and locking them up for long periods of time, is counter-productive. I'm sure you know that.

    Bye Bye, money down the drain. Let us criminalize as many people as possible.

    I'm sure the police will use restraint, and the judiciary will sort it out.

    No worries!

  16. Why prostitution should be legal.

  17. AJR79 the difference is that this law will be used to target criminal gangs and the profits they make from these activities.

    You know gangs ? The things that shoot people in the streets ?

    Not sure how that's counter productive.

    Marijuana is already illegal and nothing is done in the way of charges on the demand side, only the suppliers.

    We DO have a history of police showing restraint and the judiciary setting strict limits on their activities.

    Until we see an actual case of this law being used in the way you are describing (which we never will) i'm going to maintain that its just paranoid rhetoric the National Post is peddling.

  18. Éric,

    It's my expectation that showing one's mettle is ultimately a positive political experience -- provided appetites haven't been left languishing for far too long.


    I have a vague recollection that Fraser's report (perhaps a preliminary one?) will be front and center sometime this fall. Am I correct, or full of beans?

    My suspicion is that the platform is gelling nicely, thank you very much! Once the stars have properly aligned, it should be a go -- and for yours truly that means this fall.

    Remember Éric, "wait-and-see" is a generic synonym for "more-of-the-same-polls". Translation: no contributing factor toward a Liberal takeoff. À éviter...

  19. All,

    I don't know about you but I see a lot of highly effective and concentrated Liberal fire posted on this blog's comment pages.

    Suffice it to say that I would markedly prefer to see this finely honed attack prose properly displayed in a long overdue election campaign.

    To not put too fine a point on it: sink those @#$%?&* as quickly as human action and divine intervention will permit!

  20. "Why prostitution should be legal."

    More like why we should provide counseling and rehab for prostitutes and go after men who frequent them.

    Even if prostitution is legalized, by which people usually mean a highly regulated environment with various safety controls, there is STILL going to be illegal prostitution.

    Its basic economics that regulation and safety measures drive up the cost of doing business.

    Run away drug addicts are going to get a business license and start paying taxes ??

    REALLY ?

    Most men who use prostitutes on the lower end are not wealthy.

    Hence there will still be a great demand for unregulated street workers.

    The only thing legalization will do is create a new middle class market for prostitution as it becomes an accepted part of our culture.

    Not to mention the other negative consequences that will ripple through society as we enshrine the notion that women are sex objects to be bought and sold.

  21. What's wrong with people selling their bodies. Most of us sell our brains to our employers every day when we go to work.

  22. DL its an issue of consent.

    Drug addiction is a physical disease and many of these women would agree to practically anything to satisfy their addictions.

    Taking advantage of someone's physical disability to make them do things they wouldn't ordinarily do strikes me as morally wrong.

    Harm reduction measures like legalization/regulation are only a bandaid.

    I'd rather we got serious about treating drug addiction and put some serious funding towards treatment centers.

    Because of the chronic shortages of doctors/nurses there are very few beds available and long waiting lists.

    Detox on demand seems like something people from across the political spectrum could support.

  23. Shadow,

    You did read the article I posted there right? At no time does it make the money argument. It's the argument that legal prostitution will make it more likely for women to come forward when theve be victimized, and to be taken seriously when they do.

    Moving on to the track you decided to switch to... Yes there would still be illegal prostitution in a regulated structure. There are bootleggers and contraband cigarettes, even thou those have been legal a long time. It doesn't follow that we ban drinking, and smoking.

    As for the, "basic economics that regulation and safety measures drive up the cost of doing business." Why are you so concerned about driving up the price of whores?

    As to them paying taxes, some wouldn't, some would. Why wouldn't you want to take the money from those who would want to operate above board.

    Also when I make the money argument, I always mention the reduced policing, and court costs. Big money saver.

    I agree that there will always be demand for unregulated street-workers. There could be an even bigger demand for regulated ones. In the end I feel bringing any of this industry into the light would be worth some consideration.

    To your last bit of moral pledding,
    " negative consequences that will ripple through society as we enshrine the notion that women are sex objects to be bought and sold."

    What are your feelings about the porn industry then? Should it be legal? What's the big difference IYO? Also our society permits 95 year old millionares, to marry 24 year old playmates. Is this another example of something that should be illegal?

    "DL its an issue of consent" I 100% agree with this. It's to bad you think that every woman who hooks is a dependant drug addict. Many are not.

    It would be alot easier to find, and treat the women who need it, if they weren't so fearful of police and government. That kind of extends to the Pickton argument I used earlier. Feel free to tackle that one next time.

  24. Harper's Problem in a Nutshell:

  25. AJR79 let's start by everyone recognizing that Stockwell Day is right - unreported crime is a SERIOUS issue.

    The article itself never really make an argument about anything regarding legalization. As far as I can tell it doesn't mention it.

    As for your argument, I made the false assumption that you were under the naive impression that legalizing prostitution would take it off the streets and into safe environments. Apologies.

    I was talking about money to point out that the economics of prostitution would make that impossible. There will always be street workers and people like Pickton preying on them.

    Ok so I see your point is that if prostitution was legal then street workers would be more likely to report crime ?

    I'd honestly have to hear a coherent argument from you explaining why you think that would be the case.

    Perhaps the reason why women don't report these crimes is because they're busy working, they don't care, and/or they don't think the guy will get caught anyways.

    But if the reason really is fear then wouldn't street workers still be afraid of police/government ?

    Usually the argument for legalization is to bring in safety regulations.

    Street workers would be in an unregulated work environment and that would still be illegal for a number of reasons.

  26. AJR79 continued:

    "Also when I make the money argument, I always mention the reduced policing, and court costs. Big money saver."

    Not a lot. Legal brothels either require private security (which would cost $$$ and drive more activity back to the streets) or police officers.

    We'd save on prosecuting perps for the actual crime of prostitution. But that could be achieved by decriminalization with heavy fines and vehicle impounding as punishment.

    Also if your theory is right and more crime does end up being reported it'll cost MORE in court cases and we'll need to build more prisons as per Stock's remarks.

    "In the end I feel bringing any of this industry into the light would be worth some consideration."

    Except legalization would increase demand. The light side of the industry would just start attracting middle class guys who never visited prostitutes before.

    And the dark side would have the same cast of characters that already exist.

    "What are your feelings about the porn industry then?"

    I'm not being a moralist. Practical and pragmatic considerations should guide public policy on these matters.

    It should be legal and highly regulated. Its a much smaller issue and easier to control.

    One production can have tens of thousands of costumers. As opposed to prostitution where each costumer requires his own "production".

    "It's to bad you think that every woman who hooks is a dependant drug addict. Many are not."

    58% are. Many also have mental health issues. Many also have a history of sexual abuse.

    The number who don't have any of these issues are too small to base policy around - they'll find other work

  27. HUGE change to Canadian governance:

    Any future government would be wise to emulate this move. The official opposition might consider setting up its own shadow advisory committees.

    It would certainly have helped Michael Ignatieff avoid the debacle with his immigration critic.


COMMENT MODERATION POLICY - Please be respectful when commenting. If choosing to remain anonymous, please sign your comment with some sort of pseudonym to avoid confusion. Please do not use any derogatory terms for fellow commenters, parties, or politicians. Inflammatory and overly partisan comments will not be posted. PLEASE KEEP DISCUSSION ON TOPIC.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.