Sunday, October 17, 2010

Harper holds ground against Ignatieff as Layton recovers from gun divisions

Despite recent concerns over the Harper government’s transparency and a new health care proposal from the opposition, the federal voting intentions of Canadians were unmoved over the last two weeks, according to an analysis of recent polling data. While the New Democrats have regained some of the support that was lost over their stand on the long-gun registry, the Conservatives have maintained their five-point lead over Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals.

You can read the rest of my latest piece on The Globe & Mail website.

I found it interesting that the top line numbers were so relatively stable. The NDP is back, it appears, and it is the Liberals who've suffered.

18 comments:

  1. I wonder how the UNSC vote will affect the vote. I noticed the date of the polling was before last Tuesday.

    On the one hand, people are generally more concerned with domestic rather than foreign issues.

    On the other, Canadians are somewhat oversensitive to their perception of how their country is seen by others.

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  2. Éric,

    It is better to actually use your sword than to spend countless days, weeks and months contemplating when you plan on using it...

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  3. UN vote should have zero effect.

    Anyone who cares about the UN is already voting coalition.

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  4. My question is why the NDP aren't usurping the Tories out in BC like I've heard so many say they will because of the HST. Same with Ontario - not exactly pumping themselves up there either, are they?

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  5. Right now the HST is being cast largely as a provincial issue - even though it was Harper's initiative all along. Wait until the election campaign when the NDP starts running saturation ads replaying over and over again, the federal Tories and Liberals voting together to shove the HST down BC's throat!

    People will be told that this is a golden opportunity to send a message to Gordon Campbell AND Stephen Harper NO HST!!

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  6. Excellent piece in the Globe Eric.

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  7. "Wait until the election campaign when the NDP starts running saturation ads replaying over and over again, the federal Tories and Liberals voting together to shove the HST down BC's throat!"

    Except the federal Tories and the Liberals have a pretty good come-back, don't they? "f you don't want the HST, you just need to convince your provincial government to terminate its agreement with the feds (oh, and give the feds back their money)".

    While it's true that a harmonized HST has long been a policy of both of the serious federal parties, the ultimate decision to implement it was up to the province, that's why the provincial liberals are catching the flack.

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  8. I have to agree with Peter and congratulate you on a well written analysis in the Globe.

    On the other hand Chantal Hebert sort of calls you and Graves out on your seat predictions in her article.

    http://www.thestar.com/article/876782--hebert-vaughan-by-election-a-likely-momentum-killer-for-ignatieff#comments

    " But looking at the election map, it is harder to put a name to 15 new Liberal ridings than it is to find the dozen seats the Conservatives could win on their way to a governing majority."

    We had this discussion a few weeks ago on this blog and there were no CPC seats "targeted" other than a list of the close incumbents, while I was able to show 10 Liberal seats in trouble for a reason.

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  9. BCVOR,

    In fairness, there are probably aa few Tory seats that are clearly vulnerable in Ontario (west of Toronto) - though that list you referred to in the earlier discussion was not particularly useful. And of course, there are a number of NDP seats that are vulnerable to the Grits in Ontario.

    Also, the Liberals don't need to pick up seats from the Tories. For example, in Quebec, it looks like the Tories might lose a handful of seats to the Bloc (around Quebec City) while the Liberals might gain a handful from the Bloc (around montreal).

    Eric's predictions are, at least, plausible.

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  10. And the Conservatives need to get BACK to the position of being 12 seats away from a majority before we can seriously talk about those 12 seats.

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  11. DL said: "... the federal Tories and Liberals voting together to shove the HST down BC's throat!

    People will be told that this is a golden opportunity to send a message to Gordon Campbell AND Stephen Harper NO HST!!"
    _________________________________

    You're obviously not from BC. With a referendum on the HST next fall requiring a simple majority, the HST will be axed if voters vote down same.

    That has taken the sting out of the HST in BC as the HST is no longer part of the public/media narrative. In any event, "it's Campbell's HST" and he's wearing it.

    You're hypothetical NDP ad campaign might just work in Ontario though.

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  12. Eric

    The missing part of your analysis.... not that it is a focus of the analysis.... is that if the CPC is ready to drop 14 seats there should be 7 that are absolutely obvious that will lose their seat.

    There are at least 5 painfully obvious in jeopardy Liberal seats (Long Gun Registry : Bagnall, Easter and Martin, Better opponent: Fantino and Alexander over ? and Holland.

    In Quebec, for instance you have them dropping from 11 to 5 (6 of their 14 loses) which of these 3 CPC seats are the MPs looking for other jobs?

    In 2008 there were 4 Quebec seats that won by less 1000 votes:

    3 BQ and The Independent

    6 seats by 1000-2000 votes:

    3 BQ, 1 Liberal (trudeau) and 2 CPC

    7 seats by 2000-5000 votes:

    5 BQ, 1 NDP and 1 CPC.

    So the other 8 CPC seats were won by more than 6000 votes or more votes ie more than 10% of the vote.

    Does the overall drop of 4-5 % in polling translate to more than 11.9- 19% drop in the next 3 weakest CPC ridings ridings? I think not.

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  13. "Also, the Liberals don't need to pick up seats from the Tories."

    Indeed, based on the projection, one would assume the Liberals would pick up a few seats from the NDP. Possibly ones like:
    Welland
    Trinity-Spadina
    Sudbury

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  14. Carl i'd say that Eric is wrong in the sense that the Conservatives could easily win a few new seats on BCVOR's list will losing other vulnerable seats.

    Elections are quirky things and Eric doesn't do riding by riding analysis.

    Tories made big gains in '08 yet still lost Rahim Jaffer's seat.

    Even if they are losers next go around it would still be possible to pick up a few seats here and there.


    Its important to talk seriously about Tory pick up chances as well as Liberla pick up chances because BOTH could happen in the next election.

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  15. Shadow,

    No denying that elections are freaky things. But if the Grits end up doing better and the Tories end up doing worse than they both did last time out, then odds are the Grits are going to be picking up seats.

    For what its worth, SFU has a list of the marginal seats in the 2008 election (i.e., seats where the margin of victory was less than 5%) (http://www.sfu.ca/~aheard/elections/marginal-seats.html). Of the 32 "marginal" seat in 2008, the tories won 15 of them (the Grits, in contrast, finished second in 14, though not always to the Tories). Hard to say, a priori, that those seats won't be in play next election. In fact, if the Tories hang on to half of the marginal seats they won last time, and the grits make gains on the NDP, Eric's projections look spot on.

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  16. Carl the most interesting thing is that seat changes might occur in non-marginal races.

    Look at something like "Sydney – Victoria" where the CPC was in third place and the Liberals won by a 29% margin.

    MLA Cecil Clarke is the new CPC nominee and a competitive race is expected.


    So there is a lot we should be keeping an eye on.

    Even if the Tories are up in the polls they could still lose some MPs while overall making net gains.

    Even if the Liberals gain 10-20 seats in a deadcat bounce some of their vulnerable MPs could still lose at the same time.

    Basically my point is that its not all or nothing and the playing field is very large this time around.

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  17. "Even if the Liberals gain 10-20 seats in a deadcat bounce some of their vulnerable MPs could still lose at the same time."

    That's fine, but don't suggest that you can't see where the Liberals could pick up 15 seats, because it's pretty obvious where they can do that. (Whether they will or not is a different story)

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  18. "That's fine, but don't suggest that you can't see where the Liberals could pick up 15 seats, because it's pretty obvious where they can do that."

    I never made such a suggestion.

    I was taking issue with Eric saying that BCVOR shouldn't be talking about new Tory seats until their poll numbers rise.

    My point was that a reduced Tory seat count doesn't rule out seat gains here and there even while a net loss occurs.

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