Thursday, October 7, 2010

September Monthly Averages

Time to look at September's polling. Ten national polls were released during this month (same as last month), totaling about 14,650 interviews. Here are the results we get at the national level, with the difference from last month's average in brackets (margin of error +/- 0.8).

Conservatives - 33.4 (+0.6)
Liberals - 29.6 (+1.1)
New Democrats - 15.2 (-1.2)
Greens - 10.2% (-0.3)
Bloc Québécois - 10.0% (+0.3)
Others - 1.6% (-0.5)

The Conservatives make a modest gain and are back over the 1 in 3 mark, but this change is within the margin of error. The Green loss and the Bloc's gain are also within the MOE, but the Liberals have moved up 1.1 points, representing a gain of 2.4 points in the last three months. That's huge, and definitely a trend. The NDP is down 1.2 points from last month, a total loss of 1.8 points in the last two months. It appears that the Liberals are making their gains at the expense of the NDP.

The seat projection for these results is as follows, with the difference from last month in brackets:

Conservatives - 129 (+4)
Liberals - 101 (unchanged)
Bloc Québécois - 52 (unchanged)
New Democrats - 26 (-4)
Greens - 0 (unchanged)

The Conservative gain is a reset of last month's drop, while the Liberals are unchanged after gaining six seats last month. The NDP is down seven seats in the last two months, while the Greens are still not performing strongly enough in any part of the country to elect a single MP.The regional results, with difference from last month in brackets:

BRITISH COLUMBIA (10 polls - about 1,710 people - MOE +/- 2.4)

Conservatives - 33.4% (-3.0)
Liberals - 25.9% (+2.4)
New Democrats - 24.5% (+0.1)
Greens - 14.4% (+0.8)
Others - 1.8%

The Conservatives take a big step backwards, but are still in the lead. The Liberals have moved into second place, and have gained 5.3 points in British Columbia over the last three months. The NDP is stable after a horrendous July, while the Greens are up 2.1 points since July. With these numbers, the Conservatives are projected to win 18 seats, while the Liberals would win 10 and the NDP eight.

ALBERTA (9 polls - about 1,400 people - MOE +/- 2.6)

Conservatives - 56.9% (-1.3)
Liberals - 20.3% (+2.3)
Greens - 9.7% (-1.6)
New Democrats - 9.5% (unchanged)
Others - 3.6%

Over the last two months, the Conservatives are down 2.3 points in Alberta, but they still dominate. The Liberals are up big and over the 20%, while the Greens take a step backwards. The NDP is stable, but still too low. The Conservatives would win 27 seats, with the Liberals winning one.

PRAIRIES (9 polls - about 1,010 people - MOE +/- 3.1)

Conservatives - 46.5% (+0.7)
Liberals - 21.8% (-2.2)
New Democrats - 21.2% (-0.8)
Greens - 8.9% (+2.5)
Others - 1.6%

A little oscillation all within the margin of error, but the Liberals manage to maintain their second-place position in the Prairies. The Conservatives would win 21 seats, the Liberals four, and the NDP three.

ONTARIO (10 polls - about 4,710 people - MOE +/- 1.4)

Liberals - 36.7% (+1.9)
Conservatives - 36.5% (+1.3)
New Democrats - 14.3% (-2.9)
Greens - 11.1% (+0.1)
Others - 1.4%

The Liberals have moved into the lead in Ontario, with a gain of 2.9 points over the last two months. The Conservatives are also up, but have been surpassed by the surging Grits. The NDP is down big, and has lost 3.5 points in the last two months here. The Conservatives would win 46 seats (unchanged), the Liberals would win 48 (+3 from last month), and the NDP would win 12 (-3).

QUEBEC (12 polls - about 5,480 people - MOE +/- 1.3)

Bloc Québécois - 38.3% (-0.7)
Liberals - 24.1% (+0.6)
Conservatives - 16.8% (+1.8)
New Democrats - 12.1% (+0.5)
Greens - 7.5% (-1.8)
Others - 1.2%

The Bloc is down for the third consecutive month, and has lost 1.9 points since July. The Liberals have gained 2.6 points since then, while the Conservatives and NDP take some much needed steps forward. With these results, the Bloc would win 52 seats (unchanged), the Liberals would win 15 (-1), the Conservatives would retain seven (+2), and the NDP would win one (-1).

ATLANTIC CANADA (10 polls - about 1,130 people - MOE +/- 2.9)

Liberals - 39.6% (-2.3)
Conservatives - 32.0% (+4.7)
New Democrats - 18.8% (-0.9)
Greens - 8.1% (unchanged)
Others - 1.5%

Both the Liberals and Conservatives have reset themselves since July, and the NDP is down again in this region. They just seem to be lost here. The Liberals would win 21 seats (-1), the Conservatives nine (+2), and the NDP two (-1) with these results.
September's loser has to be the New Democratic Party. Their net loss (combined gains and loss in all six regions) was four points, with important drops in Ontario and Atlantic Canada. Their small gains in Quebec and British Columbia do not make up for the huge setback in Ontario. The party is also down four seats to 26, which would be a huge loss for Jack Layton.

Next would be the Bloc Québécois, down 0.7 points in Quebec and marking a third consecutive month of losses. However, their seats have not changed, and the party is still well ahead of the Liberals, so it isn't a terrible situation.

Then it would be the Green Party, which has a net loss/gain of 0.0. Ontario and British Columbia are the only two provinces really at play for the Greens, so posting (modest) gains in both those areas is a bit of good news for Elizabeth May.

In the winner's corner, we have the Liberals and Conservatives. The runner-up, however, is the Liberal Party. They had a net gain of 2.7 points, with gains outside of or equal to the regional MOE in Ontario and British Columbia. Being in front in Ontario is terrific news for the party, and with 101 seats the Liberals would be in the game in the House of Commons.

But September's winner, oddly enough, is the Conservative Party. Few would think so if you've been watching the news, but their net gain was 4.2 points and the party picked up four seats from last month. While they did lose some ground in the West, where they can stand to lose ground, they made gains in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. These areas are where the party needs to do well, as the West is more or less locked up.

In any case, it seems that as Parliament resumes and Canadians start thinking more about the next election, voters are returning to the two parties most likely to form the next government.


  1. Sticking with my focus on Leadership perception winning elections I was able to find 2 polls (Nanos - May 3 and feb 6) taken in 2010 that asked the simple question "Who would make the Best PM)

    The average of these two polls has Harper 40
    Ignatieff 22
    Layton 22
    Duceppe 8.2
    May 8.1

    Using Eric's September averages and weighting party 67% and Leader 33% the results become:

    CPC/Harper - 35.6
    Liberal/Ignatieff - 27.0
    Ndp/Layton - 17.4
    Bloc/Duceppe - 9.4
    Green/May - 9.5

    Using Eric's September averages and weighting party 50% and Leader 50% the results become:

    CPC/Harper - 36.7
    Liberal/Ignatieff - 25.7
    Ndp/Layton - 18.6
    Bloc/Duceppe - 9.1
    Green/May - 9.1

    This ends up with Liberals and CPC at almost exactly the % they got last election.

    The best PM data is old and unreliable... I would be pretty sure that Layton would be suffering in the same way as his party after he messed up the LGR. Ignatieff may also have lost after his summer tour failure.

    But the Pollsters and Media that sponsors them would rather have the weekly party horse race polls than the best PM poll mixed in.

  2. Éric, do you make any adjustments in your monthly averages for where the polls came from? Given house effects, any changes could otherwise mostly reflect pollsters in the mix and not underlying trends.

    It would be interesting to see results each month adjusted for house effect. This of course assumes that house effects are stable with varying polling numbers.

  3. Nice work, BC Voice.

    I'd love to see whether this method was actually predictive in previous elections. Pre-writ, was there some combination of party support and leader popularity that matched the ultimate election outcome?

  4. Éric: Ontario and British Columbia are the only two provinces really at play for the Greens, so posting (modest) gains in both those areas is a bit of good news for Elizabeth May.

    Definitely, and the trends are exactly what the Green Party wants. All Green votes are important, but Ontario and BC votes are doubly important.

    Having said that, apart from Quebec, all Green changes--up and down, federal and regional--are within the MOE. From the Green perspective, nothing much has happened.

  5. BC VoR,

    It's funny, when Liberals start on an upswing, you and Shadow and others try to find ways to deny it!

  6. Liberal seats likely to go CPC next election:

    1) Wayne Easter
    2) Keith Martin
    3) Mark Holland (Cabinet Minister Alexander )
    4) Bevilacqua's Vaughn seat (Fantino)
    5) at least one seat in NL (sounds like Danny Williams will appoint at least one CPC - Manning?
    6) Larry Bagnall
    7) Dosanjh (50/50)

    Add that to the CPC taking back the Edmonton seat that Jaffer gave to the NDP and LGR flip flopper Malcolm Allen's paper thin win in Welland and the CPC would be considered favorites in 9 ridings currently held by the NDP/Liberal coalition.

    On the other side other than Gary Lunn being in jeopardy with Elizabeth May what CPC incumbent would be considered an underdog in retaining their seat Next election?

  7. Mark Holland won't lose his seat,the Liberals are doing better in Ontario and he has been a lot more prominent then ever before. The Conservatives "star" candidate may do well but won't win.

    As for Danny supporting Manning it won't happen. The two don't like each other and Manning won't win by himself.

  8. BC VoR, let's review endangered Conservative incumbents:

    1. Peter Braid (Kitchener Waterloo)
    2. Stephen Woodworth (K-Centre)
    3. Bob Dechert (Mississauga-Erindale)
    4. Phil McColeman (Brant, horribly unpopular)
    5. Ed Holder (London West)
    6. Paul Calandra (Oak Ridges-Markham)
    7. Colin Carrie (Oshawa)
    8. Royal Galipeau (Ottawa-Orleans)

    And that's just in Ontario.

  9. Almost anyone is vulnerable if they won with less than 42% of the vote last election.

    Strategic voting in an "anyone but ..." race can turn three way races into a head to head match up.

    Rahim Jaffer found that out in 2008.

    Without district level polling like they have in the US this kind of exercise is somewhat pointless.

    Mark Holland IS vulnverable though. He's HATED amongst the CPC grassroots.

    Chris Alexander will never have trouble with fundraising, that's for sure.

  10. Shadow,

    The US's district-level polling is almost as inaccurate as the rare riding polls we have here, not to mention that they have much larger districts, partisan voter indexes, and all other sorts of things that Canada doesn't and probably wouldn't even work here.

    Besides, rolling averages and uniform swings are, in Westminster systems, the more effective way of doing things and can predict quite a lot on an accurate basis.

  11. "Mark Holland IS vulnverable though. He's HATED amongst the CPC grassroots."

    Well that doesn't mean much, does it? The CPC grassroots are probably not the people who voted for him last time out. Now if were hated amongst the LIBERAL grassroots, that would mean something.

  12. Volkov the district polling in the US is often more accurate than the polling for an entire Canadian province.

    Go to realclearpolitics and click on a few district polls, MOE is 3-4.5%

    That compares to 8-10% per province for most federal polls, with the exception of the occasional Crop/Leger federal voting intent poll in Quebec.

    Going from provincial to riding level make the numbers worthless.

    ANYTHING could happen in a Canadian election, we're totally in the dark.

    The reason we use uniform swing is because of a total lack of data.

    It has no advantages as such. 538's coverage of the British election determined that its not actually that great.

  13. Volkov

    Thanks for your input of CPC in trouble.

    These are well below my radar.

    Do they have creditable candidates running against them?

    What has changed since they got elected last time?

    Is it a trend... like Dosanjh's margin of victory being reduced the last few elections? or just a gut feel/ wishful thinking on your part? Is it because they are not in Cabinet..... like all Liberal candidates?

    I will add my rationale if it wasn't obvious:

    1) Wayne Easter - margin of victory reduced last election and flip-flopped on LGR
    2) Keith Martin - got elected by thinest margin and flip-flopped on LGR
    3) Mark Holland (Cabinet Minister Alexander ) - super star Candidate - cabinet minister and potential PM
    4) Bevilacqua's Vaughn seat (Fantino) Fantino brings a political gravitas and machine to riding.
    5) at least one seat in NL (sounds like Danny Williams will appoint at least one CPC - Manning? Premier Williams has been very conciliatory with the Federal CPC.. he definitely won't campaign against them this time and will likely support a NL cabinet representative or 2.
    6) Larry Bagnall - even he feels he should lose.
    7) Dosanjh (50/50)
    8) Ruby Dhalla would be the underdog in Brampton as well as she is out of favor in her own party and no longer a Liberal Star. Ms. Dhalla's margin of victory plummeted from 8000 votes in 2006 to 700 votes in 2008 before her fall from grace.

    The Edmonton NDP seat just showed that you can't run a chair as a CPC in Alberta and get elected. Jaffer was a poor representative.

  14. Shadow,

    That's funny, because I've seen enough district polls in the US with margins of errors beyond the 3-4.5% you just noted. I just read one that collected data from 400 individuals in Washington's 8th District with a 5% margin of error. That's on par with Canadian pollster's results on the major provinces.

    Not only that, you're making two mistakes by invoking the almighty Nate Silver and 538's UK polling.

    1. Polling during the election helped fool all major projection sites into overestimating the support for the Liberal Democrats.

    2. They came relatively late into the game and didn't weigh the results as much as other sites did, such as UK Polling Report.

    Actually, there's a third mistake as well:

    3. 538 is not used to doing rolling averages or straight-up projections like Eric does here at 308. 538 based their projections on the likelihood of a takeover for each party.

    The lack of data in Canadian polling is for a reason - we're not as expansive or, you might say, intrusive as American pollsters are. We probably wouldn't even get the same results, as partisan identification in Canada, as in Britain, is a lot more fluid.

  15. PS I find it interesting that outside of Alexander over Holland there was not a defense raised that the Liberal incumbent would be considered the underdog going into the next election.

    The Liberals are finding out that is is very difficult recruiting people of the caliber of Mr. Emerson, Manley and Mckenna to run for them when they have virtually no chance of being a cabinet minister.

    Are there any Liberal Star Candidates outside of recycled Cauchon trying to win back Mulclair's seat?

  16. BC VoR,

    1. Peter Braid - won with less than 20 votes last time, not in cabinet, facing former long-term MP, did not increase vote total over 2006 (won because of lower voter turnout for Liberals), an idiot

    2. Stephen Woodworth - almost the same as above, except won with 339 votes

    3. Bob Dechert - same as above

    4. Phil McColeman - won with a bit more of the vote and a genuine swing, but facing former Liberal MP and high-profile NDP candidate, and again, horribly unpopular in his riding

    5. Ed Holder - won with less than 3% of the vote, facing former Liberal president, not a cabinet minister

    6. Paul Calanda - facing former Liberal MP, won with less than 2% of the vote, urban riding

    7. Colin Carrie - Oshawa MP, forever an NDP target

    8. Royal Galipeau - urban francophone riding with strong Liberal support

    Over all of this is the fact that these are all urban ridings where the long-gun vote will not help these candidates whatsoever, if polling is to be believed (but of course I'm sure you'll say the polling is simply Liberal propaganda and not right whatsoever, like any poll that shows the Liberals with higher than 20% of the vote).

    I can move on to Quebec ridings, if you wish.

  17. BC VoR,

    You have to remember two things:

    1. The Liberals are not currently in power. How many "notable" people are clamouring to join Opposition parties, especially ones that are still behind in the polls, even if they're chipping their way up?

    2. The reason no one is saying that a Liberal incumbent is an underdog is because you've provided zero facts to explain it, outside of "Chris Alexander has experience and a nice resume."

    Number 2 is the one where, frankly, your idiocy shows. The fact that Holland is a popular incumbent with strong ties to the community, as well as an increased LPC vote in Ontario overall, as well as a common face in the media, should tell you everything you need to know about him being an "underdog" - the fact that he isn't. Just because Alexander has a nice resume doesn't mean he may win, or now has a 100% chance of winning the riding even if the entire CPC falls apart.

    You're expressing confidence in this idea, even when you have zero proof to back it up. Are you a creationist as well? It'd explain a lot.

  18. Volkov how does Holland being in the media help him in his riding ?

    Its not like having a cabinet minister where they have clout/pork.

    Rahim Jaffer faced criticism for being a rising star nationally and neglecting things back home.

    Mark Holland went on a national road trip with the women's caucus to fight the long gun registry this summer instead of staying in his riding for BBQs.

    Sometimes being a media star can be a double edged sword if people think your ego has grown large and you've forgotten the little guys back home.

    BTW - Holland is NOT an underdog, he has a slight edge in the riding.

    But when a star candidate runs against you with the full backing of the Prime Minister and grassroots CPCrs everwhere, with all the money and support he needs - well then you take it serious.

  19. Volkov

    Number 2 is the one where, frankly, your idiocy shows.

    Thank you for being such a fine representative of the Liberal Grassroots.

    So your based on facts argument on the reason that the 8 CPC incumbents are underdogs is that it was close last time and they are running against failed Liberal MPs whose names are not worth mentioning?

    I have trouble recognizing such obtuse reasoning. Surely there has to be more to back your opinion.

    I on the other hand would instantly concede that your list of CPC incumbents would be underdogs the minute TD CEO Ed Clark decided to run against them as a Liberal.

    There is also their continued support to get rid of the long gun registry. You know the same albatross they had around their necks last election and they still got elected. Do you really see this as a factor this time?

    I really hope that Holland has your confidence and runs like he is a shoo in.

    Holland in 2004 had approximately 22,000 votes and a margin of roughly 7,000 votes.

    In the 2006 election, he increased his vote total to about 26,000 and margin of victory to 9000

    In 2008, his margin of victory decreased to about 3,000 votes and total votes dropped back down to 22,000.

    In 2011 running against Alexander just the following his 2006-2008 trend Alexander wins by 3000 votes.

    What has Holland done to make himself more electable over the last 3 years?

    Oh and you don't have to list the 11 CPC MPs in Quebec who you think will lose as they are CPC and the media has declared the CPC finished in Quebec .... 2 or 3 times at least.

  20. Volkov,
    I cant speak of your other suggestions, but the inclusion of Colin Carrie on the list of vulnerable candidates doesn't say much for the credibility of your picks.

    Yes, Carrie is forever an NDP target. That's because they're foreover losing to him (and by ever increasing margins over the last 3 federal elections). Heck, he beat Syd Ryan by 5% in 2006 (so much for solidarity).

    Oshawa has a long history of voting conservative (the only reason the Grits took it in 1990s was because of vote splitting on the right, and provincially it has consistently gone conservative for over a decade). And it also has one of the higher percentages of gun ownership in the GTA (the Star had a great map to that effect a few years ago). The NDP's position on the LGR will probably put that riding well out of reach for the forseeable future.

  21. And Volkov, before you get too assertive on the likelihood of Holland losing his seat. Keep in mind that the current polling data for the Liberals is WORSE than it was in the months leading up to the 2008 election (curious how we forget that - right up until the end of August 2008, the Liberals were consistently polling a good 5-10 points ahead of the Tories in Ontario. Now, they're happy to be running neck and neck). Elections matter, sure, but normally you'd rather start ahead. And Holland barely won his riding against a guy who, frankly, was a nobody.

    I wouldnt't say he's a shoo-in to lose his seat, but it'll be a tough fight for him to keep it.

  22. BC Voice of Reason
    If Harper will win more Liberal seats-you must be conservative. Harper will NEVER win as many seats as he has now. In fact, I would say alot of suburban and Northern seats are in play-Baird's, Guergis, Clement, and mr finance minister at least- I don't think Fantino will win either. If the polls are correct, then the libs stand to gain back alot of seats in Ontario and the NDP and Libs could pick up a few Western seats.

  23. BC VoR,

    Never said they were underdogs - I said they were in danger of losing their seats based on the data available. You're the one making claims of "underdog status."

    My point is simply that, sure, Liberal MPs in certain ridings are far from what you would call "safe," but they're not underdogs, and certainly not in regards to Mr. Holland, who has consistently beaten expectations of his demise.

    Not only that, you're underestimating and distorting the facts; Andrew Telegdi and Karen Redman are certainly capable of taking their respective ridings back, if only because they lost because turnout dropped! And honestly, you're saying the LGR anchor means nothing because these Conservative MPs were elected because the Conservatives claimed they'd scrap it? Explain where the Hell you'd get that from, considering that up to this moment, most of Canadian voters haven't cared about the LGR, until Super Strategist Harper decided to bring it up!

    What proof, other than the vote totals which can mean different things with several different reasonings, do you have of Chris Alexander, who is not really a star candidate (he's a virtual unknown - good resumes mean shit unless you're backed by name recognition) actually strengthening his ties in Ajax-Pickering? What proof do you have that the riding's 6-year MP is now fleeing because of Chris Alexander? Tell me, BC VoR, what is your actual reasoning for the "underdog status"? Do you have riding-specific polls? Have you monitored Ajax-Pickering's media? Are you personally in contact with either of these gentlemen?

    At least be intellectually honest with your own so-called "findings." If you can't do that, then don't bother spouting this nonsense.

  24. Carl,

    I didn't know that about Oshawa, however, I'd still not take it off a list of potentially vulnerable CPC targets.

    Also, so what if the polls show the Liberals leading the Conservatives up to August 2008 in Ontario? That's two months before the election...

    Closer to election day, except for Nanos' polling before the 10th, Liberal support hovered between 33-36%. It was the Conservative lead that ended up being underestimated, and the NDP and Green amounts overestimated (especially for Nanos).

  25. BC VoR,
    "5) at least one seat in NL (sounds like Danny Williams will appoint at least one CPC - Manning? Premier Williams has been very conciliatory with the Federal CPC.. he definitely won't campaign against them this time and will likely support a NL cabinet representative or 2."


    As I already said Danny and Fabian Manning don't get along, Danny gave him the boot out of the PC's why would he support him now? Plus Fabian is obviously not Cabinet material or Harper would have appointed him already.

    There's no other seat for a Conservative to win unless they had some star candidate, which is unlikely seeing they have no candidates in place at all. The only seat where a Conservative might do well is St. John's South Mount Pearl. It's unlikely though seeing it will be a rematch between Siobhan Coady and Ryan Cleary. Voters would be stupid to get rid of a prominent Cabinet Minister like Coady, look for Newfoundland and Labrador to leave out the Conservatives again.

    The Cons also don't have a candidate in Vaughn yet, let alone a star candidate.

    You should also add John Baird to your list, with the Liberals doing well in Ontario and even better in Ottawa he may be at risk seeing he not do that great last election.

  26. eric rw

    you say " mr finance minister at least-"

    He only won his seat with 51% of the vote over 15,000 votes ahead of the runner up Liberal. Since then he has been recognized as the preeminent Finance Minister of the developed world.

    You might have had a chance on Clement and his 11,000 vote lead last election IF pork barrel ever cost an incumbent cabinet minister a seat.

    With your logic I guess that puts Mr. Ignatieff's Etobicoke - Lakeshore seat in panic mode --- 46% and only 5,200 votes ahead of the CPC candidate...If the Green run a solid candidate almost assuredly this will a CPC pick up

    Why would you intentionally destroy any credibility you might have?

    There is a very thin veneer of intelligent debate.

    Coady is a cabinet Minister in what government?

    Chris Alexander a complete unknown?
    Why were the Liberals trying to recruit him?

    He would be the highest profile federal candidate not currently in Cabinet or leading a Party.

  27. BC VoR,

    Siobhan Coady will be a Minister after the next election, she is arguably the most prominent female within the Liberal caucus.

    She was definitly a star candidate in 2008, her resume is better then Harper's and most MP's.

  28. BC VOR:

    Can you explain your first post a little better?

    Are you simply adjusting the polling numbers by an arbitrary number (33% and 50%) based on leader popularity?

    I would assume that most people would have considered the leader of a party in their decision on whether they will support that party but you seem to suggest that they are only considering the party brand when speaking with pollsters.

    Also - any indication that this method of adjusting poll results is considered accurate or has ever been used by a reputable pollster in the past?

  29. John1234

    Thanks for the nice question.

    Yes I am arbitrarily picking out a weighting for the impact of the leadership.

    This Best PM polls are not taken often or at regular intervals (for public consumption) so it is hard to evaluate how correct my hypothesis is.

    What I have observed over the last couple of elections is that the leaders have polled much different than the parties.

    Mr. Dion did not poll as high as best PM as the Liberal party did the last election. Mr. Harper polled higher as the Best PM than the CPC party polled.

    This was the same in the recent NB election.

    The result was that the election predictions were way off.

    I believe the prediction results would be more accurate if the Leadership polls were taken and incorporated into election predictions.

    The polls compared to election results have consistently been outside the margin of error.

    I firmly believe that the #1 voting consideration is who would make the best PM. It is obvious that the Parties believe this as well as almost all the campaign commercials, literatures and even lawn signs focus either on their leader or the opponents

    People can be long time Liberals and would like to vote Liberal but if they think that Harper is a better PM than Ignatieff/Dion they may vote for CPC or make the conscious choice not to vote.

    Commercial polling firms that charge corporation mega bucks for market analysis do not rely on polls that ask which product you like. They ask questions that have a strong correlation with the area of interest but make it difficult for the subject/interviewer to contaminate the survey.

    It is easier for a staunch CPC supporter to say that they think Paul Martin is a better PM but they would not consider themselves Liberal or want to vote for the Liberal party.

  30. Volkov: The Liberals are not currently in power. How many "notable" people are clamouring to join Opposition parties, especially ones that are still behind in the polls, even if they're chipping their way up?

    The smart ones would be clamouring to get in on the ground floor of the next government. A small caucus that's been out of power for several years is a fast track to a cabinet seat for the right person. This still holds even if some of the seats must be shared with the coalition partner.

    Grits who can't figure that out probably don't qualify as "notable".

  31. really John.... are you calling the star Liberal candidates that chose not run not notable?

    "Grits who can't figure that out probably don't qualify as "notable"."

    So please identify these extra smart/notable people who are willing to call their real careers off in the hope being a cabinet minister in 8-12 years.

    They would also be taking a chance that once the Liberal party is rebuilt that someone like Ed Clark or Carole Taylor does not decide to give 4-6 years of their life to public service as a cabinet minister.

    Paul Martin, Manley, Emerson, Mckenna, Stronach and the like can all do much better (much more $ status etc) and have more of an impact in the world than an opposition MP and not have their every move examined by the media.

  32. from punditsguide:

    IT looks like a plus 1 for the CPC in Ontario (on a long long term Liberal seat) and possibly another plus 1 in the riding over.

    No qualified candidates want to run as Liberals so they have to dig up some "notables".

    Meanwhile, Persichilli writes that Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff's Chief of Staff Peter Donolo has approached to run and been turned down by Italian-Canadian television personality Vincenzo "Enzo" Somma, provincial cabinet minister Sandra Pupatello, and banker Cam di Prata of the National Bank's corporate banking division. Persichilli claims that not only do potential candidates consider Fantino "unbeatable" («imbattabile»), but find their own political leadership «non stimolante».

    In a related article (translated here), Persichilli claims the Liberal candidate search difficulties may extend to Mississauga East–Cooksville, ON where long-time incumbent Albina Guarnieri is stepping down at the next election, although there is at least some interest in the riding from, amongst others, Nancy Fonseca (the sister of provincial cabinet minister Peter Fonseca).

    Persichilli's in-depth coverage of the Liberal Party in Toronto has often been unmatched in its detailed knowledge of the party backrooms, although more recently he appears to have grown more impatient with that party and more fond of the Conservatives and in particular the Prime Minister. I say this to give a bit of background to his commentary, but it's still more detailed news than any we've had from anywhere else yet on the state of nominations in Vaughan.

  33. BCVOR that was a great find over at Pundits (I don't read Italian, lol. Not even National Newswatch picked that up.)

    So 2 seats in the GTA that are likely to fall.

    Around the same area you can throw in Ruby Dhalla, Paul Szabo, and Andrew Kania as Liberal MPs at risk.

  34. Volkov said: "Also, so what if the polls show the Liberals leading the Conservatives up to August 2008 in Ontario? That's two months before the election...

    Closer to election day, except for Nanos' polling before the 10th, Liberal support hovered between 33-36%. It was the Conservative lead that ended up being underestimated, and the NDP and Green amounts overestimated (especially for Nanos)."

    Yes, but are we having an election next week? Next month? Ok, I haven't been paying attention over the weekend, but I think I would have heard about that. So why would we compare the current, pre-writ polls, with 2008 writ-period polls?

    I used the data in the 2-6 months before the 2008 election was called because that's where we are in the current election cycle (since no one is betting on an election before next spring). Given that, it's somewhat disconcerting (at least if you're a Liberal) that the Liberals are currently polling well below where they were in the months leading up to the 2008 election (and that the Tories are polling better). If nothing else, it suggests that fewer Ontarians identify the Liberals as their "go-to" party (and vice-versa for the Tories).

  35. Eric RW,

    If you think Flaherty's riding is vulnerable, you're smoking something. Last time out he beat the Liberal candidate, Brent Fullard by a margin of 2-1 ( Fullard was a "star" candidate recruited by the Liberals to run on an income-trust platform. Mind you, he was also an out-of-towner, running on an issue that probably wasn't a huge deal to the citizens of Whitby-Oshawa). Between his wife and him, they dominate the political scene out there.

    I'd ask the same question about Conservative cabinet ministers you think are vulnerable (Baird beat a former Liberal cabinet minister last time out by 5,000 votes, Clement won his riding by a margin of 2 votes to 1 over the Liberal candidate). As for Guergis' riding, it's only in play if she runs again as an independent, and even then, given that she beat the Liberals by a 33.4% margin last time out, I'd say that the chances of an opposition party taking that riding are slim to none (think about that, even if she ran as an independent and split the vote evenly with a Conservative candidate, they'd both end up with more votes than the Liberal).

    Here's a nickels worth of free advice, when looking for ridings that are vulnerable, start with ridings that were competitive last time out.

  36. John Said:

    "The smart ones would be clamouring to get in on the ground floor of the next government. A small caucus that's been out of power for several years is a fast track to a cabinet seat for the right person. This still holds even if some of the seats must be shared with the coalition partner."

    That's only true if the smart ones think that their party would be in a position to, and be willing to, form a coalition of some sort or another.

    If Liberal insiders (and I'd say all of the people suggested by Peschilli would qualify) don't want to run, that tells you something about their assessment of the likelihood of that happening.


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