Monday, February 21, 2011

Big shift on the Prairies changes little in Nanos poll

The latest poll from Nanos Research helps confirm some of the trends that other polls have indicated, but in the end the 13.1-point lead is smaller than it looks.The Conservatives have gained 1.8 points over Nanos's last poll in late November/early December, and lead with 39.7%. The Liberals have dropped 4.6 points and trail at 26.6%, while the New Democrats are up 1.7 points to 18.9%.

This poll was taken before the Bev Oda affair. Its effect on national voting intentions, if there will be any, has yet to be recorded.

The Bloc Québécois is down 0.3 points to 9.9%, while the Greens are up 1.7 points to 4.9%.

The margin of error in this telephone survey is +/- 3.1 points, 19 times out of 20, and 18.8% of respondents were undecided. Note that, unlike other pollsters, Nanos does not prompt survey takers with party names. This tends to reduce Green support compared to prompted polls, but according to one pollster I've spoken to who used both methods in 2008, prompted results tend to be more accurate.

But when we look at the regional breakdown, we see that much of the Conservative gain and Liberal loss is due to huge variations in the Prairies, while the New Democrats make their gain on the backs of Quebecers and Ontarians.

We'll start with the Prairies (MOE +/- 7.8), which for Nanos includes Alberta. There, the Conservatives have gained 18.9 points and now lead with 64.6%. That's a huge jump, representing roughly 3.2 points at the national level - less than the Conservatives actually gained. The Liberals, meanwhile, are down 15.6 points to 18%, a drop equating to roughly 2.7 points nationally. Both of these shifts are outside of the margin of error so we are probably looking at something real, but it means very little in the big scheme of things.

Why? Because despite strength in the Prairies, the Conservatives are showing weakness in British Columbia, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada - at least compared to Nanos' last poll from more than two months ago.

And that's something that should be noted - the last round of polls from Harris-Decima, EKOS, and Ipsos-Reid were being compared to their previous polls in January. Nanos Research, on the other hand, has not reported for some time.

In Ontario (MOE +/- 6.5), the Conservatives are down 3.3 points to 39%, while the Liberals are down 2.6 points to 32.8%. The NDP is the one making gains, with a 4.1 jump to 23.4%. The Greens are up 1.8 points to 4.8%.

The Bloc has dropped 2.8 points in Quebec (MOE +/- 6.7) to 37.3%, but are still well ahead of the Liberals (24.4%, down 2.3) and the Conservatives (20.2%, up 1.9). The New Democrats have gained 4.1 points and are at 16.8%, which appears to be the first telephone poll result to put the NDP at over 16% in Quebec.

In British Columbia (MOE +/- 9.2), the Conservatives are down 4.8 points to 44.6%. The Liberals are up 1.2 points to 26.2% while the NDP is down one point to 21.3%. The Greens are up 4.6 points to 7.9%.

Finally, in Atlantic Canada (MOE +/- 10.6) the Conservatives are down 6.4 points to 37.1%, while the Liberals are down four points to 32%. Most recent polls are putting the Tories in front on the East Coast, which is definitely a shift. The New Democrats are up 2.9 points to 20.4%, while the Greens are up 7.4 points to 10.4%.

With the results of this poll, ThreeHundredEight would project 24 Conservative seats in British Columbia, 49 in the Prairies (I'm currently not equipped to project for polls which combine Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, so have given the Conservatives all seats in Alberta and the seats currently projected to go their way in the Prairies), 52 in Ontario, nine in Quebec, and 12 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 147. That's a drop of one seat from Nanos' last poll.

Yes, that's right. In this poll, the Tories have run up the numbers in the Prairies, where they have little to gain. Even if we give them all 56 seats in the region, they would still only be at 154 in total. Their Ontario numbers just aren't strong enough.

The Liberals would win nine seats in British Columbia, five in the Prairies, 36 in Ontario, 15 in Quebec, and 17 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 84, down five.

The Bloc would win 49 seats in Quebec, down two.

The New Democrats would win three seats in British Columbia, two in the Prairies, 18 in Ontario, two in Quebec, and three in Atlantic Canada for a total of 28, a gain of eight compared to Nanos's last poll. Despite a good national result, their numbers are too weak on the east and west coasts.

Nanos also looked at who would make the best Prime Minister. Stephen Harper topped the chart with 34.5%, up 6.1 points from last time. Jack Layton was next with 14.3%, down 2.1, while Michael Ignatieff scored only 13.6% (-1.9). That was less than the "none of the above" option, which stands at 13.9%.

Gilles Duceppe was at 22.8% in Quebec while Elizabeth May earned 4.5% of responses.

This Nanos poll will serve to help confirm the strong lead that the other pollsters have shown, but it isn't a necessarily good poll for the Tories. As others have indicated, the Conservatives are starting to rub up against their ceiling, making gains in regions where they have little seat gains to make. It really highlights how Quebec is hurting them - if they were able to bump their numbers up to 25% or more they could start to seriously hope for a majority. Instead, they are planning on incremental, seat-by-seat gains in Ontario. It's a strategy that could work, but leaves little margin for error.


  1. Hi Eric. Little typo in that last phrase: "lives little room..." Great analysis, as always.

  2. The Nanos press release says the MoE of 3.4, not 3.1.

  3. I just can't wait to see the pie-chart after election day.

  4. Ira, that's on the number of decided voters.

  5. For some reason Nanos seems to always have really good top line numbers but their sample size is just too small to use their regionals.

    I wish he'd expand his surveys to get that MOE down. He's a really good pollster.

  6. I agree Shadow. Nanos is one of my favorite pollsters becuase he asks unprompted questions but his sample size, especially in the regions, is small.
    Overall though this poll is in line with other recent polls.
    So why the sudden CPC strength? In a CTV interview last night Nik Nanos stated he beleives its the result of the Conservative attack ads against Iggy and the lack of a Liberal answer. He went on to suggest that in an actual campaign the CPC attacks may not do so well because the Liberals would be spending money on their own ads.
    Any thoughts?

  7. Nanos attributes the CPC gain to the attack ads.

    It is like he wants to ignore the biggest policy decisions that has occurred over the last month:

    1) Liberals are willing to force an election over corporate tax cuts that they have already repeatedly supported.

    2) Liberals are against spending on fighter Jets that will be in the 2016 budget

    3) Hero of the Harper resistance movement, Kevin Page, has come out and said that the CPC deficit will be $5B less than the Government said and around $20B less then his last guesstimate.

    4) the NDP Liberals and BLOC have all indicated that they will be voting against the budget (in coalition)

    It as though the opposition parties are running an attack ad campaign on themselves.

    It will be a historically significant eating of crow and supporting the CPC budget to avoid an election to hang on for another year to their entitlements OR a landmark majority victory for the CPC.

    The pre-election indications are that the NDP and Liberals do NOT have the skill or capacity to run a campaign.

  8. pinkobme don't the Liberals have 2 attack ads up ?

    Something about this is your Canada and not Stephen Harper's Canada, with one about the fighter jets and the other about corporate tax cuts.

    Those attacks didn't seem to work at all.

    Neither have previous Liberal ad buys.

    The only difference during a campaign will be the spending limits.

    If all 3 parties are spending the limit then attack ads will all get equal time.

    This should help the NDP greatly (they have no ads up at the moment.)

  9. Hey BC Voice and Shadow.
    Seems I touched a nerve, maybe. I get your points BC Voice but as someone pointed out earlier this month (on this site) only 15% of Canadians are paying attention to politics between elections. If that's the case, I don't think details such as the ones you mentioned worry their pretty little heads any. But an attack ad... well that's something they watch between reruns of Two-and-a-half-Men each night.
    You're right Shadow, the Libs did have those two ads but I haven't seen them in recent weeks. I think it was just a short shot.
    However, the Tories seem to cycle their Iggy attacks quite often. At least I've seen those several times in recent weeks.
    I saw the lonely-Harper-working-on-the-problems-of-the-world-all-by-his-lonesome ad just last night, although I guess that's not an attack, unless it's on the poor viewer who's just finished eating supper.

  10. Harper really doesn't have the best record as a "conservative" and has had his screws up. If the Liberals can bring attention to to the big issues in the campaign then that CPC number should fall.

    Over the last fews years we've seen the CPC numbers rise to about these levels only to collapse again.

  11. I don't understand why this point seems so hard to grasp.

    In the month prior to the 2008 election call the 10 polls had the averages as

    CPC 34.5
    Liberal 30.3
    NDP 16.4
    Bloc 7.9
    Green 9.5

    When you compare these with the current polls ... (a month before the next election???) it does not require a stats degree or checking the MOE to see that the CPC is significantly better off and the Liberal significantly worse off than a similar very comparably situation just before the last election.

    Will the CPC jump 3 points and Liberals lose 2 points as happened immediately after the last election was called? That would put the CPC up by 15 points on the Liberals.

    This is the highest level of support that Nanos has report the CPC in the last 5 years

  12. Hey Eric, do you know why Nanos is usually the only pollster with the Greens so low? Which is more realistic if you ask me. I know you know a lot of things about the methodology of each pollster, so I thought I would ask you. Cause most of the other pollsters always have the Greens at 9-10% nationally.


  13. Bryan,

    I'll quote from this post directly:

    "Note that, unlike other pollsters, Nanos does not prompt survey takers with party names. This tends to reduce Green support compared to prompted polls, but according to one pollster I've spoken to who used both methods in 2008, prompted results tend to be more accurate."

    Nanos is the only pollster that is currently not prompting respondents with party names. This is the main reason why the Green Party is so low.

  14. Eric I'm so sorry, I did read your post but somehow I missed that.


  15. BC Voice:
    I take your point about the polls just before the last election.
    But as most people who follow politics carefully know yesterday is in the past. It's a new day. Regurgitating the same old arguement that Liberal support dropped and Conservative support jumped by however much before the last election is an interesting trip down memory lane, but nothing else.
    A lot can happen during a campaign. Maybe the Lib support will collapse again, or the CPC support jump into majority territory. Who knows. But you can bet it won't be the same as last time.
    For one thing, voters either grow fonder or more tired or their goverments over the years. I'd bet overall we're getting a tad weary of the CPC. Perhaps not enough for them to lose the next election, but some. The farther down the road they go the worse they'll do -- maybe.
    All will be revealed during the next election campaign, whenever that is.

  16. "prompted results tend to be more accurate"

    This is misleading.

    Theres two methods of prompting used, one with the party and one with the party + leader (the best kind).

    Also when pollsters say its more accurate they must mean more accurate in general, not when talking specifically about the Greens.

    Bottom line: Green support always comes in lower than the polls say it will.

    Nanos is consistently one of the least wrong in this regard.

  17. Eric, I'm really looking forward to your riding-level model, but in the mean time, I have some questions (and hopefully I didn't miss the answer in your post lol)

    How on earth could the NDP lose 8 seats when using only this poll?? Nationally, they are up. But more importantly, in Ontario, when compared to 2008, the CPC is down, the Liberals are down, the NDP is up big time. Yet you project only 1 gain for this party in this province??
    I know the main problem (for both our models) is that we never saw the NDP that high in Ontario, so it's hard to predict what would happen. But still, a 5-points gain in the great Ontario and only one more seat? Seems weird to me.

    What do you think? Does your other model gives the same results?

  18. It hasn't been developed to the point where I can run numbers through it for Ontario.

    But I don't see a lot of room for growth for the NDP in Ontario. What other seats would they gain?

    Other than that, they're low in the Prairies, down in BC, and down in Atlantic Canada. They won't win more than two seats in Quebec unless they start getting into the 20s. So where does that leave them?

  19. pinkobme,

    I agree exactly with what you said in reference to BC Voice.

    Just because the Liberals dropped in 2008 doesn't mean they will drop in 2011.

    In 2004 support for the CPC remained the same througout the campaign.

    In 2006 the support for the CPC on election day was lower then polling leading up to the election.

    Why you keep refering to what happened in 2008 I don't know. The Liberals suffered in 2008 mainly because of the Green Shift, that's gone now and up to this point the party has no controversial policies.

    It's time to move on from 2008.

  20. @Shadow - Yes, the Liberals are running ads, but no one has seen them. The Liberals have been running those ads on cable channels at non-peak times. They're paying as little as $100 per airing for the airtime.

    The CPC ads are running on networks during primetime, and primarily in Toronto. They're paying as much as $33,000 per airing for those ad slots.

    All the Liberals ads do is reassure core Liberal supporters that the party is doing something.

  21. Hello Eric,

    Well I predict 22 seats for the NDP in Ontario, using this Nanos Poll. The gains would be:

    Beaches East-York
    Bruce-Gray (I admit the model is probably not working in this one)

    WHat do you think? All those ridings (well except maybe two) are ridings where the NDP was around 30% last time, being 5-10 points. SO it is possible that the 5-points gain would come from there.

  22. My bad by the way, th actual projections are 36 seats total, including 2 in Ontario. I made some mistakes before.

  23. I think some of those are a bit of a stretch, but we're really talking about a very unlikely result.

  24. Yes I agree. The NDP is actually pretty stable over the last 6 years. It's actually quite amazing to see how little this party has moved, like in Ontario or even BC. So a jump of 5 points in Ontario? I don't think so.

    As a forecaster (does this term exist? lol) like you, I wish we would see a big change in the NDP's support at least once. That would help us a lot.

  25. In 2004 the Liberals were under the next great Canadian PM Paul Martin. They were solidly entrenched as the natural governing party.

    In 2006 the CPC finally broke through and defeated the Liberal minority government with that scary scary Harper out to ruin Canada.

    In 2008 the CPC finished a 2 years of governing as a minority and were threatened by opposition leaders Dion and Layton and Duceppe that the next budget would be defeated.

    Which of these situations from the past most closest resemble the current situation?

    Throw in the same leaders for the CPC, NDP and Bloc and a more unpopular Leader for the Liberals and you have a very similar situation.

    Sure Harper might get caught with a real scandal (that no one would believe after all the cries of wolf) or make a major misstep that he has avoided in his previous 3 campaigns.... but that would be very startling.

    That is a summary of why I look to 2008 to see what might happen in 2011

  26. I think it really is the ad difference. I remember being a bit bewildered when the 2008 campaign was starting and the difference between the Liberals and Conservatives jumped just as the writ was about to be dropped, even as the Tories pulled the plug. I also note that every time an election looked imminent previously, that gap increased again. There are multiple explanation for this I'm sure...certainly any partisan can point to a position they don't like and credit it for changes, ignoring that previous similar positions have had no effect on poll results in previous months.

    But it hasn't escaped notice that those periods of time are when the Conservative party lets loose the hounds, and are relatively unchallenged. It's not as if we don't know that advertising and negative advertising doesn't work, so we shouldn't be too surprised that such results can be credited to them.

  27. In case non of you watch the Heart Tournament of Curling, maybe you should. The conservatives are running ads at the end of the games. Lots of women watching this, and many men. Last year over one million watched the final game.
    That is one week of ads, when the HofC is not sitting so only positive news for the PM. Then on Sunday they had the Nascar and coming up will be the Brier.
    These are all programs that are watched by thousands.
    Bound to have an effect, as this channel has no coverage of Oda.

  28. PT there's actually a pretty robust historical tendency for the LPC to drop during elections.

    Others have noticed it, including Paul Wells over at Macleans.

    Its possible because they are Canada's natural governing party and in charge in BC/Ont/Quebec people just default "Liberal" as an answer to polls.

    Remember only 15% of people actually pay attention to politics between elections.

    When the writ actually drops the LPC goes down some.

    Not saying it automatically benefits the Tories.

    The NDP gets attention paid to it during an election too.

    I expect by the end of the campaign Jack Layton will be very strong, we might even have a convergence of NDP/Liberal support and talk of him as leader of the official opposition.

  29. "or make a major misstep that he has avoided in his previous 3 campaigns"

    Oh really? "Paul Martin supports child pornography", the "victory tour" of Alberta in the closing days of the 2004 election, musing about galas, musing about opportunities in the stock market during times of economic crisis

  30. Progressive Tory,

    Shadow is right on this, there is a long history (at least since the early 1960's) of Liberal support dropping during the writ period. If my recollection is right, the only time it didn't happen was in 1974 (when Trudeau ran an amazing campaign) and 1993 (when Kim Campbell didn't). (see:

    Now, it's possible that the situation has changed and that the Liberals are no longer the default party for Canadians (as they were for most of the 20th century) such that people aren't parking their votes with them between elections (though,I'm not sure I'd find much comfort in that if I were a Liberal).

  31. "if they were able to bump their numbers up to 25% or more [in Quebec] they could start to seriously hope for a majority."

    That conclusion seems suspect.

    In 2006, Tory candidates received 24.6% of the popular vote in Quebec and yet won only 10 ridings.

  32. Martin,

    While I agree that the suggestion that getting 25% of the vote would put the Tories over the top seems suspect, I'm not sure that the reference to the 2006 election disproves it. Yes, in 2006, the Tories got almost 25% of the vote but only won 10 seats. But in 2006, the Bloc got 42% of the vote in Quebec, not the 37% they're currently showing. Now, I can't think of any seats in Quebec where the Bloc beat the Tories by less than 5% in 2006 (and I don't think there were any), but that's at least one distinction.

  33. Carl in 2006 the next closest seats were 8, 10, 11, 12%. All BQ-CPC contests.

    Meanwhile in 2006 in Ontario 1, 1, 2, 2, 4, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10, 11, 11%. All LPC-CPC contests.

    A quick check on 2008 shows that in Ontario there were 12 contests within 10% support of CPC victory.

    In Quebec there were only 3 contests that fit that criteria.

    I think its pretty obvious that 1% of Ontario support is more valuable than 1% of Quebec support.

    The trend since the '06 election seems to have been falling Quebec support and increasing Ontario support.

    That's certainly a GOOD thing and kinda puts Eric's notion that you can't win a majority without Quebec to rest.

  34. "That's certainly a GOOD thing and kinda puts Eric's notion that you can't win a majority without Quebec to rest."

    Well, that may be a good thing, but it doesn't really rebut Eric's suggestion that you can't win a majority without Quebec. Yes, the Tories were within 10% in 12 seats in Ontario in 2008. But, it isn't clear that Tory support in Ontario has increased much since 2008 (in 2008 it was 39.3%, in this Nanos poll it was 39%), nor has Liberal support fallen much (it's currently at 32.8% down from 33.8%). Put together that's less than a 1% difference, that's not going to help you overcome a 10% gap. (And looking at the aggregate polling numbers doesn't help much either, they have better numbers for the Tories, but also for the Liberals).

    Yes, yes, the Tories will probably run a better campaign than the Liberals, and they may have more star candidates than the grits and they may be able to get more efficient support this time. But, a priori, you can't count on any of those things, so until they happen, Eric's suggestion is a reasonable one (though, I think, not the certainty that he believes).

  35. Carl I think you've missed my point.

    Eric is suggesting if the CPC could magically bump its support up to 25% in Quebec that would be a good thing in terms of getting a majority.

    Which is true, every bit helps. But that same increase in support would be MORE efficient if it came from Ontario.

    I don't think you can disagree with that conclusion.

    How the parties actually stand now is a seperate issue that we can discuss.

    Although I must say I am puzzled by your take on the situation.

    You seem to put a great deal of stock in polling evidence and very little in the type of on the ground anecdotal evidence that really determines things.

  36. "You seem to put a great deal of stock in polling evidence and very little in the type of on the ground anecdotal evidence that really determines things."

    What "on the ground anecdotal evidence" are you talking about? The polling evidence may be imperfect, but it's the only "evidence" we have in front of us.

    "Which is true, every bit helps. But that same increase in support would be MORE efficient if it came from Ontario."

    Yes, but the difference is that the Tories have been at (or close to) 25% in Quebec in recent years. So a 5% bump is at least imaginable, if improbable. In contrast, a bump of 5% in Ontario would imply a level of support of just under 45% which, heretofore, is a level of Tory support previously only seen in landslide Tory victories (think Mulroney in '84 or Dief in 58). There's no reason for thinking we're on the cusp of such a victory.

    Saying that if the Tories got more votes in Ontario, isn't terribly insightful unless you can provide some basis for believing that they'll be able to get those votes. The problem is that, based on the evidence before us, there's no reason for believing that that will happen.

  37. Also note that, for a time, the Conservatives were running neck and neck with the Bloc in Quebec before the culture issue sent them back down. The potential is there.

  38. I think a good question for the Conservatives is _can_ they increase by 10% in Ontario, and would it cost less to gain 10%-15% in Quebec (in terms of advertising, etc.).

    In Quebec you tend to have bandwagon jumpers - people who will shift Liberal to Conservative in a heartbeat if they think that party is the one that is going to win overall. Ontario, on the other hand, outside of the 93-2004 stretch tends to be fairly stable and doesn't go through drastic changes - outside of the Reform/CA period you don't see a single party dominate the province as far as I recall. Figured I should check stats though to be sure.

    Via Wikipedia...
    Ontario 2004: 75-24 Lib/CPC
    Ontario 2006: 54-40 Lib/CPC
    Ontario 2008: 38-51 Lib/CPC

    So in 2004 people were still unsure about the new Conservative party, by 2006 though the average voter decided they were the 'real' conservatives. Thus 11 seats shifted while another 5 went NDP.

    Going further back...
    Ontario 1988: 43-46 Lib/PC
    Ontario 1984: 14-67 Lib/PC (PCs at 50.03% overall Canada wide, true majority)
    Ontario 1980: 52-38 Lib/PC
    Ontario 1979: 32-57 Lib/PC
    Ontario 1974: 55-25 Lib/PC
    Ontario 1972: 36-40 Lib/PC
    Ontario 1968: 63-17 Lib/PC (1st Trudeau)

    From a quick eyeball outside of oddball situations (Reform/CA, 1st Mulroney, 1st Trudeau) the seats on the table are around 20 and right now the CPC has those 20 thus not a ton of room for growth. Maybe another 5 seats, 10 if they have everything go right. The CPC has had Ontario for just one election so odds are the voters here aren't ready to dump them yet, but I doubt they'll climb to the 70+ mark looking back at recent history unless their vote becomes so efficient that it would be book-worth (from a stat pov).

  39. Eric,

    "The potential is there."

    I disagree.

    A very brief historical blip upwards in the polls is no reason to believe that the Conservative Party, led by an anglophone non-Quebecker, can challenge for a majority or near-majority of Quebec ridings. The Bloc is simply too well entrenched -- not to mention led by a skilled, seasoned campaigner in Duceppe -- to predict a major Conservative breakthrough in Quebec.


    "the Tories have been at (or close to) 25% in Quebec in recent years."

    But the point is that even if they get close to 25% in Quebec again in the next election, it will almost certainly not translate into meaningful additional seats. Using virtually any model, at 25% the Tories cannot get more than around 13 or 14 seats in Quebec.

  40. Henry,

    I didn't say that the Conservatives could challenge the Bloc for a majority of seats in Quebec. Even tied with the Bloc at 30% I don't imagine the Conservatives could win more than 20 seats.

    What I am saying is that the potential is there for the Conservatives to get 25% to 30% of the vote in Quebec. The peak of ADQ support in the province shows that it is possible. Unlikely, but possible.

    There is simply more potential for growth in Quebec than there is in British Columbia or Ontario. The Conservatives are almost maxed out in these two provinces. With the strength of the NDP and Liberals, we can't expect the Tories to get more than 41% or 42% in Ontario, or more than 45% or so in British Columbia. There just isn't the room.

  41. "The peak of ADQ support ... "

    I don't see that as a meaningful comparison at all. The ADQ was led by a francophone Quebecker. The CPC is not.

    "There is simply more potential for growth in Quebec than there is in British Columbia or Ontario."

    I don't see how you can say that except in the most fanciful sense.

    Your own recent projections have suggested that an extra 10 seats could be in reach in Ontario. There are no recent polling results (or even realistic scenarios for that matter) where the Tories can win an EXTRA 10 seats in Quebec from where they are right now.

  42. Roughly 60% of Quebecers say they will vote for a party led by an anglophone.

  43. Eric,

    How about an anglophone, non-Quebecker? When they could instead support a party led by a Quebecker?

    People answering a poll may _claim_ that some option is possible in principle, but what they actually _do_ is another matter.

    Not even once since Confederation have Quebec voters supported en masse a party led by a non-Quebecker when they had a party led by someone from Quebec that they could choose instead.

    Mulroney? Although an anglo, he was from Quebec -- and he had the pleasure against campaigning against Turner and Mulroney.

    Diefenbaker? Even when he won a minority government in 1957, he only won 9 seats. It wasn't until 1958 when he could campaign against Pearson rather than St. Laurent that he managed a breakthrough in Quebec.

    If it hasn't happened in the past 143 years, I don't think it's going to start in 2011.

  44. You are arguing against points I have not made.

  45. Eric,

    I am doing two things:

    1) Questioning the relevance of some of the points you have made to our current electoral situation and dynamic.
    2) Questioning your suggestion that significant seat gains in Quebec are within reach for the Tories.

  46. They are not within reach, and that is the problem.

  47. Carl there is plenty of "evidence" that isn't polling based.

    You can follow candidate selection over at pundits guide.

    Its clear that the Tories are targetting GTA ridings in a way they have never before.

    Vaughan was a breakthrough.

    Rocco Rossi supports the federal CPC candidate in his provincial riding. (In '08 he was the most successful GTA CPC candidate, coming close to beating Joe Volpe).

    EKOS sometimes breaks down their polling by region in Ontario. Obviously they are highly variable but they have shown periods of high CPC support.

    But all of this is beside the point.

    Here is Eric's argument:

    "It really highlights how Quebec is hurting them ... Instead, they are planning on incremental, seat-by-seat gains in Ontario."

    His suggestion is that Quebec gains would be superior to an Ontario strategy. "Instead" implies an either-or.

    I think i've proven that an Ontario specific strategy is indeed superior.

    (Although I see no reason why one couldn't do both ?)

    Anyways, you have a tendency to nit pick. Especially with points i've made.

    So I won't say that nobody can disagree with my point, i'm sure you'll find a way to play devil's advocate!


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