Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tim Hudak still the man to beat

The gap is narrowing, but Tim Hudak is still the man to beat in this fall's Ontario election. 

A new poll by Forum Research puts Hudak's Progressive Conservatives at 38 per cent support, 10 points ahead of the governing Liberals.

Not far behind Dalton McGuinty are the New Democrats, who stand at 24 per cent.

This represents a gain of two points apiece for the Liberals and NDP compared to Forum's last poll conducted in June, while the Tories have dropped three points. 

You can read the rest of the article on The Huffington Post Canada website. A seat projection for the Forum poll accompanies the article.

Normally around this time, I would post the monthly federal poll averages. However, no federal polls were released during the month of July, so unless something appears soon that was taken before Monday it doesn't look like there will be any federal numbers to report.

I doubt this will be the case for much longer. It is astonishing to think that in little more than a week Jack Layton temporarily stepped down as leader, the party named a new interim leader, and that leader, Nycole Turmel, was then raked over the coals for her past with the Bloc Québécois and Québec Solidaire.

Obviously, the federal political situation has changed significantly in the last 10 days. But most people pay little attention to federal politics and even fewer are tuned in during the height of summer. Nevertheless, with the New Democrats going through recent events I imagine we will see a few polls being released in the next week. I also imagine even the slightest dip in NDP support will be attributed to Ms. Turmel.

But is this the work of a slow political summer? When Jack Layton returns, will anyone care about what happened with the former interim leader? More to the point, will this matter in 2015? I would wager that it will not, though it could potentially by the first in a long list of issues the NDP could have with its new Quebec caucus. It is almost unavoidable that a coalition of progressive federalists, nationalists, and sovereigntists, which is what the NDP appears to be in Quebec, will be somewhat tumultuous. But, really, that is par for the course in political Quebec.


  1. Federal Liberals must have had separatists, nationalists and federalists in their large Quebec caucus' post 1984.

  2. I think you mean the PCs.

    Prior to the formation of the Bloc, sovereigntists needed somewhere to go. This isn't particularly new, but the players are.

  3. Hudak may, I repeat may, get a minority Govt situation.

    Far more likely is a Lib-NDP coalition.

    Remember that worked for Peterson back in the 80's so there is a History behind it !!

  4. Just to clarify, Peterson didn't have a coalition, but was supported by the NDP in a minority legislature.

  5. And NOTHING says that the Liberals would need a COALITION !!

    They don't !! All they would need is the same as Rae did in the 80's. Agree to support.

    Let's all just drop this coalition nonsense please. It is neither necessary or correct !!

  6. Do you have "best Premier" #s from the Forum poll for Horwath and Schreiner?

  7. Peter, we don't have proportional representation. Just because 28+24 > 38 doesn't mean that 38% won't get Hudak a majority. First Past the Post turns pluralities into majorities by the nature of the system.

  8. Peter, calm down, I was just clarifying what you had said because Peterson and Rae did not have a coalition. I remind you that you used the word coalition.

  9. Anonymous 10:28, Horwath had 24% and Schreiner 9%.

  10. Peter is right to point out a coalition isn't needed !

    Neither is an agreement of support.

    A minority PC government can simply rule the province w/o any support in the legislature.

    Then every time a confidence vote comes up the NDP and Liberals can bicker between themselves who is going to abstain/vote yes.

    Strong PC minority, NDP official opposition, and a shattered Liberal rump.

    You heard it hear folks.

  11. Anonymous 12:50

    Quite correct, a coalition has NEVER been necessary.

    Look at Pearson - Douglas. No formal written agreement yet it worked.

    As to your other issue, dream on !! It will be some kind of Lib minority with NDP support.

  12. Peter don't get caught off guard like in the federal election !

    Go look at the leadership numbers. The situation is identical.

    Hudak wins. McGuinty loses. But Andrea Horwath surprises everybody !

    She has good numbers just like Jack. She's the only woman in the race.

    The PC and Libs are going to run attack ads and destroy each other and she'll come right up the middle.

    Left wing vote splits means PC wins lots of seats, probably falls short of a majority.

    NDP is official opposition. Liberals are broken and shattered.

    You heard it here first !

    Also forget Pearson - Douglas. The example is Harper - everyone. Harper just ignored everyone and governed like he had a majority. THAT'S leadership. Hudak will do the same thing !

  13. The federal Tories were able to govern with a minority for five years because the opposition was fragmented into three parties.

    Stephen Harper had strong discipline over his caucus, and the federal Tories spent years building the party on a grassroots level. It was only time the party would win a majority. On the other hand, the opposition was much weaker in terms of finance, organization and popularity.

    I find it hard to believe a provincial Tory minority government can even last two years. Having two opposition parties instead of three makes a difference. Furthermore, Hudak is no Harper. You can disagree with Harper's policies, but the man is a tactician who wants to reshape the political culture of the country. Hudak on the other hand, is an empty suit.

    - Maple

  14. Anonymous 21:16

    "Hudak on the other hand, is an empty suit."

    Couldn't have said it better. Even down to the vacuous poster pictures they are using. It's pretty obvious Timmy just hasn't got "IT" !!

  15. I think the problem with Hudak is that we don't know what kind of cabinet will he form in government. Harper took a lot of veteran Ontario ministers with him to Ottawa, leaving Hudak with an inexperienced caucus. Hudak also didn't have a major cabinet post, so it is hard for people to judge on his effectiveness when in power. If he was able to find an effective crew (though Rossi looks like he will get a cabinet post), then people may be willing to overlook some of his gaffes.

    As for Harper, the reason he was to rule a minority as a majority is because of the Bloc. Given that the Bloc had no intention of forming the government, and held between 20-50 seats (a big chunk of seats), it was easy for Harper to split the opposition. Now if we replace the Bloc with the NDP back in 2008, then it would be a whole new ballgame as a coalition government would be very real threat to the Conservatives. As they say:" One rival is hard to defeat, two rivals are easy to defeat".

    EF from TO

  16. Hello Eric: I'm wondering if you've seen this particular internal poll result done by Pollara for the riding of Eglinton Lawrence.

    What do you think of the sample size (~300) and MOE? (5.7%) Is this normal for a riding level poll?

  17. The sample size is small, a little smaller than usual for a riding poll but nothing major. Internal polls, though, always come with an asterisk, especially if we don't know what other questions were asked along with voting intentions.

    A poll like this was probably given to the Star by the Liberals, but we don't know if they have polling constantly and this is the only one to give the Liberals the lead. But I think it is definitely worth a little bit of consideration - the race could very well be a much easier one for the Liberals than many predict.

  18. Pollara was the federal Liberals pollster wasn't it ?

    So everyone thinks the Liberals are doomed.

    Then the Liberal party leaks a poll to the Liberal friendly Star. They get revenge on Rossi AND get to counter the narrative that they are doomed.

    The numbers then become a self fullfilling prophecy.

    Interesting story, if true.


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