Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mulcair's first honeymoon poll

Shortly after Thomas Mulcair was elected leader of the New Democrats, Forum Research conducted a poll that suggests that the Conservatives and NDP are now neck-and-neck in voting intentions.
Forum was last in the field on 2 March, and since then the Conservatives have dropped only two points to 35% - a shift within the margin of error.

The same can't be said for the NDP, who are up seven points since the beginning of March. They are now at 35%. This is the Mulcair bump, but it is remarkable to see the size of the bump and where it has actually taken place.

Shunted off as a result are the Liberals, down six points to 19%, back where they were in the 2011 election. This is very dangerous for the Liberals, as Thomas Mulcair appears to have regained all of the support the NDP had lost in the last year to Bob Rae.

The Bloc Québécois is up two points to 7% while the Greens are down one point to 3%.

The honeymoon bump is strongest in the West and Quebec, as the NDP has gained over 12 points in every region. The New Democrats lead in the Prairies with 44% (+19), British Columbia with 43% (+12), and Quebec with 40% (+12). They are up 15 points in Alberta to 31% as well, an incredible high for any party that isn't Conservative. The increase in Quebec is especially important, as it saves the hide of the bulk of the NDP's caucus.

The Conservatives still rule the roost in Alberta with 52%, though that represents a drop of 17 points since the beginning of March. They have gained four points in each of Ontario (42%) and Atlantic Canada (39%), the Ontario number an important one for the Tories.

The Liberals don't manage more than 25% support anywhere, reaching that level in Atlantic Canada (-4) and 24% in Ontario (-5).

But the significant Tory lead in Ontario throws the seat results out of whack, turning a close race into a near Conservative majority. With these numbers, the Conservatives win 150 seats, five short of a majority. The New Democrats make important gains to reach 122 seats, while the Liberals are reduced to only 29. Though that gives the NDP and the Liberals the ability to out-vote the Tories, they need the Bloc's seven seats for a majority.

The Conservatives win 19 seats in British Columbia, 24 in Alberta, 12 in the Prairies, 71 in Ontario, five in Quebec, 18 in Atlantic Canada, and one in the north.

The New Democrats win 16 seats in British Columbia, four in Alberta, 14 in the Prairies, 24 in Ontario, 56 in Quebec, seven in Atlantic Canada, and one in the north.

The Liberals win one seat in British Columbia, two in the Prairies, 11 in Ontario, seven in Quebec, seven in Atlantic Canada, and one in the north.

The situation is further unbalanced by the expansion of the House to 338 seats. Though the strong NDP performance in British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec means they can win some of the new seats, the big Conservative advantage in Ontario means they win the bulk of the seats there. In the expanded House, the Conservatives would likely win 168 seats, two short of an absolute majority, while the NDP wins 131, the Liberals 31, and the Bloc eight. The Tories' share of seats increases significantly, to 49.7% from 48.7%.

Ontario, Ontario, Ontario. It is key to the Conservatives' shot at maintaining power, and absolutely essential if the New Democrats are to replace the government. At this stage, the Conservatives have a huge leg-up in the province. Mulcair will have to whittle away Conservative support by a significant degree, as gains have fewer returns for the NDP than they might have for the Liberals.

But it could be a lot worse. A poll by Innovative Research taken just before the convention pegged NDP support at only 25% nationwide, one point up on the Liberals. The Conservatives stood 12 points ahead with 37% support.

In Ontario, Innovative put the Tories at 47% to 33% for the Liberals and only 16% for the NDP. If Mulcair has indeed bumped the New Democrats up to second place, that would be a very positive start for the party.

Innovative also put the NDP neck-and-neck with the Bloc in Quebec, a state of affairs also reported by Forum in a pre-convention poll (30% BQ to 27% NDP). But British Columbia has been relatively steady, as both a Forum poll from 19 March and the Innovative survey put the New Democrats ahead of the Tories. Mulcair seems to have improved the situation somewhat, but B.C. has been leaning NDP for some time.

The honeymoon is certainly off on the right foot for Thomas Mulcair. If he can somehow maintain these impressive levels of support in Western Canada while also being favoured in Quebec (which he has a good shot of doing, merely by being a native son), there will be plenty of time to woo Ontario. But a bump is a bump - and that means there should be some bounce back in the coming months. How much of a retreat, and where it takes place, will be something to watch. But the NDP has demonstrated how a leadership race can erase some of the problems in public opinion a party can suffer between leaders. They should keep this in mind in the run-up to the Liberal leadership race.

62 comments:

  1. I am probably most surprised by the NDP bump in the west. This is only partly a "Mulcair Bounce" as the dippers have been improving support west of Ontario even before the leadership convention. This could prove very problematic for the Cons if that trend continues.

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  2. Forum already has another poll out showing much the same thing CPC 36, NDP 34, Libs 19.

    I have noticed that in poll after poll after poll an NDP uptick in Man/Sask - yes, the sub-sample sizes are small - but its so consistent in every poll - something has to be happening there

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    1. Wonderful, they seemed to have put that up on their website sometime between me writing this and now.

      I shouldn't complain about having so much polling data, but Forum is releasing so many results that it makes individual surveys less and less significant. We don't exactly need daily tracking three years out.

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    2. To be fair, they wanted to do a post-budget poll. i suppose you could combine the two and have a whopping poll of over 3,000 with really robust sub-samples!

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  3. I wonder if the thing in the west is partly due to the Wheat Board thing.

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    1. It can't *not* be a factor at all, though even if it angers Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Alberta is so solidly Conservative that it may barely make a dent there (if at all).

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    2. The wheat Board really means nothing in Sask either, speaking as a farmer. Sask I predict will not elect more than possibly 1 NDP for the next election cycle.

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    3. 1 or 2 more Seats in Sask will be good for the NDP.

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    4. The NDP gets a lot of votes in Sask without any seats thanks to the riding boundaries. Perhaps it will change a bit with new boundaries, or with a touch more support.

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  4. I love the detail on that Innovative poll - lots to chew on. But does it really put the Conservatives behind the Green Party on the Prairies?

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    1. Well spotted! It appears in two graphs. Something has to be wrong there.

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    2. Wild Rose Party, not green party.

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    3. I've wondered for awhile if the CWB thing would hurt the CPC particularly in Sask. But somehow I doubt it. I know the province well and farmers, particularly old farmers as most Sask types are, will back CPC no matter what. But then again, I've been wrong before. Meanwhile, I expect this NDP surge to be relatively short lived. The Libs might get momentum back on their side during and after their leadership run.

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    4. No, not Wildrose. They don't run federally, nor in SK and MB.

      The legend tells us it's Green, though logic tells us it's a mistake.

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    5. Possibly it is an error (as in a typo or something), but more likely it is just the result of a high MOE and small sample size.

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    6. Hard to believe that the wheat board can be that much of an issue for the Tories in the prairies, given that abolishing it is a long-standing (and quite loudly stated) position of the conservative party. It's not as if people didn't know when those provinces voted for the Tories last election (and for the past decade or so) that that was on tap.

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  5. The first thing they should have done with Mulcair after he won is put him on a plane and sent him straight to Calgary.

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  6. Ontario is the lynch pin here.

    Given the Ontario, McGuinty, Liberals are really not liked and the Ont. PC's are a farce we should see a swing, possibly over time, towards the NDP on both a provincial and national level ??

    Indeed a Mulcair bump but I'd suggest holding back on the huzzahs for a bit. Say two months ?

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  7. The Roque One Time in Twenty Poll03 April, 2012 11:49

    to provide historical prospective the Forum poll on May 1, 2011, day before the election had CPC 36, Lib 19, NDP 33, Bloc 5 and Green 6.

    It is really surprising that according to Forum there has been no change in the popular support.

    Intuitively I would expect the CPC to be at close to their lowest support for a long while.

    The impact of losing Layton and the Liberals not having a leader might be the reason that the NDP , Liberals have not grown with the threat of an election removed.

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    1. But this poll does show a significant difference compared to the 1 May 2011 poll... not in the overall numbers, but in the regional composition... the NDP is significantly stronger nationally now, with a solid first or second place in every part of the country... that wasn't the case on the day before the election. This suggests a more solid foundation for NDP support than they had a year ago.

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  8. The Liberals are only a real factor in Ontario. The McGuinty government doesn't seem "much loved." I wonder why Ontarians are still interested?

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    1. " I wonder why Ontarians are still interested? "

      Could it possibly be that the other two parties are SO bad??

      No honestly the Hudak PC's are a farce and the Horvath dippers have yet to prove themselves competent !!

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    2. Just as a personal observation... the Ontario provincial Liberals are still pretty strong because they seem to have understood that making an attempt at having a common touch is important, something that the federal Liberals haven't really done in the last few elections. It was never very clear who exactly their base was.

      Much of the Ontario Liberal branding has been about emphasizing their blue-collar support - I mean, just look at their logos from 2002 until the present day.

      Even though McGuinty has been accused of high-handed elitism more and more in later years (part of why he's lost so much support), the Ontario Grits still seemed to show a much stronger connection to their base in the last election than the federal party.

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  9. And will you take into account the Robbins Research and Environics polls that were conducted and released last week?

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    1. Which Environics, the 30% tie between CPC and the NDP from before the contention?

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    2. Why would Eric consider the Robbins SEC poll? Robbins a joke, and a bad one at that. His numbers over history look like he finds them at the bottom of a whiskey bottle.

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  10. What the f***CK is wrong with Ontario?????? Ontariens have certainly lost their bloody minds. Hope this will change, can they realise the CPC is screwing Ontario and shifting the economy to the West. Ontario needs a wake up call!!!!!

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    1. Ontarian's know this. But with the majority of Ont seats held by CPC who are strongly controlled by the PMO absolutely nothing will get done or changed,

      It's the CPC way after all !! Unthinking robots aren't they ??

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    2. I think China and India are shifting the economy to the West!

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  11. Yes, I must be misunderremembering... Possibly also conflating with the Ekos poll of a day or two before the convention. So, we have this Forum poll, the Innovative Research poll and the Robbins poll conducted since the convention... Thoughts on Robbins?

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    1. Innovative was before the convention, only Forum has released anything post-convention.

      As for Robbins, I suggest an internet search.

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  12. Peter with the budget just out the McGuinty Liberals have proved themselves grossly incompetent. I'd vote for either of the opposition parties before I'd vote for McGuinty. Next election which just might be coming up now, I'll vote for who ever has the best chance of defeating the Liberal in my riding.

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    1. Yeah I understand what you are saying Earl but the options are as bad if not worse than the Libs

      Hudak's PC would go major austerity and there goes the province.

      Horvath would spend on the social like gangbusters and there goes the deficit stratospheric.

      Right now there is nobody better than the Liberals and they are atrocious.

      As to my riding it's held by a PC who does squat !!

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    2. The trouble in Ontario is all the most talented politicians jump to federal. The pay and perks are better as an MP, so you end up with the major parties suiting up the B team for provincial elections.

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  13. a forum poll was the final poll to be released prior to the last federal election (may 2 2011)...it showed the conservatives at 36% and the ndp at 33%...the actual numbers were cons 40% and ndp 30%...also, with all the economic fallout in the E.U.(that continues to affect the world economy) due to years of runaway socialist governments it is a foregone conclusion that we in canada will never elect an ndp government....really people!!

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    1. I guess that settles it, then.

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    2. Well thanks for that clarification then. I guess that means after the CPC wears out its welcome, it's back to the Liberals?

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    3. I love how people still contend there are "foregone conclusions" in a free democracy.

      There are likely and unlikely outcomes. If May 2011 taught us anything, it is that nothing is ever certain.

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  14. I suspect the uptick for the NDP in BC tracks the increased popularity of the provincial wing of the party. Having shot themselves in the foot by voting to bring back the PST, BC voters are now preparing to self administer the coup de grace by electing an NDP provincial government. None of this relates to Mulcair. To the extent he has any profile in BC it's as a slightly dodgy and suspect Quebec politician.

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    1. Hate to break it to you but NDP support in BC is flat from the last election. BC Liberal support is down, but none of that has bled to the left.

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    2. In the 2009 election the NDP won about 42% of the vote. Most current polls put them between 43% and 45% now. Small difference, but the Liberals won that election with 45%. Adrian Dix is also showing a very high level of personal support. Apart from the numbers, nearly everybody considers the NDP as the most likely next government in BC. I think it's probably that this attitude bleeds into some support for the federal party.

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  15. I see a lot of Libs and Tories discounting the NDP. Well this New Dem believes this is a trend. I am convinced that things changed permanently in Qubec, that Paririe people, of which I am one, do not see the Libs as any kind of alternative, and ultimately, given that the NDP will hold most of its Quebec seats, Ontario will decide this. How well the NDP does depends on whether they can sustain an Ontario break through. All you naysayers, say whatever you want, the fact is things have changed. Get used to it.

    Arthur Cramer

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    1. To say that things have "permanently" changed in Quebec is the height of naivety. Nothing is permanent in Quebec politics.

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    2. I agree that people are discounting the NDP unfairly, but it's naive to think that anything is permanent in politics.

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  16. Ontario is a two-way race between the Conservatives and the Liberals. The NDP has never managed more than 25% in Ontario federally since their creation, and it is doubtful Mulcair can convince voters to choose the NDP next time around. So if the NDP wants to form at least a minority government, they have to rely on the Conservatives bleeding support back to the Liberals in Ontario.

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    1. Rules are meant to be broken. Before the last election, the NDP had never won more than 20% of the in Ontario. Then last year they took 26%! Whose to say next time it won't be over 30%!

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    2. Okay sure, your strong intuition is obviously correct and the polling data obviously wrong.

      Ontario is a two-way race between the CPC and LPC just like Quebec is a two way race between the BQ and LPC... durrr wait a minute...

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  17. could these numbers also partly be a result of the Conservative attack ads against Rae in Ontario? how much have those been running?

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    1. That would be a stretch in my opinion. The Conservative ad buy was not that large. And Rae's personal leadership numbers have been holding up reasonably well, haven't they? This despite the Liberal Party falling back to election support levels.

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  18. "Well this New Dem believes this is a trend."

    Why don't yourwait to see more than one or two datapoints before you declare the existence of a "trend". New leaders invariable experience a post-leadership bump in popularity (see Dion, Iggy, passim) which bump invariable disappears within a month or so.

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  19. I'm very curious about the NDP's growth in Alberta and, to a lesser extent, the Prairies - and I wonder if the same motivations are at play in each case.

    In the Prairies, I see the logic of a Mulcair bump, combined with specific disaffection with the CPC ("taking Prairie voters for granted," unilateral CWB decision, etc). In Alberta, though, I wonder whether the same holds.

    I'd like to see more on what's motivating Albertans' current shift to the NDP (not in a way that challenges Harper there, but still, the shift is significant). Is there anything like a shift "left," though, or is there more a mood of basic anti-incumbency?

    Perhaps it's a stretch, but take Calgary - a city that elected Naheed Nenshi last year, while it's also the principal engine behind Wildrose. It doesn't appear there is an overriding left-vs-right wing logic at play, but more a "turf 'em out" attitude to established patterns.

    Albertans, any insights?

    ...signed Polygonic, whose OpenID login is playing up :-)

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  20. Hi Peter:

    I will be choosing one of the two alternates to McGuinty when I vote next. If we're going to have ABut it austerity then we might as well have something that works. The current Liberal budgets cuts all of $100 billion in the next year. Ontario is in financial crisis. If the NDP makes more sense I will vote for them although I honestly can't see that being the case, given their desire to raise taxes. I now dislike McGuinty more than I do Hudack.

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    1. Not overly fond of McGuinty but absolutely detest Hudak. Man is a real idiot !! As is most of his party !! As well he was a prime wimp for Harris and that permanently tars him for me. Harris did SO much damage we still haven't recovered.

      I'll vote Liberal and hold my breath. I liked stuff from Horvath on the campaign trail but recently she's, and the parties, been really irrelevant.

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  21. Peter I do understand what you are saying. We have to have austerity in Ontario. The question is how will be done and who can do it most effectively. I have precisely the same misgivings about the PC.s and Hudak. The issue that right now that tips it in Hudak favour is that that he will attempt to rid us of McGuinty's green albatross that is sinking this province. Good fortune. Earl

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    1. What's wrong with trying to shift to more sustainable energy sources, considering that the prices for fossil fuels keep going up and up and peak oil was back in 2005? Ontario's not Alberta. Yeah, this conversion is costing a lot but wouldn't it be stupider to NOT do anything? I look at Hudak, and I don't see even the slightest recognition from him that this is an actual future problem (an ECONOMIC problem) that needs to be prepared for. At least McGuinty understands that something needs to be done, even if he's perhaps not doing it in the most competent way.

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    2. Esn

      Definitely agree here. But we should be looking at other sources than wind and solar. There are for instance so many of the old water powered grist mill gone but all the water system is there minus a water wheel. There's a local company here in Easter Ont making a good business building small size hydro stuff for third world countries. Pretty small head in most cases. This suggest anything to you ?

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    3. Ontario will soon be able to buy Quebec's gas.

      North America has generational supplies of natural gas ..... cheap and accessible reliable and burns much cleaner than coal.

      I understand that to get elected in Ontario you can't have a Gas burning electricity plant in anyone's backyard...... but if you have enough brownouts and are forced to shut down the air conditioners eventually some common sense might prevail.

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  22. Earl

    "he will attempt to rid us of McGuinty's green albatross"

    Firstly I don't think Hudak can unless he's prepared to unilaterally tear up a large number of contracts? But do that and the Court time will be phenomenal !! And doesn't that just sound like the Harris agenda to you??

    No they are a bad deal and I think maybe the province needs to renegotiate but with rising oil prices and other factors while adjustment is necessary scrapping would be really, really stupid.

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  23. Really! Peter and ESN because renewables, primarily wind and solar are causing the Ontario Generation to restrict the use of the cheapest form of power - hydro- power.

    http://ca.mg4.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch?.rand=2112971012&action=showLetter&box=Inbox&umid=1_4732662_AAGniGIAAKjeT3x3ygZoRwYNF8M

    Our north can be developed like Quebec has theirs to provide additional sources of cheap, renewable electricity. Instead McGuinty goes on his green power trip. If you were to study the election results from the latest election you'll how Liberal after Liberal was defeated outside the greater Toronto area.

    That alone should McGuinty pause.

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    1. Earl, what exactly did you link to? That seems to be a link to Yahoo Mail.

      I'd certainly be open to the idea of focusing on hydro-power or thorium-based nuclear plants more (which are safer than uranium ones). That would be a worthwhile conversation. Has Hudak suggested anything of the sort? The problem is that I haven't heard the critics of McGuinty's plan acknowledging that there IS a problem, or putting forward their own credible plan to transition our energy sources away from non-renewables.

      The rising cost of energy, more than anything else, is what's responsible for our economic malaise now. That much we can agree on, I think.

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    2. Esn

      Yep, I agree and suggest we really look at hydro !! It's basically environmentally sound !!

      So why not ???

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  24. Earl lets just agree to disagree.

    Developing what now exists cost a Hell of a lot less than going "wild" !!

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