Monday, June 23, 2014

Léger puts Liberals and NDP in tie in Quebec

With tomorrow being St-Jean-Baptiste Day, it is only fitting to take a look at the latest poll coming out of Quebec. It's from Léger, reported by Le Devoir on Saturday. The survey shows the Liberals and New Democrats in a tie in the province, but this masks Thomas Mulcair's sparkling personal numbers.

Léger was last in the field at the federal level in October 2013, so we don't really have any trends to monitor.

But this poll showed the Liberals and New Democrats in a tie with 34% apiece. That is not a bad number for the Liberals, who have averaged 33% in polls conducted in 2014 in the province, but it is a great number for the NDP, which has averaged 29%. If we exclude the polls from Angus Reid, which have been bullish on the NDP in Quebec this year, this is the best the NDP has done in any poll in Quebec since an Ipsos Reid survey conducted a year ago.

The Bloc Québécois was third with 17%, along with last week's Forum poll the worst the party has done in quite some time. Perhaps not coincidentally, both this Léger and last week's Forum poll were conducted after Mario Beaulieu was named the new party leader. The Bloc has averaged 21% in polls done in 2014, so this is on the low side for them by any measure.

The Conservatives were at 12%, well within the norm of recent polls in the province.

Among francophones, the New Democrats were well ahead with 39%. That is their best showing since a CROP poll from February 2013, before Justin Trudeau took over the Liberals. His party was at 25%, on the lower end of surveys since he became leader. The Bloc was at 21%, while the Conservatives continued to struggle with 12% support.

Among non-francophones, the Liberals dominated with 65% - actually a bit higher than they have been in recent months. Trailing at a distance was the NDP at 17% and the Conservatives at 12%.

With these levels of support, and especially considering the linguistic breakdowns, the NDP would retain most of their seats and win about 51, with 23 going to the Liberals and four to the Conservatives. The Bloc Québécois would be shut out of the legislature. The Liberal and NDP numbers suggest a huge degree of inefficiency on the part of the Liberal vote, but that is primarily because the party would be racking up super-majorities on the island of Montreal, and losing a lot of closer races elsewhere in the province.

Nevertheless, I would consider this level of inefficiency to be on the edges of the model's margin of error, and that the Liberals would do somewhat better. In four ridings, for instance, the gap between the NDP and Liberals stood at less than five points, so there is some potential for the Liberals to win closer to 30 seats, and the NDP closer to 45, at these levels of support. But we shouldn't be surprised if the Liberals have difficulty pulling a lot of seats out of Quebec, even if they win the most votes in the province.

This could be a problem for the Liberals in terms of their national seat count. If they only win some 25 out of 78 seats in Quebec, that puts them at a big disadvantage when the Conservatives can win 50 out of 62 seats in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

Quick note on the provincial scene, rather insignificant considering the next election is four years away and the Parti Québécois is leaderless: the Liberals still lead with 40%, followed by the CAQ at 27% and the rudderless PQ at just 20%. The PQ is even running in third among francophones (24%), behind the CAQ at 32% and the Liberals at 29%.

Léger's poll included their quarterly 'barometer' of personal approval ratings for various federal and provincial politicians in Quebec. Among the federal figures, Mulcair finished head and shoulders above the others with 57% of Quebecers holding a good opinion of him, while just 12% held a bad opinion of the NDP leader. Another 17% were unsure, and 14% said they did not know who he was.

Next on the list was Trudeau, with a 42% to 36% split, and just 6% not knowing who he was. These numbers, for both Trudeau and Mulcair, are generally unchanged since Léger's December 2013 survey.

Stephen Harper's numbers were very low, with just 20% holding a good opinion of him but 68% holding a bad opinion. Elizabeth May had positive numbers, with a 24% to 10% split, but 24% did not know how they felt about the Green Party leader and 42% did not know who she was.

The Bloc's new leader has very little profile, as 54% said they did not know who he was and 22% did not know whether they had a good or bad opinion of him. Of the remainder, only 8% said they had a good opinion of Beaulieu and 16% said they had a bad one. The man Beaulieu beat to become leader was André Bellavance, who had an even lower profile (59% did not know him, 26% did not know what opinion they had of him). But 9% said they had a good opinion of him, and 6% had a bad one.

If we remove the undecideds and don't-knows for the three main leaders, Mulcair has a glowing 83% approval rating, with Trudeau at 54% and Harper at a woeful 23%. For the time being, that is even lower than Beaulieu's 33%, though many people have yet to form an opinion of him (early indications are it won't be positive when they do).

Compared to the provincial figures, Quebecers have very little clue about their federal politicians. Of the 15 listed, a majority of Quebecers recognized only nine of them. Of the 48 provincial figures listed, a majority of Quebecers recognized 32 of them.

The top five provincial or federal figures, rated by approval rating, were François Legault (CAQ leader), Mulcair, Françoise David (QS co-spokesperson), Philippe Couillard (Liberal leader and premier), and Trudeau. The bottom five, rated by disapproval rating, were Harper, Maxime Bernier (Conservative cabinet minister), Gaétan Barrette (Liberal health minister), Amir Khadir (QS MNA), and Sam Hamad (Liberal cabinet minister).

Just finishing out of the top five approval ratings was Pierre-Karl Péladeau. Just finishing outside the highest disapproval ratings was Trudeau.

It is interesting to look at the aggregate ratings of the federal figures listed by Léger. The Liberals come out on top in terms of approval ratings and recognition, but this is due to the high profile nature of the three names listed by Léger: Trudeau, Marc Garneau, and Stéphane Dion (they average 36% approval, 29% disapproval, 35% don't-knows/undecideds). Their total net score, however, is only +20. This is compared to the total net score of +63 for the four New Democrats listed (Mulcair, Alexandre Boulerice, Françoise Boivin, and Ruth Ellen Brousseau). Together, they average 25% approval, 9% disapproval, but also 67% don't-knows/undecideds. This suggests that, apart from Mulcair, the NDP still has a lot of work to do to introduce Quebecers to their NDP MPs.

The four Conservatives (Harper, Bernier, Christian Paradis, and Steven Blaney) totaled a net -83 rating, averaging just 16% approval, 36% disapproval, and 49% don't-knows/undecideds. It should be worrying for the Tories that their highest profile Quebec MP (perhaps despite their best efforts), Bernier, has such high negative ratings. It would have been interesting if Léger had included Denis Lebel, the Conservatives' actual top Quebec MP, in their listings.

It will make no headlines that the Conservatives are doing poorly in Quebec, and will be lucky to hold on to the seats they have there in 2015. But it is interesting to see the Liberals and New Democrats running such a close race (no turnout advantage to be had - the two parties were also tied among Quebecers 45 or older).

On the one hand, the NDP has an incumbency edge, but also a lack of profile for their incumbents. On the other hand, the Liberals have some more high profile Quebec MPs, but very few incumbents (and those they have were never going to be in danger of being toppled). Both Mulcair and Trudeau have good approval ratings, particularly Mulcair, but Trudeau has relatively high negatives as well. There is good scope for both significant Liberal gains in the province and wide retention rates by the NDP. Quebec will definitely be a battleground in 2015, but the importance of the seats won in Quebec will be determined in large part by how the election goes in the rest of the country.


  1. Which sort of puts the lie to the "overwhelming NDP power" in Quebec doesn't it ?? Wonder what this will look like by Oct 2015 ??

    1. I don't think anyone is claiming the NDP currently enjoys 'overwhelming power' in Quebec.

    2. It's been pretty common view since 2011 but I don't think it will last. This may be the beginning of their drop from the peak.

    3. If anything, the English Canada media have been anxious to declare the NDP breakthrough in Quebec a one off that died with Jack Layton. So much for that.

      As to the profile of individual NDP MPs, a provincial survey doesn't necessarily tell us much that's useful. Even in a smaller province like Saskatchewan, few people besides political geeks could recognize the names of all of the province's MPs. It matters not if voters in Terrebonne know who Ruth-Ellen Brosseau is. But a province wide number tells us little of how well she's known in Berthier-Maskinonge, which is the number that matters.

    4. Depends on what media you read or listen to doesn't it ?? They are all over the map on so many things now !!

    5. Malcolm: Indeed, the English media has declared the NDP a one-time shot due to the personal popularity of Jack Layton. These numbers put a lie to that.

      In fact, outside Montreal, the Liberals hardly have an organization whereas the NDP is cooperating with provincial Liberals and the Quebec Solidaire to build a solid grass-roots foundation. Liberals seem to be taking it for granted that they are owed power after 10 years of the Tories.

      I get the feeling that Trudeau understands this, but outside Quebec, Liberals don't seem to have a clue.

    6. Malcolm and Guy,

      At 34% The NDP is only retaining roughly 75% of their 2011 vote in Quebec given the margin of error they could be trailing the Liberals by as much as 6% and retaining only 66% of their 2011 vote. The trend since Mulcair became leader is negative in Quebec although polls have been slightly more favourable of late.

      It is far too early to say whether or not 2011 Quebec was a one-off. I wonder how the parties relative positioning will change if Quebeckers realise Mulcair has virtually zero chance of becoming prime minister. Will 34% of Quebeckers vote NDP if it turns out to be a Liberal-Conservative race nationally?

      I think organisation will have little impact on the race. Quebeckers are fickle and are more than willing to turf incumbents after less than one term (just ask Pauline Marois). Quebeckers often turn on a dime politically; Dief in 1958, Mulroney 1984, Bouchard and the BQ 1993, Layton 2011. Did any of those parties have much in the way of a Quebec organisation? I doubt it. Secondly, what type of organisation does the NDP have in Quebec if they are reliant upon QSers and provincial Liberals-not much I would suggest. will QSers and provincial Liberals really volunteer for Mulcair come election time?

      In short the NDP still has a long way to go before anyone can claim it is the dominant party in Quebec politics.

    7. Daniel,

      It is too early to say that Mulcair has "virtually zero chance" of becoming PM. While at this point it would be a surprise, a lot can happen in one year.

      Also, recent history tells us that "virtually zero chance", and Liberal-Conservative race, doesn't matter to Quebec voters. Think of the BQ years, and the NDP in 2011. BQ had literally zero chance, and in 2011 it was a Lib-Con race, until at last it was not. NDP in 2011 was also thought to have virtually zero chance.

      Truth is, you're right that Quebecers are more than willing to turf incumbents. But they're pretty unpredictable.

    8. Jonathan,

      The NDP has been below 30% nationally for the last 20 months and they have not lead the Liberals in popular vote intentions since April 2013. You are right a lot can happen in a year which explains why I wrote "virtually zero chance" instead of simply zero chance.

      In 2011 the NDP became the lead opposition party roughly halfway through the campaign arguably Quebeckers may have thought they were voting for a prospective government. Yes the BQ had a good run but, the party had real clout both because of the constitutional situation and later because of minority governments. With constitutional concerns becoming a minor political issue and the NDP looking set to reclaim their traditional third party status will Quebeckers feel such a party is in their interests?

    9. Daniel, try arguing against what we have said instead of against a straw man of your own making. No one (except your imagination) has declared the NDP unbeatable in Quebec. We have meet stated (and the polls back us up to date) that the NDP is still in play in Quebec. That may change before the next election, but it hasn't changed yet. Given the inefficient distribution of Liberal support, this would mean significantly more seats for the NDP than for the Liberals even if the Liberals led in the popular vote.

      Of the two, Mulcair is more fully known in Quebec than Trudeau. Thus his personal approval numbers are likely to main more or less stable. Trudeau, by contrast, already has much higher negatives than Mulcair, and that despite the kit glove treatment he gets from major media.

    10. Malcolm,

      Wow, for a man of the cloth you certainly are rude. You are probably one of those opinionated clerics who nearly split the Church.

      You accuse me of making a straw man (I am surprised a priest is so knowledgeable on pagan rituals) but, all I have done is present facts; 1. the NDP has been below 30% nationally since May 2012. Look at the monthly averages on this site! 2. The NDP is down roughly 20-25% in Quebec from 2011. Once again look at the polling averages on this site.

      I never wrote the NDP will be eliminated in Quebec at the next election or they would lose a good portion of their seats. In fact I wrote; "It is far too early to say whether or not 2011 Quebec was a one-off". The trend is clear, however, and it indicates declining support nationally as well as in Quebec for the NDP; since the last election, from the time Mulcair became leader and since, Trudeau became Liberal leader. Once again look at the monthly polling on this site and you can see for yourself the polling average of the NDP moving down the X axis. I even stated recent polls for the NDP had been more favourable of late-so I have tried to be fair and as best as possible unbiased in analysing the data.You are right the NDP is still competitive in Quebec-that has not changed.

      What has changed is their relative standing nationally, they have remained in third place for 20 months and I would suggest during that time have also remained third in the projected seat count. From that viewpoint it is difficult to see how the NDP could form government except as a junior partner to either a Liberal or Conservative government.

      I do not write the NDP is uncompetitive in Quebec I simply ask a question: Will they still be in play if the dynamics change or voters' perceptions change based on new information? For someone in the pursuit of metaphysical certainty you certainly have a disbelief of polls.

      I think the real problem is you well understand the situation is not rosy for the NDP either in Quebec or nationally and became upset when presented with facts that deviated from your preferred outcome.

      Finally, I find it hard to believe Mulcair is better known than Trudeau in Quebec. Indeed, according to the poll above just 6% of Quebeckers did not know who Justin Trudeau was whereas, Mulcair was unknown by 14% of the population!

      I apologise for being so snarky but, unfounded and judgmental accusations such as; creating a straw man need to be rebutted in unequivocal terms.

    11. Typical Liberal rhetoric. Telling people what their options are before they have a chance to look for themselves. Mulcair has as good a chance of being PM as Trudeau does. Mulcair needs to gain a about 50 seats to lead a minority govt. Trudeau needs to gain 115. What do those numbers tell you?

    12. knownothingsk,

      I am not nor ever have been a member of the Liberal party. Throughout my voting life I have cast ballots for a variety of parties provincially and federally including; the NDP, Greens, Conservatives, PCs and the Liberals. At the moment I am not a member or supporter of any political party. I would not classify myself as a swing voter merely someone who is awaiting the selection of candidates in his riding before making a decision.

      Ironically, although you criticised me for "Telling people what their options are before they have a chance to look for themselves". You then tell me what my options are by classifying me as a Liberal! Such a statement reeks of intellectual inconsistency.

      People have had three years to look for themselves. During that time they will have witnessed the data turning decidedly negative for the NDP and Thomas Mulcair. At one point in the late Spring-Summer of 2011 the NDP lead in opinion polls and seat count. Then there was a period when the NDP, Liberals and Tories were competitive and jockeying for first place however, since Oct. 2012 the NDP has not led in a single national opinion poll/ survey. Today, according to all the surveys ( a continuous pattern for the last 20 months) the NDP finds itself in third place among the popular vote nationally and in projected seats count.

      What the numbers 50 and 115 tell me is that you are out of date in your political analysis. The dynamics have changed since May 2011 but, your calculus has not. At its current level of support the NDP is only expected to win about 70 seats whereas both the Tories and the Grits are expected to win nearly twice that amount. You may disbelieve but, based on the data at hand including; the NDP only averaging 21% nationally in May polls, there is a greater probability that either Trudeau or Harper will be PM compared to Mulcair after the next election. Indeed, the NDP has been below 30% in the monthly average since, Oct-Nov. 2012-20 months ago. During this period the NDP has consistently been in third place.

      The situation may improve for the NDP of course but, we should ask ourselves where is Mulcair going to find 50 seats? Probably not out West where his Dutch disease comment was seen as an indication a Mulcair government would sacrifice Western prosperity for Eastern votes. In Ontario where memories of Rae days rightly or wrongly still leave a bad taste in voters mouths? In Quebec where the Liberals and NDP are tied for popular support? Or the Atlantic where recent polls have shown the NDP in third place some 30 per centage points behind the Liberals?

      Now things may change of course but, considering Mulcair has burnt bridges in the second most seat rich area of the country (the West) he has much work to do in order to win a NDP plurality.

    13. I think my earlier comment was in response to Daniel. I agree that the Conservatives are likely to win a majority if seats in SK and MB, and possibly in BC though that's more complicated. But Daniel's comments suggested he was unaware of the phenomenon of NDP-Con swing voters which is very common in those three provinces.

    14. Daniel, you keep referring to claims of NDP dominance in Quebec even though no one has made such claims. That is a straw man. Save your snark for when someone has actually been unfair to you.

    15. Malcolm+,

      You are your own straw man: "the English Canada media have been anxious to declare the NDP breakthrough in Quebec a one off that died with Jack Layton".

      In that statement you infer continued NDP dominance in Quebec! Whereas, in my first comment I state the NDP is only holding 75% of their Quebec vote then state it could be as low as 66% given the MoE! While I do not explicitly write the NDP will lose seats in Quebec come 2015, most people would recognise that is the implicit outcome of my comment.

  2. It'll be interesting to see the NDP strategy come next year. If they try to consolidate Quebec while trying to win BC and make inroads in Ontario, they could nip at the heels of the Liberals. This could definitely tip the Conservatives for another win, though in a minority position.

    1. Mulcair lost Western Canada with his strange "Dutch disease"comments. With both the Liberals and NDP opposed to Northern Gateway most rural BC seats are not in play as such a policy position leaves 40%+ of the population free for the Tories. Vancouver has never been a hotbed of support for the CCF or NDP provincially or federally, the city votes Liberal with staunch pockets of NDP support throughout Greater Vancouver.

      The economy is doing well and of late Canadians have shown remarkable loyalty toward incumbents, I agree with Mort Zuckerman; the economy is improving and doing well relative to other Western nations therefore, Harper is well placed to win a second majority. The Liberals have an untested leader and we all remember how well rookie leaders performed in 2008 and 2011.

    2. I don't think a second majority is in the cards. the Dutch disease is a real thing and it is affecting Ontario the hardest, which is probably why the Liberals are doing so well there now.

      In terms of the west, the new pipeline debate will severely hamper the Tories there. I definitely think the majority that the Conservatives received was a fluke.

      The economy might be doing well in the west, but the rest of Canada is still hurting.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Lukas,

      The Dutch disease was not a "real thing" it was a term coined to group together a variety of economic outcomes in Holland in the 1970's. What really affected Ontario the hardest was the Chretien -Martin low dollar policy. Instead of using those economic "good times" to improve productivity Ontario manufacturing sat on haunches and let the low dollar be their competitive advantage. Ontario needed to invest in new equipment and productivity upgrades they didn't and now they and Ontario are paying the price. The dollar may be high but, Ontario is competing against china not America so unless you want a 5 cent dollar increasing productivity is the only way to compete.

      It is somewhat pathetic to blame Western success for Eastern economic malaise. When the going gets tough the tough get going-it's time for Ontario and Quebec to pull up their socks and do what needs to be done. The Maritimes are doing all right thanks to resource development.

      Lukas, the pro-pipeline position of the Conservatives will not hurt them out West. Harper has positioned the party as the only resource-development party in a resource dependent region. The NDP and Liberals will split the anti-resource development vote and the Tories will win a large majority of Western seats with 40+% of the vote. As we saw in 2013 in BC most British Columbians are in favour of resource development as soon as Dix indicated his party's antipathy towards such activities he lost the election. I would expect the NDP to lose a couple seats in BC come 2015 even Cullen may be in the fight of his political career.

    5. Lukas wrote: "In terms of the west, the new pipeline debate will severely hamper the Tories there. I definitely think the majority that the Conservatives received was a fluke".

      Conservatives routinely win a majority of seats out West. 1968 was the last year a conservative party did not win a majority of Western seats. The Conservatives' policy on oil and gas will not harm them in the West. While it is true strong opposition exists in some corners towards oil and gas or logging or mining those people were unlikely to vote for the Tories in any case and so "the pipeline debate" will have little impact upon the Conservative vote.

      Trudeau has shot himself in the foot (his gaffes are beginning to add up) with his opposition to Northern Gateway, his stance has polarised the debate and those looking for a third way have nowhere to go.

    6. Lukas,

      The last time a conservative party did not win a majority of Western seats was 1968. The Liberals have not been a force in Western Canada since the Second World War with the exception of Trudeaumania in 1968.

    7. You are probably correct that the conservatives will win a majority of western seats, but only because fortress Alberta skews the numbers. Your simplistic analysis demonstrates a significant misunderstanding of populist voter behaviour in much of western Canada (outside of Alberta), where NDP-Conservative swing voters come close to outnumbering Liberal-Conservative or Liberal-NDP swing voters. In 1993, 1997 and 2000, the most common mid-campaign voter migrations in CAnada were among NDP-Conservative swing voters in the prairies and the BC interior.

    8. When I said majority, I meant a majority government. I seriously doubt Cullen is in jeopardy. The Conservatives will only lose seats in BC come 2015, you can quote me on that. Sure, the Tories will win almost all the seats in Alberta, and most likely the most seats in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, but I seriously doubt they will win a majority of seats in BC (perhaps a plurality, but no way they will hold onto all their current MPs)

      Ontario will be split slightly in favour of the Liberals, whereas the Tories would be lucky to eke out 10-15 seats east of Ontario.

      And as Eric has shown, these are fairly stable numbers too. If Harper gets another minority government, I seriously doubt that he will remain Prime Minister.

    9. Lukas,

      Unfortunately it is appears you don't know B.C. very well. On occasion the province does vote Liberal federally the last time being 1968. Provincially conservative parties have held power since, 1903 with only 3 exceptions.

      Cullen's riding is at the centre of the resource development debate. People up there understand a NDP or Liberal government could very well presage the loss of jobs in the resource sector-the largest employer in Mr. Cullen's riding. Now that Trudeau and Mulcair are both anti-resource development the choice is clear. Ask Adrian Dix whether opposing resource development was good political strategy.

    10. Malcolm+,

      \Even without Alberta the Tories will win a majority of Western seats. This site's current (May) seat projection gives the Tories 36/68 seats in the West excluding Alberta.

    11. I don't disagree that's the most likely outcome (as things stand at least), but you ignore the phenomenon of populist swing voters at your peril.

    12. Malcolm+,

      I am unsure where your last comment is directed.

      Populism has not been a force in Canada for a long time. Perhaps 1988 was the last time populism became a political activity. Since, then, though it predates the Free Trade debate, onetime Western populists have firmly supported the Conservatives both PC and CPC. We are far removed from the days of the Progressives and United Farmers.

      The NDP is no longer a populist party, Layton was the son and grandson of cabinet ministers (some would say part of the elite or upper class), Mulcair is a lawyer and former cabinet minister-neither are exactly a working stiffs. The NDP has moved away from populist policies as well; increasing social housing appeals to a relatively small segment of society for example. The BCNDP's opposition to the carbon tax was if anything anti-populist and their failure to capitalise on the HST referendum (the BCNDP was officially neutral) shows a remarkable disconnect with the population.

      Thank you for your concern for my political future but, I have decided not to run in the upcoming election.

    13. Layton's appeal was classic populism, regardless of who his father and grandfather were.

  3. With these numbers, my model would give:

    42 NDP
    25 LPC
    6 CPC
    2 BQ

  4. Chantal Hebert in Tuesday's Toronto Star

    "For the record though, Beaulieu’s dubious score does not even come close to Stephen Harper’s negative approval rating. Sixty-eight per cent of Quebecers — the highest of any politician on the Léger list — have a bad opinion of the prime minister."

  5. The Ontario Liberals have shown that Liberal voters in the Toronto 'burbs will actually to turn up at the ballot the box if the leader is right.

    As well, in B.C., Conservativesvoters have shown themselves to be more than willing to vote Liberal en masse when faced with the prospect of an NDP win.

    1. The BC Liberal party is a conservative party, the mushy middle doesn't exist in B.C. Throughout B.C.'s history the "free enterprise" party or parties have usually won election. When, it appears the socialist horde are at the gates British Columbians vote for whatever party can best drive them off. So we had a coalition, the Social Credit party and now the Liberal party as the free enterprise alternative to socialism and calamity.

  6. I think we can assume that Harper thinks he can retain power by maximising his western seats and getting a decent chunk of Ontario. It's obvious Quebec and the Maritimes are not on for any reason. But as we have seen Wynne's Liberals caused major hurt to the provincial Tories and given the 18 months till the scheduled election how much more damage can they do to the Federal Tories. A great deal I think !

    1. If the OLP continues to govern in the same manner as the past 11 years they will be damaging their Liberal cousins not the Tories. If the OLP governs responsibly they may well improve federal Liberal odds.

    2. Wait, the OLP just won a massive majority on the basis of how they've been governing in the past 11 years, and that's going to damage the federal Liberals somehow?

      Man you can smell the desperation of the Harper fanatics in this comment section.

    3. sp8,

      One can smell the desperation of the Liberals who attack instead of promote their own polices. Oh wait, Trudeau hasn't released any polices yet.

      Wynne, won an election based on negative attack adds against Hudak and big spending promises. If I recall correctly $29 billion for transit alone never mind other infrastructure and an Ontario pension plan. The one thing Wynne did not campaign on was the Liberal record, both the Tories and NDP campaigned on the Liberal record which in hindsight was not good strategy. However, one of Hudak's campagn priomises looks like it will be implemented-Deb Matthews is the new "minister of spending cuts".

      Also I would not call a majority of 9 seats massive.

    4. The ability to do a postmortem is key in politics. Blaming Hudak's loss on attack ads ignores the fundamental flaws in that candidate and his platform.

    5. PolStats,

      I am not blaming the PC loss on attack adds (although the attack adds certainly helped the Liberals) merely pointing out the Liberal strategy to minimise discussion of their record.

  7. And thus I think Eric some of the speculation re an early election before Wynne can do more damage and before Northern Gateway can really negatively energize BC.

  8. Media Bias can be and is a big problem. If you only look at one paper/news chain you are going to, quite possibly without realising it, become biased yourself.

    Now here in Canada we have basically about four media chains.

    Globe And Mail
    Sun News.

    Plus at least two if not three TV news chains

    Not sure if Shaw is nation wide though ?

    So the answer has to be to look at as many different sources as possible every day in order to try and maintain a "balanced" view.

    Now personally I find Sun news so rabidly right as to be useless, virtually Tea Party North IMO.
    The rest have pretty good credentials I find and allow me to maintain something like balance.

  9. And Canadian media in the last decade has been leaning slightly more to the right.

    The vast majority of newspapers (major and local) endorsed the Harper Tories in 2006, 2008 and 2011.

    The National Post and Sun Media will never endorse the Liberal or NDP option. That is 2 of 4 major chains.

    The Globe and Mail is a fiscally conservative/socially liberal newspaper. They usually love Conservatives and occasionally the Liberals (not once did they give a wholehearted endorsement to Jean Chretien!).

    Toronto Star of course is a big-L Liberal paper. Occasionally they support NDP or a very Red Tory if the Liberal option stinks.

    I think both the CBC and CTV are decent TV chains. I do feel the CBC seems centre-left and the CTV seems centre-right. Though sometimes, I feel that is more with tone and style rather than actual content or bias.

    1. As I might point out US media has to, moved right.

      I find the Globe basically centrist with some exceptional columnists !! Jeffrey Simpson etc.

      The Star is not so much large L liberal as small l.
      And allso has some exceptional columnists, Chantal Hebert, Tim Harper etc.

      National Post somehow seems to be going through a crisis. A couple of their writers, Coyne and den Tandt distinctly moving away from the Harper Con brand

      Sun is so far out on the right as to be virtually useless.

      Agree re the TV networks but I'm not really sure the positions you put out are dead on. I happen to like Don Martin's show and he is distinctly centre-left where as the Evan Solomon show on CBC is distinctly centre right

      As to Sun Media the only decent thing they have is the Sunshine Girl !! 'Nuff said

  10. And Jay none of what you say diminishes my point that for balance you have to look at almost all does it ?

  11. It will be interesting to see how the NDP and Liberals act in 2015 regarding Quebec. If the Liberals are smart they'll focus elsewhere as a minority government (removing Conservatives from power) should be their #1 goal, thus ridings where the Conservatives have MP's but might not retain them should be their #1 goal. Don't abandon their Quebec (outside Montreal) candidates, but don't spend a ton of time on it either. BC and Ontario will decide the election, not Alberta (nearly pure CPC), Saskatchewan (likewise) or Quebec (Liberal/NDP mix). In fact, fighting hard in Quebec could help the Conservatives via splits occurring between the Liberals/NDP/Bloc allowing the PC's to win seats with just 30%.

    1. John I think the real focus for the Liberals should be Ont. Seat rich and just had it's provincial party decimated ! Plus a strong provincial Liberal party. But kicking out the Harper Tories everywhere possible, as you point out, is the only way to win. Incidentally more speculation that Harper will step down before the election around.

    2. All political parties have one goal; win government. The Liberals must focus on winnable seats for them as must the NDP and Conservatives. Undoubtedly, many winnable NDP-Liberal, NDP-CPC and Liberal-Conservative seats exist throughout Canada. Liberals are anxious to reclaim some of their traditional base in Quebec from the NDP and in Ontario from the Conservatives.

      The Liberals are still very much fighting for their political life. Focusing on a minority government only places them in a precarious position. A large vote split will only ensure neither the NDP or Liberals ever form government.

      Unfortunately, for your theory Peter Ontario has a long tradition of splitting their support-when the Tories are in power in Ottawa Ontario votes Liberal provincially, when the Liberals are in power at Queen's Park Ontario votes Conservative federally. Ironically, your "great win" may have all but scuppered Trudeau's hope to be PM.

  12. Really interesting bit on yesterdays Don Martin show.

    All week he's had a panel rating ministers. Robert Fife and another. Most Ministers have been in the B- -C range of rating.

    Last night two got into the A - A+ range

    Joe Oliver and Lisa Raitt.

    One however fell right out the bottom with an F

    Julian Fantino, Veterans Affairs. Fife said he doesn't understand why Harper hasn't fired him as his arrogance and inhumanity are so well known?


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