Archive for September, 2008

NDP in first place in Atlantic Canada, Prairies: poll

A new poll released earlier today by the polling firm Ekos suggests a dramatically-shifting political landscape on several fronts in Canada as the 2008 election election gets under way.

The Ekos poll is now the fourth consecutive poll from four separate polling firms to be released in the past week which shows the floor appearing to literally collapse out from under the Liberal Party of Canada.  The three other polling firms whose latest polls suggest similar trends are Environics, Strategic Council & Ipsos-Reid.

The Ekos poll puts the Liberals at a dismal 24% nationally, just 5% (MOE = ± 2.2% 19 times out of 20) ahead of the New Democrats who are ranked at 19%.

Of particular interest in this one poll is the rankings in the province of Quebec, and in Atlantic Canada and the Prairies.

In Quebec, the poll gives the Bloc Québecois the lowest level of support received by that party in any poll by any polling firm in nearly a year.  At 26%, the Bloc is listed as being statistically tied with the Tories (at 25%) and just 5% ahead of the New Democrats who are in a strong third place in the Ekos poll at 21%.

In Atlantic Canada, the poll puts the NDP at a whopping 36%, well ahead of both the Conservatives and Liberals who stand at 30% and 29% respectively.

In the Prairies, the Ekos poll puts the NDP at 38%, ahead by a statistically insignificant margin of the Tories’ 36% and considerably ahead of the Liberals’ dismal 14%.

However, the poll is not all good news for the New Democrats.  The poll puts the New Democrats in last place amongst the major parties in the vote-rich province of Ontario, behind the Greens (albeit by a statistically insignificant margin).

With all this said, it is important to close with a caveat.  As I have stated many times before, when a poll of this magnitude is released, it is always a good idea for political analysts not to to get too excited.  Many partisan observers often forget the fact that polls only claim to be accurate to within their own stated margin of error (± 2.2% in this case) 19 times out of 20.  That means that on average one out of every 20 polls will be off in their prediction by at least their margin of error and possibly worse.  This is why the Paulitics Polling Resource uses a 5-poll rolling average to base its analysis on.

Stay tuned, this latest Ekos poll will be included in the Polling Resource shortly.

Tories not as popular as media would have you believe

The Sage of Baltimore — H.L. Mencken — once famously noted that “For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong“.  Mencken’s words seem as apt today as they were when he first penned them.

Peruse the Op/Eds of any of the major capitalist papers in Canada and you will find a common refrain:

From the Toronto Star:

Federal election: Who’s the man?

From the National Post:

Biggest Tory asset is Harper himself

Tories are well placed to win

The only problem with the deliciously simplistic media narrative, is that any attempt to paint the Tories as being well-positioned in terms of polls and popularity is simply not true.  Unfortunately for the purveyors of the media narrative, the numbers don’t lie.

Having just recently completed a massive and long-overdue update of the Paulitics Provincial/Regional Polling Resource, it is possible to lay bare with the most accurate detail possible, the errors of any claims that the Tories are doing well.

In every province/region (that’s right “every”) the conservatives are either within the margin of error of their 2006 election showing or worse.  Put another way, there is no part of the country, no corner of Canada, that has warmed to the Conservatives in over 2 years.

Provinces / Regions where the Tories are doing worse than 2006:

Statistically significant:

Ontario (down by 2.3% even despite a ridiculous poll released by Environics which put the Tories at a whopping 41% provincially.  If we factor out that one poll, they’re down by 4.4%.)

Alberta (down by 6.4%)

Statistically insignificant:

British Columbia (down by 2.5%)

Atlantic Canada (down by 2.3%)

Prairies [MB & SK] (down by 2.0%)

For those of you keeping track at home, that’s not particularly good news for the Tories in parts of Canada representing 75% of the population.

But, don’t expect to read about that in the media anytime soon.

Detailed breakdowns from the Paulitics Provincial/Regional Polling Resource:

Tories recover on eve of election, but still down from 2006

The latest polls are certainly to be viewed as a mixed bag for all five of the major federal parties, save the Bloc Québecois.  For the latter, of course, there is little ‘mixed’ about the situation.  The Bloc’s situation appears to be moribund.

For the Tories, the latest polls have given them a slight bump (which will be accentuated when the latest Environics poll pegging the Tories at near-majority government level support is included in the Paulitics Polling Resource).  However, the Tories still remain down from their 2006 election showing by statistically significant margins despite being flushed with cash and despite their aggressive recent media buys.

For the Liberals, the recent polls have shown them slumping on the eve of the election — not exactly the best time to have a slump in popularity — and have not been able to break beyond a statistically-significant margin of their 2006 support in well over a year.  Still, on the other hand, the Paulitics Polling resource does show the Liberals as one of only two parties to rest above their 2006 levels of support, even if it is by a statistically insignificant margin.

For the NDP, after dipping badly in support, the recent polls have shown what must be a welcome up-tick in popularity back to within the margins of their respectable 2006 finish.  However, much like the Grits, the NDP have not been able to break out above their 2006 levels of support by a statistically-significant margin in well over a year.

For the Greens, after flirting with the 12 percent threshold in the Paulitics rolling-5 poll average for a time, the latest polls have witnessed a dramatic slump for the Greens back down to the 8 percent area of support.  That said, even if the Greens are able to hold on to this comparatively low level of support through to election day, they will still have roughly doubled their level of support since the previous election which is something that the other parties shall ignore only at their own peril.

For the Bloc, I have yet to update the Paulitics Provincial Polling Resource, so a complete picture of the carnage is not yet available at this time.  But, with that in mind, the latest provincial poll results from Leger Marketing put them at a dismal 30%.

Overall, even without the possibility of a legal battle over the constitutionality of the election itself, the election is shaping up to be an interesting one.

Much good news

After flirting some some pretty dire financial circumstances/unemployment for a while which utterly sapped my creative energies, I’m very pleased to say back on my feet both financially and creatively.

The other piece of good news is that my blog is no longer ‘banned’.  For those of you who came across the comment I left on my own blog the other day, I am pleased to report back that the issue surrounding WordPress restricting my blog, forbidding me from uploading files and rescinding my ability to publish new blog posts, has now thankfully been resolved.  It seems it was all something of a misunderstanding.

With that, since an election is in the air, I have put out a massive update to the Paulitics Polling Resource.  The Provincial polling resource will take a bit longer to update because it’s considerably more work.  But rest assured, there will be more detailed analysis to come.  Stay tuned.


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