The latest Decima poll released (available here) shows some promising news for the New Democrats in the province of Quebec, for the Greens nationally and juxtaposes this with some less-than-promising news for the Tories, who appear to be in a free-fall.
With this poll (and two other polls, one by Ipsos-Reid and another by Strategic), the Paulitics Polling Resource national trend lines show the party standings in flux. The parties are currently at:
Points of interest:
First, the Greens.
Less than three weeks ago today, the Greens were in the midst of a long nosedive from their previous high of 10.4 % which they had achieved on February 28th, 2007 in the Paulitics Polling Resource.
Three weeks ago, the Greens were tracking in a downward spiral fighting it out with the Bloc for (a decreasingly popular) last place. However, as is always the case in politics, three weeks is a long time.
In three short weeks, the Greens have gone from their worst polling results since January 2nd to an all-time high in the Paulitics weighted average trend line of 10.8%.
However, it is worth noting that nothing here takes account of Elizabeth May’s recent gaffe (here) where she repeated a previous comparison comparing Canada’s environmental policy to the appeasement of the Nazis.
Second, the New Democrats.
The New Democrats are holding steady nationally from their recent jump in the polls, however were the real story is with them is in the most unlikely of places: Quebec.
Chantal Hébert, in her recent book “French Kiss”, called Quebec the province of “heaven and hell” for the New Democrats. This was due to their seeming inability to break into the province in any substantial way all the while the province is, empirically-speaking, the most social democratic and thus the most sympathetic to the NDP’s putative ideals.
However, if one takes a look at the Paulitics Regional/Provincial breakdown of party support, one sees that, arguably, the largest increase of any party in any region or province is that enjoyed by the NDP in Quebec.
While this has garnered — so far as I can tell — a total of zero column inches in the mainstream media, it is worth noting here that the Conservatives were considered a joke in Quebec during the last election until the press began reporting on their jump in Quebec when they reached the low to mid teens (see polls between Dec. 30 – Jan. 5 here) in a Decima, an Ipsos-Reid and an SES poll.
So, long story short, are the NDP on the verge of a Quebec breakthrough? Most likely not. However their data in Quebec is enough in my opinion to merit the kind of media coverage which is ultimately the key element which causes electoral breakthroughs. However this kind of media coverage does not appear to be likely to happen anytime in the near future.
Lastly, the Conservatives.
The month of April was a bad month for the Conservatives. From the end of March to May 1st, the Conservatives have dropped 5 points in the Paulitics Polling Resource. If they experience another month like this, they will be back down into the 20-30% range from which they emerged after the 2004 election.