Liberals surge, Tories plummet, NDP recovers

Several new polls have been released in the last couple of days and the Paulitics Polling Resource has now almost recovered from the recent flurry of bizarre Ipsos-Reid polls.


Since the Paulitics Polling Resource uses rolling-five poll averages and that latest absurd Ipsos poll showing 42% for the Conservatives is still included in the rolling average, you can probably expect the next poll released to reduce the Conservatives’ standings even more.

Other than the Conservatives, the Liberals have recovered and now stand 4 points higher than they were less than 10 days ago.  Unfortunately for the Libearls, however, this surge in support has only brought them back up to the less than stellar level of support the received in the 2006 election.

More importantly for the Grits, this surge in support has come where they need it most: Ontario.  While the Liberals remain either stagnant (or worse) just about every where else in the country, they have jumped over 5 points in Ontario in just 9 days and now enjoy a commanding lead in the vote-rich province over the Conservatives.

The NDP has maintained its strong standing in Atlantic Canada, but has droped precipitously in Quebec and to a lesser extent in the Prairies (Manitoba and Saskatchewan).  Less than 3 weeks ago, the NDP was tied with the Liberals in La Belle Province, now the NDP has lost 1 in 3 of its supporters and has slumped back down to the 10% range.

Meanwhile in Quebec, the Bloc has recovered nicely since its mid-October low and the Conservatives have slowly and steadily been increasing their support since the summertime.

The Greens have also slipped slightly in Quebec, losing roughly 30% of their support (dropping them from 10% to 7%).  The Greens have also shown lackluster performance in BC (where they have also lost between 30% and 1/3 of their supporters, but are still up considerably from their 2006 election showing), the prairies and, more importantly for Elizabeth May, in Atlantic Canada where they have continued their slow decline in support since their summertime peak at 10% and now stand at 6%.  Elsewhere the Greens are holding steady.

So, paradoxically enough, we have a situation where really every party can be unhappy with the recent poll results to some extent.  The only party who can reasonably be quasi-happy with the latest poll results, the Bloc, still finds itself badly down from its level of support in the 2006 election.

10 Responses to “Liberals surge, Tories plummet, NDP recovers”

  1. 1 Doug 17 November, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    What’s the explanation for the weird Ipsos polls? I’m also assuming that Ipsos is right-wing, given the high Tory ratings.

  2. 2 paulitics 21 November, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    Doug – you raise a good question. I really don’t know what the explanation for the weird Ipsos-Reid polls. I think it must be something methodological, but that’s just my guess.

  3. 3 aradhanad 21 November, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Can you explain something – or write a post about a trend that I’m seeing happening in N.Am lately. Maybe it’s just my own observation, but it seems like “free-market Libertarianism” is a new favorite amongst voters. I look at the recent ON elections and see the Green party gains (despite their shitty platform and neo-con views towards poverty and housing) and Ron Paul as a new republican and democratic favorite as some examples.

    Even Friedman supposedly went on the say he was wrong about some of his ‘free-markets will save the day theories’ just before he died, then what’s up with this recent surge interest in libertarianism?

    My take on this is that it could be that the public is so saturated in neoliberal ‘values’ (i.e. meritocracy, consumption, rampant individualism, and ‘purchasing power/empowerment’) and that people are genuinely fed-up and can see through the very Orwellian measures/police-state/corruption scandals set up by the state that they believe that ‘free-market libertarianism’ is the only alternative to the current system.

    I’d be interested if you have anything to say about that or any articles/book suggestions to support my hypothesis.


  4. 4 paulitics 21 November, 2007 at 6:48 pm


    That’s a really interesting question. I’ve thought about it a bit myself and while I don’t think I’ve thought about it enough to do a full-out post on the topic, I can give you my preliminary thoughts on the matter.

    First off, you’ve actually posed two points. The first pertains to the putative popularity of Ron Paul amongst Republicans and the Green Party amongst Canadians. I think on this front, it’s important not to overstate things. By every measure, Ron Paul’s support cannot be characterized as qualifying him as a “favourite”. see:

    Ron Paul has never broken double digits in any national poll and no polling firm that I’m aware of has placed him higher than 6th place nationally *among republicans* (Given his anti-abortion, anti-SCHIP and anti-net neutrality stances, I imagine among the entire population, he’d be significantly lower).

    As for the Greens in Canada, they have never broken 11% nationally in any rolling five poll average. see:

    So, I think it’s very easy to overestimate the level of support for both the Greens and Ron Paul. I think the reason for this is because Green Bloggers and Ron Paul fanatics do an exceptionally good job of generating online publicity for themselves (and Elizabeth May’s brilliant scheme to run in Central Nova, thus guaranteeing her free press).

    As for why we’re witnessing this phenomenon, I don’t really have an answer for that. My theory is that, since the media does not allow a questioning of the values underpinning Western capitalist society (ex. this is why the Iraq War can be mismanaged or a ‘blunder’ but it can never be immoral or just plain wrong), when the people become alienated with the system, true revolutionary change is left ‘off the table’.

    It reminds me of Orwell’s 1984 wherein one of the objectives of the creation of the language of Newspeak is the removal of words such as “sedition” and “revolt”. In removing the words, they also effectively remove the ideas from people’s heads so that they cannot even think seditious thoughts.

    “You think, I dare say, that our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We’re destroying words — scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We’re cutting the language down to the bone…It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”
    -George Orwell, 1984

    Anyway, those are my preliminary thoughts on the matter.

  5. 5 martinp 21 November, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    I can’t comment on the american half of that, but as for the Green Party, try to find me ONE random canadian voter who supports the Green Party because of their social or economic policies as opposed to their ‘green’ policies and I’ll give you a dollar. Canadians are now very apolitical, even anti political, in Ontario the press barely even covered the just over half of voters who bothered to vote, which is pretty close to how many vote at the federal level. People simply ‘assume’ that the Green Party is about the environment, and may be simply disgusted enough with the other four parties to jump on that bandwagon-a sort of protest vote if you will. As for ‘libertarian’ values, those are constructions of the media and partly bloggers. Stephen Harper hasn’t turned into Paul Martin the second out of accident. It’s true that because media rarely covers social issues, there is the perception that all these ‘spending announcements’ means that spending is back up to where it was (not even close) and so its time to ‘pay back the taxpayer’. You see the liberals playing around with this because they know that people don’t actually trust their government to deliver, so its better to have some money in the pocket.

  6. 6 aradhanad 22 November, 2007 at 1:22 am

    the green party does have a fairly free-market libertarian approach (i.e low on the social issues standpoint and high on the ‘corporate tax cuts’ side), as for the rest of what you said – I’d agree. I do however, think that there are voters who actually DID pay attention to policy – regardless of how small a minority that might be (I don’t think voters are as unintelligent as that), and made their decision based on that. I do know some people who do support the green party, and these are fairly discerning folks.

  7. 7 aradhanad 22 November, 2007 at 1:28 am

    thanks for your response – I think you may be right about a) paul’s campaigning strategies & low poll results b) the real lack of any honest media criticism of capitalism.

    I do think I may have jumped the gun a little, but it FREAKS me right out knowing that free-market types are getting at least a little more publicity than usual, obviously it’s easier for them to cause they really aren’t threatening to the status quo.

  8. 8 martinp 22 November, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    I didn’t say that voters were unintelligent. Not knowing the full policy of a political party is not ‘unintelligent’, everybody is a human being with the same intelligent potentials. But like I said, I doubt very much if you mention the Green Party that most people think ‘libertarian’, in fact I’d suggest the opposite. Looking at most polls there are very few people out there shouting out for tax cuts.

    But it’s called ‘corporate media’ for a reason, and the ‘less government’ you see, of course means more power in the hands of private power-namely corporations. As an aside, it may be becoming ‘more strident’ and loud because of course Canada has the most concentrated media system in the industrial world and Canada is posting huge surpluses, so of course people will want what they’ve always wanted, which is more government spending.

    So if you see more than usual, its not surprising. The more angry you are, hopefully the more likely you are to get political.

  9. 9 Phillip Huggan 24 November, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    Libertopianism is the least redistributive economic system. As compounding interest (rather than professional skills) disproportionately diverts more wealth to the richest, it allows them to further marginalize the majority. Thus even further media control and educational curriculum subversion is ceded to the rich.
    Things like health care, global warming, infrastructure renewal, foreign aid, will ever more be eroded away in jurisdictions where corporatist governments (the USA) are “elected”. On the bright side, the rich like their toys and R+D’d consumer innovations like cellphones eventually spill over into the working classes and even the 3rd world (masking the fact median income Canadian wages have dropped).

    Where redistributive investments are needed like addressing global warming to preserve mid-21st century civilization, the Republicans, the Conservatives, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation; will always chose greed and selfishness if the population allows itself to be brainwashed. Thankfully in Canada, we have the city of Toronto ensuring American style corporatism and the ancillary (future) 3rd world living characteristics, never occur. Mulroney didn’t have the demographics to justify his deficits, Martin’s Kyoto Green Plan got turfed by Harper, Chretein’s Universal Daycare got turfed by Harper…

    Libertarianism doesn’t work because graduated tax-rates help mitigate the compound interest wealth effect. Libertarianism is trendy where the population is brainwashed. At a 5% interest rate, the Liberal and NDP baskets of social programmes make far more cents than does a GST cut.

  10. 10 saskboy 3 December, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    “because of their social or economic policies as opposed to their ‘green’ policies and I’ll give you a dollar”

    The Green Party’s policies are economic and social, from a “green” perspective. That’s why they aren’t a one-issue party, but are perceived to be by the uninformed, because every policy has to pass the “is it sustainable environmentally” test.

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