Tory attack ads working???

It hasn’t been obvious just looking at individual polls conducted since the Tories unleased their volley of attack ads against Michael Ignatieff, however when you look at a rolling-5 poll average of the last few polls, the data now suggests that the gap between the Liberals and the Tories has contracted by statistically significant margins.

On the plus side for progressives, the Bloc Québécois seems unaffected by these ads and remains relatively strong in Quebec (though certainly not invincible as before), the Greens have rebounded slightly and the NDP has also rebounded by statistically significant margins.

I have always said that the lower the popularity of the main two parties, the better off Canada is irrespective of which of the other parties gains the lion’s share of the remaining popular support.  These ads seem to be accomplishing precisely this.

While predictions tend to make fools of the predictors, I will venture out and predict interesting times ahead.

10 Responses to “Tory attack ads working???”


  1. 1 Jamie 3 June, 2009 at 10:34 am

    As much as I totally despise the Tories, the ad is almost 100% correct about Ignatieff.

  2. 2 Ken Furber 4 June, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    While I agree the Tories seem to be regaining some ground on the Liberals I don’t think it’s related to the attack ads. I actually think those ads are basically neutral on Canadians. And eventually voters may tire of them and they’ll backfire on Harper. They do have one positive side affect in that they’re likely absorbing a considerable amount of the much ballyhooed Tory war chest. Actually I think the reason for the Liberals’ dip in the five-day poll is their relative success in the polls of late. And I think your observations provide evidence of that. Green and NDP supporters who might swing their votes to the Liberals in the case of a close race during an election now feel confident to stick with their main parties. However, I think if there’s an election any time soon — and I don’t believe that’ll happen — the Liberals will benefit somewhere between five and eight percent thanks to NDP and Green supporters who will hold their noses and vote Liberal rather than take a chance and watch Harper win again. The reason the Liberals did so poorly in the last election wasn’t because the NDP, Greens and Tories did so well but because thousands of Liberal supporters didn’t bother voting and the party didn’t get many swing votes from Greens and NDP. In the next election — likely in 2010 when the economy continues to lag — if there’s any chance the Tories could still pull out a win I’d suggest the Liberals will be the beneficiaries of a tremendous swing from the Greens and NDP. Also rank and file Liberals will likely show up in droves at the polls. I’ll go out on a limb here for argument’s sake and suggest the Liberals will win a weak majority of between 155-160 seats, the Greens will be lucky to get 5 per cent of the vote, the NDP will lose close to 20 seats from where they stand now, the Bloc will hold its own or drop a bit and the Tories will go back to being a loud and beligerant opposition.

  3. 3 marcel 4 June, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Gee, I sure hope the NDP don’t lose 20 seats. But they might. People just won’t vote for them. It’s one of those things, like existance itself, that I struggle to understand.

    The Tories are pretty slick in their attack ad, saying Ignatieff only does attack ads and have no policy.

    The uninformed voter is persuaded to take the high, intellectual ground and vote Con, not noticing that the Cons are the ones who have no good policy and only have attack ads.

    I’ve never heard of liberal attack ads until the tory attack ad enlightened me to their existance.

    SInce I’ve killed my TV over a decade ago, I’m kinda slow to catch these things.

  4. 4 Ken Furber 5 June, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Hey Marcel:
    Yeah I’d rather the NDP not lose any seats either. Actually, I’d like to see the NDP sitting in opposition to a relatively strong Liberal minority. But then I’d also like to see people making music like they did in the 1970s. That won’t likely happen either.
    I still watch TV, but tune out Harper’s attack ads. They tire me. But I don’t think they have the same sting they had against Dion. Whatever the case, when Canadians decide it’s time to dump the Tories, like they did with the Liberals in 2006, it won’t matter much how big the Conservative war chest is, how good their attack ads are or how mean Harper and company gets. When we get sick of them we’ll flush them like the turds they are. It’s just a matter of when.

  5. 5 Big Guy in TB 5 June, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    The Harper attack ads just leave me cold, as Mr. Furber suggests. Anyone who votes againt the Liberals as a result of seeing those ads is horribly shallow and without a single thought in their head. Its just like the Republican attack ads in the US, and they sicken me.

    I want the politicians to talk about what they intend to do to change policy to make things better for me and Canada. I am capable of an independent thought and I don’t need Harper’s gang of hooligans telling me who I shouldn’t vote for. I’m smarter that that.

  6. 6 Ken Furber 10 June, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Apparently attack ads can backfire. Although I’m no expert on the recent NS election, I’ve heard the Conservatives borrowed a page from their federal counterparts and attacked the NDP quite hard. One of the TV commentators I listened to the other day suggested the tactic failed because the NDP countered with calm facts and positive statements about what they planned for the province should they form government. If that’s true, maybe Ignatieff should borrow the NS NDP strategy.
    On another note. A NDP majority government east of Ontario. Well, maybe there is a god after all.

  7. 7 paulitics 10 June, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Ken,

    I do have to admit that, for all their faults, an NDP government east of the NDP/Ontario border is a pleasant site.

    However, given Dexter’s remarkably right-wing campaign which won him the election, I think we’re going to be in for an “NDP”-lite government akin to the former Calvert government in Saskatchewan which will be rich on the neoliberalism and poor on the social justice and other similar things.

    Still, I guess it’s a shit load better than the alternatives so I can’t complain too loudly :)

  8. 8 John Wright 27 June, 2009 at 1:00 am

    So, what’s your e-mail? What’s your phone number? What’s your address??

    What, you aren’t a coward are you???? Show us where you are…you have to have more than that “Paul Bernardo” lookalike picture, don’t you???

    C’mon, fess up…

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