Friday, January 9, 2009

Favorable Liberal poll - another nail in the coalition coffin?

Nik Nanos released a telephone poll taken January 3-7, showing the Ignatieff-led Liberals have passed the Harper-led Conservatives:
  1. Liberals 34%
  2. Conservatives 33%
  3. NDP 19%
  4. Green 7%
The BQ has 29% in Quebec, and Quebec has about 25% of Canadian population, so I infer that the national BQ support must be close to 7%, which makes the above total roughly 100%. But since the BQ only runs in Quebec that's probably irrelevant anyway.

The poll also suggests Conservative support has increased in the West, but I think it's hard for them to increase their seat count much at all (they're pretty near 100% already). That means less support in the rest of Canada, possibly fewer Ontario seats, probably fewer Quebec seats.

Stronger Liberals numbers in Quebec and Ontario could raise their seat count quite a bit. With a little luck, some soft voters who supported the NDP in the last election might switch their support. It's optimistic but not unrealistic that Liberals could form a minority government with those numbers. I hope they last.

But why would Mr. Ignatieff form a coalition now, risking the possibility of a minority later? Perhaps these poll numbers are sufficient defense against an abuse of confidence votes?

The result which interests me is the shift of support within Quebec away from the BQ to the Liberals. If the BQ would lose seats to the Liberals, wouldn't they want to avoid an election? But to avoid an election, there is a strange potential that the BQ could support the Conservatives. That just doesn't sound right.


  1. If he doesn't go coalition, then who would keep his minority government alive? The Conservatives?

  2. With a little luck, some soft voters who supported the NDP in the last election might switch their support.

    It appears that you think that liberals under Iggy are attractive to left leaning voters? Think about it - Iggy is moving the liberal party to the right, so no, his target is right leaning voters. Iggy's hard stance on Gaza, as well as advocating taxcuts is not attractive to progressive voters - and there is a history of Liberals campaigning left and ruling right. Except, this time, Iggy the right-leaning lib is showing his cards openly, so no soft NDP voters will be hardened against Iggy and his empirical stance.

  3. You know, you should also look at that NDP number, which is higher than its election results. With all the bad press about the coalition by MSM (and their corporate backers shitting their pants), deriding the NDP, and ensuring the NDP gets no positive facetime, airtime and so on, the NDP numbers are up. Makes one think about where the shift in voters feelings are happening, but thinking differently, suggests that folks with Iggy there, are more in mind to support a coalition govt.
    Of course, if Iggy and libs think that they can ride an election, well, just wondering how your coffers are going, cause that really plays out in an election - no money.
    The NDP is in lots better shape than the libs - financially - and they sure do know how to run campaigns - especially ones based on "class issues."

  4. Actually Jan I was thinking about voters who liked Layton more than Dion. Iggy's numbers beat Layton.

    There was a poll out after the coalition announcement that suggested a large percentage of people thought they voted for the PM directly. I don't think people are stupid, certainly not a large percentage. So I interpret that to mean those people choose the leader they'd like for PM, then vote for their local MP of that party.

    If a large number of people decide their vote in that manner, and more of those like Iggy better than Jack, then I expect a net shift of voters from NDP to Liberal.

    This could be offset by a Liberal-to-NDP shift of voters who find Iggy too right wing for them.

    What's the net result of both? Now I'm outta my depth here. Pure speculation, NDP might have more trouble in ridings that are new seat gains, and the Liberals will have more trouble in left wing ridings.

  5. ADHR - I would expect them to work on a case-by-case basis, as I had expected the Conservatives to work. I guess I was wrong about Harper, I'm just hoping I'm not wrong about Iggy.