Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New poll: Tories tied with Grits in Quebec after all...

According to Harris-Decima's latest, things aren't quite as CROP would have us believe in La Belle Province: "In Quebec, the latest poll suggested 37 per cent support for the Bloc, 21 per cent each for the Conservatives and Liberals, 10 per cent for the Greens and nine per cent for the NDP."

If this is true, the Tories are down four points since 2006, the Liberals have retained all of their 2006 support and the NDP is only up one point. But I thought, according to Quebec guru Chantal Hébert, that the Tories are on a roll in Quebec, tied with the Bloc, and that the NDP is threatening the Grits for third place in Francophone Quebec. Let's not forget all of those so-called experts on CTV's Question Period last weekend who said it's clear that the NDP's Thomas Mulcair is doing his job in building his party in that province. Moving the party from 8% to 9% isn't exactly a job well done, I have to say. Only the Greens have greatly expanded their support in Quebec since 2006.

Of course, some will argue that CROP polls are always spot on in Quebec, while other pollsters don't seem to know what they're doing in that province.

As for the country as a whole, Decima says the Tories have 32 per cent support, with the Liberals at 30 per cent, which is within the survey’s margin of error. The NDP have 13 per cent, the Greens 12 per cent and the Bloc is at nine per cent.

This contradicts the latest Angus Reid online survey which put the Tories at 36%, the Grits at 26%, the NDP at 18% and the Greens at only 9%.

I'm not sure which pollster to believe, but I like much of what Harris-Decima president Bruce Anderson has to say about his numbers out this evening:

“Among those over 50, the Conservatives have seen a 12-per-cent lead over the Liberals in November-December completely evaporate.”

He said the Tories also have a problem with soft and second preferences. Among decided voters, the Conservatives had a 12-point edge in November. That has shrunk to two per cent. Among voters leaning to a party, the Tories and Liberals were competitive for much of the last year, but the Liberals now lead by 12 points.

The survey suggested the Liberals are the second choice for 30 per cent of voters, while the Tories are the second choice for 19 per cent. This narrows the Conservative chance for growth.

“There’s a lack of enthusiasm for the Conservatives, waning interest in the NDP and a firming of support for the Green party,” he said. “The Liberal brand is slowly, but perceptibly recovering from the trauma of the sponsorship scandal...NDP voters show increased interest in the Liberals and fewer Conservative voters see the Liberal brand as toxic.”

Once again, we are reminded that if you don't like a poll out one day, just wait a couple days and you'll probably like the next one much better.


My friend and fellow blogger Scott Tribe also comments on this new poll tonight. He goes after Chantal Hebert with greater zest than I. We're definitely on the same page on this one.

1 comment:

Jason Hickman said...

Getting excited - in a good or bad way - over any poll, at this stage, is foolish.

We're quite a ways off from an election (unless Dion et al change their strategy) and predicting what will happen after a full-blown campaign based on these polls makes little sense.

The only point I would make is that if I recall correctly, the CROP poll had a much larger sample-size in its survey of Quebec voters than the H-Decima or A-Reid polls.

Assuming that to be the case, the CROP poll is probably a more reliable indicator of where things are (for now). I'm no expert, but a larger sample-size would logically result in a more accurate survey.