Liberal support nosedives in latest poll -

Liberal support nosedives in latest poll

Conservatives open up 10 point lead on Grits


The federal Conservatives have opened up a double-digit lead over their Liberal rivals according to a new EKOS opinion poll for the CBC. According to the survey, the Tories would be the first choice of 34.4 per cent of Canadian voters if an election were held today, whereas the Liberals would gather 23.9 per cent of the vote. Support for the Liberals is now at its lowest in a year, just weeks after the party had clawed its way back to within three to four points of the Conservatives. Support for the NDP, the Greens and the Bloc has remained largely stable, at 17.9 per cent, 11.2 per cent, and 10.5 per cent, respectively.

CBC News

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Liberal support nosedives in latest poll

  1. The Conservatives don't actually believe this poll: It's not consistent with their internal polling, so they think it's an outlier that exaggerates their lead.

    • Completely agree. Parties don't suddenly nosedive by 7 points unless Adscam-like shenanigans are involved. The Liberals have been basically out of the news altogether, so there doesn't seem to be anything that would drive their support down so quickly and suddenly. I call rogue poll.

    • It's interesting that that's one of their "talking points". I wonder if that's just because they don't want the media to portray alternate polls as "Liberals gaining on Conservatives" or if it's because they want to avoid the oft-repeated situation in which the Conservatives get strong polling and then people peel off due to nervousness about a CPC majority win?

      • I'm guessing it's the former. One of the talking points quoted in Taber's blog: "When subsequent polls show different findings, this will NOT mean that Michael Ignatieff has suddenly gained momentum."

        Of course, you could be right that the poll is accurate and it reflects Harper's strong G8/G20 performance, plus the Queen's visit, plus the summer recess (less politics in the news, no more QP clips on TV), plus the general sense that Canada is on the right track (and we are, especially relative to other industrialized countries).

        • Except that the same poll also showed:

          "The only minor cloud for the Conservatives, Mr. Graves said, is the continued dissatisfaction with federal government direction."

    • You wish. Liberalism is dead. Face it. No more social experiments on us middle class Canadians. By by Libs! When are you Libs going to admit defeat. All the false scandals. The kangaroo committees led by Sazabo-zo and gang had made no difference. The Liberal press is impotent because we no longer listen to their Liberal fed lies.

      • You wish… When are you Libs going to admit defeat.

        I'll never admit defeat! Never! Stick that in your Conservative pipe and smoke it, Newfie!

        • He's got a point. Liberalism is indeed dead. No more social experiments indeed.

  2. This poll is not an outlier if you factor in other polls – of course the CPC will downplay the numbers as quickly as possible as the last thing they need is to look arrogant or talk big – see what happened to Iggy when he started to talk big last summer – BUT – to sum everything up .. IT SUCKS TO BE A LIBERAL right now – case closed – here Iggy is in China practising a new level of hypocrisy even for him and coming back will no doubt be donning cowbly boots and Harpers old cowboy hat as he is now in imitating mode – that's right folks Iggy is going to spend all summer becoming a harper clone .. just watch you'll see for yourselves.

  3. I don't know whether this poll is accurate or not, but I would certainly expect a Conservative uptick in the polls after Harper's sterling performance in defending Canada's interests and in promoting the MHI at the G8/G20.

    When you hit a home run, your score goes up.

    • Imagine how high they'd be if harper had spent TWO billion on headcracking cops!

      • Hahaha, he would have his majority…

      • …At least they would have beaten a little more sense into some protesters.

    • But they aren't really going up very much. The Liberals are just dropping.

      • There is lag between Liberal support going down and support for other parties going up. Liberal numbers are dropping, as we've seen. Where did those people go? Apparently the support of the other parties is stable. So these are now undecided voters, essentially in play again. Each has two choices should they wish to be "decided". Go back to the Liberals or go to another party. To go back, the Liberals would have to give them a reason to go back, and that logically means something would have to change. The big Liberal plan is not to announce anything, but to let Canadians get to know Michael ignatieff better. Um, they've been saying that since Michael Ignatieff came to visit Canada. "Once Canadians get to know him…Once Canadians get to know him…" Apparently, they'll be trying that again. That's it. That's what's supposed to get these people back.

        On the other hand, these ex-Liberals have three very different and well-defined options in front of them should they choose to switch their support instead of going back. Centre-right Conservatives, Left-of-Centre NDP, and single-issue Green Party. All three parties will win converts from this crowd of ex-Liberals. Since the Conservatives are the only one of the three that could actually form a government, the CPC will gain extra benefit from ex-Liberals who, besides being too centre to vote NDP and too nuanced to think the Green Party environment-is-everything platform is even remotely practical, will not want to "waste" their vote. Should they decide to vote, they'll go Conservative along with the blue Liberals.

        The point is that Liberals dropping will result in other parties going up. There is lag as these ex-Liberals try to find a new home. Of course, the Liberals have an opportunity to win them back during this lag period. That lag could last a long time…for some it will last right up to the moment the person casts his or her vote in the next election. For others, the lag will be short as they switch support quickly.

        I guess we'll see if the Liberals can succeed at winning these people back before they're lost to party altogether.

        • "On the other hand, these ex-Liberals have three very different and well-defined options in front of them should they choose to switch their support instead of going back. Centre-right Conservatives, Left-of-Centre NDP, and single-issue Green Party. All three parties will win converts from this crowd of ex-Liberals…"

          I think disaffected Liberals have a 4th option, which is to abstain from the discussion altogether (statistically, joining the ranks of the undecided). I suspect that when Liberal numbers tank, this undecided category goes up, which partly explains why the Tories are failing to harvest enough of them to grow their own majority.

      • They will keep on dropping. Usally , when the house isnt sitting, Iggy does okay.This time, doing the BBQ circuit isnt going to help one iota

  4. So basically the Coles Notes version of the last few years of polling;

    "If an election were held today, we would see a Conservative minority with a Liberal opposition. Quebec dominated by the Bloc. NDP maintaining their seat count. Outside chance of a Green seat."

    I don't know who could lead their party to a majority, but it certainly isn't any of the offerings currently on the Hill. None of the parties have a platform to rally behind and a leader capable of selling it.

    Life is still good for most Canadians so I suggest people get used to the status quo and not worry about fluctuations in the polls…

  5. I still think that if an election would be called today Harper would have his majority.

    • Not at 34.4 he wouldn't. He'd have the most seats and thus another minority government.

      • I really think he will pull it off when it actually comes time for an election.

        • You expect his support to rise to the 38-39% range? Maybe, but I doubt it.

          • Why not? It's happened before. The Conservatives seem to get a boost whenever an election is nigh, possibly because undecided voters start to take a long, hard look at the alternatives.

          • And is not only the lack of leadership but the Liberals are a total mess, completely divided and well, as much as I respect Layton as a leader most people don't agree with the NDP . CR is right, undecided voters will look at the whole enchilada and the other parties don't look too good!

          • That was the argument under Dion and Ignatieff is the stronger leader than Dion. He'll TEAR up Harper up in the debates in both official languages. Will he win? Looking doubtful at the moment. However, if Harper can't win a majority against Dion, he never will.

          • I think it comes down to a vote split among the left of centre parties — although I would not consider the Liberals that far to the left. Anyways, this is hardly ground-breaking political analysis, but I believe the Liberals lose more votes to parties like the NDP, Greens and even the Bloc than the Conservatives do. (The Green voters were probably former NDP voters so that little corner of the body politique is eating itself.)

            Chretien had a great run while the Tory crowd was divided. He could do almost anything back then. Those days are unlikely to return anytime soon unless a new, staunchly conservative movement out of Alberta gains traction and runs some federal candidates. If the Liberal war chest wasn't so low, they might even try to foment that movement themselves and split the vote in some key ridings. Maybe Elizabeth May is a mole!

          • Nick, believe it or not Dion is much better politician than Ignatieff and he won't tear Harper apart on debates, he has a gift for words, big, beautiful words but that's it, he can't see ahead and the Liberal party is falling apart they are dividing, they are not happy and that is not good but Darren is right, the Chretien days are over, Layton did a superb job as a leader of his party and the block is always there now so the votes are split.

          • "if Harper can't win a majority against Dion, he never will. "
            I've always thought this to be a horrific Liberal talking point.

            First, it implies that party delegates made a mistake, and the orchestration of Ignatieff's unopposed run sent the message that they aren't to be trusted as much.

            Second, it ignores the fact that there are a great number of people in the Liberal Party that support Dion still. These people were the left-leaning Liberals that saw the environment as a priority (re: Green Shift), they now pledge allegiance further left on the spectrum.

          • Can you really respect a political leader that goes to Star Trek conventions dressed as Captain John Luc Picard?

    • Based on what? This poll? Previous polls? Subjective opinion?

      • Judging from the poster, blind optimism.

      • The whole situation, Harper has everything on his side now. Lousy opponents, the Liberals falling apart, the party is a big mess and is going to take many years to fix it and also people is comfortable with Harper and the way he does things, he has been forgiven for the last prorogation (except by Harper hater's) and I do think he learned a lesson I don't think he will take people's opinion for granted anymore or I sure hope he did!

        As the election get's closer voters will pay more attention.

        It's kind of what happened with Chretien he got lucky too!

        • Well as I said, I'm not refusing to believe he could get a majority, I still just very much doubt it. In spite of the mess the Liberals are in, distrust/polarization around Harper is high enough that enough people will likely hold their noses and vote for the Liberals in order to simply not endorse the Conservatives.

    • Claudia…..I agree with you. Everybody is focusing on the number today. Campaigns matter. Performance of the leaders, momentum, vote splitting, platforms and turnout all impact the results. The polls show trends but Canadians know that this thing of minority government is not working out in the best interest of the country. The fact there is a threat of a coalition of the Libs/NDP and/or maybe the Bloc will see continued political instability. So Canadians will stick with the one who took them through the recession etc. The Libs will throw every smear they can think about but Canadians are used to their attacks and are ignoring them.

      • Exactly, and Canadians are getting quite comfortable with Harper and in an odd way the Liberals are the ones who putting him there not just by the lack of leadership but every time they try to smear him it has come to haunt them and they look even worst!

        • The Liberal party might try to paint Harper as a scary neo-con again, but I'm not sure there's much hunt left in that dog. I say that even though I think a Harper Conservative majority would actually move further to the right. The law and order stuff (getting tough on pot grow ops) and wanting to prevent Canadian aide dollars from being spent on abortions in developing countries are hints to where Harper might personally want to go.

          I think he's too smart to hand his opposition a clear-cut, easily understandable talking point like that until he's had more time at the helm. Pity the Liberals; I think they have the wrong leader at a time when they need some bombast. If you wanted to gin up the base against an intellectual with no clear direction, Iggy makes it too easy. If I were in the Liberal war room, I'd try to get May to run as a liberal (I'm sure they have) and put a stake in the heart of the Greens. They are the Ralph Nader of Canadian politics.

          I would also try to institute a change to the rules so that a party cannot run federally unless they run at least one candidate in every province and territory. Just a nuisance rule to p.o. the Bloc.

  6. It seems to me that 34% is exploring the upper reaches of Tory strength, embracing their hardcore support and the more moderate elements who climb on or off, depending on events of any given month. My sense is that, as long as Harper holds the party in thrall, the Cons will never capture enough of the moderate center to form a majority. So, as long as Harper is around, the country is the Liberals' to lose and, so far, they're consistently finding ways to do just that. And running away to hide every time the Cons challenge them with a "confidence" vote (like the recent omnibus budget bill) doesn't instill any hope among those of us looking for an alternative governing party.

    • you gotta appreciate this dude's optimism, at least – "the country is the Liberals' to lose"


      that's funny.

      • OK, so let me re-frame the suggestion (I'll slow down and use smaller words): historically, the party that has claimed the center has found the sweet spot in Canadian politics, i.e., gets a majority. In terms of length of tenure in office over the last century, that has tended to be the Liberals, although Diefenbaker won one populist landslide and Mulroney cobbled together a broad coalition that claimed that space for two majorities.

        Given that Harper has to keep throwing red meat to his hardcore right-of-center he will continue to alienate the moderate center he needs to win a majority. Ergo, the default option (if there is one at all) would be the Liberals, if they didn't keep screwing it up. So, it's theirs to lose.

        How is that "funny"?

        • While I agree that the Liberals have historically been many Canadians' default voting option, there are some serious long-term problems that the LPC faces and which undercut that. The two biggest problems are the LPC's weakness west of the 416 area code and particularly west of Ontario, and outright unelectability in huge swaths of western & rural Canada. The other big problem is that unlike in Trudeau's day, they can no longer rely on Quebec to deliver them huge numbers of seats. And unlike in Chretien's day, they don't have a divided right giving them 100-seat totals in Ontario.

          And on policy, the LPC's concentration in downtown Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver has arguably moved them more to the left than might be optimal in order to be a truly centrist party.

          • If their policy was so elitist, Harper wouldn't be so terrified to deviate from it.

          • That depends what you mean by "their policy". First of all, in terms of meat and potatoes, the LPC really hasn't got much tangible policy on the table these days. What we keep hearing from their brain trust is that they're keeping the goodies under wraps for the next election campaign.

            But "policy" as evidenced by their talking points and reaction to the government? It's a reactive mish-mash. Having said that, what has the LPC spent arguably the most time in the Commons on? Overall, Afghan detainees. While that's a fine moral issue, it's decidedly not a big vote-getter. And one can certainly argue that an obsession with the fate of Afghan detainees reflects the outlook of lefty university professors in Deepest Annex, rather than the Tim Horton's crowd. Again, I'm not disputing the moral rectitude of the LPC's position; but I am questioning its political effectiveness.

          • It's true that the prairies have been a hopeless black hole for the Liberals pretty much since Trudeau's National Energy Policy. But they've continued to have intermittent support and success in every other region since then. I think most people continue to see them as the only truly national alternative government (among the existing array of options), were it not for their recent habit of tying their own shoe laces together. In the meantime, whatever latent support they might have has resorted to strategic voting or abstinence.

          • To the prairie Liberal dead/no-go zone, I would at least add anywhere in the B.C. interior. Really anywhere in B.C. north or east of Vancouver.

        • brooster……you are still living in the 70's. Times have changed. With the Bloc taking maybe 50 seats the ability to achieve a majority is significantly diminished for any party. However, Harper has the coalition ace up his sleeve. Ignatieff has set himself up beautifully for the next election by speculating about a coalition. That will be the key question in the next election. Do you want Jack Latyon, Ignatieff and Duceppe running the government? This will cause those Liberals that do not support the Ignatieff leadership to move to the Conservatives or stay home. The coalition will be a rallying cry for the Conservatives and Ignatieff will have to deal with the question in every presser during the election. He will not be talking about the Liberal plaform. Trust me on that.

          The other issue is the polarization of the country and the electorate. The country is divided East against West. Ignatieff has little support West of Ontario and Harper has been making inroads in the GTA and the rest of Ontario including the minority communities.

          • hollinm…The balkanization of federal politics in the last two decades merely supports my original point (above) that 34% may be approaching the upper limit of Tory support as long as they flirt with a rightest agenda. They, too, are competing for votes in a fragmented marketplace. In that regard, they've already damaged their brand in Quebec at least as badly as the Liberals did with ad-scam. I don't think they will capture enough "moderate" voters to carry a majority. Don't forget that in this fluid climate the leakage flows in all directions. The CPC party lost traditional red Tories in their merger with the Reform Party.

            I'm not shilling for the Liberals here. I'm just saying that I can't see any other party in Canada at this time that has the potential over the long term to present itself as a viable alternate to the current government.

            That said, maybe no party can do it anymore; perhaps we face nothing but a series of minorities, in which case pragmatic coalitions, a la European politics, will emerge eventually..

  7. what poll. i didn't see any poll and i read almost everything. looks like typical conservative propaganda to me. of course harper and his other useless party fools will make stuff up anyway. just like they always do. harper is a piece of garbage. HE DOES NOTHING !!!

    • It was a poll done on the phone they called me as well. I was waiting for these results. So nice try with the propaganda crap… Stick with your lib or ndp folk maybe you can ride that ship all the way down.

      • I knew it. The pollsters know where all those cave dwellers live and know they will be home to take thier calls.

        • LOL or maybe we care enough about our country to voice our opinion where as the libs just sit around and whine about how their life sucks. Quite following a dead party and use your brain!!!

    • Harper is garbage, you see that's why people like yourself will never be taken seriously, you bring nothing to any debate just insults and lies. Is it all that bad air in TO that make you people such idiots, grow up for gods sake,you must not have any idea how dumb you sound.

      • There is not much to debate when you bring a leader of a country to the table to compare ideas with a party that is lost on any topic and has yet to find a leader that can even come up with anything to debate about. Call people stupid or idiots but atleast they have a leg to stand on and can say what there party stands on….Please if you have anything worth saying say it but as far as you have said thus far you need to leave the computer alone and let someone that knows what they are saying type….

    • Liberalism is dead. Face it. No more social experiments on us middle class Canadians. By by Libs! When are you Libs going to admit defeat. All the false scandals. The kangaroo committees led by Sazabo-zo and gang had made no difference. The Liberal press is impotent because we no longer listen to their Liberal fed lies.

      • WTF?

  8. Maybe Conservative supporters felt more inclined to answer the optional long opinion poll…

  9. I have often wondered if there isn't some confusion among many Canadians between the provincial Liberals and the LPOC. Gordon Campbell leads a "Liberal" government in BC which is anything but liberal, IMHO. Dalton McGuinty, ditto. This has to be feedback on the HST which is HUGELY unpopular.

    Dancing Queen

    • That's a good point and, failing any other obvious reasons, a plausible explanation for the new polling numbers (unless they are, indeed, just an aberration). A breakout of the results, by region, would help.

      • brooster…….CBC had the regional breakdowns. It wasn't pretty for the Libs. Remember the poll was over two weeks.

        We have to remember that this poll was done by Graves, the admitted Liberal who polls for Ekos. I suspect it is an outlier and when the Libs gain in the next poll he can advance the proposition that the Liberal bus tour and Ignatieff's trip to China has been as positive by Canadians. Nobody will fall for that crap but Graves will try it. Watch for it. It will happen.

    • So your argument for falling federal Liberal numbers is that people who would otherwise vote for them aren't clever enough to recognize the difference between provincial and federal parties? That can't be good.

      I say this only half-jokingly.

      • Sadly, it happens, and no party is immune from this kind of jurisdictional spill-over. I notice that the CBC item from which this Macleans piece was sourced states that "In Ontario, the Liberals are 13 percentage points behind the Tories, where they had previously been on par or slightly ahead."

        I can't think of any recent factor, other than the HST, that could account for such a precipitous decline in federal Liberal numbers here in Ontario. Anger over the HST is fairly fresh right now in Ontario and polling respondents may just be punishing the brand indiscriminately, as a result.

        • I agree with you !

  10. Last poll report I remember reading had the LPC and the CPC almost tied… That was a while ago though, but still how in the world would the LPC suddenly fall that much?
    Nothing happened other than the G8/G20, and nothing was achieved there: how anyone can consider the empty pledges a victory is rather incredulous.

  11. Dogs know what to do with poles. George Diefenbaker

  12. oops typo…….John George Diefenbaaker

  13. There are no other group of people in this country that deserve to disappear from the poliical landscape than the liberals,they have spent a life time pushing us around stealing our money and stacking the public service with there friends, i'm very happy to see that Canadians are finally waking up to these truths,however slowly. I guess it will take TO a much longer time to get their but i think at some point they'll have to follow the rest of the country.

    • ETF? With you on that my fellow Newf!

    • Why should any region "have" to follow any other region? The three most concentrated metro areas in the country just don't ideologically identify with the Conservatives and if they ever do, it will a) take 40 years and b) mean the CPC has shifted to the centre-left on social issues.

  14. I don't want to overstate trends, particularly in an outlier study, but these numbers seem to point towards a really chaotic election, with a large number of ridings in play. I can't stop thinking of those crazy B.C ridings where literally everybody has a shot, even up to the Greens (well, sort of).

    I'm sure somebody smart has looked at this in detai, particularly since the last election which had a lot of this dynamic, but if the Cons are stuck at 35%, but then everybody else divies up the rest in surprisingly equal fashion…well it could make for an exciting set of races. And it could signal a large number of vulnerable incumbents.

  15. I loved the line in the analysis and the Globe that went as follows:

    “The fortunes of the Conservative Party of Canada and Stephen Harper now appear to oscillate more clearly with the national mood. When Canadians now feel better about the country they tend to assign special bonus points to Stephen Harper.”

    OMG, now just because I feel good about Canada I'm going to give Stephen Harper a pass on everything he does plus a few bonus points just because his cronies show up to work? Sure Mr. Graves said it, but the Globe didn't have to print it, did they? I hate to go all Chicken Little on you again Mr. Ignatieff but the sky HAS fallen, the sky HAS fallen!

    • You sure made me laugh today!

    • The liberal senators must show up to vote against this omnibus bill. They must show some backbone, it is a horrendous attack on our democratic principles. If it forces the government to fall, then good, enough of these bullying tactics, Canadians deserve better than these spendthrift incompetants.

  16. A few facts to explain why the Tories will likely hold on to minority/majority territory for at least a few years to come:

    -All parties split about 20% of the vote with the under 25's. We vote about 30-40% of the time.
    -Voting regularity trends upward with age.
    -Voting Conservative and to a lesser extent, Liberal, trends upward with age.
    -Income trends upward with age
    -Voting regularity trends upward with income.
    -Voting Liberal and Conservative trends upward with income.

    Are you guys honestly surprised at any of this?