Liberals gaining ground on Tories: poll -

Liberals gaining ground on Tories: poll

Grits make inroads in Ontario, Quebec


It’s hardly a groundswell of public approval, but the Liberals’ gain of a single percentage point has vaulted them into a tie with the Conservatives at 32 per cent support, according to the latest Canadian Press-Decima Harris poll. The real story is that the Conservatives have seen their once-dominant lead in the polls shrink by 15 points in the last two months, a decline almost entirely attributed to the government’s move to prorogue Parliament over the winter break. In the meantime, the Liberals have made steady inroads in key ridings, especially in Ontario and Quebec. “They are emerging as the federalist default option to the BQ in the province of Quebec, they are ahead in Ontario for the first time since September,” Harris-Decima chairman Allan Gregg says of the Liberals’ fortunes. “And the Liberals are regaining their historic dominance with female voters—a kind of bedrock of the constituency they have got to bolt together if they are going to have any chance to win.” Meanwhile, the NDP clocked in at 15 per cent support, the Bloc 10 per cent, and the Greens nine per cent.

Globe and Mail

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Liberals gaining ground on Tories: poll

  1. The story really isn’t a resurgence in Liberal support, but a huge blunder on the part of the Tories. Honestly, I’m not sure why their damage control is not in Defcon 1. Their attempts to change the channel have been pretty feeble.

    The alarming thing is that the Tories usually poll better when the House isn’t sitting. I guess we’ll see what happens when parliament resumes in a month. I had expected Harper to engineer a poison pill budget to force an election. I think he would be rethinking this strategy at the moment. No guarantee that they would ‘lose’ the election, except that they might have a reduced minority. I think the Liberals could run a defensive campaign and make up a lot of ground lost because of the unfortunately tone deaf Green Shift platform.

    • They say governments defeat themselves. Looks like they may be right.

    • I still think it is very likely that Haper will engineer his defeat on the budget, but putting there poison pills (most probably – the end of public subsidies for political parties) – otherwise the whole prorogation thing will be for nothing (from his perspective) – the Afghan issue will be brought back to the lime light, same for the government stance on Copenhagen etc.

      Harper is known for taking his chances and gambling, so he may still prefer to gamble on a spring election, polls notwithstanding.

    • any combination of Liberal +Ndp which is greater than the conservatives and that means Harper goes back to the only job he is really qualified for: maning the take out window at Tim Hortons

  2. When it gets down to the nitty gritty this is just a blip on the radar screen.It has taken the Liberal;s with the help of all the bad press in the media to get close. I am sure the Tories have already got a campaign ready to fight back.their only trouble is timing ..If they wait too long they may find some of those numbers not changing.It amazes me as A Conservative supporter ,to date they have not tried to deny anything that the Liberals have slung at them.Lets at least not allow them to get the high ground too long it could be costly

    • I trust you're not speaking of the moral high ground. After all..'d have to occupy it first.

    • Don’t worry. I’m sure Doug Finley is drafting a letter begging for money presently.

  3. The government will be in a tight spot when Parliament resumes– whether to call an election thus cutting short the resumption of committee hearings on detainees or let the hearings and subpoenas run their course at risk of further poll damage.

    • The liberals have made it quite clear that they are not forcing an election that Canadians don't want…the ball is in Harper's court!

  4. Hmm could the drop in support also attributed to the "Conservatives" bribed our premier (backroom deal McGuinty) to hit us with the HST?

    And all the time they are saying oh it's a provincial decision, one that came with a 4.3 Billion dollar bribe with our tax money.

    Is there any politician that actually cares about the people who vote them in? I really begin to wonder. Political games is all that our leaders are playing and the only thing we are seeing is higher taxes and deficit.

    It always seems like we have to vote the lesser of two evils in.

    That is Canadian politics

  5. Harper is his own worst enemy, he isn't a great strategist based upon his constant displays of neurotic partisanship.yes he was instrumental and bridging the Conservative Reform divide but that doesn't necessarily translate into majority leadership material. His dictatorial tendencies, obsessive needs for secrecy almost guarantees to provide substance to the suspicions of a hidden agenda. I predict a constant minority in his future.

  6. Has anyone considered that the Conservatives in their previous level of support were the blip, after the Liberals thoroughly trounced themselves, culminating in the Martin-Chretien struggle? Harper has never enjoyed anything near Mulroney's support and never will. Can anyone reasonably see Harper get 43 % of the vote, let alone 50 %? He hasn't even defeated Martin's 37 % yet…

    Canadians are starting to forget about the Dion era. Iggy seems less radical than Harper.

    Harper's best news days are in the past. Now it is a slow decline until the knives are out…

    • I wouldn't get too comfy with the idea that Harper's prospects are only diminishing from this point on. However if he continues to govern in a way that most (not all, but most) Canadians find… distastefully partisan shall we say… then he'll never get above 30% let alone majority territory. Not everyone who falls into the aforementioned "Harper is distasteful" category is a rabid anti-Conservative partisan– just a boring ole' politics-is-best-as-porridge Canadian. Hence the PM's (subject to change) lack of appeal.

      • Give Harper enough rope is the new strategy in a nutshell. The internet is making big money to fund big propaganda missions statements a thing of the past. Buying elections might not be too hopeful in the near future.

  7. So in other words, if the Liberals could build any sort of support in Western Canada, they'd be poised to take the government in the next election.

    Why don't they get on that?

    • They had to build a party first. Ignatieff did not have much to work with when he took over. Now there are more than 110000 members and the coffers are full. For the next little while Harper will survive with the support of the NDP and the BLOC. This will harm both of these parties and bleed even more support to the Liberals. In BC those NDP supporters will have few options but to vote Liberal or waste their votes on the Greens. Harpers best chance is a spring election. The longer he waits the weaker he gets.

      • Let Harper break his election promise as the last ironic twist. We Canadians sure like to punish lying politicans!

  8. The last poll had the Tories and the Grits tied, and this poll has them tied as well. How is that gaining ground?

    This trend won't last long because now Ignatieff has to talk wbout his agenda. His latest verbal blunder is to pledge to increase spending for child care, while reducing the budget without cutting transfers or taxes. Not only is his math flawed, how many times can the Liberaals float the same campaign promise that they've never delivered on.

    Chretien pledged in 1993 to use the money saved from cancelling the EH101 helicopter contract (which cost $1billion in cancellation costs and hundreds of jobs, mine included) to start a national day care program. He never did then or in any of his subsequent re-elections. Paul Martin never delivered it either. (Not that I think we need one).

    Ignatieff will get skewered during an election campaign.

    • All of the federal parties are dishonest when it comes to Canada's finances, not just the Liberals. But Ignatieff will indeed have a tough campaign in an election and can probably only hope for an increased # of opposition seats rather than winning a government.

      • Harper underestimates the will of the Canadian voting public, his time is up. His party shames an entire nation with it's "do what the Americans do" policies. It appears that Harper will soon be joining Fox News and perhaps he and Palin can co-host "how to lose respect in a very short time" platform show.

  9. Excellent news … as a conservative I am very happy with these numbers … as it stands come Mar. 04/2010 there will be a vote of confidence on the Throne Speech and there are going to be a lot of frustrated left wing nuts yelling at their own partys on why they are supporting the gov't and this will continue until the fall .. I like it. Can anyone honestly Imagine Iggy trying to backtrack now on HARPER YOUR TIME IS UP! rofl .. he could try though .. alas we have the trap poor Iggy is in .. as it stands right now his enemy is not Harper but his own party hawks! … ps: double check lib party coffers 9 mil compared with CPC 18 mil a good sign no matter how you look at it.

    • The misreading of the public's mood was a colossal blunder – yet you seem to think it was all part of the plan and we got them right where we want them????
      While talking about dissension in the Liberal ranks, you might want to consider that the prorogation fuggup has pushed the C's right out of majority territory. I would think there are Conservatives who think the party would be better served with someone else at the helm.
      I also think you'll find the public in no mood for the standard negative ads – can $18M buy accountability?

      • …….– can $18M buy accountability?

        It'll buy a pile of feel good ads during the Olympics , though .

        • I think that photos twinning the Conservatives to Olympic glory will only reinforce the negative connotation that the Harper government ditched work to attend the games. The more ads they run, the worse it will get.

      • you seem to think it was all part of the plan

        You might be misreading his comment. I don't think he said that.

        What's a "standard" negative ad? What are the other types of negative ads?

        • I did misread and apologies to psiclone.
          psiclone seems to think that Mr Ignatieff will have trouble keeping the hounds at bay once parliament reconvenes. While that may be true, I think the troubles Mr Harper faces are far greater. The general perception is that he prorogued parliament as an underhanded way to avoid accountability. If he angles for a spring election it will revive talk of once again breaking his own fixed election law. Any new cycle of the usual negative attack ads could also come across as underhanded. Mr Harper will find himself walking a very fine line through a potential minefield largely of his own making. He's no longer the man whose hands were tied – he's been the sitting PM since 2006 and must accept that accountability is no longer an election buzzword.

    • Not to mention, they can count on your clever strategic voting strategy!

      • The new Afghan strategy still has to be articulated to the same people standing on highway bridges honoring the sacrifice…..what spin will be offered up I wonder? Taliban what?

    • You will no doubt be extremely pleased when the next poll (aka election) reduces the conservatives to their core vote of 25 or 26% aka the angry old white men from Alberta.

  10. Am I the only one seeing this in the stock photo on the front page:

    Justing Trudeau does not appear to be able to do up his tie properly. This isn't meant as partisan hackery, but what the hell? Did he just wake up?

  11. Word from Vancouver and area is Harper and Co are about to showcase the 2010 Winter Olympics as their show c/w Conservative blue and bragging rights of the billions of Canadian taxpayer funded projects. That will give a sure majority government it is a 100% guarantee and voters know it.

    • It may help them maintain their minority, but it will not vault them into majority territory.

  12. Harper still thinks that our money is his to give. Let's hope he understands who is buttering his bread.

  13. Good. The Tories are at their worst when there is no credible opposition. Competition in Parliament, as in industry, is the best way to get good results.

  14. A single point is a "vault".


    Interesting how that …ahem…perspective on the matter is also joined by the self congradulatory reference to the "prorogation" issue. Self congradulatory in the sense that the issue was purely media driven.

    The hyping itself cried out as agenda journalism. But the hype combined with the complete lack of context entered the realm of journalistic dishonesty, a sad by product of agenda journalism.

    Readers were educated on the notion of prorogation – not a common event in ordinary everyday affiars of Canadians, whereby the media capitalized on the lack of familiarity by creating the impression that prorogation was some radical event, and a crushing blow to democracy,

    all the while intentionally refraining from pointing out the oh so inconvenient context that prorogation happened 104 previous times, and not just in the distant past, but in every previous recent government.

    • Oh good, you *did* get that memo the PMO sent you.

      • The epitome of hyperpartisanship is disbelieving a fact, simply because it comes from the "other" side.

        Prorogation is common. So common that every other previous government has done it, and often on several occiasions. Rae prorogued for a much longer period when he held the reigns in Ontario. Rae who's now leading the charge in disgust.

        It's been done over a hundred times.

        But its reported as some radical, revolutionary idea, and absent context is completely misleading.

        Tell someone about that 104 number and watch their chin drop in disgust at the media.

        • Remember biff, not all prorogations are created equal. When the government has a majority it isn't the same now, is it? Or do you just care about the numbers?
          Canceling government to shut down committees is a little radical, no?
          Or do you believe he had to 're-calibrate'?
          Aren't you a little concerned about all those important bills that died on the floor? All those 'tough on crime' bills Conservatives claim are so important?

          • "When the government has a majority it isn't the same now, is it?"

            How exactly is it different? I feel it bears pointing out that Rae's NDP majority was elected with the same percent of the vote as this Conservative minority. You'd think the proportional representation people would be equally outraged if this was simply about majority and minority.

  15. Switching parties, using attack ads, prorogation,

    all radical destabalizing events when done by conservatives… but just politics with a shrug, when done by their liberal bretheren.

    Yet the media continues to cloak itself with the viel of impartiality, which of course makes the agenda journalism all the more dishonest.

    • … and all protested with much huffing and puffing when Conservatives were out of power. Can we count on you, say months or years from now, saying "sure no prob" if a non-Conservative government does these things again, because after all, the Conservatives are doing it now and it's okay?

      • What I, as an obviously partisan conservative, would do should mean little to this argument. I will advocate for the conservatives, and liberals will advocate for their party. It is to be exptected.

        What of the "impartial" media?

  16. i don't get it, what do the Liberals stand for? are the Conservative light? but with a morally Conservative American leader??

  17. Harper may have a hard time translating the Olympics into anything at all. Maybe another point lost in the polls but that's probably about it.

    Once Canadians get a good look at the cheesy white tent that is the Canada Pavilion here, contracted out to a Chicago firm no less, the might wonder just how proud of the country this government is really.

    Its not even going to be ready for the opening of the games. They left giving the contract to their US friends too late for it to be ready in time. It'll open a day later. Unlike the last few games when our national pavilions were open well in advance and were very popular.

    This big white baggie in downtown Vancouver is a horrible blight, an eyesore and a national embarassment.

    Just like Harper and company.

    My fondest hope is that the little p*ick gets booed everywhere he shows up here.

  18. Harper may have a hard time translating the Olympics into anything at all.

    What's funny is this idea that we're somehow going to do what we've never done before, even on our own turf, and dominate these games so the Pols can benefit from it.

    It's just as likely we do the same as usual or worse and people start asking where the money went while everyone flees a town with billions in new debt for the taxpayers to pay off.

  19. Ahh,

    dissing the games in the hopes that it will hurt Harper politically.

    Of course, of course.

    For those neutral observers out there, watch the media coverage mirror the feelings of these partisan leftists.

    Picking apart everything about the Olympics in the hopes that it will hurt Harper.

    Heck this'll be like peaches and cream for the media, given their willingness to throw our brave troops under the bus to chase a years old story for their gotcha moment.

    • Care to cite this "Throw our brave troops under the bus" comment?
      If you are thinking that criticizing the government's role is the same thing, well, then you are mistaken our 'dear' biff

  20. dissing the games in the hopes that it will hurt Harper politically.

    Dude, people have spent the last few years building this up as what's going to be Canada's best Olympics ever: "Own the Podium" and all that jazz. If you think there won't be questions should we not do any better than normal or worse you haven't been paying attention to history.

    Hell, if the Hockey team fails to medal there'll be panicked calls for a re-evaluation of the entire development system. Again.

    The assumption that the Olympics are an out and out win for the party in power is functionally flawed. Furthermore, attempts to look to the US to argue the case are even more so given their Medal counts compared to ours and cultural differences between us in terms of how obsessed we are with being the "best".

  21. Harper will continue to misrepresent and cutrail democracy whenever he can, except now he might be a bit more careful not to instigate the Canadian voters wrath, given the reaction over his undemocratic prorogation of Parliament. Everything this man does is tuned to one thing —his personal power and retaining the Prime Ministers position.
    The Suspension of Parliament was the straw that broke the camels back.
    The Olympics may help his image, but Canadians need to understand that Stephen Harper is not committed to their welfare.

  22. And I must oppose some comments here that state the media is biased in favour of the Liberals. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, if anything the media has been more one-sided for the Conservatives (for example over that coalition issue a year ago in respect to the Conservatives, and not dissing the Governor General for her incorrect suspension of Parliaments) .
    If the Canadian media is biased for the Liberals, so is many other media in the world—including the economist (an established Conservative oriented paper which denounced Harpers prorogation of Parliament!).
    And check out Harpers latest move to get back in public opinion—cancelling established holidays (Easter etc) for MP's. Just trying to play political games, while pretending to fool Canadians that Conservatives are back to work for them. And incidentally put the opposition in a cleft stick.