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Majorityville


 

It’s just one poll, but … today’s Angus Reid poll is a shocker. (Or not — see below.) Never mind the headlne 10-point Conservative lead nationwide. We don’t have national elections in this country: we have a series of regional contests. Look, instead, at Ontario: Tories ahead 14 points, 44-30.

Reid’s press release notes that these numbers “would provide virtually the same results as the 2008 ballot.” In a pig’s eye. The Tories took 39 per cent of the vote in Ontario in 2008 (to the Liberals 34 per cent) — enough to win 51 seats. But with every percentage point in the popular vote above that, you take in about 5 more seats. In the 2004 election, the Liberals’ 44 per cent popular vote (to the Tories 31%) was enough to take 75 seats.

Provincially, using the same riding boundaries, Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals translated a 42-32 popular vote lead in 2007 into 71 seats. In 2003, a 46-35 margin was good enough for 72 seats. Mike Harris won 82 seats in 1995 with a 14 point margin (45-31). So it’s probably safe to say that Reid’s numbers would give the Tories 75 seats.

All else being equal, 24 more seats in Ontario would be more than enough to put the Conservatives in majorityville.

BUT: Again, it’s just one poll. Still, averaging the four most recent polls (Reid plus Ekos, Ipsos, and Leger), the Conservatives lead the Liberals in Ontario by 9 points, 42-33 — enough for, say, 65 seats.

BUTTER: Okay, fair enough: Reid had the Tories ahead in Ontario by the same margin in last week’s poll. [/Shocked.]


 

Majorityville

  1. Poor LPT .. I have a feeling the bad news is just starting I wonder what the next CROP poll will reveal in Quebec the heart of the matter as it were!

  2. Where are all the lib-lefties today?

    Hiding in the woods with Ignatieff?

  3. How is this a shocker if it is basically unchanged from the last several polls and basically unchanged even after all that has happened in the last couple of weeks?

    I think you yourself have proven the point you made last night on At Issue, Andrew. You rightly said that the Liberals have not been successful in creating their narrative yet and so journalists have been able to create their own.

    • "You rightly said that the Liberals have not been successful in creating their narrative yet and so journalists have been able to create their own."

      He really said that? Wow.

      • I thought that was the Tories job.

      • Actually, no, I didn't, but don't let that stop you.

    • A ten point lead that doesn't appear to be a blip during a strong recession and that was supposed to be cut into by a new and bold opposition leader I find pretty shocking, actually. In fact, these pre-election numbers look worse for Liberals than during the Dion tenure. But I guess it won't stop some from singing Kumbaya, will it.

  4. All that elite education and privilege just so Canadians can be favoured with the term "majorityville."

    The dumbing down of our mass media continues apace.

    • Isnt that just the "elite" way of saying "majoritytown"….I can only imagine a Starbuck's in majorityville.

      • I figured it was a very oblique reference to Jimmy Buffett.

        And then I had visions of the Tories sitting around drinking margaritas with that song playing. And then — even though I'm partisan for them — I got very, very frightened.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUTf5qvS0Lo

        • I hadnt thought of that…..I havent worn my parrot head for awhile

        • I hadnt thought of that…..

          Just wouldnt have taken AC for a "Parrothead"…..now wouldnt that be something to see on "at issue."

        • I hadnt thought of that…..

          Just wouldnt have taken Ac for a "Parrothead"…..now wouldnt that be something to see on "at issue."

  5. The only explanation for this is some sort of hallucinogen in the water supply, causing a mass psychosis whereby people think that Harper can provide good government.
    Listeriosis is nothing compared to this!

  6. I really, really wish pollsters would include the results from the last few polls for both the national and regional data, not just to prevent Colleague Coyne from suffering unnecessary shocks to the system, but because the numbers really don't mean much when viewed without that context. Also, decimal points!

    • No to decimal points. It suggests an level of accuracy that doesn't exist in a poll.

      Its like getting a speeding ticket for doing 86.27 km/h in a 60 zone. "No officer, I could tell by my spedometer I was doing only 86.03".

    • Ekos does (as does Environics). But how useful were those Ottawa numbers with a 12 point margin of error? I think a pollster that did solid and large Ontario polls (like CROP and Leger do in Quebec) on federal politics would be useful.

    • Why do the decimals matter? Surely if the MOE is 3% or greater, the third digit is not significant.

    • It's a brilliant device, but as I said, its' only a "quick and dirty" indicator. Roughly speaking, at current levels of support the Tories would ordinarily need about a 12-point margin for a majority. But a "clumping" of their vote in a massive province like Ontario would obviously pay special dividends.

  7. One of these days one of these pollsters is going to do a deep dive into the subregions.

    I would agree that the surface (national) numbers are imporved for the Libs over 2008 but that the regional elections tell the story. The marked improvement in Quebec was and BC was masking a slow deterioration in Ontario…..now that the the Quebec numbers subside somewhat the national number approaches the 2008 result….even though BC is better off. If BC cooled off as well then the Libs would drop below 2008 numbers

    Normal caveats, single pol on this date at this time etc within MOE's apply.

    Problems in MI-Town. And we come back again to Hebert's column and comments….willl thet continue on this path of asking for their execution, and will the Liberal Elders allow the party to sleepwalk into a buzzsaw…..I think not….MI will have to clean advisors and agree to be run like a marionette by those handpicked experienced advisors or he will aksed to take a ride, with the Canoli……

    • I have to wonder how much of a contributory factor the HST is to the beating the Liberals appear to be taking in BC, and due to confusion with the provincial party — the extraordinary leap by the NDP would suggest that might be the case, since the provincial Dips have been spearheading the anti-tax campaign.

      • it is volatile, some of it may be these small regional samples, but it is a reasonable hypothesis that there may be some HST blowback. Be nice to see those subregionals again….might provide some hint….alternatively, someone more attuned to BC ground level situation might have more insight….Spector, as he lives there, might have some insight. But the Dips have been hammering the HST issue at both the federal and provincial level.

      • Just the fact that the Dips have been spearheading the anti-tax campaign is a sign of the apocalypse.

      • When i left BC a couple of weeks ago people were really really pissed at the libs. And the HST was only one of a series of factors – lucky for them there's no recall. Unfortunately for the federal libs that the name is the only real philosophical connection between the two parties. I've always considered it false advertising – although i'd guess there's probably a more reasonable explaination.

      • Susy Levy did not get the bump. The Liberals in BC never supported the HST until after the election. In Ontario, the Liberals are not hiding the fact they want it implemented and forced Iffy to take a public position.

        If it is implemented he won't tear it up. If it has not recieved Royal Assent, before our next campaign will the Iffy flip again?

        How will the Bill get support if the NDP are posturing they won't support it?

      • Susan Levy did not get the bump. The Liberals in BC never supported the HST until after the election. In Ontario, the Liberals are not hiding the fact they want it implemented and forced Iffy to take a public position.

        If it is implemented he won't tear it up. If it has not recieved Royal Assent, before our next campaign will the Iffy flip again?

        How will the Bill get support if the NDP are posturing they won't support it?

  8. Let me try to put it in another way. For most of Harper's tenure, when the polls have gone up for him, they've usually come back down relatively quickly. That doesn't appear to be happening down. He seems to be stretching it out, and he's doing it under tough economic conditions. Yeah, pretty shocking if you ask me. Maybe Canadians want a majority. Who knows?

    • "You know, the longer I'm Prime Minister… the longer I'm Prime Minister."

      S. Harper, philosopher

  9. What's with Ontario? Is it Harpermainia; [ gives himself a slap ] a knock-on effect from the relative unpopularity of the prov. Libs, or are people just tired of minority bickering? Hope they hav'n't just made up their minds about Ignatieff…gulp?

    • Well, since Ontario seems to be the hotbed of anti-American sentiment, maybe the "just visiting" ads are more effective then people like to admit.

      • Well since you said it Dakota, i think i can safely now discount that as a possible reason.

      • Judging by the fact that the Leafs' American coach Ron Wilson always refers to the fact that he's also a Canadian citizen, you may well be right. And you sure as heck know that Liberals and leftists would be howling and screaming about Iggy's American and foreign ties if he were a Conservative. But they then turn around and howl and scream at anyone who dares mention it about Iggy. Fascinating.

        • Wow, hypocracy. You'll be discovering steam next!

    • I have a sneaking feeling more people have made up their minds about Iffy!

    • Not the american thing, it's homegrown.
      The coalition of losers had 63% of Ontarians against. What sport allows the 3 losers to gang up and to steal the winner's prize?
      Canadians just don't see that as fair. Check out Iffy's trust numbers…he'll do it, we know it.

      Harper is 'wearing this recession' well. Even if our media didn't seem to notice or give him credit,
      we did, PMSH deserves credit for the job he has done in 'the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression'.

  10. I'm not surprised by these numbers. The media has really been beating the hell out of the governing Liberal Party all year.

    • Not all year, but definitely after Iffy's June disaster.

    • The governing Libs? Are you talking provincial or federal or you just blowin' smoke?

    • Yes, Robert, eventually the media is forced to report the truth: Ignegative is Dion 2.0. Facts are facts; you cannot have an opinion on facts.

  11. Reid had the Tories ahead in Ontario by the same margin in last week's poll

    That does not change your analysis, though, which has been reported by nobody else until now.

    • Actually, going back even further through the data, you can see that the Tories have been steadily climbing in Ontario since August, and were at 41 percent on September 16th, with the Liberals at 29. The following week, the Tories picked up another three points, with the Liberals went up by one, and the this week's numbers are unchanged. I believe the Star *did* report on the growing Ontario gap at the time.

      • Perhaps the Star made a brief mention of the growing Ontario gap, and that may have been reported by others. I've yet to see an analysis like AC's about how that translates into seats – but I'm sure there are people here and there that may have done it, but I've not seen it.
        I have made a couple of comments here are and there, that the Cons losses in Quebec do not mean the end of hope of a majority, if they could make gains in Ontario, specifically in the 905 region and others like it. Now Coyne has done the math to prove that is it is indeed a possibility.
        The Cons are 14 seats short of a majority. I've seen analysis that there are 6 seats in Quebec in jeopardy if they cannot maintain their seats in Quebec. Coyne has convincing analysis that they are in position to gain 15 in Ontario. This is with the consistent polling numbers they have been getting for weeks. Hence, majorityville.

      • Perhaps the Star made a brief mention of the growing Ontario gap, and that may have been reported by others. I've yet to see an analysis like AC's about how that translates into seats – but I'm sure there are people here and there that may have done it, but I've not seen it.
        I have made a couple of comments here are and there, that the Cons losses in Quebec do not mean the end of hope of a majority, if they could make gains in Ontario, specifically in the 905 region and others like it. Now Coyne has done the math to prove that is it is indeed a possibility.
        The Cons are 14 seats short of a majority. I've seen analysis that there are 6 seats in Quebec in jeopardy if they cannot maintain their seats in Quebec, but with the last couple of polls they might be stable in Quebec. Coyne has convincing analysis that they are in position to gain 15 in Ontario, or even as much as 24. This is with the consistent polling numbers they have been getting for weeks. Hence, majorityville.

        • A few days ago CROP had the Tories at 21%..

          • In Quebec.

      • Of course, if they are in majority territory, it's not by much.

      • A better comparison is the Angus Poll last year around the same time before the election with Liberals holding strong leads in Toronto +20%

        Many of the 905 seats would turn blue and possibly 1-3 Toronto seats!

  12. If burying the numbers at the bottom of an article is considered "reporting", then yeah, they did.

  13. Don't worry "we can do better".

  14. It is not clear to me that these numbers would produce a Conservative majority. For one, the Tories looked very bad in Quebec in that poll. Lost at least 7 seats bad. I made the following assumptions in UBC's election forecaster (they produce the same numbers that Angus Reid has for Ontario).

    15% of NDP'ers stay home. 7.5% of Liberals stay home, while 7.5% of Liberals vote Tory. In practice maybe voter turnout will go up – that is irrelevant, since we care mostly about percentages. How many seats do the Tories gain?
    Just fourteen. The Liberals lose 12 and the NDP loses 2 (the Soo and Welland).

    In practice the swing to the Tories may be more fortuitous, if it is concentrated in the 905. However, if the Tories have gained in the GTA, or in rural Ontario, they won't get much out of it.

    Another complication is whether the Tory election swing is in play. The Reform Party. the Mike Harris Tories, the Canadian Alliance and the Harper Tories all seem to rise in the polls when election campaigns approach/get underway. I suspect it is because all of these parties appeal to folks that don't follow politics religiously, making the party's outsider image a draw. If the swing is in play, I'd lean to no on majority-ville. If it is not, majority-ville ho!

  15. I remember seeing similar numbers on the eve of the 2008 election. In any case, the Harperites are going to be unsufferable for the next while…

    • Polls rise and fall like tides….but the Libs have not had a good week, or month. This could be a very bad weekend for them depending on Coderre's interview and Iggy;s speech. But even if one is innocuous and the other brialliant there is much work to do.

      But those who could and would do something about it within the Liberal Party will be very quiet while they plan what they want next. I suspect the leaders office is due for a cleaning, the question is who Iggy will accept as his minder and master, of that I don't think there will be an option

      • According to Susan Delacourt, he was "on his best behaviour," but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

        • "he was "on his best behaviour,"

          According to who? I read somewhere today that Coderre was nice about Iffy personally but does not back down from his opinion that Toronto-cabal running party is not good for Libs in Quebec. Which is basically what he said at press conference earlier this week.

    • Why not smoke 'em if you got 'em?

  16. I always liked Jimmy Buffett.

  17. Does anyone do a poll-of-polls-style averaging of regional numbers? That would be very interesting.

  18. Doesn't matter – the determining factor is going to be which party is held responsible for causing an election. That party will lose ground in the polls immediately after the government falls and will likely not gain enough ground back to win a majority.

    So all the polls now are academic – what matters is the polling after the writ is dropped.

  19. Doesn't matter – the determining factor is going to be which party is held responsible for causing an election. That party will lose ground in the polls immediately after the government falls and will likely not gain enough ground back to win a majority (or in the Liberals' case, even a minority).

    So all the polls now are academic – what matters is the polling after the writ is dropped.

    • I think you're right about that. So, what the hell is Iggy up to?

    • Two more weeks until, per your prediction (promise?) the Conservatives and Liberals reverse their respective positions on whether an election is needed. I marked it down on my calendar.

      • Gentlemen's bet. I hope you're good for it.

        • You misunderstand, I already think you're exactly right, now I just can't wait to watch it happen.

    • Still hard to see how the only party that probably wants an election right now, the Tories, can trigger an election without being blamed for triggering an election. HST has been mentioned, but I've yet to come across a coherent explanation as to how that plan would work.

      • Harper does not want and election right now.
        January 2010, Conservatives get a majority in the Senate,
        then there is the Olympics with Canada on the world stage, no time for a nationwide uproar,
        so it's the 2010 March/April budget at the earliest he would want an election.
        But I'm betting on after PMSH brings our brave troops home in 2011, he's committed to our troops.

  20. I .. I just like them. It makes the numbers seem more legitimate, somehow. berried, bien sur. From: IntenseDebate Notifications

    • Liberals down 0.1 % in latest poll. "Decimated": ITQ.

    • "It makes the numbers seem more legitimate…"

      And that's the problem: 43.56 +/- 5% may *seem* more legitimate than 44% +/- 5% – but it isn't. The seeming precision and implied legitimacy is bogus. We may be better off if pollsters were limited to reporting to the nearest multiple of 5%

  21. What might be more useful than either national or provincial polls would be a single poll of a swing riding from 2006 with at least 1000 samples. If that riding is taken as a bellwether for all swing ridings then we'd have some idea of how the close races might go, from which one could generate a fairly accurate seat projection.

    • While all polls lead to false conclusions, compounding swing riding assumptions on top of poll result assumptions – well in the spirit of the new hockey season, I would blow that play dead on an offside call. Or maybe charging. Or illegal stick.

      Bean shakers!

  22. It could be a matter of interpretation — we'll just have to tune in to find out! berried, bien sur. From: IntenseDebate Notifications

  23. "Angus Reid panelists", you've got to be joking. Get real.

  24. In a pig's eye

    Yeah, that really jumped out at me as well. The regional breakdown is looking like a far more effecient vote for the Conservatives.

  25. It really all comes down to vote efficiency, which is so very difficult to assess without more detailed breakdowns.

    • If there is a ten point gap in Ontario, it certainly overcomes the typical Conservative disadvantage with efficiency. And Coyne's rule thumb with every percentage point in the popular vote above that, you take in about 5 more seats seems to make sense.

    • If there is a ten point gap in Ontario, it certainly overcomes the Conservative's typical problem with efficiency. And Coyne's rule thumb with every percentage point in the popular vote above that, you take in about 5 more seats seems to make sense.

    • If there is a ten point gap in Ontario, it certainly overcomes the Conservative typical problem with efficiency. And Coyne's rule thumb with every percentage point in the popular vote above that, you take in about 5 more seats seems to make sense.

  26. People forget that the Chretien majorities came from winning EVERY seat in ON – that is so far away from the current Liberal reality that it doesn't bear discussion. The LPC problem is that they have no areas of growth. In QC they can win the seats they did under Chretien, and are really still nowhere in francophone QC. Michael Bliss wrote in the G&M that the CPC might be the new "natural governing party" – not sure about that but I don't see them losing power anytime soon.

  27. Mark Steyn's column in your latest Maclean's has not just crossed, but also obliterated any line of decency.

    Shame on you, Andrew. Have you lost your marbles?

  28. Interesting that you have cited Michael Bliss as some sort of independent arbiter of "majorityville." Isn't is sweet that whenever a Conservative partisan wants to complain about the supposedly Liberal "chattering classes," they have mass media outlets like the Globe and Mail available to them?

    Perhaps more amusing is your entirely unsupported claim from the Thursday panel that all the Conservatives have done recently is introduce policy after policy. I'd be interested to hear about all these interesting Conservative policies that have captured the imaginations of Canadians. Are you referring to the stimulus plan that they were forced into, or the revolutionary ban on flavored cigarettes?

  29. Interesting that you have cited Michael Bliss as some sort of independent arbiter of "majorityville." Isn't it sweet that whenever a Conservative partisan wants to complain about the supposedly Liberal "chattering classes," they have mass media outlets like the Globe and Mail available to them?

    Perhaps more amusing is your entirely unsupported claim from the Thursday panel that all the Conservatives have done recently is introduce policy after policy. I'd be interested to hear about all these interesting Conservative policies that have captured the imaginations of Canadians. Are you referring to the stimulus plan that they were forced into, or the revolutionary ban on flavored cigarettes?

  30. "Mike Harris won 82 seats in 1995 with a 14 point margin (45-31)"

    Of course, that was with a legislature of 130 seats, before the PC's passed their law to copy the federal ridings.

    So I think your 75 seats is a little high. It's easier for the Liberals to make a 14-point spread translate into more seats than it is for the Conservatives. More like between 66-70 seats. For sure a majority of Ontario seats with those numbers, and no doubt eating up some previously resistant 905 seats and perhaps a couple seats in 416.

  31. With a four point swing in Ontario to the Conservatives, they still wouldn't win a single seat in Toronto. "We don't have national elections in this country: we have a series of regional contests." Right, not even provincial. The Liberals seem to own Toronto, regardless what happens in the rest of the GTA; 244,732 Conservative voters elected no one. Yet in 14 ridings of South-Central Ontario 197,568 Liberal voters elected no one.
    http://wilfday.blogspot.com/2008/12/what-would-pr

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