The coalition lives? - Macleans.ca

The coalition lives?

The public is now—strangely—more evenly divided on the coalition

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Let’s be mischievous.

Almost exactly a month ago, the Liberal-NDP(-Bloc) coalition was declared objectively dead on the strength of two scientific findings. First, in direct polling, 60% of Canadians opposed a coalition taking power. Second, and apparently even more telling, the Conservatives had opened up a 20-point advantage on the Liberals.

Well. The public is now—strangely, given the complete lack of an obvious campaign on the coalition’s behalf—more evenly divided. And the Liberals have gone from 20 points back to one point in front.

Suggested headlines for inevitably futile attempts to make grand declarations from these new numbers: Iggymania sweeps the nation! Canada warms to coalition! Harper’s hold on power begins to crumble!

Silly question. Are we entirely sure that public opinion polling’s primary purpose at this point isn’t simply the torment-slash-placating of journalists?