We seem to have a trend line


From Nanos.



We seem to have a trend line

  1. The final leg of a Conservative majority! :p

    (Sorry Jason.)

  2. Seriously… it’s closer than I’d have expected, but we’ll see if/when those numbers start to move…

  3. I’d be curious to see whether the next poll shows a substantial uptick for the NDP. That’s because Nik’s first daily poll showed the NDP weirdly low at 13. If they had a rogue day, it’ll fall off in time for the next poll — and Nik will have the NDP up where everybody had them in the first place. So it would only be a correction, but it would look like momentum. Just a hunch.

  4. Looks like a small group of Lib voters have moved to Cons, has Dion taken them too far left?

    And with all the focus on Greens this week, I would have expected them to have gained more than 1% aupport. Wonder why people are not flocking to May after her week of unprecedented of exposure.

    I think those numbers add up to 100%, aren’t there any undecideds. Seems unlikely that everyone has made up their mind already.

  5. So, given the Nanos measurement errors of 3.2% the Conservatives currently have a measurable but not particularly large lead. Sounds about right.

    The election is still anyone’s game.

  6. Addendum:

    Well, by “anyone” I mean the Libs or Cons. I think it is fairly safe to say the NDP or Greens won’t be forming the next government.

  7. Not much movement outside the error bars. I recall Nanos has the undecided at 19%. About half of the people I’ve talked to are in the undecided camp and it seems to me that more people are saying they are lying to polsters, although Nik likely has a way to deal with this.

  8. Since the trends indicate a majority, people need to press PMSH on what he would do with it. Not that his answer would mean much since his positions can be reversed when convenient.

    One thing you can take to the bank is that with a majority, the former reform and alliance folks would no longer tolerate being muzzled and that, my fellow Canuckistanians, would lead to some interesting times

    Even Steve’s Putin-like superpowers have limits.

  9. Hmm, everybody’s (what’s the word?) flatlining.

  10. I think the thing to remember is that the Conservatives are currently polling at 70% in Alberta and 60% in Sask/Man – so this means that while they will likely pick up 52/53/54 of the 56 seats available there, they will not be making huge gains in Quebec or Ontario.

    Those unworldly Alberta numbers have to distort the big picture somewhat.

  11. Also, I take back the NDP thing. Nik’s numbers seem to jibe with most of the recent polling on that front.

  12. So. How’s the horse race going?

    Oh. The gates just opened? Oh.

  13. Chris B, yes the Conservatives have solidified their bases which doesn’t lead to many new seats. They will need more than the usual 40% for a majority. However, since I am not a Harper supporter, I’m happy for the polls to be interpreted as a majority at this point.

  14. A lot of this is static because the Tories are frontloading their ad spending especially in Ontario, and the Libs are holding back.

    It is baffling, but can anyone tell me what the Liberal message is? Is it change? Hope? Why should Canadians vote for them and not the Tories?


  15. This data clearly shows that the Conservatives should have waited until October 2009 to call this election… at these trend rates, they would have had 120% of the vote!

  16. Chris B,
    You’re not taking into account that the Liberals are polling 60 – 70 percent in the Toronto/Montreal metropolitan areas, which offsets the big numbers in Alta for the Tories

  17. Mike Moffat, Harper can’t delay his own Cadman lawsuit until October 2009!

  18. Perhaps the liberal message is let the Conservatives have their majority. The end result of the last Conservative majority was a rather nifty run of Liberal dominance.

    As for my Alberta brethren….they are the most lemming-like voters in the country, if not the planet. I truly doubt Harper could lose their votes even if he purposely tried!

  19. Surely there are a couple of Edmonton-area seats in play (at least notionally), like Anne McLellan’s and David Kilgour’s old seats.

  20. Canadians are not paying attention yet. There will be movement as messags start to penetrate and the Conservatives machine stops having problems with birds like puffins and sparrows.

  21. On the NDP numbers, Nanos seems to have been a bit low. I thought they were hanging around 16%. Of course, now Nanos is pretty close to that.

  22. The Liberals like to think that McLellan’s and Kilgour’s old seats are in play but there is not a chance. Edmontonions have the understandable wish for food to eat and a roof over their heads and know that the Green Shaft will destroy Alberta’s economy.

  23. I’ve said this so many times in the last few days that even I’m starting to get annoyed at me for the repetition but I’ll say it again. These polls are virtually meaningless!! The polling process has become horribly broken. I’ve seen about four different polls in 2 days and each of them is completely different. That is not some statistical anomaly, it is evidence of statistical invalidity because the samples they are getting don’t accurately reflect anything anymore! At best we can infer that the Tories are probably in some sort of lead (ranging from minute to massive). So why spend so much time trying to do the modern equivalent of reading entrails? We should scrap the polls and focus on policy.

  24. With undecideds at 20%, drawing any conclusions at this point is, to say the least, premature.

  25. RyanD – I’m actually in favour of reading entrails: like polls, but with barbacue!

  26. I’m getting a headache….I prefer that so many polls were coming out so frequently.

  27. You know, James Travers wrote an article in the Star today about how much of the current Liberal plight is due to an inability by the party to take a serious look in the mirror.

    Tactics in question period, signs on the campaign trail, and posts on message boards only confirm Travers’ blunt assessment of the current Liberal psyche.

    Hate to be there when reality finally bites. Then again, sometimes people never go beyond denial.

  28. the Green Shaft will destroy Alberta’s economy.

    It’s quickly becoming the Blue Shaft.

    …oh dear. Harper is lying again.

  29. I’ll also note that the polling narrative has shifted from “it’s a tie and why do we need an election” to “boy, Harper sure looks pretty close to that majority” within the span of a few days. It’s changed, that is, for everyone except those with a big L on their lawn signs. And the band played on.

  30. You may have something there Jack. Lord knows I can’t so no to a good BBQ! Down with polls, up with entrails!

  31. This thread really takes me back to the circa 2001 polling freefall of the Stockwell Day-led Alliance. Not because the Liberals are anywhere close to that level of collapse, but the denial explanations are all the same.

    “So, given the Nanos measurement errors of 3.2% the Conservatives currently have a measurable but not particularly large lead. Sounds about right.”

    Assuming the margin of error goes only one way, and the whole 3.2 percent. In reality, this means the Conservatives have either a small lead, a medium lead, or a HUGE lead. Feel free to choose whichever option helps you sleep easier.

    “Not much movement outside the error bars. I recall Nanos has the undecided at 19%. About half of the people I’ve talked to are in the undecided camp and it seems to me that more people are saying they are lying to polsters, although Nik likely has a way to deal with this.”

    Yes, not much movement outside the MoE, but even little changes move the MoE itself. Also, I have no idea what the traditional margin of liar is in a poll. It’s a very tough thing to measure, what with all the lying and such. Perhaps that question should be included in the survey, but I’m trying to think of how to analyze those numbers and it’s short circuting my brain (“40% of Canadians said yes, they lied during the survey. Which means they were lying in their response to that question and were therefore not lying. Which means that their Yes answer was truthful, which means they were lying, which means…” etc.). What I do know is it is a very common excuse for low poll numbers, and in any case what if more CONSERVATIVES are lying than Liberals? Even bigger trouble.

    And then, there’s this from Hazzard, which I truly hope was not tongue in cheek although I can’t imagine that it wasn’t: “Perhaps the liberal message is let the Conservatives have their majority. The end result of the last Conservative majority was a rather nifty run of Liberal dominance”

    And we thought Harper was playing chess! This is like that version of chess where you stack the boards and move the pieces in three dimensions.

  32. hmmm, lemminglike voters in Alberta and the few biggest cities. There’s probably a lot more people in those cities come to think of it. ludditelemmings vs. liberalweenielemmings!

    Although I read in a book by (or about?) Peter Lougheed, who was the first PC Alberta premier, that said that the average opposition vote in AB has matched other provinces – its just been split up all the time.

    I say to the libwiilemmings, quit being luddites and get on board with the rest of the country!

  33. Does anyone know what the latest “satisfaction with the government” or “direction of the country” numbers are?

    Because it seemed to me that in the 2005 election, Harper trended upward in direct correlation with the satisfaction number trending downard.

    It strikes me that Dion doesn’t have that same trend correlation to rely on this cycle as Harper did while in opposition.

  34. It strikes me that Dion doesn’t have that same trend correlation to rely on this cycle as Harper did while in opposition.

    I love science.

  35. Brian:
    “Chris B,
    You’re not taking into account that the Liberals are polling 60 – 70 percent in the Toronto/Montreal metropolitan areas, which offsets the big numbers in Alta for the Tories”

    Are they any polls for 416? I doubt the Liberals poll that high in Toronto, given the NDP are a serious challenge in some of those ridings.

  36. Ti-Guy,

    Science? Do you mean political science? I was postulating a theory.. do you have contrary evidence to discount it?

  37. PS: Anyone heard from Gerard Kennedy, who was named Dion’s special advisor on Election readyness when he became leader?

    Cause mannnn did he ever blow his job.

    What happened to Liberal dream team? Iggy, Rae, Hall-Finlay, where did they all go? Even ol’ Ken Dryden has dissapeared!

  38. Quebec is the decider right not. It looks like Harper is courting the separatist vote and the bloc has out lived its usefulness.

    However i will not under estimate Dion. From what i have seen (the media spotlight seems to be on Harper) i have been impressed. He is a man that has passion and love for this country and has proving his mettle facing off against the separatist and winning, hence why Quebec hates one of its own.

    And i really can’t take any more of Harper lying to my face, i can only assume that he thinks, me and the rest of Canadians are stupid.

    Hey, can any journalist here publish the Harper governments report that says Canada could deal with a $50/ton tax on Carbon with out effecting the economy. I would like to read what our government is refusing to share with Canadians.

  39. Paul,

    Straight lines?

    A simple chart, no scatterplot? No razzle dazzle, just……lines?

    Add a disco ball to the chart. Lest ye ‘bore’ me.

    (inside joke but Paul knows what I’m talkn’ bout.)

  40. The Liberal vote is actually much lower than the NDP if you discount Toronto. Watch it start to fall there as well once Canadians see Dion in the debates and the NDP starts getting urban traction.

    Whew, thank God I’m not a Liberal supporter! :)

  41. Ryan, obviously this is good news for Harper and the Conservatives. No one is denying that even if we hope for something different.

    Harper did pick the election timing to his benefit, has been planning for this particular timing well before the other parties, and had the funds for a massive pre-election advertising blitz on top of all his earlier attack ads. I still think it is too early to tell whether Harper will cruise to the win he expects, even though that does look like the most likely outcome at this point.

  42. Sean, any evidence to back that up?

    Btw, NDP ‘starting’ to gain urban traction? Where are most of their seats, again?

  43. In politics a week is a lifetime!

  44. @Ryan:

    All I’m saying is that an 8% lead by the Cons over the Libs with 3.2% errors on both measurements, doesn’t tell you much. All you can say is the Cons are ahead by some unknown quantity. If they had a 15% lead in the Nanos poll then that would be another matter.

    And yes, polls at this stage are pretty much like gazing at entrails.

    Do you think the media will focus more on the policy positions of the various parties over the latest poll coming out? Not likely. It’s a way too easy to write articles and fill space with poll results.

  45. Nanos is overrated.

    I just plugged in Decima’s numbers that came out Sunday September 14th in the Hill and Knowlton election predictor.

    Conservatives 158
    Liberals 79
    Bloc 43
    NDP 27
    Greens 0
    Other 1

    Not quite a Conservative blowout, still 4 weeks to go and that’s a long time in political terms, but Decima’s poll numbers do explain the recent stridency of Liberal commenters on this blog.

  46. I just realized how funny it is that I’m commenting on polls. Whenever “they” call me I always tell them now is not a good time and hang up!

  47. Funnny the latest numbers are a parallel reversal of where things stood after Day 8 of the last campaign. Then it was 38-30 for the Liberals. They held that lead for the first 3 weeks of the campaign. Is there a lesson here for all the Conservatives going around with glee right now?
    How about the media who seem content to already call the election?
    See here for last election’s numbers at various points:

  48. The mood in ’06 was totally different. The country was anxious to ditch the Liberals: they simply needed to be convinced the Conservatives were a safe alternative.

    In ’08 people seem pretty content with the government. Not only do the Liberals have to show they’re ready to government (the low bar set for the Cons in ’06), but additionally have to give a compelling reason to switch. I don’t see what that could possibly be.

  49. You mean, other than the conservatives repeatedly saying one thing and then doing the exact opposite, or do you mean other than conservative governments repeatedly taking their nations into bad economic positions?

  50. D,

    I would suggest that a consistent lead of 8% over the liberals, with a margin of error of 3.2%, would suggest that the lead over the liberals is approximately 8%. Not 1.8%. Not 14.4%.

    Each poll that reports the same result increases the likelihood that the “real” difference is as reported.

    That is because the “real” polling result belongs somewhere in the bellcurves centered on 38% and 30%. There is a higher probability that the “real number is close to the center of the bellcurve than the full margin of error away.

    Barring a problem in methodology…half of a polls results will report a number above the “real” number, and half will poll below. So multiple polls centered around a number tells you where the true polling result lies.

    If I recall correctly…multiple polls with smaller sample sizes with similar results provides a MUCH better accuracy than one poll with a very large sample size.

    Additionally, the margin of error decreases as you move away from 50%…so the margin of error for the CPC at 38% might only be 3.1%, and it might only be 3.0% for the libs. (Been to long since I’ve done the calcs, so that’s a wild guess.

    So I would say that these are looking very positive for the CPC.

    Statisticians…tell me if I’m off base here.

  51. Wait for the debate. No one’s seen Elizabeth May (I mean aside from news/politics junkies and, you know, Greens) and she’ll bring a lot more credibility to the whole Carbon Tax idea. People are discounting it, ridiculing it and Dion, and once the Liberals make the point that this is serious business, more will take a chance on the Liberals. I think it’s telling, however, that Harper reduced taxes on diesel. And he hasn’t even proposed anything to counter the Green Shift. That suggests his polls tell him concern for the environment is soft in Canada, and won’t trump basic, short term self interest. But the debate could change it. Elizabeth May is a better debater than all the boys combined.

  52. I don’t think the whole-hearted endorsement of the Green Party is the best way to establish mainstream credibility for your tax policies ;)

  53. I think May is a double edged sword for Dion. She’s in the papers today saying Green Shift is her plan, can explain it better than Dion at the debates and Dion is brave to borrow from her party’s plan. I am sure it will do wonders for his leadership numbers, and not a leader image, to have another party leader helping him out, feeling the need to prop him up.

  54. Yeah, Elizabeth “they think Canadians are stupid, and I fundamentally agree with that assessment” May. She sure is going to wow someone in the debate, but it won’t be me.

    I, like scissorpaws, and everyone else here, has already decided who has won the debates. I do not even need to watch.

  55. You either believe Global Warming is real and we need to stave off catastrophe for, you know, the kids and grandkids, or you don’t. Apparently a lot of people are indifferent, which is strange and unnerving. Should the environment become an issue in this election there will only be one credible candidate, and that will be Dion. I’d vote for Liz, have in the past, but she can’t effect change. I’d vote for Harper if he was the least serious (or honest – Income Trust? Fixed Election Dates?) Dion may not be a great communicator, at least in English, but he’s credible, serious, and honest. Liberals managed the economy vastly better than the Conservatives, who’ve run a 40 billion dollar surplus into near deficit.

    Just by her inclusion in the debates Liz has assured a sizable viewership of the debate, most of whom won’t be hard cores. I think there’s room in that formula for a surprise, and that surprise is a soft sympathy for the environment. But however it goes I won’t miss it.

  56. Kevin: Good to see you’re keeping a closed mind. It’s always so uncomfortable when facts get in the way of preconceived ideas, isn’t it?

    Of course, what’s interesting is that the government itself had a study done that supports carbon taxes.

    Looks like the report says that a tax of $50/tonne would only dampen the economy by 0.01% the first year, and we would start to see positive effects from it as early as 2015.

    What’s more, this report only calculates the internals. It doesn’t look at what the positive effects might be of us being able to export energy reduction technologies and expertise, and while the model used assumes the forecasts by Natural Resources Canada for fuel prices, those forecasts are terribly conservative, if you ask me.

  57. From the above chart, the single latest poll result is:

    N(Con) = 365
    N(Lib) = 288
    Delta = 77
    Error = ~25.6

    or a lead of ~8.0+/-2.7%.

    Assuming this equates one-to-one into seats in the House, Dion has about a 0.14% chance of winning the election.

    Of course this should be taken with a grain of salt since it leaves out undecideds and shows the typical Green Party support at a level about twice what it will actually get on election day.

  58. The positive effects of a carbon tax? Starting with the national energy program as a baseline, I can tell you exactly what the “positive effects” of a carbon tax would be in Saskatchewan. Out-migration, lost jobs, lost houses, and increased suicide rates.

    The east will never get another chance to do that to the west.

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