Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Comments on the Polls

Superficially the numbers of the Conservatives and Liberals look the same as the result in 2006, but there are some important differences.

1) The support for the Greens is running at about twice what it was in 2006 - that is about 650 000 more votes the other parties can not get. Everything will depend on where these votes are coming from.

2) The support for the Bloc has fallen dramatically in Quebec - they are consistently polling at about 1/3 of the voters in Quebec, down significantly from 42% in 2006 and 49% in 2004. This result means that about another 25 or seats into play in Quebec for the federal parties. The drop of the Bloc is masking a drop of the Liberals and Conservatives in the rest of the country. If there is a move to the Conservatives in Quebec, Harper gains up to 15 more seats in le Belle Province. So why is Dion disliked there?

3) Liberal support seems to be concentrating in Newfoundland and in the upper class urban areas. They are not gaining where they need supporters. Getting more votes in ridings you already hold is not going to beneficial.

4) The NDP are polling higher then before, but this masks the fact that the NDP is spreading their support thinner across the country. When Ed Broadbent was leader of the party the NDP could count on more than 30% of the vote in BC, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Now the support for the NDP is spread out more evenly across the country. If the polls are accurate that the NDP is at around 17% nationally and 15% in Quebec, this means the party is down 2% in the rest of Canada from the 2006 election results. The NDP is in danger of losing seats in the election.

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