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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Poll shows Michael Ignatieff has recovered from the spring

Talk of election has been sparked by a poll that showed Conservatives just below 30% and Liberals only 1.3% below the Tories. Now a second poll shows that the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party are still close, but the gap has widened with the Tories at 34% and the Grits at 31%. The questions that are now on the mind of the political class are: Is this the beginning of a new trend? What caused this to happen?

The first question can only be answered in time, but I think we can piece together evidence to explain these numbers.

Throughout the Spring and early Summer the Conservatives have been enjoying support in the range of 34%-36%. Meanwhile the Liberal Party has been suffering down at 26% or even 25%. If you compare those numbers to the most recent poll it is obvious that it is the Liberal Party’s support that has changed and not the Conservative Party.

We can then rule out explanations such as the census long-form and G20 controversies. The previous poll number of 29.7% for the Conservatives can be explained by either the month of bad press in July, or perhaps the poll itself was faulty. Either way the Conservatives have bounced back to their traditional level of support.

Normally opposition numbers drop in the summer months, but the Liberals have had a good summer. Their leader was highly visible while Stephen Harper has been reclusive. Michael Ignatieff’s bus tour had a few bumps but for the most part the media has given him positive reviews. Even his communication skills seem to have improved a little. So it appears that the bus tour actually accomplished its mission and Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals have recovered from their abysmal spring.

Ultimately this means that even if there isn’t an election the fall will be crucial. Having numbers that are 3% below your opponent is better than 10%, but a Liberal victory is still a long way off. Mr. Ignatieff now has to not only hold on to the summer gains but use the Parliamentary session to expand upon them. History has shown that Parliamentary strategy is a weak spot for Mr. Ignatieff, but if he ever wants to be Prime Minister he now has to prove that he looks good in Ottawa not just okay on a bus.


Another poll shows the Conservatives at 34% and the Liberals at 28%. This shows that the Tories have indeed returned to their traditional support level. The Liberals could be slipping but it could also just be due to the difference in methodology.

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on August 10, 2010 | Permalink


My guess is as good or bad as the next one's, but I suspect that Iggy has had second thoughts about the blood sport of politics and his place as the leader in Canada.
The leftist MSM in this country continues to slobber over mini Trudeau as the next Lib leader and saviour of the corrupt Liberal machine of Chretien /Martin.

And a communist to boot!

Posted by: Joe Molnar | 2010-08-10 5:58:48 AM

Actually, all it shows is that the Tories have been dragged down over a series of incredibly minor and stupid mini-issues that don't even matter to Canadians (a CENSUS FORM of all things), but that a hostile press gallery simply wouldn't let die. Iggy hasn't actually done anything; he's even been in the news less often than aforetime, which doubtless explains his looking good in comparison. Just wait till he opens his mouth again...it won't be long.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-10 6:16:52 AM

The Tories numbers haven't really suffered much Shane. The poll looks worse for the Conservatives but that is only because the Liberals look better. But I agree with you in that it is only a matter of time before Ignatieff shoots himself in the foot again.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2010-08-10 6:48:12 AM

Hugh, don't you realise you can't put faith in results from voluntary surveys and polls? Only a mandatory poll would provide reliable information.

Posted by: Canadian Liberty | 2010-08-10 8:30:26 AM

The PM took a well deserved month off and because the media had nothing to report they focused on the census issue. However, I think the negative narrative of the government over the summer has impacted the Conservatives. As other people have said Ignatieff has not done anything in particular other than receiving some favourable commentary from the media. Because there was little coverage of his tour in the msm you have to think that perhaps there is some unrest among the electorate as to the direction of the government. We shall see. However, I do agree when Ignatieff gets back to Ottawa it won't take long for him to put both feet in his mouth.

Posted by: hollinm | 2010-08-10 8:53:54 AM

Iggy isn't doing well at all. It is the media with their continued effort to manufacture crisis after crisis that is starting to wear down conservatives. Just like Stalin believed in propaganda to spread socialist ideals, the Toronto based media is prepared to always stump to prop up and promote liberalism in Canada. This must stop.

Posted by: real conservative | 2010-08-10 9:18:06 AM

The Ottawa press gallery is also to blame, RC; they've never forgiven Harper for not fellating them whenever they're horny.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-10 9:21:54 AM

Keep bashing Harper, dope-smoking libertarians.

You' could end up getting what you deserve ... Iggy.

Posted by: set you free | 2010-08-10 10:23:16 AM

Hugh, don't you realise you can't put faith in results from voluntary surveys and polls? Only a mandatory poll would provide reliable information.

Posted by: Canadian Liberty | 2010-08-10 8:30:26 AM

No kidding eh? Maybe we should make these polls mandatory. Heck, let's make voting mandatory too.

Anyway, I don't think Harper is too worried. His base is pretty solid.

Set you free, we don't all smoke dope!

Posted by: TM | 2010-08-10 4:06:44 PM

@ SYF: Oh no, Iggy, that guy who'll do all the same stuff as the current jerk in power. The horror.

Posted by: Cytotoxic | 2010-08-10 6:03:27 PM

And we do know how reliable polls are....

Posted by: Alain | 2010-08-10 8:07:21 PM

Nothing much new here. The Liberals have bounced to a tie with the Tories several times in the past, but failed to pass them. In a few weeks, this situation will revert to the norm, largely because the Liberals cannot expect to beat the Tories merely by criticizing whatever the Tories do. They have to offer something positive to the voters in order to win, and for the most part Iggy seems unable to do this.

Posted by: Dennis | 2010-08-10 8:29:01 PM

Since the so called "recovery" has more or less stalled, Harper will still be seen as the more logical choice when it comes to financial stewardship of the economy. Iggy will blow himself out of the water as soon as the election race starts with the usual bullshit of going green, saving the planet, helping the peasants, increasing aid to the rest of the world and eliminating loopholes for the rich. For good measure he will probably promise to eliminate the GST and make the long census form mandatory again with harsh penalties for those that refuse. He also believes the gun laws are too valuable to tinker with and must be enforced.
I can hardly wait until he pulls the election trigger. It wont take long until we remember why we did'nt care for him in the first place.

It's been a slow political summer.

Posted by: peterj | 2010-08-10 11:18:55 PM

The media hate Harper because he listens to the people that put him in power and he is not supposed to do that. What the media wants and more precisely, the media owners want is the reason for the temper tantrums we are seeing in the TV, radio and print media in Canada right now.

Posted by: real conservative | 2010-08-10 11:38:48 PM

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