Lot's of news in the way of polling today, with the voting electorate of Ontario, Quebec, and all of Canada being surveyed, all with fairly bad news for those of the Liberal persuasion. Yay!
Let's start off with Nanos Research's new poll of the Ontario provincial scene, which gives the Ontario PCs their first least since 2004, and has some damning conclusions on Dalton McGuinty's impact on the Ontario Liberal brand.
The topline numbers give the PCs a four-point lead with 43%, compared to the Liberals' 39%. The Ontario NDP, led by Andrea Horwath, sit far back at 13%, while the Greens (led by no-name Mike Schreiner, as we'll see later) sit back with only 5%. Using UBC's election forecaster, we get these results: 55 PC, 48 Lib, 4 NDP. Funnn - a bare PC majority! Compare this to 308.com's last projection on that Ipsos poll which gave the 54-39-17 in favour of the PCs, but which had a higher Dipper and Green vote.
Moving on, Nanos also shows that Dalton McGuinty has fallen behind Tim Hudak in the whole "who'd be the best Premier" category, 32-23, while Andrea Horwath falls back with 9%, and Mike Schreiner gets bare base support with 3% (told you). It's quite the reversal of fortunes, given that McGuinty beat Hudak by a healthy 32-17 this time last year. It seems as time has gone by, Hudak's won some hearts and minds, while McGuinty's suffered some blowback.
That being said, the Ontario Liberals are far from being non-competitive in this election. Despite the lagging numbers, they're in a position whereby they could get their momentum back. Question is, can they do it with McGuinty? Nik Nanos doesn't think so, but I have a bit more faith than that.
Then we come to the fantastic Leger poll, which once again shows how crappily the Liberals are in Quebec, but how amazing the NDP are. I'm starting to think Brian Topp runs that firm.
Federally, the topline numbers are 39% BQ, 20% Lib, 19% Dipper, and 18% Con, with Greenies and others gobbling up the rest. Even though you can corroborate the low Liberal numbers, the high NDP numbers make no sense, once again. 19% in Leger, compared to 12% in the latest Ekos, 14% in the last Ipsos-Reid (not the one talked about below), and even 16% in the last Abacus poll. No love for us there.
Provincially the Parti liberal could be seeing better days, though they're not doing too badly. Topline numbers give the Pequistes an advantage with 34% of the vote, compared to 28% for the PLQ, 15% for the Adequistes, 9% for Quebec Solidaire, and 7% for the Greens. The rest is taken up by "others," which is to say, Francois Legault's Mystery Party. Mon dieu.
Then we get to the worst news of these polls: the latest Ipsos Reid, as reported in the National Post.
The topline numbers are 39% Con, 25% Lib, 18% NDP, 10% Green, and 9% Bloc. It's a very commanding lead and confirms the slide that Ekos showed just a couple days ago, and now's about when we should start panicking.
I don't have all the regionals yet, but Ontario is the key factor here, and like Ekos, IR shows a huge lead for the Conservatives in the province, with them taking up 42% of the vote, the Libs at 32%, and 15% for the NDP. That's not good, though to point out, it doesn't represent a huge shift back for the Liberals based on 2008 - it's instead the NDP who are feeling more of a squeeze from rising Conservatives and Greens (who're at 11%).
The Quebec numbers are also interesting, giving the Cons their first lead their in quite a bit (in Ipsos) with 21%, the Liberals severely hurting at 17%, and NDP at 14%. Eep.
Yet somehow, like Ekos again, the Liberals are riding relatively high in the West, for them anyways, with 23% in BC, 24% in Saskitoba, and 16% in Alberta. Difference though is a high vote for the NDP as well, especially in BC, where they are at 30%.
What does all this mean? Well, I frankly don't agree with the notion put forward by John Ivison, though it's certainly part of it. It seems though that Ontario is the major issue for us right now, though Quebec's pretty damn big as well. What is going on in these provinces that are affecting us so much? We seem to be holding our own in other areas, but why is our base support in Central Canada so effing low right now? Hm. Puzzling, puzzling, puzzling.