Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Voodoo Polls Cont'd

Since last post, Abacus Data has come out with a new poll that gives the opposite of what Nik Nanos is showing, with a healthy second place position for the New Democrats, well ahead of the Liberals.

Abacus' numbers are 40-31-18, compared to Nanos' 35.6-27.3-28.1 the other week that I wrote about here which we couldn't really take at face value, unfortunately. The key numbers - Ontario and Quebec - show different stories as well.

In Ontario, Abacus found 43% would vote Conservative, compared to 28% NDP and 26% Liberal. Last week's Nanos has those numbers as 37.2% Conservative, 38.8% Liberal, and 19.6% NDP.

The consequence here is plainly obvious. Under Abacus, the Liberals would win just 16 seats (compared to 60 for the Conservatives and 24 for the NDP), while Nanos' numbers would give the Liberals 46 seats to 45 Cons and 15 Dippers. A 30-seat difference is of course huge, and if these numbers played out in an election the Nanos numbers would give the Liberals legitimacy again, while Abacus would keep us going nowhere.

In Quebec, Abacus gives the NDP a relatively paltry 36% of the vote (down from 42%). In second place remains the Bloc with 26%, then the Conservatives with 21%, and the Liberals way down at just 13%. Nanos gives the NDP 37.7%, the Liberals in second with 23.6%, the Cons with 20.1%, and the Bloc with just 15.9%.

The difference for the Liberals is nearly 10 seats, as we'd only manage 5 under Abacus, but 14 under Nanos.

I've got to say, despite some of Abacus' weird past moves, I'm leaning a lot more towards their numbers than Nanos'. I think they might be bumping up the NDP a tad in Ontario and BC, but overall their regional splits make a heck of a lot more sense given the current political climate. Bob Rae might be Parliamentarian of the Year, but the average Canadian doesn't really care. In the absence of corroborating polling, there's no support for the Liberal bump. Maybe Nanos just hit a Liberal-rich vein of voters somewhere, who knows. But there's something wrong with their polling, and if they want to continue being taken seriously, they need to fix it.

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