Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dueling NDP Polls Show New Realities

So apparently NDP leadership candidates Paul Dewar, Thomas Mulcair, and Brian Topp have semi-released (Dewar maybe fully) internal campaign polls on the leadership race which are showing conflicting results. For a good analysis of the Dewar poll, read this Pundit's Guide article.

But here are these numbers as they've been reported throughout the media:

As you can see, there are two big pieces of information missing. The first is that Topp's campaign has (up to this date) only said what he is getting, while Mulcair's campaign (as far as I know) didn't release their methodology. However, all of them released the numbers of people that got responses from. so we can make a few assumptions (my assumption is that Mulcair used live telephone interviews).

For the time being, though, these numbers will do. As a cavaet, remember these are internal campaign polls, done and paid for by these campaigns, so take it all with a grain of salt. It doesn't mean they're biased, but it does mean they could be, more so than an independent pollster's results would.

Just for reference, here's what the last independent pollster's (Forum) results were among decided NDP members:

I believe the sample size for the numbers are pretty small, but nevertheless, you have Mulcair leading, Nash second, and Dewar and Topp battling for third. Forum's results therefore tend to better reinforce Dewar and Mulcair's internal polls, a lot better than Topp's.

However, something that the Forum poll didn't catch that apparently the Mulcair and Dewar camps agree on is the strength of Nathan Cullen, who seemingly makes the "top four" a "top five," beating out Topp in one poll and Dewar in the other for third place. The Forum poll was conducted in mid-January, so either Cullen has surged in the last month (entirely possible), the two campaign polls have it wrong (also possible), or Forum is wrong (probable). It's possible Cullen has enough strength among the grassroots to compete among the top tier, rather that being lumped with the bottom.

Dewar's campaign also gave second-preference results, very important in a preferential ballot race like this one.

This makes a general amount of sense, given what I know of the candidates. Dewar would be the plurality's second choice, and Nash would also be pretty close. Nash is a bit more ideologically rabid, but they could be considered the "compromise candidates," à la Dion.

Overall, however, there is I believe something to point out: the fall of Brian Topp.

Once considered the "frontrunner," Topp has fallen far from grace, and both polling and establishment support has reflected that. Once considered the "establishment's choice," he's no longer got an apparent advantage, and polling has been dismal for his campaign, aside from his hidden internal poll.

This points towards a bad finish for the "frontrunner," who has not impressed many as far as I can tell. Mulcair and Nash, on the other hand, should be considered the two frontrunners, with Dewar, Topp, and maybe Nathan Cullen, battling for also-ran status. It's an interesting situation, to say the least.

1 comment:

  1. The Topp data they admit is from phone canvassing, not from anonymous polling.