The newest Ipsos Reid poll is out for the federal scene, confirming what its fellow federal pollsters have been showing: a marked increase for the Liberals as Justin's leadersh- er, sorry, just the leadership race (I'm sure), makes an impact on the minds of Canadians everywhere.
Ipsos Reid (Federal - November 15th, 2012)
Conservative: 34% (-1%) - 143 seats
New Democratic: 30% (-8%) - 98 seats
Liberal Party: 26% (+8%) - 85 seats
Bloc Québécois (QC Only): 26% (=) - 13 seats
Green Party: 2% (-4%) - 0 seats
I didn't cover the last Ipsos poll out, which is where the percentage changes come from, but 308.com did, if you're that interested (we come out with fairly similar numbers as it is). But there is no doubt that there is impressive growth on the part of the Liberals, jumping up to the highest point Ipsos Reid has had them since April 2011. Not too shabby for the third party.
But, let's not kid ourselves - a lot of this has to do with the advent of Trudeau's candidacy for the federal leadership. While I would love to say the simple fact that we have a leadership race going on has bumped up our numbers and gotten Canadians interested, its more likely that Trudeau has gotten Canadians interested in the race and the party. Coupled with generally good press for the federal party recently, and a lack of anything really important or amazing coming out of the New Democrats, its no surprise that things are looking up for us here.
But this doesn't mean we're out of the woods, nor does it mean Trudeau will lead us to automatic victory. The provinces for this poll are more in line with what you'd expect, and while the Liberals do well, they don't do nearly well enough.
As always, lets jump to Ontario and Quebec. In my province, the Liberals are tied with the New Democrats at 30% a piece. The Conservatives sit at 36%. Close numbers, but the Conservatives have such easy domination still. 56 seats to the Liberal's 38 and the NDP's 27. Hitting our 2008 levels isn't enough to win government, especially if we can't actually beat the Dipper's down - remember, 30% is higher than their 25.6% they earned in the actual May 2011 election. Thats an increase.
In Quebec, there is a bit of a different story, with the NDP being in the dominant position. Again, its only with 34% support, but that is enough for 43 seats, compared to 18 seats for the Liberals (on 25% support), and 13 for the Bloc (on 26%). Once again, hitting our 2008 levels (though 25% is still better than Dion's 23.4% in the province) is not enough - we need to do better. Increased competition from the Bloc helps matters (because who does the Bloc compete with for votes? Dippers.), but we need to be around 30% and above to make things work.
But that is where everyone expects Trudeau to come in, and I suppose the hypothetical polling done so far shows him winning both Ontario and Quebec by good measures. But if I were a betting man, I'd place my chips on expecting a Trudeau-led Liberal party averaging more around what this poll shows, rather than the crazy heights those hypothetical polls show. We should set our sights what is reasonable to expect, like the levels of support shown in this Ipsos poll, and then see where we can improve our numbers to in a gradual, realistic way.