Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Some morning thoughts...

1. There is almost no downside now in NDP leader Jack Layton switching his attacks to Stephen Harper. I was thinking as I watched him attacking Martin last night that he was beating a dead parrot. He now has to peel anti-Liberal votes from Harper from those who might have second thoughts about voting Conservative. One angle that could be pursued by opponents or media is the maddening vagueness of the Conservative platform. Time to pin them down on just exactly they would do as a government.

2. The Strategic Counsel poll in this morning's Globe confirms Ekos and has the Conservatives in the range of a majority. (My guess on Ekos was about 157 seats.) However, Strategic Counsel does one thing that could cause them to overestimate Conservative strength. The question on momentum could act as a feedback loop where respondents merely echo what they hear in the media, while at the same time acting as a stimulus to then adding a Conservative vote preference when it is asked later in the survey. The effect of this would be small, but be in the direction of slightly overstating Conservative support.

3. The media is overestimating how much the Conservatives can get in Quebec, especially with all the emphasis on momentum, etc. The Globe is guilty of this but so was the CBC this morning. The PQ in Quebec is currently getting in the mid-forties provincially and that represents a bottom for the BQ. It is also where L├ęger Marketing placed the BQ last week (at 45%), having earlier in the campaign had them at 50%. The Liberals are going to keep some anglo support in Montreal, so the effect of splitting the federalist vote is going add seats to the BQ total in this election even if the party winds up with a lower percentage than in 2004.

4. The CBC made an error this morning when it said that negative advertising was started by the Liberals. How would one describe all those sponsorship scandal ads the Conservatives have been running since just after Christmas? Extolling the positive virtues of the ideas in their platform?

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