Thursday, April 27, 2006

New Decima Poll

A CP story out yesterday claims that a new Decima poll has the Conservatives on the verge of majority, although the poll was conducted prior to the flag-at-half-mast controversy.

Conservatives inching into majority territory

OTTAWA (CP) - The Conservatives have seized a commanding lead in popularity over the Liberals and inched into majority-government territory, says a new survey released Wednesday. Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Tories held a 15-point advantage over the Liberals and broke past what is considered the benchmark for winning a majority government, says the Decima poll.

My seat forecaster says this is definitely not a majority - not even close. The Conservatives have only a 7 point lead in Ontario and are no further ahead in Quebec, all of which confirms TC’s earlier posting on this topic. While I can't make a precise estimate due the lack of complete regional data, I think they are around 145 based on these numbers. There were minority governments elected in Canada with 41% of the vote or more in 1963, 1926 and 1921. Decima is jumping to an unwarranted conclusion.

The Conservatives are in a honeymoon period, although it is a weak one roughly comparable to the post-election showing of the Paul Martin Liberals after 2004. See this table of Environics polls, for example. The Decima poll strongly resembles the Liberal lead over the Conservatives in September/October 2005, which was 38-27 with 20% for the NDP.

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