Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Strategic Counsel poll has good news for Liberals

The Globe and Mail’s interpretation of their new Strategic Counsel poll is that the Liberals are “clinging to a slender lead”. Not so. The big Liberal lead in Ontario in the survey would translate into a convincing 2004 Paul Martin size minority government.

I calculate the seat numbers as:

Strategic Counsel – National Seats

Liberals – 135
Conservatives – 95
Bloc – 55
NDP – 22
Other – 1

Interestingly, the poll produces a different winner from the recent Environics poll. Now that the Liberals have a new leader and we appear to be heading for a federal election later this year, these surveys take on a new significance so contradictory results really add to the uncertainty.

There is one clear consistency between the two polls, and it is not good news for Stephen Harper. The numbers in Quebec from the two surveys are quite similar for the Conservatives and Liberals (Environics has the Bloc much weaker than Strategic Counsel).

Environics – Quebec (In %)
Liberals – 24
Conservatives – 18
Bloc – 36

Strategic Counsel – Quebec (In %)
Liberals – 25
Conservatives – 15
Bloc – 48

The Liberals won 34% of the vote in Quebec in 2004 but just 21% in 2006. These results suggest the beginnings of a revival, but show that Dion has a long way to go in Quebec, and that Harper is hanging on to about 9 points of the 16% of the Quebec electorate who moved his way in the last election. TC has never thought the Conservatives could build a majority in Quebec, and all the polls since the Liberal convention seem to confirm that, not only is this true, but the Tories may have lost up to half the new votes they won last time.

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