::


:: PoliticsWatch Archives

> Frontpage
> Recent News
> News Archive
> Recent  Features 
> Features Archive


:: Inside PoliticsWatch

> Contact PoliticsWatch


:: PoliticsWatch News

New poll could cool election fever

[PoliticsWatch updated 4:55 p.m. April 10, 2007]

OTTAWA  — A poll released over the holiday weekend could cool speculation on Parliament Hill about the possibility of a spring election.      
 
An SES Research poll released on Easter Sunday showed the governing Conservative Party still short of the 40 per cent national support needed to win a majority government. 

The poll shows the Conservatives have the support of 36 per cent of "committed voters." The Liberals have 33 per cent support, the NDP has 16 and the Bloc Quebecois is at 10. The poll of 931 committed voters was conducted between March 31 and April 5. 
  
The SES Research poll is the first to come out since several other pollsters have released polls showing the Conservatives closer to or over the magic 40-per-cent mark.  

The new polling results are very similar to last year's federal election numbers, which resulted in a Conservative minority. 

Numerous reporters on Parliament Hill had been anxiously awaiting the SES Research numbers in recent weeks because the polling firm has been the most accurate in the last two federal elections. In the 2006 election, SES's final poll was off by just one-tenth of a percentage point of the election results for each of the four major parties. 

"Our poll shows that the Conservatives are short of forming a majority government at this point in time," Nik Nanos, CEO of SES Research, told PoliticsWatch in an interview on Tuesday.  

"They only have a three-point advantage. Mathematically it's a tie."

In recent weeks much of the journalistic narrative coming out of Parliament Hill has been centred around a spring election campaign which the Liberals are accusing the Conservatives of wanting to force to catch Liberal Leader Stephane Dion unprepared.

The Conservatives have done little to counter that perception by launching three sets of ads attacking Dion's leadership and last week giving reporters a tour of a campaign war room set up in an industrial park in Ottawa. 

The hottest on hobby on Parliament Hill has been for reporters to figure out what piece of legislation or issue will trigger the government's defeat and force a spring election where the Conservatives hope to win a majority government.  

Two weeks ago, John Reynolds, a former Conservative MP who is expected to be the national campaign co-chair in the next election, caused ears to perk up when he openly suggested during a TV discussion panel that if the Liberals held up Conservative crime bills when Parliament returned from the holiday break then "you might see the prime minister say it's time to go to the people." 

But according to Nanos, the poll shows an election at this point in time is a "risk" for both the Conservatives and the Liberals.

SES Research also released another poll that was clearly good news for the Conservatives. 

The SES Best Prime Minister poll showed Prime Minister Stephen Harper with a huge lead over Dion. 

The poll found that 42 per cent of respondents thought Harper would make the best prime minister compared to 16 per cent for the Liberal leader. 

A further breakdown of this poll shows more alarming numbers for Liberals. Only 40 per cent of Liberals surveyed said Dion would make the best PM. Harper was second for Liberals with 26.4 per cent. Harper was also the second choice for the NDP and the Bloc.

In Dion's home province of Quebec it's not that much better. The Liberal leader is the pick of just 10 per cent of Quebecers as best PM, compared to 43 per cent for Harper. 

These findings created great concern from several Liberal bloggers on Tuesday. 

Liberal blogger Far and Wide highlighted Dion receiving just 40 per cent of the best PM votes from Liberals and wrote that it "speaks to internal problems" in the party because "if the rank and file aren't impressed, you can't hope to win over the undecideds."

Nanos credits Harper's performance as PM over the past year and the effect of the negative ad campaign against Dion as the two factors showing a large gap for best PM.  

"My sense is this is probably at the bottom of the cycle for Stephane Dion," he said.

Nanos said the Best PM and the national support polls can't be viewed in isolation. 

"You can't just point to one part of a poll. If you look at the ballot numbers it looks tight. If you look at the leadership numbers then it looks better for the Conservatives. It's a mixed bag for everyone."

: Related Links

> Writing off Dion a risky business

© PoliticsWatch® 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PoliticsWatch content, including by framing, copying, linking or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Public Interests Research and Communications Inc. (PIRCINC). PoliticsWatch is registered trademark of PIRCINC.

> More Recent PoliticsWatch News...







:: Got a News Tip?

Call the PoliticsWatch
tip-line at 613.232.0516
or
e-mail

 

PoliticsWatch Home  |  News Services  Voter Resources  |  Research Base

© PoliticsWatch® 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PoliticsWatch content, 
including by framing, copying, linking or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of 
Public Interests Research and Communications Inc. (PIRCINC). PoliticsWatch is registered trademark of PIRCINC.
PoliticsWatch® | Canada's Political Portal™
85 Albert Street, Suite 1502, Ottawa ON K1P 6A4 |  phone: 613.232.0516
news@politicswatch.com  |  Terms of Service, Copyright, Trademarks, and Disclaimers Statement