Sunday, September 14, 2008

Some Perspective: Where Were We At This Point Last Time?

While the press are out making all sorts of predictions, I thought it might be a good time for some responsible reporting about the race as it stands compared to last time. Below are a sample of poll numbers from all firms from the last election. Amazingly the SES/NANOS numbers are EXACTLY reversed, Liberals were up 38-30 at the exact same point in the race. They even took a 15 point lead 3 days later. Though I don't remember seeing a single media outlet saying the only possibilities were a Liberal minority or majority, in fact I remember blogging Tories and the National Post columnists remained quite confident of an impending Conservative victory. Why is the media coverage so radically different this time? The Conservatives didn’t close the gap on the Liberals in a single poll until 3 weeks into the campaign (which was actually before the income trust bombshell after which the Liberals never had the lead again) and the media never counted them out, so why the bias this time? Why are polls instead of issues dominating campaign coverage? It would be nice to see at least some major reporters address this.

It's obviously not debatable that the Conservatives are ahead now, but there are 30 days left in this campaign. I agree with Paul Wells, campaigns matter and getting all riled up by polls this far out is a needless distraction. It will take hard work to win this thing, but it is far too soon to start making predictions about the outcome about the outcome. St├ęphane Dion and his team need to do everything they can to make sure they get their message out loud and clear of the stark choice faced in this election, why we cannot afford another term with Harper as PM, and why he and the Liberal Party will provide real leadership we can be proud of. But every week they must learn the lessons from the last. The rest of us Liberals need to do all we can to help from the ground and spread our party's message.

But let's not worry about the media coverage, for whatever reason the press seem to want Harper to win and are constructing the narrative accordingly. But the media won't decide this election - there's a lot of hearts and minds out there still to win and they can be won. Despite what Harper says, the majority of Canadians' views are far more in line with the Liberal party than his - Canadians want a fiscally responsible and socially progressive government, not a fiscally reckless and socially regressive one like we have today. It's a long road, but with hard work and focus we can pull ahead and give Canadians a government they can be proud of.

Be back soon with my week 1 recap (here).

UPDATED: Two good reality checks: On the polls and on why Harper would start criticizing the NDP (hint: it’s not because he believes Layton will ever crack 20% in the polls).

POLLS - 2006 CANADIAN ELECTION






SES/NANOS
DATE
CON LIB NDP BQ GREEN MOE -
01/03/06 DAY 37

36

33

15

13

4

±3.1

-

12/30/05 DAY 33

35

35

14

13

4

±3.1

-

12/29/05 DAY 32

34

35

14

13

5

±3.1

-

12/28/05 DAY 31

32

38

14

13

4

±3.1

-

12/22/05 DAY 25

29

39

15

12

5

±3.2

-

12/08/05 DAY 11

26

41

18

11

4

±3.2

-

12/07/05 DAY 10

26

40

18

11

4

±3.2

-

12/06/05 DAY 9

28

40

17

11

4

±3.2

-

12/05/05 DAY 8

30

38

16

11

4

±3.2

STRATEGIC COUNSEL
DATE
CON LIB NDP BQ GREEN MOE -
01/04/06 DAY 38

32

32

17

13

6

±2.5

-

12/31/05 DAY 34

31

33

17

14

6

±3.1

-

12/22/05 DAY 25

30

33

18

14

5

±2.5

-

12/08/05 DAY 11

30

36

15

14

5

±2.5

-

12/07/05 DAY 10

29

35

16

13

6

±2.5

-

12/06/05 DAY 9

29

35

16

14

6

±2.5

-

12/05/05 DAY 8

29

35

16

14


6

±2.3

-

IPSOS-REID
DATE
CON LIB NDP BQ GREEN MOE -
01/05/06 DAY 39

35

31

18

10

5

±2.2

-

12/31/05 DAY 34

33

32

18

12

5

±3.1

-

12/22/05 DAY 25

32

33

16

13

5

±3.1

-

12/12/05 DAY 15

27

36

17

14

5

±3.1

-

12/08/05 DAY 11

30

34

16

14

5

±3.1

-

12/03/05 DAY 6

31

33

17

14

5

±2.0

-

EKOS
DATE
CON LIB NDP BQ GREEN MOE -
01/03/06 DAY 39

35.5

32.0

19.1

9.7

3.1

-

12/03/05 DAY 6

27.4

34.1

18.4

14.0

6.0

±2.7

LEGER
DATE
CON LIB NDP BQ GREEN MOE -
01/04/06 DAY 38

34

32

16

11

5

±2.5

12/21/05 DAY 24

28

36

17

12

5

±3.1

12/07/05 DAY 10

27

39

16

12

5

±2.2

DECIMA
DATE
CON LIB NDP BQ GREEN MOE -
01/08/05 DAY 42

36

27

20


11

-

±3.1

12/31/05 DAY 34

30

32

18

14

-

±3.1

12/09/05 DAY 12

27

36

20

13

4

±1.5

12/06/05 DAY 9

26

34

20

14

-

±1.5

POLLARA
DATE
CON LIB NDP BQ GREEN MOE -
12/19/05 DAY 22

34

37

17

10

-

-

12/11/05 DAY 11

30

38

15

12

-

-





Source: nodice.ca

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