Monday, March 05, 2007

Blogs Wary of Harper Majority - Polls Are Back to a Con-Lib Tie

The level of analysis and the conversation on the Blogs about the implications and complications of a Harper majority government are showing this new medium at its best.

There are so many great postings and rich and enlightening comment threads on this issue I hesitate to do much by visit other sites and watch it unfold.

I recommend the Prairie Wrangler and Far and Wide as good places to start but wander around the Blogs and make up you own mind about the wisdom of a Harper majority.

The polls of late have been generating more heat than light. The Decima “on-line poll” – gave the Harper Cons a substantial lead and the Dion Libs a sobering sense of sliding. Looking to any sign of a trend or momentum the MSM and right wing Blogs jumped all over this. Speculation over an early election bubbled to the top again. We really need to look seriously at what is happening in the March 19 Budget and the March 26 Quebec election before anyone can really make any strategic decisions about the timing and wisdom of any election call.

In the meantime, I hope Decima made some serious attempt to cull and categorize their on-line poll participants to be reflective Canada in terms of the regional population distributions, gender, education income and all other traditional criteria. I am a big fan of on-line surveys but they are nor necessarily reflective of the collective wisdom of the country. They have a more serious purpose but that is a subject for another posting some other time.

New Poll Shows Cons and Libs Back at a Statistical Tie:
Ipsos Reid is out with a new poll that puts the major parties back in a statistical tie. The context of this poll is the Conservative negative ads about Dion are gone, the Quebec election is on and Harper is buying votes in Ontario. Key findings from this poll – beyond the statistical tie are the Cons still stuck at 36% as at Election night and Dion is up 2% now that the negative ads are off the air.

In Quebec the Dion Liberals are up 4 points (at 29%) and the Harper Cons are down 3% (at 18%) even with the gifts and fawning Harper has been doing for Charest. Even in Alberta Harper is down 6 points but still at a commanding total of 55% support.

Not many undecided folks overall but the largest concentration was in Sask/Man at 18% and Ontario at 15% undecided, refused or didn’t know how they would vote.

Campaigns matter and these various poll results taken when there is no election going on are like mood rings. The “colours” of the opinions and the moods of the participants can change very quickly - but they are not decisive. That will not happen until there is a real election happening.

All we have now is a fluid punditry, a volatile voter base and a voluble blogisphere. Not the stuff to risk an election over yet.