Robocalls, schmobocalls, said Ipsos Reid a mere 10 days ago—Harper’s still the man:
Tom Clark, Global’s chief political correspondent and host of the network’s weekly political affairs program, The West Block, says the poll exemplifies that the robocalls scandal hasn’t really hurt Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s popularity. “If they liked Harper before, they like him now regardless of what’s gone on.”
Crowed Barbara Yaffe a mere fortnight ago, Nanos poll firmly in hand: “[T]he federal Liberals have surged ahead of the New Democrats.”
But, as T.S. Garp said—beware the undertoad.
Frank Graves of EKOS was finding something rather different at about the same time. He had the Conservatives and New Democrats neck and neck, with the Liberals in a not-very-good third place. The corporate media decided to drop a cone of silence on him: the only mention of that poll was in the online news journal iPolitics, in an article he had to write himself.
But now his numbers have been effectively replicated by Environics, they can’t be so easily ignored. They’re actually getting some play—from John Ibbitson! Sometimes you just run out of spin, and sit there like a tearful kid, staring at your top.
To begin with, the hapless Liberals aren’t making any headway at all (21.7% on March 2, 20% today); and the NDP are staying where they are as well (29.2% then, 30% presently). Now it’s the Bloc Québécois that’s doing all the “surging”—fair comment this time, because they’re up to 30% in Quebec, just behind the NDP.
Ibbitson ignores the Graves poll, of course, but he makes this telling observation:
Environics is not the only pollster ever to have the NDP in first place since the fight over free trade. Last August, shortly after leader Jack Layton died, a Decima poll also had the NDP and Conservatives tied.
One could at least explain that one away. But not the current poll, taken months after public sympathy for Jack has subsided. At this point the NDP, having lost political momentum during the leadership race, has not yet profited from the bounce that will inevitably happen when the new leader is chosen.
Yet they’re even with the Conservatives. The apparent “drop” of Con support is to 30%—virtually the same as Graves’ number on March 2 (31.5%), when Vic Toew’s citizen surveillance bill was causing outrage and Roboscam was beginning to hit the public consciousness.
Things obviously haven’t improved for the Conservatives since, as a steady parade of ugly revelations keeps the vote suppression scandal festering. “But, but…the Liberals” appears to have lost its healing power. They’re staying down, and the NDP is staying steady.
Is it OK to talk about a “statistical dead heat” now? Why, yes.
[H/t UAW Canada]