04.25.2011 05:41 PM

I can’t say this on Akin’s show, but holy shit la merde!

I’m in the green room at Sun News, waiting to go on David Akin’s terrific new show.  I suspect David plans to ask me about the linked Ekos poll, which is a jaw-dropper.

I will resist the temptation to say: “None of this would have happened if Liberals had listened to Chretien!”


Oops, I just said it. Sorry.


  1. Harvey Martin says:

    Perhaps the voters are forcing the merger that the hierarchy in the Liberal Party (and probably the NDP as well) didn’t want. Perhaps, in an election that was supposedly about “nothing”, the personalities of the leaders has becoming the defining issue.

  2. DaveinMapleRidge says:

    That poll is a bit skewed I think …. just a little, mind you.

    I wonder if Mr Graves is (not so secretly) hoping for a coalition at any cost. I wonder where he gets his numbers?

    • fritz says:

      “I wonder where he gets his numbers?”

      ^His pollsters called up potential voters on the phone. 😉

      • Harvey Martin says:

        It’s a huge poll – 3,000 voters. That said, projecting 53 NDP seats from Quebec (with a far higher margin of error) is going wayyyyyyyyy out on a limb.

      • DaveinMapleRidge says:

        Ha ha ha … sorry, I guess my question should have been phrased, “What was he smoking at the time?” Looks like a good shot of wishful thinking in that hookah.

      • Mulletaur says:

        No, they didn’t. They used robocalls. People are less inclined to give a true response to a machine than they are to a live person. Nevertheless, the results are not a blip, they confirm the trend line.

        • Namesake says:

          “People are less inclined to give a true response to a machine than they are to a live person”

          sez who / why? Graves submits — with some plausibility — that the opposite’s the case: people can answer more honestly w/o fear of being judged.

          that’s why he thinks he was so much closer than everyone else on the Rob Ford Toronto Mayoral victory.


        • The Other Jim says:

          Not true at all.

          Automated interviews have their downsides (such as higher mid-call termination rates), but a properly designed IVR survey can significantly reduce interviewer bias (an innate tendency among respondents to provide socially acceptable answers or answers that they feel will please the interviewer).

          Please, don’t just make stuff up. More than a few of us here are (or were) in the research industry.

  3. Philippe says:

    I can sleep better now that the Neo-Cons are outta majority territory. I can live with the NDP’s policies… Layton’s gotta a folksy appeal to him.

    • kyliep says:

      I can’t! The drop in Liberal support in ON isn’t going to the NDP, it’s going to the Conservatives, who are averaging 47% in most polls. That will likely give them a majority. Hoping that what comes out of the wreckage of the soon to be demolished Liberal party is a recognition that we can’t have 3 left of centre parties splitting 60-65% of the vote each election and handing successive governments to the Conseratives.

    • The Other Jim says:

      The Conservatives aren’t out of majority territory. At some point, the NDP momentum (especially in the Atlantic, I suspect) will create vote splits that favour the Conservatives. Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe is a perfect example of such. The total number of Liberal votes has declined by roughly a third since 2000, and the CPC candidate was within 1500 votes of Brian Murphy in 2008. The NDP candidate is unlikely to win (or even finish second), but even a 10% shift from the Grits to the Dippers likely results in the seat turning Blue.

      The term “game changer” is over-used, but a strong NDP performance next week does not preclude a Conservative majority and, depending on how many Moncton scenarios occur, could even be to Harper’s advantage.

  4. john says:

    I’m starting to hope for any outcome as long as it’s not a Harpercon majority…

  5. artwilliams says:

    Wow! It’s all about momentum. Stephen has got a little bit, Jack A LOT and the other two (three?) — none. Time for the Liberals to get the “scorched earth” ads racked up and ready to air!

    Grave’s seat breakdown is wacky but it certainly does lead one believe to that NDP will be the Official Opposition. If EKOS is right, our future PM Jack is all for co-operation so maybe he could toss a Minister Without Portfolio and Coffee Gopher post to Bob Rae! LOL

    My riding has been Liberal for the last 23 years and the incumbent has dialer phoned me 4 times in the last 10 days! Three for town hall meetings and once for an automated poll.

    Jeepers, who said this election was boring?

  6. smelter rat says:

    Maybe they’ll ask you about the 500 pages of damaging Harper quotes that the Cons compiled themselves.

  7. Supernaut says:

    Yes, they have. however if you compare the level to which they underestimated the Con seat projection in the last election 9about 5%0 and apply it to their current seat projections, you STILL get at best/worst a Conservative MINORITY.

    A sample size of 3000 is significantly higher than the average for this election, and EKOS’ methodology involving calling cell as WELL as landlines should provide a much better result than many polls which are skewed toward landlines. Either way, VERY interesting results, which can`t be discounted.

  8. Dave M says:

    As a Liberal supporter, I think that the vote going that way would be fantastic news. In an ideal world, something like this would happen.

    1. Harper gets reduced minority, Dippers get official opposition.
    2. Everyone votes down throne speech, NDP leads a coalition.
    3. Coalition replaces FPTP system with anything else.
    4. Either the coalition stays or goes, it doesn’t matter, because Harper and his Neocons would be gone for good without the benefit of vote splitting.

    The Liberals are still so used to the right being split and being the natural opposition, they haven’t figured out yet that the Cons are benefiting from the exact same broken system that kept Chretien in a majority with less than half the votes all those years. No one that I know on the left particularly wants the NDP and Liberals to merge (other than you), they just want Harper gone and an end to vote splitting.

    Is it gonna happen? Hell no, but one can always dream.

    • Cromwell says:

      Obviously Meslin and all the rest of the losers who want proportional representation are licking their lips at the prospect of a Harper majority, so they can make their case for losers having power despite the fact they are perpetual losers who, well, lost. That is exactly the fear that Harper has been playing on with relation to Iggy. It obviously also suits the loonie left of the NDP.

      • scanner says:

        Harper will be gone by summer – replac3d by Jason Kenny or better yet, Maxime Bernier and then the CPoC will disintegrate into its constituant components. Maybe one of the western groups will revive the Social Credit. One can hope.

  9. Michael S says:

    I wonder if Stephen Harper’s long term strategy for “destroying the Liberal Party of Canada as we know it” accounted for things happening in Internet Time. When the Liberals in the UK collapsed, it happened in Newspaper Time. He may have unleashed forces he does not fully understand.

  10. Jim says:

    Ahhhh, the death of the Liberal Party!

    Sweet victory!

    Look for a 200 seat Tory majority! And yes the NDP will be the official opposition and the Bloc will be rendered irrelevent. The NDP surge will have them pick up some seats in Que, but lose some over the gun registry thingy.

    I was involved in one of these polls…I told them I was voting NDP…snicker.

    This what Canada needs.

    • Scott Tribe says:

      Right Jim.. and all those other people polled did the same thing? Ekos may be an outlier, but I highly doubt is because Tory voters decided to lie to the pollster and screw up the polling results.

  11. Michael S says:

    Oh, BTW: I wonder what Mr. ”Dumber Than A Bag Of Hammers” thinks about this. Forget the leaders, if there’s one party functionary who should be trotted out as the cause of this decline, it’s him.

    The internal class war that lies at the heart of Liberal party internal strife is about to go thermonuclear.

  12. Jim says:

    Oh, and by the way, centrist Libs should start thinking about supporting the Cons to prevent a true socialist government in Canada, because, well you know, your party is a flaming hulk headed for the dustbin of history.

    Oh joy!

    • scanner says:

      Jim, will Mr. Harper work for the Fraser Institute after he resigns on May 3rd?
      How long will it take the CPoC to collapse to it’s constituent elements under the leadership of Jason Kenny?
      6 months? Or sooner?

  13. Namesake says:

    Um, if by “about 4” you mean underestimating the CPC vote by 2.8 points in their final poll, and if by “overstated” you mean being less than one point (.8) off on the NDP, then, yes; boy, were they out to lunch.

    (And they were only off by 0.2 for the Libs & BQ).

    Yes, EKOS overestimated the Green support by over 3 pts, but there’s an alternate explanation for that: the Green supporters simply didn’t bother to cast a vote they knew full well to be futile.



    Meanwhile, this new poll has 50% more respondents than that final 2008 poll, and a correspondingly smaller margin of error. Oh, and it includes cell phones, now (which outnumber landlines in Canada, now).

    Oh, and your beloved Nanos?

    Under-estimated the CPC support by over half a point more than EKOS did (off by 3.4); and Over-estimated the NDP by over two points more (3.2); and were also .5 rather than just .2 off on the LPC & BQ 2008 results.

    • Namesake says:

      grasp, much?

      1) cellphones aren’t just restricted to the young:

      “There are now more cellphones than wired phones in Canada (25 million vs. 17.5 million)”


      2) EKOS doesn’t “skew” but does sample and weight appropriately as best they can according to the long-form census demographic data;

      in this poll, just 181 of the 2783 — 6.5% — of the decided, eligible voters were under 25 (i.e., 18-24).

      And a quarter of those are, sigh, going to vote CPC. So if you’re hoping that remaining 135 or so — 5% of the total — will somehow prove to be a game-changing illusion for the other parties, you’ve got another think coming, since not only is that too small a figure to make much of a dent, but,

      3) the publicity — much of it through social media — about the vote mobs and the campus advance poll tampering fiasco are both likely to produce a much greater youth turnout the past few elections have seen.

    • Mulletaur says:

      Very good questions, Gord. I don’t think any pollster has yet got to grips fully with the effect of cell phones and the movement away from landlines on polls and polling. I think they need to do more work to nail down the demographics and voting tendencies of those they can reach by cell phone only.

  14. Michael Behiels says:

    If the Ekos poll and seat projections hold Canadians will have put into motion a major political realignment. Speculation is running amok. But its fun to speculate since the deadlock of the last five years would be over.

    Voters will have forced upon the Liberals an informal, and perhaps a formal, coalition with the dreaded socialists. Layton will be Prime Minister once the coalition defeats the Harper government on its lame budget.

    Warren, you will have been vindicated. Good on ya mate!

    Ignatieff will have a tough decision to make. Stay on as a minister of Foreign Affairs in a Layton Lib-Dem. Cabinet if he is offered it or he can resign his seat and go back to academia.

  15. Don’t blame me. Today, I voted NDP.

  16. eattv says:

    As a centrist Dipper who leans red Liberal when it makes strategic sense, I was trepidatious when MI took the crown. I don’t think he’s a bad guy – just too far away from my side of the spectrum for my comfort. It struck me that the Libs panicked when Harper eviscerated Dion in the last election, and went too far right in an effort to put the green shift behind them. Strangely, however, I think the Canadian electorate may lean to some flavour of left in even greater numbers than either Harper or Ignatieff ever suspected.

  17. Jeremy Bloom says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

    Normally NDP support thins out in the last days as strategic voters decide to hold their noses and vote for the Grits… or else say “Screw it, nobody who supports my point of view has a chance of getting elected, I may as well stay home”.

    If the narrative becomes “NDP Is a Viable Option”, you’re going to see a lot of those people actually voting NDP.

    It looks like Jack will also be the magnet for the Anybody-but-Harper folks (which probably includes most of the undecideds at this point – face it, if they were interested in voting Tory they would have made up their minds by now).

  18. Dan F says:

    2 things:

    1) Any hope that Harper had for a majority is now gone. His majority depended on a very carefully crafted 160 seats with narrow wins focused on certain ethnic groups. That whole plan is now out the window as the Cons are set to lose seats to the NDP all over the west (and one to the Greens)

    2) I think the NDP government scenario is a very real possibility, and Cons should seriously consider voting Lib to ensure that in any coalition scenario that we don’t end up with Prime Minister Jack Layton.

    • Curt says:

      Dan F,
      Settle down man.

      • George says:

        I’m surprised that no one recognizes a push-poll when they see one. How is it that the NDP, who admittedly have no Quebec organization on the ground can pull this off? Checking 308.com tells a more realistic story.

        • Scott Tribe says:

          It isnt just Ekos who has them with a big QC lead. Environics gave them 41% in their poll (and also 2nd place).

          I’ve talked to someone in QC, who is on the ground.. and he says the NDP surge there is real, regardless of what the ROC ends up doing.

    • The Other Jim says:

      I’ll have whatever Dan F is smoking.

  19. wassup says:

    Can you say Prime Minister Jack? It’s time for the Liberals to step up and support Jack in a coalition of the Leftists. Drop Iggy, he’s too right wing anyway, leaving Deputy PM Rae to take up the slack and do PM Jack’s bidding.

    Hey, it’s better than 4 years of Tory rule.

    • paul says:

      Were you around when Bob Rae ran Ontario into the rocks? I was. I agree with Warren – time to freak out!

      • Briguyhfx says:

        Were you around when Mike Harris presided over the deaths of those people in Walkerton, and wanted to kill Aboriginal Canadians in Caledonia? I was. Were you around when Dalton McGuinty decided to give police unconstitutional powers in downtown Toronto? I was. Bob Rae has no monopoly on poor decision making in Queen’s Park. I’m surprised Ontarians aren’t in a constant state of freaking out.

  20. dave says:

    Some people think that there is too much hyperbole in articles and comments about a Conservative majority.

    Just watch what happens after this coming Thursday’s polls suggest the question is whether the NDP will form a minority or a majority government. THEN we will see hyperbole and fear mongering, …and high priced hyperbole and fear mongering at that.

  21. myntje says:

    Either Fridays Ipsos poll was a rogue poll or todays Ekos poll is a rogue poll. They can’t both be right. If left leaning Liberals support Jack why not have centrist Liberals support Stephen and worry about rebuilding the brand after the election. Either that or we can face a preening Jack on Tuesday morning. Remember, he smiles while knifing you in the back. Witness the debates and 70%.

  22. Sean says:

    If Nanos says the same thing three nights in a row, I’ll believe it…

  23. Craig Chamberlain says:

    A merger would only bring us to a brand new Liberal party, only, after a lot of lost time and money and political capital. But hey, if your job is to write attack ads for Mr. Harper, you’ll know how you’re paying for your kids’ education.

  24. Eric says:

    Would it be more humiliating for a 3rd place Ignatieff to be a junior party in a Conservative or NDP govt? Don’t rule out the former option. Despite all the acerbic-posturing, the Libs in general and Ignatieff in particular are far more aligned with Harper than with Layton.

    I personally don’t think he would do either. I perceive that the Liberal hubris runs too far and too deep to accept formal coalition without leading the charge. If the Ekos numbers hold I think a Conservative minority will survive for a year or two by garnering support on a vote-by-vote basis, particularly as the LPC might be into another leadership race / coronation cycle.

  25. artwilliams says:

    Excellent article on “The NDP numbers: some random thoughts”


    “More often than not, these sorts of break outs cannot be reversed. They represent a collective decision making process that sometimes builds on mounting evidence or sometimes catches media by surprise after events or debates ? although this would represent a very slow reaction to a debate. There are notable exceptions like the PC?s beating back the resurgent Liberals in 1988 but they are rare.”

    • The Other Jim says:

      Another really interesting article. One of the great things about WK’s readers is the diverse range of articles that they share. Thank you!

  26. Eric says:

    (sorry, but I just had this thought after hitting send)

    I also think that Layton may be a smarter politician than a lot of us give him credit for. I don’t know if he would play the coalition hand up front. He and the party have a lot to gain in the long run by being the OLO for a year or two. He doesn’t really need the LPC if he wishes to be patient. He can show the public that the NDP is an alternative government in their own right. He can let the LPC wallow in the wilderness of 3rd party status while he sets the agenda in QP or is the 1st leader to be scrummed after a government announcement. The attention will ferment fund-raising independent of the voter-subsidy and provide bench-time to develop a cabinet in waiting. By playing the long game he can contribute to the demise of the LPC and avoid being a one-hit wonder like the 1990 Ontario NDP.

  27. Savant says:

    Before anyone starts panicking about these numbers, it should be noted that we’re in uncharted territory here. The polls seem to be indicating something counter to what voter intention has indicated from early on in the campaign – that being that most voters has “made up their mind” about who they are going to vote for. Firstly, no poll will be able to account for what some call the ‘Green Party’ phenomenon. That’s the circumstance where people say one thing to the pollster, where they are thinking with their ‘heart’ on an emotional basis, but once they get to the ballot box they think with their ‘head’ when they vote. Ultimately the Green Party hasn’t been able to hang on to the support they get in polls since at least half of those polled will vote for another party.

    We saw this happen in 2008 when everyone was convicned that the Green Party was going to breakthrough. May was in the debates, and the Green Party polled well above 10% at times. That should have been good for some seats, yet when the votes were counted that didn’t happen.

    While the NDP may indeed make inroads in Quebec, we’ve seen this before with the ADQ at the provincial level. Voter loyalty in Quebec is fickle at best. What voters giveth in Quebec, they can quickly take away. However, in the rest of the country, I just don’t see the NDP support being string enough in enough ridings to make the breakthroughs that Ekos are forecasting. Seriously, 100 seats? While I bet this makes some NDP supporters have wet dreams, it would require a vote shift that is unprescedented and unheard of in the history of Canadian elections. Furthermore, with the lineups at advance polls, these don’t seem like people who are voting for something ‘new’.

    On the plus side, the Tories and Liberals – and the media – are waking up to this threat and starting to tell people just how lofty the NDP platform is. Jane Taber even meekishly admitted that the media hadn’t really done much digging into the NDP platform.

    So long as the Liberals put the spotlight on the NDP (instead of wasting time going after the Tories – whose support hasn’t budged for weeks) I can see these ‘fairweather’ NDP supporters coming to realise that the New Democrats aren’t the magical party that they perceive them to be. When that happens, you’ll see the NDP numbers start to fall back to earth.

  28. MikeM says:

    I know in my riding, in Mississauga, if the Liberals don’t win the the Conservatives will. The previous NDP candidate here put his support behind the Conservatives for this election.

    I also have no doubt that the Liberals would be the best government for Canada right now.

    My certainty has never stopped the world from unfolding differently than I wished but I will do everything I can to help prevent that.

  29. harry wheeler says:

    So who, which political analysts, which pundits, which newspapers, which radio or TV stations forecast this NDP surge which looks like it is turning into a political tsunami? That’s right none of them, because they are all full of it, pimping for their political connections whoever they may be.
    Strategic voting websites to stop Harper are an even bigger joke, as they are all set up by Liberals and rigged accordingly.
    Seat projection sites – most are basically useless as pointed out by someone who does have a clue what she is talking about: http://www.punditsguide.com
    And the Cons who post here make me laugh with their constant silly talking points.
    Imagine Harper spent millions of dollars to discredit Ignatieff only to hand the election victory over to Layton. Talk about ironic.
    People should have listened to Warren a long time ago. But they didn’t, did they? Too bad!

    • The Other Jim says:

      Thanks for sharing that link – it is a pretty insightful analysis of the flaws of seat projection sites, but doesn’t support your claim that “most are basically useless”.

      The summary of the 2008 predictions shows that the projections were accurate in terms of general party positioning and direction from 2006, but understated the depth of the CPC increases and LPC decreases. There is some interesting analysis of why that occurred, and why the predictions for the Bloc and (especially) NDP were so accurate. As with any extrapolated data, it is important to consider the methodology used when assessing anything you read (e.g. fairvote.ca is a complete joke that doesn’t factor in regional vote clusters).

      At the end of the day, seat predictions are just a fun mash-up of real and voodoo research, but I love following them!

  30. MattMcD says:

    If the BQ yields that many seats to the NDP it’ll be because the people in QC have finally had enough of a party that doesn’t do much for them except for postulate about secession. Aside from that one issue the BQ and the NDP are pretty much the same for all intents and purposes. Both are leftist parties while the Libs are trying to take the center but have gone too far right. It’s possible that these numbers are going to hold up.

    I know a lot of young people in Vancouver who would take showing like this at the polls over the alternative though. If it’s down to a choice between Harper majority and the NDP/Lib vote splitting so much that the Dip gets more seats we’ll take it.

    Although the proverb “if you don’t vote for socialism when you’re young, you’re selfish, if you do when you’re old you’re a fool” does come to mind.

    But the election is a week off. The NDP could screw this up in a heartbeat.

  31. R says:



    If Harper take 5 question now in 2008 he did not took any answer 5 days before election

    what he did in past two years that suddenly ontario love him and Qubec like layton

    proof smell fish count vote

    but how i do not know

    in a month too much sudden change something wrong here

  32. scanner says:

    Watch for a lurch into really dirty tricks from the Cons. Has any political party won a majority without taking Quebec?
    If you are a scrutineer or other electoral ground troops, watch out on May 2 – particularly for the Con “disallow” gambit.

    • DaveinMapleRidge says:

      Scanner: Chretien won majorities without winning Quebec.

      He did it by winning Ontario: Liberals won every seat in Ontario with about 50% of the vote there. The CPC is running around 47% support in the Ontario polls at the moment. For some time now its been apparent that Harper fully intends to win his majority with or without Quebec. Looking good so far …

    • Windsurfer says:

      I am a scrutineer next Monday.

      What is this DISALLOW that you’re talking about?

  33. AB Observer says:

    If the NDP get official opposition status, what is the possibility of some Liberals (think David Emerson) crossing the floor and giving the CPC a majority?

    Personally I think if the LPC gets third place, they are toast. The CPC stands for something, the NDP stands for something, the Greens stand for something, and regretfully, the BQ stand for something, but if you asked the normal Canadian, what would the answer be what the LPC stands for?

    The old run left and govern right doesn’t appeal any more. People know what they get with the other 4 parties, but the LPC seems to grab whatever the wind blows at them.

    The time for pretending is over, and a merger won’t help. That would assume that all Liberal support would embrace NDP policies, and methinks, that many normal Liberals would be more comfortable with CPC policies.

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