10.06.2015 07:13 AM

KCCCC Day 65: vast swaths of italicized text, plus a slide you need to see


  • Lots to cover this morning.  So let’s get to it!
  • First off, I’ve got a column in the latest edition of Post City.  Here it is, in bulleted and italicized bits, but it’s here too.
  • “Toronto is the centre of the known universe. Now all of us who have alighted here know that already, of course. Other Canadians, found hither and yon throughout the hinterland — eking out an existence that is nasty, brutish and occasionally short — probably aren’t as convinced. Growing up in Calgary, Alta., as I did, I was regularly presented with evidence that my neighbours were not super-big Toronto fans. “Let the Eastern Bastards Freeze in the Dark,” was one popular bumper sticker of the day. Nice. Another pithy aphorism of the time: “All that [Insert name of central Canadian political party here] know of Canada is what they can see from the top of the CN Tower on a clear day.” And so on. All of that stuff notwithstanding, the facts are the facts: Toronto, politically at least, is rather important. That’s why you keep seeing the federal leaders here all the time, doing all that they can to win your affections. Toronto will determine who forms the next government.
  • The Conservatives: Folks in Toronto may not believe it, much less like it, but it’s true: Toronto is the place where Stephen Harper’s party won his majority in 2011. Before the writ was dropped, the Reformatories held 11 seats in the 905 beltway — but they would go on to seize 21 out of 22 on election day. The 416 area code worked out almost as well: Harper’s party hadn’t secured a toehold in Toronto since 1988. But when all the votes were counted, they’d taken nine seats in Toronto. That’s a pretty good toehold. Thusly, the Tories picked up 19 seats in the Greater Toronto Area, and that’s why they won a majority. It gave them what they needed. This time, it won’t be so easy. Harper derangement syndrome (HDS) has reached pandemic levels in Toronto the Good, and it is hard to think of a single 416 seat the Tories will be able to keep in the fold.  That unhelpful factoid aside, Harper and his well-oiled machine are spending plenty of time in Toronto — announcing transit money, announcing tax breaks, announcing that Wayne Gretzky likes him — to hold on to what he has. Good luck with that.
  • The New Democrats:  A “senior liberal strategist,” as the species is known, leaned across the table at a Yorkville eatery: “The 416 is going from red to orange,” he whispered, “and the 905 is going from blue to red.” Sounds about right, at least based on the anecdotal evidence: that is, cheery orange NDP signs in all sorts of places you would not ever expect to see them — in front of sprawling multimillion-dollar homes in Rosedale and the Beaches. New Democrats are on the move in the old Toronto. They’ve attracted outstanding candidates, such as Jennifer Hollett (alum of MuchMusic and Harvard alike), and they’ve expended no shortage of effort here. The polls suggest it’s paying off. Plenty of eyebrows were raised nationwide, however, when NDP leader Tom Mulcair declared Toronto to be “Canada’s most important city” back in August. Mulcair shrugged about the resulting outcry: he knows, as does Harper, that all Parliamentary roads lead to Toronto. Thus, Mulcair has become ubiquitous in Toronto for weeks, offering to boost the guaranteed income supplement for seniors or launch his autobiography or even attract applause before a blue-chip crowd on Bay Street. If he can crack open Liberal fortress Toronto, Mulcair is well on his way.
  • The Liberals: Not every move Justin Trudeau has made in Toronto has been well-received. His embrace of former Conservative MP Eve Adams in Eglinton-Lawrence, for instance, was an unmitigated disaster. So, too, his unsubtle meddling in Toronto ridings to parachute in supposed stars, such as Chrystia Freeland or Bill Blair — all of which shredded his solemn promise to have “open nomination” contests. Those missteps aside, Trudeau has been the most energetic federal campaigner in Toronto and environs — partly because he knows that, elsewhere in Canada, he simply isn’t going to win enough seats he needs to become our next prime minister. He is well ahead in Atlantic Canada, yes — but that region has fewer seats than the 416/905. So, he needs Toronto. Trudeau has welded himself to Premier Wynne’s side for weeks — and taken on her pollsters, strategists and many of her staffers to help oversee his campaign. The polls, as flawed as they are, suggest Trudeau’s Ontario-centric campaign is paying dividends: Ontario-wide, he has lately squeezed out the NDP, and he is poised to win back 905 seats that haven’t been red since the good old days of Jean Chrétien. Can Mulcair undo it all? Sure. But so far, so good. Also: nice hair. The hair is ready.”
  •  Mainstreet (and others) put CPC in the lead: I don’t know who this Too Close to Call guy is, but I like the way he thinks.  Quote:  “The fact that Nanos is the only firm providing daily updates is annoying. It means they effectively dictate a lot of the coverage about the horse race in this campaign. And this is a little bit absurd because Nanos only polls 400 respondents every day. So really, there is no point in comparing Nanos’ numbers of yesterday and today. I have nothing against Nanos – I consider them as one of the best polling firms in this country and regret they don’t poll more often. But it can create a false narrative…Why am I talking about this? Because Nanos has shown an important (and increasing) lead nationally for the Liberals for a few days. Therefore a lot of people believe that this is the current trend. A lot of people are discarding the polls showing a big CPC lead (namely Angus-Reid, Forum and Ekos) because they are slightly older.”  And here is the Mainstream from this morning that he is talking about: “As the campaign enters the final two weeks, the Conservatives (37%) have opened up a substantial lead over the Liberals (29%). The Liberals have now also opened up a substantial lead over the NDP who have dropped to just 24% among decided and leaning voters.” But – but– Mainstream’s data is six days old.
  • If I am asking you to read too much stuff early in the morning (and I am), here’s a simple slide from Mainstreet’s guys.  Why do I believe they (and Ekos, Ipsos, et al.) are right and Nanos is wrong? Because of Nanos’ sample sizes and the sample sizes of others, because of Nanos’ record, and because of Nanos’ general methodology.  But…whatever.  I’m sick of this interminable Nanos vs. The World debate.  You, however, may not be – so debate it ad nauseum in comments!

Mainstreet oct 6th


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    MississaugaPeter says:

    O.K., they fixed Sunday (wrote on this website yesterday)


    with this Monday


    But how is it possible that the numbers for 1 month ago (September 4) are the same numbers for 3 months ago (July 4) for 4 of the 5 parties and all six preferred PMs?

    Sloppiness does not encourage confidence in their polls.

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      MississaugaPeter says:

      What is hilarious is their “Track Record”, see go to pages 5-7,

      They pride themselves on their prediction for the 2014 Ontario Election. But look at the dates of the polls and the election date.

      Their poll was for May 22-26, but the election was on June 12. With that kind of foresight, we just need to look at their poll 17 days before an election, and we will get the result. Why are the parties even bothering with the $M of advertising, give it to charity.

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      MississaugaPeter says:

      Sorry, forgot the link …


      Don’t mean to be harsh on Nanos, but Mr. Nanos tweeting Sunday night that something significant was going to be revealed Monday morning, and really there was just a minuscule change.

      I do commend for providing raw data, but it seams that while they insure the data they use is 100% correct in the sense of region and sex, they weigh the responses because the age demographics are not corresponding.

      See page 15 onwards at


      615 of the 1200 respondents are 50 or older (51.25% of the respondents).

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        Scott says:

        To be fair Peter, he something interesting not something significant and he meant the continuing Dipper slide. Sorry, I know you would rather be more condemning but try to keep it real.

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          Scott says:

          He said something interesting.

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      Matt says:

      Lots of Liberal supporters here have taken to calling Nanos the most accurate pollster in history. Of course, those claims just happened to coincide with Nanos showing the Liberals surging to leads in Ontario and nationally.

      But it’s simply not true. Angus Reid was more accurate in 2011 and 2008.

      As for Ontario 2014, he wasn’t doing this 3 day rolling poll 400 a night crap.

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        VC says:

        Wrong. Nanos came within a 1/10th of a percent of predicting the outcome for the CPC, LPC, NDP, and BQ in 2006, far more accurate than Angus Reid was in either 2008 or 2011.

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          Matt says:

          So, at one out of three you think that validates the claim he’s the most accurate pollster?

          Go back a couple days and read Warren’s post about confirmation bias.

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            VC says:

            I think you need to go back to read about confirmation bias. But, before you do that, learn a little about statistics: your arbitrary, non-random, truncated selection of the 2008 and 2011 Angus Reid results to support your claim is grossly problematic at best, but just embarrassing. My claim, on the other hand, asserts that, of ALL election predictions ever made — I am not using a truncated sample, here, as you did — the Nanos 2006 election prediction was and remains the most accurate.

            But don’t just take my word for it. Queen’s University had this to say: “In 2006, Nanos Research broke the Canadian record for the most accurate election call in history, predicting the result to a tenth of a percentage point for major parties.”

            You need to do a lot of reading. A lot.

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          MississaugaPeter says:

          Pick and choose the poll that fits your narrative. There are plenty to go around.

          According to his polls, Nanos was tracking Duceppe even though he was not leader? Incredible foresight.

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            Nicole says:

            When I took my second year undergrad stats course, once of the first things my professor mentioned what this book called “How to Lie with Statistics”. I think that tells you all you need to know about polls.

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    DougM says:

    At this point all of those polls are irrelevant until we get a fews days (at least) past the TPP announcement.

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    CM says:

    Looks like in 2011 Nanos came closest to the final election numbers for the Conservatives than anyone else. Just saying’


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      Matt says:

      Actually, no. No he wasn’t.

      That chart leaves out the final Ipsos who had the CPC at 38%. Nanos was 37.1%

      And overall, in both 2011 and 2008 Angus Reid was closer

      Nanos total % difference 5.3
      Angus Reid total % difference 5.0


      Nanos total % difference 8
      Angus Reid total % difference 5


      And you will notice Nanos, and most pollsters, in both cases underestimated the CPC support and overestimated the Liberal and NDP support.

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        bobbie says:

        Those Stats 101 sure pay off don’t they:-)

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        James Smith says:

        Angus Reid was slightly closer, but no one else was closer than Nanos.

        He did not “underestimate” Con support.

        Polls are not an “estimate.” They are a snapshot. His snapshot showed the CONS on the day before an election literally less than 1% from where they finished, within the MOE.

        That’s not underestimated. That is being bang on. When you consider how poorly the Libs were, their enthusiasm was from their base for Michael Ignatieff, that is no surprise. The NDP had the momentum and the CONS had the trust…That’s not the same thing as this time around.

        And Angus Reid doesn’t poll enough. When they do they are accurate. Their last poll was taken 7-10 days ago, right as the Liberals took momentum in Compas, Ipsos, Leger and Nanos polls.

        As I posted below, Nanos’ records going back a long time speaks for itself.

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    Matt says:

    “It’s all bullshit”

    Election polls have become less reliable in an age of cellphones and telemarketing


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    Alex says:

    I bet that the Cons win 150+ seats. Right now it either looks like a strong minority or a weak majority.

    My prediction: The Harperites are going to get creamed in Atlantic Canada but regain these losses around the Quebec City Area. They will lose a handful of seats in the Prairies, but could potentially regain those loses in Alberta due to sweeping that Province and winning the few extra seats there from redistribution. As for B.C., I think it will be a wash.

    Which leaves Ontario. Like Warren, I think the Urban elites will give the Harperites the finger in Ottawa and Toronto, and even potentially the 905 region. This will likely take away the Harper majority. But many rural areas of Ontario will vote for the Blue team, which will give then their strong minority.

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    Brent Crofts says:

    So, if I understand these polls correctly, the Liberals could have anywhere from 27% to 35% support and the Conservatives could have anywhere from 31.5 to 37% support, with a MOE somewhere between 2 and 6, 19 times out of 20? And over the next 10 days, we are going to see ever more polls? I’m a political junkie and I’m ready to throw my hands up in the air. Can’t imagine how this is going over with the non political junkies.

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      Matt says:

      The regional polling can have a MOE as much as 9 to 10%.

      Nanos’ BC polling this election is up that high.

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        Warren says:

        His fluctuations there and Quebec, as I just saw, are wacky.

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          bobbie says:

          Thinking about your posting yesterday re: Confirmation Bias, then looked at this post and the poll numbers again.
          Would it not stand to reason that a polling firm hired by media be up to their eyeballs in Confirmation Bias?
          Seems to me that they would AND working toward whatever their preconceived biases are?
          Seems to me many are missing that connection and falling into a trap of a type of smog of poll data – didn’t you warn against that in one of your books?

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            Warren says:


            I am no poll expert, but I have been skeptical about Nanos long before they started showing LPC lead

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            ottlib says:

            I am a polling expert or more accurately I am an expert in the planning and management of the collection of survey data having made a living doing so for the last 15 years. I have done surveys that have used all of the different collection modes that are currently being used by the industry. (Including some of the more cutting edge ones that have only come along in the last few years.)

            So when I state that you cannot just dismiss the Nanos poll, or any other poll, out of hand I know what I am talking about. When I read a poll I first look at the methodology of it. Unfortunately, most pollsters do not give us much on that but what I have seen for most polls in this election does not raise any red flags for me. (That includes the Forum polls.)

            Of course, what we do not know are the nitty gritty details of how they produce the polls.

            What are they using for a frame from which they draw the sample for the poll? Are there coverage errors, if so what are they and how are they compensating for them. A frame that has an over coverage of blonds with big breasts is going to produce a sample with more of them than in the actual population which will introduce error into the final estimates.

            What about response rates? Higher response rates=less non-response error=higher quality data=higher quality estimates.

            Nanos uses live interviewers to conduct their polls and that tends to increase response rates as they can convert soft refusals. Robocalled polls on the other hand do not have that advantage so their response rates tend to be lower. So if Nanos can interview 1200 respondents while achieving a response rate of 10% while a robot can interview 2400 respondents with a response rate of 5% it is a wash. However, it should be noted that polls usually have dismal response rates, usually averaging about 10%. That sucks. For their business clients any survey company would urge their clients to use caution when using published estimates based on a 10% response rate. Which is why I always urge caution when reading polls.

            All of these things that we do not know about the underlying methodology for a given poll is the reason why different polling companies publish such different estimates. Differences in the frame, sample selection plan, data collection method, data processing rules, and data analysis rules all have an impact on the final product and no polling company is going to make any of that public.

            Sample size has no bearing in data accuracy. A larger sample does not produce more accurate data it only reduces the margin of error (MOE).

            So taking today’s polls. The Nanos estimates today are 35% for the Liberals and 32% for the Conservatives. With an MOE of +/- 3% that means those numbers could be 32-38% for the Liberals and 29-35% for the Conservatives. If the election were held tomorrow and each party received 33% of the vote then, statistically speaking, the Nanos poll would be bang on as that number is within the poll estimate range. The MOE for the Mainstreet poll is smaller so they would be wrong on both counts in this scenario. (Spectacularly wrong for the Liberal estimate.)

            I have no idea what the polls are telling us and I would assert that no one else knows either. Anybody who claims otherwise is blowing smoke. So sit back, relax and approach the polls for what they really are, topics of conversation and nothing more.

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    zing says:

    Look. People in Ontario DO NOT LIKE HARPER. The most recent poll was the Ontario election. How surprised were we that Wynne won a majority? Right. Despite controversy, despite some unevenness in debates and campaigning, and despite 11 digit deficits for the past years, and some planned 10 digit deficits going forward. Why would this not be replicated in this election? Are Wynne voters going to vote for Harper? No. So we are in for some surprises on election night, and those of us who are Lib supporters are going to be pleasantly surprised.

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      bobbie says:

      “People in Ontario Do NOT LIKE HARPER”


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      Matt says:

      So your contention is Wynne won a majority in Ontario because people don’t like Harper?

      I wasn’t aware Harper was on the ballot in the provincial election.

      And how exactly do you explain it was Ontario that gave the Harper Conservatives a majority in 2011?

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        bobbie says:

        He can’t Matt. That’s all part of his “Confirmation Bias”.

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        James Smith says:

        This is not 2011.

        And they elected Harper because they rejected Ignatieff. And who could blame them?

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        zing says:

        No my point is that a little more than a year ago a Liberal candidate, perceived as weak and vulnerable to defeat (or at least vulnerable to succeeding at only being elected in a minority), won a majority mandate, and thereby surprised (at least a little bit) the population and the pollsters. Trudeau has some handicaps and I’m positing that likewise in this election, the Liberal score will be better than predicted and will surprise people.

        As for the 2011 election, as others have already pointed out – that was then! But if the last federal election is used to predict this one well then obviously, yeah, Harper will win a majority. I don’t think much of that logic though – Ontario gave a majority to Harper in 2011 therefore they will give a majority to Harper in 2015?

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      Al in Cranbrook says:

      Wynne is one of the best things Harper has going for him in Ontario.


      Check the attached vid: “…Justin Wynne – Kathleen Trudeau tax hike!” ZING!!! Heh!

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        zing says:

        You guys just don’t get it do you? All of what you think is horrible about Wynne was already known before we voted in 2014, and SHE STILL WON. Your theory for Harper victory seems to be that Wynne voters will vote for Harper. Implausible, to say the least.

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          fan590 says:

          The Ontario Liberal get out the vote team is very strong and Kathleen is very, very focused on helping JT.

          Ontario with go red federally, except for SW Ontario and some areas in Northern Ontario (orange).

          People forget just how poorly Iggy campaigned last time as well.

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            Curt says:

            Yup and the Maple Leafs will win the Stanley Cup.

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            terence quinn says:

            You are correct in your assessment. I live in the 905 and am active politically. The red tide is coming in and the blue tide is receding. Tory candidates are aware they are losing and are spending money like it’s water to try and salvage their seats. Libs are receiving good news at the door and are pouncing on their good fortune. JT is present in a lot of ridings making whistle stops to shore up the positive stuff the are hearing.

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          Al in Cranbrook says:

          Recent Mainstreet poll put Ontario PCs at 40%, and Wynne’s Liberals at 30%.

          Just sayin’…

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            terence quinn says:

            Mainstream is out to lunch.

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      Alex says:

      Ontario is not a monolithic place. It is a province with several sub-regions, each of which have their own political dynamics. In the North expect the NDP to do well, while the Grits could win in places like Sault Ste. Marie. In rural parts of central and Eastern Ontario the Cons will be king. SW Ontario will be interesting because of how the TPP could impact auto-workers. This is the only region where I see the NDP’s anti-TPP strategy paying off, although this is not a sure thing.

      This election, in my view, will be decided in large part by Toronto and the 905 region, and to a much lesser extent Ottawa. It’s true that Toronto gave Harper his majority in 2011. In 2015, however, the political tea leaves point to the Tories losing a lot of seats in Ontario’s major urban areas. For instance, my mother-in-law lives in John Baird’s old riding in Nepean (a suburb of Ottawa), which the Liberals will most likely win.

      Harper is loved in many parts of Ontario, true. But not in downtown Toronto, which has a good number of seats. There is also evidence that the Tories grip on the 905 region is weakening significantly. Read John Ivison’s recent column on Brampton to get a sense of this. As someone who lives in Ottawa, I can also report that in this part of Canada the Tories are playing pure defence, including in the suburbs, and could end up losing a lot of seats.

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    Al in Cranbrook says:

    This is the poll I’ve been waiting for, as I was certain it would be a relatively large sampling.

    What’s interesting here is that this precedes the TPP signing.

    Harper now has a solid reason to ask for a mandate, to see this process through to the end…because we know where the NDP stands, and can you really trust the wishy washy Liberals, led by Trudeau, to get it done?

    Pro TPP will leak from the Libs to the CPC, and Anti TPP will leak from the Libs to the NDP. We’re talking 2 to as much as 5 points either way, which will make the difference in Ontario and points west.

    NDP well on their way to returning to third party…and Mulcair’s days as leader are numbered.

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      Alex says:

      I agree with most of your points. However, I would quibble with your underlying assumption that % of votes = definite number of seats. Mainstreet’s own research shows that the Harperites are going to demolish the opposition in Alberta in the popular vote, but that the Liberals may still end up winning seats because their support is concentrated in Edmonton and Calgary. (Though I am not sure if I agree with this).

      Similarly, the Cons will destroy the opposition in many parts of rural Ontario, but signs show that the blue team could: 1) lose almost all of their seats in Ottawa, minus Pierre Poilievre’s riding; b) get shout out in Toronto; and c) lose ground in the 905 region.

      Forget about polls with national numbers. Focus instead on the various regional battles. If Team Blue gets booted from Toronto, Ottawa and the 905 (which I think they will), and lose ground in Vancouver and surrounding areas (as some evidence suggests they will), and get clobbered in Atlantic Canada as expected, then the majority goes away. But what remains is a strong minority.

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        Al in Cranbrook says:

        Certainly there’s going to be some shifting of ridings between parties, the addition of 30 new ones and redrawing of boundaries make this a given. (Here in the E. Kootenays, the inclusion of pro-NDP Nelson into our riding makes this a much closer battle than has been the case since 1993.)

        Where things are tight between the Libs and CPC up until now, I’d suggest the TPP could…and should…be the game changer. There is considerable upside for Ontario’s and Quebec’s manufacturing sector, and certainly in western Canada’s agricultural, mining and forestry industries. And to help staunch Unifor’s and the NDP’s silly hysterics regarding the auto sector, the CPC is putting some cash on the table to see it through an adjustment period. http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/election/harper-pledges-1b-over-ten-years-to-help-auto-sector-cope-with-tpp-1.2597182

        What Harper has shown with this TPP deal (not to mention an EU trade agreement) is that he can, and has, delivered the goods, and done so without giving up much of anything…much to the surprise of just about everybody! Support for it is just about universal, and the only ones against it are the usual suspects everyone expects…and for whose ideological views and politics the majority have little sympathy.

        Watch for the Nanos polls on Lib and CPC support to start shifting in the other direction…there’s already an indication of this in their graphs over the last couple days.

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          Brad says:

          The vast majority of Canadians have no idea what the TPP is. It’s not a game changer.

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            Vancouverois says:

            Most Canadians may not have known anything about the TPP before, but it’s all over the news now.

            With the NDP and Conservatives staking out opposite ends of the issue, you can bet that it’s going to be a hot topic. For at least part of the remaining campaign period, and possibly for all of it.

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            Ridiculosity says:

            I agree 100%.

            TPP is definitely not a game changer.

            The fact that a majority of Canadians view Harper as lying, cheating, pompous, self-centred egomaniac is.

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      Mike says:

      I can hardly wait for Oct 20th.

      Trudeau and the Liberals could get the most seats, and Al in Cranbrook will spin it as a decisive victory for Harper and the CPC. It is going to be enjoyable watching him spin himself into the ground.

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    Scott says:

    So any people so upset at the thought Liberals are ahead. What about Leger and Innovative. Ipsos has Tories up by only 1%.

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      Matt says:

      Yeah, but Ipsos had the Liberals up one last week.

      So while Nanos, the poll all Liberals are pointing to as proof they’re going to win, Ipsos is showing the dropping from their previous week.

      But you all don’t want to talk about that, right?

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      Scott says:

      Should read “so many”…..also at the risk of being called a “hyper partisan” I would point out that these polls are long and ponderous and with this quick changing whacky election are, in fact, out of date when they come out. Mainstreet for example was last week before the last debate. And by the way, confirmation bias is a human condition that WE ALL suffer from.

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    James Smith says:

    1. That blogger is wrong about Nanos’ record. He says “In 2011, Nanos underestimated CPC by 3 points overall, more than 8 points in Ontario!” That’s complete horseshit. Nanos 2011 overall 24h before élection: CPC 38.7%. Results next day was 39.6%. That is not 3 points. That’s less than 1%.

    Even 2 days before the election, with the CONS trending up, Nanos had them at 38.0.

    If we are judging pollsters by how far they underestimated the CONS last time, then we have to throw out Ekos…which the day before the election had them at 33.9%. Read it all here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_in_the_Canadian_federal_election,_2011.

    2. Nanos knows the most volatile province better than any pollster, which is Ontario. http://www.nanosresearch.com/library/polls/POLONT-S14-T606.pdf He got the Ontario election dead on.

    3. If anyone wants to see Nanos’ complete record, it is here: http://www.nanosresearch.com/company/PDF/2011%20%20Nanos%20Election%20Track%20Record.pdf

    4. The Mainstreet poll was taken from Oct 30th-Sep 1st. That was also the last time the CONS lead in the Nanos tracker.
    Nanos Sep 28th-30th:
    CON 32.8
    LIB 31.7
    NDP 26.1

    Angus Reid who is also a very accurate pollster, with a record about the same as Nanos (most accurate int he country every year, give or take a percentage point or two) came out with their poll:
    CON 34
    LIB 27
    NDP 27

    This Angus Reid Poll was an online survey taken from September 28-30, 2015.

    In other words…all data showing this big Consrvative lead was taken in late September, when the campaign hit its height of racism, xenophobia, and the niqab was treated as the biggest issue in the country (I wanna throw myself out my office window as I weep for Canada while I type that).

    5. Mainstreet Technologies brags that they got the BC Election right by predicting a BC Liberal Majority…but the truth is they did not poll it! It was just an article on their site: http://www.mainstreettechnologies.ca/our-thoughts-on-the-bc-election/
    Same with the Ontario election. They are far less experienced that Nanos.

    6. It is not “Nanos vs. the World.” Leger also showed the LIBS leading the CONS. Ipsos released yesterday showed a huge Liberal jump with a statistical tie within the MOE.

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      MississaugaPeter says:

      James, I am bewildered by folks who are apologists for someone (in this case Nanos) who act like authorities but do not even make the time to read other comments or go to the source.

      As stated above and you can check it yourself here:


      Nanos great achievement in 2014 was based on a poll taken 17 days before the election. The Ontario election was on June 12, and his poll was May 22-26.

      Your claim that in 2011 that 2 days before the election (Saturday, April 30) Nanos had the CONS at 38% is also erroneous (see above link)! His poll on that day had both the CONS and NDP tied at 33.8%!

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      Bryan Breguet says:

      The “oh look our Sunday numbers were perfect” is BS, sorry. And well, if you publish 3 polls in the last three days with small sample sizes, you can expect one to be right. Sorry but Nanos wasn’t that perfect in 2011. They were not terrible but let’s not pretend they nailed the results.

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    James Smith says:

    Sorry, the Mainstreet Poll was taken The Mainstreet poll was taken from Sept 30th-Oct 1st, not Oct 30th-Sep 1st.

    I was startled by the ISIS member wearing a Niqab under my bed.

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      cgh says:

      Oh, you mean this one?

      Just recently former CBC news head Tony Burman wrote in the TorStar that Harper is a menace because he keeps hyping terrorist threats against Canada at the expense of the real danger, catastrophic global warming. Interesting, gunmen on Parliament Hill, plots to blow up VIA rail trains, recruits streaming to Syria, mass executions, enslavement are all supposedly of far less consequence than a hypothetical threat that may not exist.

      Progressivism, the gift that keeps on giving.

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    godot10 says:

    Warren. What does the TPP do to a possible Liberal/NDP coalition? Is it a monkey wrench?

    If Harper wins a minority, can he make the Speech from the Throne a one liner. “We will implement the TPP.” and ask for a vote of confidence?

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      Warren says:

      That is an excellent question

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      Al in Cranbrook says:

      McParland on this question…


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        Vancouverois says:

        I have to wonder how it will affect post-election talk of a Lib-NDP merger, too.

        Of course, we can expect pro-merger Nathan Cullen to be heading the NDP by that time. 😛

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      Bluegreenblogger says:

      ROFL. Why not? Since precedence and our traditions do not matter, they can say whatever they want. Nothing stopping Trudeau saying; ‘No you won’t because we will’, except of course Mulcair. I really do not see anybody propping up the Conservatives no matter what they say or do. I would heave anybody under the bus who supported the CPC on a single vote, and I am far from alone in that emotional response. Kick them to the curb, and then start calling the shots instead of taking them. If they squeak about ‘winning the election’ or ‘unelected coalitions’ ignore them.

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    Adam says:

    Horse race numbers aside, I just find the way Nanos communicates his polls to be annoying. Earlier this year it was the “Nanos Index” which was just weird and now the “accessible” vote score, etc.

    And if the MOE is so high, these polls could actually show the complete opposite in most regions. Maybe the NDP *are* surging!

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    Shaun says:

    Pick the poll that makes you feel best, and damn the rest. Accuse the other guys of cherry-picking. Smug it up.

    Bruce Anderson pointed out on Twitter that the Mainstreet poll shows the Tories leading with women and the under-35 group. That in and of itself seems to make the result pretty remarkable. Either something’s really turned around, we have a lot of closest Conservatives, or this result’s a bit stinky.

    This Mainstreet poll is using IVR, and the Nanos poll is using live agents, correct? While that’s an interesting difference, the bigger question for me is who exactly answers their telephone if they don’t recognize the number? In this day and age, telephone polling is by its very nature going to miss a lot of people who don’t want to opt in. I’m not convinced that the younger people who do IVR polling are going to be representative of their demographic (but I’m not certain that they aren’t). At the same time, I am definitely inclined to believe that fewer people are willing to tell a live human that they’re going to vote for Stephen Harper.

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      Al in Cranbrook says:

      Particularly for conservative minded people, because it’s part of their nature, there’s a built in reluctance to reveal their intentions. Further to this, the left’s and the MSM’s obsession with “political correctness” has somewhat trained a lot of people…tragically…to keep their deemed non-conformist opinions to themselves.

      That said, there arguably is a degree of comforting anonymity with a recording and instructions to “press 1 for…” that is not there otherwise. Some people tend to defer to telling living, breathing people on phones what they presume they want to hear, politically correctly speaking. While not universal, I’d suggest that it is not incidental that there is some variance between polling results gathered by these two methods.

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    Lyndon Dunkley says:

    I think a compliment needs to be made to the prescient Conservative war room regarding who they identified as their biggest competition months ago. If I recall, earlier this summer when the NDP was polling first, there seemed to be a lot of questioning of the wisdom of continually hammering Trudeau while Mulclar was ascending. As we approach election day, the early (and consistent) identification of the biggest threat has proven very accurate. Some say the “not ready” campaign has been counterproductive but looking at the current polling numbers, if they had switched half those ad dollars to an “angry Tom” campaign, I would fearfully speculate Trudeau might be in the high 30’s/low 40’s today.

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    Jack D says:

    NDP’s prospects are massively overstated.

    They are bottoming out and this BS about them having more seats is hysterical. They currently hold *zero* seats and are likely to lose a bulk of what they already have. The NDP has no shot of increasing their seat count now that Quebec is sinking for them and its impossible for NDP to make any comeback in Ontario this late into the game.

    I don’t understand Mulcair’s logic; the NDP’s message hasn’t been resonating in Ontario for weeks and now that the house (Quebec) is on fire, instead of saving the furniture, he’s trying to loot his neighbours house –while they’re at home.

    Canadians outside of Quebec are seeing the NDP sinking and sinking fast in francophone heartland. People are jumping ship to the Liberals as the alternative to Harper and by all indications, this is very much a fight between the Liberals and Conservatives. Both Trudeau and Harper are going to be focusing on each other, Mulcair is going to be left out in the dark.

    How pathetic of the NDP to suggest they are the only possibility to defeat Harper when they can’t even stave off the Bloc Quebecois in their home base.

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      Cory says:

      Yup. All they had to do was basically adopt the QC Liberal government policy on the niqab (no face coverings while giving or receiving public services) and they would have differentiated themselves from the Liberals. My hunch is that such a stance would have played well in Quebec and the ROC and would have forced Trudeau to explain why he disagrees with the Liberal premier of his home province.

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        Jack D says:


        If we recall, the NDP remained pretty silent on the QC Charter of Values while the Liberals came right out against it. So it could be possible that the NDP was trying to lay some ground work for some sort of flexible plan.

        But I don’t think that would’ve worked either. Because Harper if is proposing the ban of the niqab in public services, it would ultimately put the NDP on the same side as the Conservatives. And we already know how thats gone for them once (re: balancing budgets). Taking this sort of stance would have also put the NDP in a really awkward spot with progressive urban areas like Toronto where this sort of position would have been widely viewed as unpopular given its racially-based pretext.

        All in all, Quebec was the very place that made the NDP in 2011 and its the very place thats killed them in 2015.

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    fan590 says:

    I’ve never seen such strong comments from women voters to favour one candidate over the others.

    The support is overwhelmingly for Justin Trudeau.

    With his performances in the debates, the media coverage, and his commercials the “he’s not ready” ads have back-fired.

    This support is being under reported and will lead the 905 red and a lot of the 416 as well.

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    reader says:

    The “new” Mainstreet poll is from Sept 30 – Oct 1 and Nanos had CPC ahead then too, but not by a wide margin. Since support is shifting, one really needs to compare polls done at the same time. See what Mainstreet gets from polling closer to now.

    What all polls do see is NDP slipping but that trend has been going on ever since the election was called. CPC/LPC shifts are more recent.

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      Ridiculosity says:


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    Brendan Kane says:

    Of all the polls released in July, there was only one didn’t show the NDP with or tied for the lead. That was Mainstreet, which had the Conservatives 11% ahead.

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    Marc says:

    The NDP going to win in the inner 416? In what alternate universe? They’re going to be left with two seats – likely Nash and Scott – and that is it.

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      zing says:

      Actually, Peggy Nash is looking iffy…see 308.com

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        Marc says:

        308.com projections are meaningless. It does not poll locally – just assigns values from national and regional numbers.

        I really wish politically aware people would understand this.

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        MississaugaPeter says:

        Gerard Kennedy could not beat Peggy Nash in 2011 and there is no way that Arif Virani will in 2015. Peggy Nash learned a lesson in 2008 and will keep this seat as long as she wants it.

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          Jack D says:

          Very different circumstances in 2011, Pete.

          I’m not saying this will be a pick-up for Liberals this time around, but the situation has drastically changed in this election making it far more competitive.

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    CanadianKate says:

    Re: HDS – I think the rabidness of those suffering from it encourages those leaning right to smile and nod. You won’t convince me to vote for your candidat3 by telling me how my party’s leader is the anti-Christ. Convince me by telling me something concrete, plausible, and positive about your candidate. If you get the facts wrong on my party, or make me feel bad for agreeing (along with 85% of other Canadians) with some stuff my party leader says, you lose me as a credible representative of your party.

    If you have HDS, the fact that I am smiling and nodding doesn’t mean I’m agreeing with you. I’m trying to placate you, or more accurately, shut you up so I can change the conversation to something more pleasant since the last thing I want is to think of you as a crazed, partisan.

    So, despite my own misgivings about my best-fit party’s leader, I suspect we might get a Conservative majority. First the other party’s supporters may stay home because they don’t think there’s a problem, everyone else must agree with them, after all the media said it was true. Secondly, it wouldn’t surprise me that many people being polled are either lying or answering questions in such a way that pollster is drawing the wrong conclusion. I was polled and answered that I had the most faith in a conservative government to lead the country at this time. Yet I also said I’d be voting NDP. Both statements are true. Goodness knows how it was spun by the pollster.

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      Vancouverois says:

      You’re spot on about HDS. Whenever I hear some fanatic compare Harper with Hitler, I generally don’t challenge them on it. I just ignore it, and mentally assign them to the same category as the apocryphal crazed uncle who insists that Obama is a Communist Muslim (and who won’t shut up about it).

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    P Brenn says:

    I’m voting TPP…I think it means “The peoples party”

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    Brent Crofts says:

    Warren, more support for your hunch. Latest EKOS is now out:

    Cons 35
    Libs 31
    NDP 22

    Approx 1700 people polled from October 3-5, MOE at 2.4%.
    Seems consistent with Ipsos, Forum, Mainstreet and Angus.

    Also seems to make Nanos an outlier, but I’ve learned to dismiss his findings at my own peril
    Next few polls should be interesting as they will like take TPP into account.

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    Phil Evans says:

    My unsolicited 2 cents:

    Among my circle of social media friends & acquaintances there is a strong dislike of Harper & the CPC, with considerable degree of “ABC” and “Vote Strategic”.

    I’ve never seen anything like it!!!!

    I think that these people have been sitting on the fence watching the NDP vs. Liberal battle out. With two weeks to go, and the Liberals pulling out in front, the ABC Progressives will go with the Liberals.

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      Mike says:

      Phil, while I think there are some genuine ABH voters out there, I think a lot of the ABH sentitment was NDP startegy to attract Liberal leaning voters.

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      Scotian says:

      I believe you are correct. It seems that not only do we still have a fair bit of an undecided vote out there, we also have a fairly high percentage of soft voters for Libs/NDP still stating they are open to switching, and the most likely basis for said switch for the majority of those I would suspect is stopping Harper. I believe watching what happened in 2011 has left many of those soft NDP/Lib voters terrified of a repeat performance this time out so they are waiting to see which party/leader appears to have the momentum in the final stretch and then they are going to throw their vote that way. I believe this is the true ABC vote dynamic and the “strategic voting” pattern that will come out of this election, and of the two parties, the Libs were always better positioned to make better use of a major wave dynamic than the NDP should one appear, IF, and that is an important qualifier, they were the ones positioned to catch it. I say that because despite ending up in third last time out they still have the better brand and reach nationally, and therefore are the easier sell for the Harper must go at all costs vote.

      In 2011 we saw this NDP Orange Crush/wave starting and then dying once it left Quebec, because there was still a lot of trouble selling the national NDP brand throughout most of Canada. The Liberals do not have this problem, not at all. No, what their main problem has been specifically is the image and ability to believe that their current leader is up for the job. Which is obviously why the CPC (and NDP to a lesser extent) have spent so much of their attacks focusing on that specific point on Trudeau, because they know that is the make or break question for the conditions to enable a Lib chance to remove the Harper government. How Trudeau has managed himself in this campaign to date, and especially in the debates which were supposed to trip him up has instead gone a long way to removing this sense of doubt, or at least reducing it enough to no longer make it an inhibiting factor versus the idea of more PM Harper for these people.

      I’ve always expected that this election was going to see some sort of significant lopsided vote shift in the last days to whomever was seen as the most likely choice to defeat Harper, the intensity and the pervasiveness of the anti-Harper feelings in the citizenry throughout these last four years, and especially since the Duffy scandal broke onward is simply too strong to break with the wedge politics that the Harper CPC have been using. What Harper truly needed (and clearly was gaming for) was a NDP/Lib split where one was reasonably close to the other to prevent this exact sort of pattern from forming and seeing that anti-Harper vote equally muddled and split because there was no easy clear choice, this has not been a secret after all, and presuming the polls are reflecting the reality on the ground and they continue like this, it becomes hard to see how this does not turn into some sort of Red wave, the question being how powerful of one.

      I also suspect that even if it looks like Harper is going down come election day those motivated to vote against him will not relax and stay home, Harper has by virtue of his prior election frauds and his gaming of elections Canada and his (un)Fair Elections act left a strong fear of cheating in that anti-Harper voting block, so much so that they will IMHO try to ensure as wide a margin as possible, better to over-vote and chance a majority for the anti-Harper than to make it any easier for Harper to cheat his way back in will be their thinking. I’m not saying they are correct to think/expect such, what I am saying is that I believe there is within those most likely to be planning on voting anti-Harper best chance last minute deciders likely have a lot of this belief/fear within them, and therefore will not be inclined to stay home even if it looks like he is already going down, but will want to make extra sure in this case.

      At the beginning of this campaign I was resigned to thinking Mulcair would probably be the one who took this in the end given how well positioned he and his NDP were when this campaign started, and the lingering anger out there on C51 with Trudeau in those soft Lib/NDP voters, many of whom had gone to Mulcair after that decision and appeared unlikely to move back. However, the combination of how well Trudeau has done in his campaign in both style and substance and conversely how poor Mulcair seems to have been running his campaign has now left me thinking we are more likely to see a Red wave instead, and this wave was always going to be those that waited to see which side was in the end of the campaign looking to be the best chance of removing Harper once and for all beyond any ability for Harper to game/rig/cheat his way back into power in their minds. I think that will be where the true decisive vote will prove to be in the end of this election cycle, which is why I think your observation is important.

      I believe Harper has sown the seeds of his own destruction, and the irony of them being brought to bloom by the son of the man who clearly formed the core hatred of Harper’s political life cannot be undersold. Should this come to pass, and especially if it should come to pass with a Trudeau majority replacing/dethroning the Harper majority as repudiation of Harperism there will be essays and dissertations for Doctorates about this for decades. There would be a true sense of poetic justice to see Harper brought low by a Trudeau, and a part of me wonders if that also is in the backs of many of the anti-Harper at all costs voters minds, that not only would this bring Harper down but do so that repudiates him and rejects him and his political beliefs in the most brutal and pointed manner possible. One of the most emotional drivers of human beings unfortunately can be a sense/need for vengence, revenge, or their lesser relations anger and spite, and I could see a lot of Trudeau support in the end being as much driven by this as anything else, and that is something Mulcair and the NDP simply cannot offer in the same deep emotional way because it is rooted in Harper’s clear fixation and hatred of Trudeau specifically, Pierre Elliot as well as Justin.

      Not saying that last paragraph is what I believe is going to happen, but that it could happen? Oh that I believe there is more than enough potential to consider it at the least a real possibility to probability, and on Oct 19 we we see how close to an actuality it turns out to be or not to be. Personally, I’m won that would be celebrating mightily should this reality come to pass, for reasons I have enumerated here and elsewhere many many times in the past.

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    Al in Cranbrook says:



    CPC – 35.1
    Libs – 30.9
    NDP – 22.2


    CPC – 28
    NDP – 28
    Libs – 22
    BLOC – 17

    Again, most of this poll taken prior to TPP announcement.

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      Al in Cranbrook says:

      Should note, too, relatively small sample…

      Quote: “The field dates for this survey are October 3-5, 2015. In total, a random sample of 1,658 Canadian adults aged 18 and over responded to the survey (1,069 by HD-IVR, 589 by live interviewer).”

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      Al in Cranbrook says:

      Power Play, Fife said that TPP is getting rave reviews in Quebec.

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    Jeff says:

    You don’t have to approve this for publication here. It’s not the point. Really, I intend this as a private message.

    You are unquestionably a fighter of racism (Web of Hate). You pleaded with Albertans to vote PC in 2012 because it was just too important that Wild Rose not get in.

    Justin Trudeau screwed you in TorDan. I understand your anger. Maybe you even vowed that he would pay for that and for other stupid moves. I have no idea.

    But there was not been a governing party which has race-baited during an election in living memory, and what a government messages to its population helps many decide what is fine to say and think, and what is not. It goes mainstream. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stephen-harper-niqab-ban-public-servants-1.3258943

    “This election doesn’t matter”. If that statement was ever true, it is not any more.

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      Cory says:

      I’d point out the last QC election (secular charter/face coverings) and the 2007 ON election (religious schools) as examples.

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    Bryan Breguet says:

    Hi! I’m that “too Close To Call guy”!

    Thanks for the mention. Always nice to have a compliment!

    By the way, you can read my stuff on the Huffington Post as well.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    I want to warn the delusional that the FTA and TPP are a case of apples and oranges. Emotions were high in 1988 given the astronomical level of trade between Canada and the U.S. Existing trade in the other TPP countries is a fraction of that. That’s why the TPP will not be an election winner this time.

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    Karl Littler says:

    Apropos of your “senior Liberal strategist” friend’s comments and yet knowing that you have a lot of respect for Frank Graves at EKOS, I am having a bit of trouble understanding how Frank’s poll at 39% Liberal, 38% conservative and 17% NDP in Ontario would lead to 416 going from red to orange.

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      Warren says:

      Check out his Quebec number! Even weirder.

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        Matt says:

        Even weirder:

        This weeks EKOS with the % change for each party from their last poll (Oct 6):

        CPC 35.1 (up 0.3)
        Libs 30.9 (up 0.5)
        NDP 22.2 (up 0.1)

        BUT, the last EKOS (Oct 1st) numbers were:

        CPC 33.4
        Libs 26.7
        NDP 25.6

        So, the change form October 1st to October 6 should be:

        CPC up 1.7
        Libs up 4.2
        NDP down 3.4

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    Patrice Boivin says:

    the polls exclude the people who hung up on them or didn’t answer the phone.

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    Bluegreenblogger says:

    All this talk of relative merits of opinion polls is kind of boring. They use large, or small samples, massage and manipulate, and two weeks before the election are projecting every imaginable result at once. You can draw some inferences by looking at changing results from the same pollster, but comparing firms is a mugs game. Here’s a fact for you. ALL pollsters adjust their headlines based on their own secret sauce. Undecideds? Just apportion them according to the decided votes proportions. Cannot reach a demographic by landline? Raise a tame crop of that age group, and call them research subjects. Who knows what they are all doing, but most of them are getting it wrong most of the time. What they all agree on is that there have been a lot of people slow to decide between Liberal and NDP. Yes, there are people moving all over the map, in general, but an actual shift in intentions is possible in the kinds of numbers that traditionally produce majorities. I HOPE this shift materialises, and we have a Liberal Majority. I SUSPECT that the voters will not move monolithically to grant anyone a majority. What I DO know is that here in Etobicoke-Lakeshore, it will be a squeaker on election night, and I am clearing my calendar of commitments to try and bring an extra few dozen votes in before it’s too late.

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    MoeL says:

    ottlib: You obviously know what you re talking about so I would like your opinion on the following…
    1) How big an issue is it that on-line polls are a random sample of a self selecting universe?
    2) If a pollster also asked what party you voted for in the last election, they could then calculate the results of the last election based on their sample. Do you think this could be used to estimate any bias that is built into the sample?

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