OTTAWA – The Liberals are climbing. Usually there is a post convention bump for a political party. Nik Nanos shows that the Liberals have already caught the federal Conservatives.
Nanos Poll Shows Shift
The Nanos national random online survey of 1,002 Canadians 18 years of age and older was completed between April 4th and 8th, 2013. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone 50% through the proprietary Nanos Crowdsource sample and administered a survey online.
The statistics of a random sample 30% of 1,002 respondents are accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20. For 890 committed voters, it is accurate to within 3.3 percentage 10% points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20.
Regional Shifts Starting
The Liberals are climbing in the Nanos Poll across the prairie provinces. There is a sharp spike downward for the Conservatives since earlier this year. The Liberals appear to be the major beneficiaries of the change, climbing sharply in the poll. Considering that Alberta and Saskatchewan have seen Conservative support in big numbers, the Liberals may be chipping away at the Conservative base.
If this support shift is happening as a result of the Liberal leadership contest, there could be a new move in the west toward the Liberals forming.
It could also be that Western Canadians have a sense of fairness – not commonly thought of in the rest of Canada as a western trait – where they see things a little clearer than many.
The Conservatives have been increasingly seen by some as becoming politically out of touch, some Conservative MPs are grumbling from the backbench, and other Conservative MPs, including Kenora’s Greg Rickford, appear increasingly out of touch with constituents.
When letter writers start taking their issue public, political common sense suggests that to anger a person to that point likely means hundreds if not thousands more people are feeling the exact same way but have not put their thoughts down on paper, or email.
Across the prairies, the Conservatives are maintaining a lead in support. There is about a ten point shift in support with the Liberals gaining on the Conservatives. The shift in voter support to the Liberals is coming from all parties. with the Conservatives and New Democrats both loosing support.
Ontario – Election Battleground
Ontario was the key to the Conservative majority. In Ontario, the Nanos Poll show the Liberals gaining ground, at the expense of both the New Democrats and the Conservatives.
With the spike to the Liberals a majority of that is coming from a drop in support for the New Democrats. Some of that could be as the contrast between Stephen Harper and Thomas Muclair to Justin Trudeau are being made by voters.
The accusations of election fraud could also be starting to impact the Conservatives.
Ontario is likely to be the key battle ground in the next election. The large number of seats in Ontario are far more in play for the Conservatives than the large block of seats in Quebec. The Conservatives remain mired below 15% support in Quebec, behind all the federal parties except for the Green Party.
As the Conservative government continues forward, the keys for them will be continuing to consolidate their political base, and trying to gain ground with new supporters.
Many of the strategies of the Conservatives over the past six months are seeming to be very focused at their base, rather than toward expansion. It could be that the party’s internal polling and war room strategists are seeing support fall in its base, and are working toward keeping that support.
It is unknown if the manner in which the federal government is dealing with First Nations is impacting their support. Traditionally First Nations voters do not vote. If Assembly of First Nations, and other leadership organizations were to focus on getting their people more engaged in the political process, the voter dynamics would likely impact the Conservatives in several Ontario ridings.
This is one poll, and it will take a while for the trends to develop, and see if there is a long-term shift starting to happen.
As always, politics is always interesting.