Monday, March 28, 2011

Tories are in even better shape than their numerical lead suggests

A pair of polls, by Ekos and Forum Research, released in the last three days gives Steven Harper's Conservatives either a 7 or a 17 per cent lead over Michael Ignatieff's Liberals and the NDP trailing well behind. However a closer look at the demographic breakdown of the poll indicates that his lead will translate into even more votes on May 2 than revealed by the polls' totals.

When I looked at the polls more closely, it reminded me of an experience when I was a Strategic Planning executive for a major Hollywood  production company. After attending a screening of a particular movie that was made for a primarily female audience, a head of production approached me and asked what I thought. I suggested certain changes that could be accomplished through editing, and he told me that he expected the movie as it stood to do extremely well. His assessment was based on the boast that the movie had received some of the best focus group responses from middle aged women he had even seen. "That may well be," I told him, "but middle-aged women don't go to the movies all that often."

He gave me a condescending smile following my observation, and then two months later, avoided me for a while after the movie tanked at the box office and ended up losing millions of dollars.

Looking at the poll numbers, the Liberals and the NDP have their strongest support in the under 25 age group, whereas the Tories keep getting stronger results as the ages of the respondents goes up. And it's always older voters who are more likely to turn up to cast a vote on election day. In the Ekos poll, which places the Conservatives and Liberals the closest, the Tories' lead over the Liberals is 3% in the 25-44 age group, over 11% in the 45-64 group, and a staggering 27% lead among seniors, the single-most dedicated group of voters.

As far as a 'gender gap' goes, there isn't one. Although men prefer the Tories by a greater margin than women, the Conservatives lead the Liberals among both male and female voters.

Another telling result from the poll that should make Conservative strategists very happy is that  51.6% of Canadians think the country is headed in the right direction versus 38.5% who don't.

When people think something is moving in the right direction, they're not likely to change course. The way things look, that majority of Canadians who believe their country is doing well now will translate into a majority of Conservative MPs in the House of Commons after the May 2 election.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

One question that I hope gets asked is if the Liberals and the NDP will merge?

Anonymous said...

My mother is a senior. She's 79. She has voted for Harper in the past. She will again.

She is typical.

I love her, but she hasn't a clue about politics, or today's issues. When I try to talk to her about Jet purchases, In and Out scandals, Coalitions, and anything else related to this election...

she waves her hands, tells me 'they're all crooks' and walks away.

She's right on that last point, but she'll still vote for Harper.

It's a mistake to assume that seniors know the issues. Quite often, they don't....but they sure know how to find Conservative talk radio on the dial.

I'm not trying to be insulting. I love my Mom, and appreciate that she votes. But, she's typical, when it comes to political knowledge in that really....she has none.

Dave said...

It's time Canadians vote in a Majority Government, these minority governments are killing us tax payers. I just hope it is a Conservative majority!!!

fluff said...

Too bad 65% of Canadians voted against Harper...

Richard said...

Actually, it was closer to 62% that voted for parties other than the Tories last time, but that doesn't matter. What matters is who can carry the most seats at the end of election day and this time, harper seems poised to increase the margin.

For Anon at 4:12: way to go mom!! Hey maybe she's just thinking about Liberal scandals like Adscam and Shawinnigan when she shrugs off Jet purchases and In and Outties. The current crop of Tories have nothing on the last Liberal administrations when it comes to political scandals, and at 79, she's old enough to remember them.

Sam said...

If Canadians give Stephen Harper a majority then we deserve every single thing we are going to get.
We will be known to the world to be just as stupid and ignorant as the Americans when they voted Bush in a first AND second time.
Beware Canadians traveling in the future ..you might as well put an American flag on your luggage as you will be on the same intelligence
level as our dear neighbors down south.

Richard said...

Has Michael Moore linked to my website?

Anonymous said...

Go Harper go!

oxygentax said...

Maybe Anon (4:12)'s mom remembers how many people died the last time a Liberal government handled military acquisitions. Canceling helicopters, subs that had design flaws, not purchasing heavy lift aircraft, skimping on armor for LAVs. It all adds up.

Anonymous said...

Canada can benefit from the US, why not get closer. Let Harper do it. Don't bother American intelligence, theres is non.

Anonymous said...

fluff said...

Too bad 65% of Canadians voted against Harper...

Too bad even more voted against the Liberals.

Louise said...

Anonymous @ 4:12, the issues are secondary to the brand. I've voted in every federal election since Trudeau's first crack at it. I've been watching the political parties all that time. I know which party is more likely to lead in the direction I want this country to go. To vote just on the basis of the issues de jour is basically like asking which "bribe with my own money" should I favour.

You sound like someone who hasn't had a lot of experience and is perfectly content to be bribed with other people's money.

Blog Wrath said...

I think that those polls are highly unreliable, due either to the methods used or the pollsters' bias. If you remember, during the election in Toronto last year, the polls showed Ford and Smitherman being very close in support to the very end.

I even attended a University of Toronto "expert panel" on Toronto politics about a month before the election. The "experts" unanimously assured everybody of Smitherman's victory. The most pessimistic of them stated that he was going to win "by a hair". And we all know what happened in the end.

It's amusing that somebody wrote above that Canadians would be considered "stupid and ignorant", if they vote for Harper. The world has a very vague idea what is going on in Canada and basing our actions on what they would say is laughable. For example, some East European news sites presented the G20 turmoil last year as a popular uprising against the severe crisis of the Canadian capitalism. Do we really need those people to like us?

Richard said...

I remember the Toronto Star polls that placed Smitherman within a couple of points of Ford just before the election.

Polls are actually rather easy to manipulate to get the results you want, just by asking a question a certain way.

I think the Toronto news media is trying just that - to manipulate results to reflect what they want, but upon closer examination, more can be determined. The result that says a majority of people are happy with the direction that the county is going suggests to me Harper may be well on his way to a majority government. People who are happy with the way things are going are unlikely to vote for a change in government, particularly one that could involve the NDP and Bloc.

Blog Wrath said...

Yes, that was my point - the approval of the Conservatives is most likely much higher than the polls suggest.

The other parties' supporters probably realize that, because their rage is obvious. For some reason they have chosen the comments section in "The Globe and Mail" for their campaign. Just take a look at this article:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/jason-kenney-tars-liberals-as-soft-on-human-smuggling/article1963406/comments/

As of this writing, there is even an anti-Semitic comment stating: "Yeah Kenney and all Canadians except Cons hate Jews." That is strange, because Jews are not mentioned in the article at all.

Richard said...

If you look at the convergence of anti-Semitic groups and illegal alien advocacy groups like "No One is Illegal" it's not so surprising.