Sunday, November 04, 2007

Layton's problem

Perusing this Ottawa Citizen article which largely focusses on an Ipsos Reid poll taken in the immediate aftermath of the Conservatives' rushed economic update this past week, I couldn't help but notice a little set of numbers that jumped off the page. They would be these, pertaining to the NDP's situation:
The Ipsos Reid poll says the Conservatives gained no immediate bounce in popularity, despite the relatively positive response to its mini-budget.

The survey, conducted Tuesday through Thursday, said the Tories have the support of 39 per cent of respondents, the same percentage as it got the previous week. The Liberals inched up one point to 28 per cent, the NDP dropped four points to 13 per cent, and the Green party slipped one point to seven per cent.

In Quebec, the scene is volatile. The Bloc Québécois moved to 50 per cent, up 16 points from the previous survey. The Conservative remained in second spot at 22 per cent, down eight points from last week. The Liberals crept up one point to 17 per cent, while the NDP fell six points to seven per cent. (emphasis added)
While a lot of these polls are looking pretty similar these days, that NDP drop just sticks out like a sore thumb, doesn't it? They were at 17 percent in the 2006 results.

Could it be that Yak's strategy of immediately responding to events, within minutes most times, in order to eke out some advantage over Dion in these days of the great pile on, is backfiring? Layton's been pretty high profile in the past few weeks with his jack-in-the-box routine and his quick off the mark expression of his voting intentions each time Harper whips out a confidence measure. This quickness reflex is arguably undermining the NDP's efforts to claim to be the effective opposition in the nation. After all, how intelligent and reasonable can your positions be when they are reflexively taken in an instant and largely designed to keep your fellow progressives, the Liberals, in a box? The spectre of the Liberals being kept down by a resurgent NDP may be sinking in with the Canadian public and they may be backing away for this reason.

Maybe it's that. Or maybe it's just that the more we see of Jack, the less there is to like. Don't know about others out there, but I rarely find any of Layton's public statements to be particularly novel, inspiring or thoughtful. It's typically a predictable talking point.

Jack's act doesn't appear to be working. Wonder if these poll numbers will cause any reflection on the NDP's part.