Monday, March 30, 2009

Breakthrough

A poll out today from Leger Marketing-LeDevoir has the first numbers in recent memory where Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have finally lost their edge when people are asked, who do you trust more on economic matters. To this, we can resoundingly say, what on earth has taken you people so long...but welcome to the reality based world. From the translated version of the Le Devoir report:
When we look more in depth questions about the economy, we realize that Michael Ignatieff Stephen Harper dominates in all categories. Thus, the question, "between Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff, in which you trust the most to implement effective measures to address the economic crisis?" 41% of Canadians preferred the Liberal leader, against 32% the Conservative leader. Same scenario for "helping Canadian workers through economic crisis", since 41% of citizens have more confidence in Michael Ignatieff, against 33% who prefer Stephen Harper.
That's not exactly surprising given the economic numbers. But unless I've missed something, I can't recall the last time a Liberal has been chosen over a Conservative on the economic front. To use the word "breakthrough" may seem like overstating, but this seems like a big development. The Conservatives rely on their handling of the economy as their ace in the hole. To lose that edge deprives them of a huge rationale for their election. The public seem to be finally catching on that the rhetoric does not match the record.

The Quebec and Ontario numbers seem to be reflecting the shift as well. This poll has Quebec numbers (Bloc 42%, Libs 33%) suggesting the Conservatives would lose all their seats but one, Maxime Bernier's, as they're polling at 12% (file under things we would love to see come true...:)) And in Ontario, the numbers are still trending downward for Harper: Libs 45%, Cons 35%, NDP 12%, Green 8%. Those Ontario numbers echo a sizable lead for the Liberals shown in the recent Nanos poll (Libs 44% to Cons 31%).

Two more quotes to round out the picture:
The gusts are more powerful than people perceive a credible alternative to the Harper government, "says Leger. "The effect Ignatieff continues, the PLC back. This is the natural party of power, and people come back to him. Slowly, the winning conditions are set up for the Liberals. "

The pollster also said was surprised to see that 35% of people want elections now, while 48% oppose. One in three people in these times of economic crisis is a lot, "said Jean-Marc L├ęger. "Elections, is like going to the dentist, nobody ever wants to go. But there is a high proportion of the population seems to want the government to quickly at the door..."(emphasis added)
A core of motivated voters evidently, and with the poll numbers that can't be good for the Conservatives.

Now that's a nice way to start the week...:)