Monday, May 25, 2009

New poll in Quebec post Conservative attack ads

Basically, Liberal numbers are unaffected in Quebec despite the ads' release. This Leger Marketing-Le Devoir poll that's out today took place from May 13-17th, coincidental to the ad release on May 12. This poll has the Liberals at 37%, BQ at 33%, NDP at 14% and the Conservatives bringing up the rear at 13% with the Greens at 3%. These numbers are similar to other polls in Quebec of late in terms of the Conservative numbers and a trend upwards for the Liberals.

The previous Leger Marketing poll at the end of March had the Bloc at 42, Libs at 33 and the Conservatives at 12.

Ekos in mid-April showed similar numbers too: Bloc 39.5, Libs 33, Cons 11.

Strategic Counsel in early May: Bloc 39, Libs 37, Cons 9.

So the upward trend for the Liberals is confirmed in this new poll. It appears to be at the expense of the Bloc while the Conservatives linger in the low teens.

Quebec voters are still writing off the Conservatives and this is nothing new. They have been doing so since the election and the prorogation crisis. They are not the voters I'd be concerned about. During the October election campaign, they demonstrated that they would react disfavourably to Conservative policies and gaffes, like the arts cuts, draconian youth criminal justice policies and the giant billboard mocking the Bloc that the Conservatives brilliantly drove around Quebec. Harper's route to a majority tanked in large part due to the wisdom of the Quebec voter. So, not surprised that Quebecers would not be affected, to date, by the release of the juvenile Conservative ads. It will be more interesting to see the numbers in Ontario and elsewhere in coming polls.

One interesting comment made by Christian Bourque about the impact of Michael Ignatieff though which may be a key to breaking open the dynamics:
«Il y a véritablement un mouvement pro-libéral au Québec. La remontée est constante depuis décembre. Il y a un aspect nouveauté, les gens veulent découvrir Ignatieff. Il profite aussi des difficultés du Parti conservateur et du fait que le Bloc québécois ne semble rien offrir de nouveau.» (emphasis added)
A reminder that the element of novelty may work in the Liberals' favour in comparison with other leaders who we've seen in 3 campaigns now within the last 5 years.

To sum up, I think we can fairly say that it's an inauspicious start for the Conservative ad campaign. Let's hope it continues.