Monday, September 22, 2008

The nightly battleground bafflegab

Latest battleground navel-gazing: "Tories holding position to form government: poll." This Strategic Counsel battleground poll continues to show nothing but volatility. They're showing 40-29 now in Ontario battlegrounds for the Cons over Liberals...last we heard it was 35-35 about two days ago. Prior to that it was 37-35. With a 5 point margin of error.

More importantly, we're not being presented with the riding by riding information here. In B.C., for example, we're told nightly of a big Conservative lead in the 10 battleground ridings out there, with last night's being 41% but it's a bit misleading. As with all these battleground polls of 20 Ontario ridings, 15 Quebec and 10 in B.C., when you read the numbers, you naturally tend to think that all parties are competitive in all 45 of these ridings. That's not the case. Oakville is a battleground riding, yet the NDP candidate there got about 9% last time. So when you see Ontario battleground numbers at 40-29-20, that doesn't trickle down neatly riding by riding. Same would go for Vancouver Island North where I'm told the Liberals are apparently not competitive. It would skew that 41% figure the Conservatives are supposedly at in B.C. battlegrounds accordingly.

So the point is, we really need to be attributing a little less weight to this nightly celebration of battlegrounds. OK, broken record...but it still needs to be said given the prominence of this poll.