Saturday, September 29, 2007

The outlier poll?

Is McGuinty going to lose only 2% of the votes he got last time? I doubt it

A few people seem to think that the provincial vote on October 10th is a forgone conclusion, based on a poll with a 3.5% margin of error that shows the McGuinty Fiberals have increased their support by . . . 3%, to 43%.

I find it hard to believe that the Fiberals are going to lose just 2% of the vote that they had in 2003, when they got 45%. This poll may well be the one in 20 poll results that is, er, wrong.

Ask yourselves this: what has Dalton McGuinty done in the last week that would result in a spike in support? Er, coldly brushing off a terminal cancer patient? Yeah, that was a real leadership moment.

When I saw that, I couldn’t help but think of how John Tory used to get the odd call at home from customers when he was Rogers Cable president, or how he spends an hour a day personally responding to e-mail.

McGuinty’s haughty “That’s not true” -- aimed at a cancer patient without McGuinty even breaking stride -- was staggering in its dismissiveness. Even poor Terri McGuinty was looking at her shoes. I bet Premier Pinocchio had to read her an extra poem in bed that night. (Full disclosure: I am helping out the PC campaign and several candidates.)

Finally, for those still in thrall to this poll, you might want to note that it also found that 74% of Conservative supporters say they are “absolutely certain” to vote on election day, compared to 68% of intended Liberal voters. Telegraphing to PC voters that they needn’t bother voting is a pretty good way to ensure that they won’t.

Footnote: This poll – and all election polling, for that matter – also provides an interesting lesson in one of the phenomena not addressed by MMP: people who don’t bother to vote because cocky pollsters and media outlets have told them how it’s all going to turn out before the fact.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Meh, I wouldn't worry about it too much. D-Mac's on his way to another victory. Tory shot himself in the foot with the faith based funding issue. If he hadn't brought that up, he'd be the Premier in 11 days.

Bob in Ontario said...

I agree with you Joan, I think the poll was a bit rougue-y.

In any event, it wouldn't be the first time that Ontario voters have dealt out a bit of a surprise on election day.

Anonymous said...

According to Robert Fulford, Tory's faith-based school policy was a (cynical) ploy for votes, which he learned from his mentor Bill Davis.

Fulford writes: "Partly by supporting all the right folk dancers, Davis assembled a coalition strong enough to keep him in office."

Tory worked for Davis when he was premier and: "For three years he watched the master at close range, learning the key words ("inclusive," etc.) and absorbing hard-earned wisdom about appealing to one ethnic group after another."

Tory was such a good understudy that he decided to mimic the policies of his mentor by offering to sprinkle goodies at the religious voting clusters.

The problem for Tory is he forgot than when Davis did this with Catholic schools, voters didn't like it then, and voters don't like it now. Many are worried about the long term ramifications to Ontario's culture.

Now, because Tory didn't do his homework, he and many good candidates will pay for his big mistake.

Ontarians will also pay, since many will reluctantly decide they can't vote PC because of Tory's ill-considered school policy.

Anonymous said...

I hope you right , I cannot stomache a majority Liberal Government,. I feel sick even thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

I'd call it an outlier poll too... if I was paid $20,000.