Skip to comments.Tories tiptoe into majority territory [Canada]
Posted on 04/16/2005 9:04:59 PM PDT by doc30
OTTAWA The Conservatives are edging toward a majority as anger with the Liberals become more firmly entrenched and Stephen Harper begins to earn the trust of Canadians, even in wary Ontario, a new poll suggests.
An Ipsos-Reid survey conducted for The Globe and Mail and CTV between Tuesday and Thursday of this week as damning testimony from the Gomery inquiry into the sponsorship scandal made headlines and election speculation heated to a boil put the Conservatives at levels of support they have not seen since the election of 1988, when they swept the country.
The Tories' popularity rose six percentage points from April 8 to April 12, climbing to 36 per cent support among decided voters from 30 per cent. The Liberals, meanwhile, stagnated at 27 per cent and the New Democrats' popularity fell from 19 per cent to 15 per cent.
"It's all being driven by people's inability right now to trust the Liberal government," said Darrell Bricker, president of Ipsos-Reid.
The Conservatives did not register a noticeable rise in support in the first few days after testimony of Quebec ad executive Jean Brault was released to the public that swamped the Liberals in the corruption scandal over millions of dollars in federal advertising contracts. But this week, the impact was hitting home.
"It takes some time to sink in," Mr. Bricker said. "You weigh out the options. Brault comes out, and then you listen to what the opposition has to say about it, and then you listen to what the government has to say about it, and then you listen to what the editorialists have to say about it, and then a bit of a public consensus starts to form."
It is impossible to predict whether these numbers would give the Conservatives a majority government although the Liberals have won majorities with 37 per cent of support among decided voters but they will certainly weigh on the mind of Mr. Harper as he determines the best day to bring down the Liberal minority and force an election.
Fifty three per cent of those surveyed said they don't want an election until after Mr. Justice John Gomery releases his final report on the sponsorship program in late fall, and only 11 per cent said they want to go to the polls right now. But the Conservatives seem set to hit the hustings.
The big story of the poll is in Ontario, where the Tories have increased their support to 39 per cent from 32 per cent and are significantly ahead of the Liberals, who were the choice of 33 per cent of those polled.
Ontario "is the killer," Mr. Bricker said. "That's the 905 [region] going to the Tories. They've got some outpost seats right now with Belinda Stronach and Peter Van Loan and a couple of other people around the city. Others will start to go. And when those start to go, a lot go."
Even in Quebec, where the Conservatives hold no seats, the party is starting to gain ground, edging up to 16 per cent support from 13 per cent among decided voters. While the Bloc Québécois lost a little support in Quebec down seven percentage points between April 8 and April 12, to 41 per cent the rise of the Conservatives will undoubtedly split federalist support in Liberal ridings, Mr. Bricker said.
The poll of 1,000 adults reflects the views of all Canadians to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times in 20.
The party that suffers the most in the poll is the NDP, which, despite some promising numbers in other surveys, has dropped to 15 per cent support across Canada.
"But they are in the game," Mr. Bricker said. "Their numbers are very regional in terms of their orientation and they're always about whether they are doing better in the places they need to do well."
One of the most interesting sections of the poll contrasts how Canadians feel about Mr. Harper with how they feel about the Prime Minister.
More of those surveyed picked Mr. Martin as the best person to lead Canada: 42 per cent compared with 34 per cent for Mr. Harper. And a majority said Mr. Martin was better on economic and foreign issues and that he held values that were more in tune with their own.
But 40 per cent of respondents selected Mr. Harper as the person Canadians trust, compared with 35 per cent for Mr. Martin. Ontario respondents to that question were split at 37 per cent for each man.
As for the person they believe would be most likely to clean up corruption in Ottawa, Mr. Harper was the runaway favourite, with 41 per cent saying he is the person for the job. Mr. Martin got the nod from just 26 per cent.
"If this election is about cleaning up corruption, it's very good for Harper," Mr. Bricker said. "On the fundamental questions of what a prime minister needs to represent, i.e. trust, he's in the game. And that's not his typical profile."
More of those surveyed picked Mr. Martin as the best person to lead Canada: 42 per cent compared with 34 per cent for Mr. Harper....
...But 40 per cent of respondents selected Mr. Harper as the person Canadians trust, compared with 35 per cent for Mr. Martin.
Canadians don't trust the person they think will make the best leader. Yet the person who isn't their first pick for leader is who they trust [banging head on wall]! Now I know why I'm losing my hair! Canadians prefer criminal socialists over more honest conservatives.
National Review had a good article about Canada's conservatives being like the post-Goldwater Repub's. Let's hope Alberta takes back Ottawa.
"Canadians prefer criminal socialists over more honest conservatives."
It's simple. Communists can forgive ANYTHING to further their socialist agendas. The ends justify anything that may occure during the process.
Well, when you have a state owned media outlet that sucks-up to communist better than Jane Fonda in an NVA officer's hut, what do you expect the great brainwashed masses to think? On the other hand, Fox is available in Canada and that may help turn the tide for the Graet White North.
Edwards won the 1983 Gubernatorial election over Treen in a landslide. I don't know what the dynamics are in Canada but if they're similar, Harper is going to have to fashion himself as more of a leader than he has done thus far.
I understand the French, but what's wrong with the Ontario-ans?
This is the Globe & Mail. The NY Slime of Canada! It cannot carry a positive spin for the Conservatives without reminding it's liberal readers in Toronto and Montreal, Vancouver, etc that all is not lost. They schill for the Liberals. Pathetic excuse for a paper.
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