Several new polls show Liberal vote at 18 % in Québec

Several new polls have come out including a Leger poll, an Ekos poll and an Ipsos poll that show the Liberals at 18% in Québec. This is much better than the 11 % reported in an earlier CROP poll. The Tories are at 22 % the NDP at 16 and the Bloc at 38 %. in one poll and in another the Tories are at 16, the New Democrats at 20 the Bloc at 41 and the Liberals 18. So with a good campaign in Québec the Liberals should be able to build on this base and hold on to their Montreal base, perhaps capturing an additional seat or two in Québec. On the other hand, at the national level the latest forum research poll has the Conservatives at 41 %, the Liberals at 24 % and the NDP at 19 %. Because of the methodological problems in disparate polls the best way of minimizing interpretative error is to average them and understand their built in error factors.TCNorris in his excellent blogspot blog comments on an insightful ABC news report http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenumbers/2011/03/study-raises-new-questions-for-opt-in-online-data.html that calls into question the validity of internet polls that rely on an opt in pollable on line audience.They conclude that there are too many problems with this technique sto trust it as an accurate guage of public opinion. Canadian media need to point this out in their reporting of the polls, some of which use this methodology. So we need more polls  and more transparent analysis before we leap to any conclusions.

But if the Tories scored over 41 % and the Liberals and the NDP each  below 25 % and the bloc held on to its 38-40 % share in Québec on election day  this might well approach   a razor thin Conservative majority. So there is plenty of work to do on the Liberal and NDP parts to increase their share of the vote. But as TCNorris points out in order for the Conservatives to win a majority they need to do even better than they did outside of Québec in the last election. Their vote last time outside of Québec was 43 .3% . The Liberals scored 27.1 %, the NDP 20.3 %, the Greens 7.9 % and others 1.3 % So the Conservatives  have a fair and tough distance to travel to get a majority if their Québec vote is around 20 % or below.

Michael Ignatieff appears to be having a good campaign although he is quoted in the Toronto Star criticizing the Tories for having run a small deficit prior to the recession as if this were bad policy. If I were him I would avoid excessive fiscal conservatism even if it seems electorally popular since what he and Ralph Goodale  appear to be complaining about is a very small pre recession deficit as a percentage of the GDP that involved sensible investments in the economy and /or were fiscal impulse responses to a slowing growth rate.

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About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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