Ontario polling thread Nov. 21/10

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Stockholm
Ontario polling thread Nov. 21/10

Well, well, well, it looks like that Angus Reid poll from a few weeks ago showing the Ontario Liberals crashing was not such a fluke. Now Ipsos has the following:

Tories - 41% (up 5% since August)

Libs - 32% (down 3%)

NDP - 20% (up 2%)

Greens - 7% (down 4%)

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Ontario+voters+would+turf+McGuinty+pol...

Evening Star

Quote:

“It continues a trend that we started to see a number of months ago, where we’d be looking at a majority government in Ontario for the Progressive Conservatives,” said John Wright, a pollster with Ipsos Reid.

Read more: http://www.canada.com/news/Ontario+voters+would+turf+McGuinty+poll/3863164/story.html#ixzz15yfOToAC



This is seriously frightening.

Evening Star

Has there been any sign that Liberals might be amenable to an 85-style accord?

Stockholm

They won't have any choice. I thin that when all is said and done - the likeliest prospect in Ontario is that the Tories end up being the largest party but with no majority - then if McGuinty wants to stay in power - all of a sudden Andrea Horwath becomes a very important person - I'm sure she could either do a 1985 style arrangement or demand cabinet seats.

Evening Star

However, there might have been more public enthusiasm for the idea in 85, when the Liberals/NDP were putting an end to four decades of Tory rule, than now, after two straight Liberal majority governments.

adma

And all the more so if there's a fair spread btw/Tory and Liberal seat totals, compared to the virtual 50/50 (and Liberal poll majority) in 1985...

Stockholm

McGuinty as the incumbent premier will have the right to meet the leg. and propose a throne speech. If he puts enough goodies into it for the NDP - he may survive. The only way that Hudak becomes Premier is if he can "out-bid" McGuinty in terms of what he's willing to offer the NDP. Any chance of that???

jrootham

All of that is irrelevant if the Cons get a majority.

Walkerton needs to get placed front and centre.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Minorities are rare in Ontario and without more strength for a third party than the NDP currently holds it is unlikely that the next election will produce a minority.

If you break down Ontario regionally the story becomes very clear. There are some Liberal, NDP and Conservative strongholds and once in a while they can lose or gain seats but for the most part little changes. The elections are won or lost in suburban Ontario. This is a large concentration of seats forming an extended community with fairly common make-up, issues and political trends. Many of these seats tend to deliver close results and will swing together. The only way to have a minority is if these seats that are so similar end up splitting since together with the strongholds they will create a majority for any party. This is one reason the NDP got a majority with less than 40% of the vote-- seat after seat identical small margins get repeated.

The last time Ontario had a minority it was following many years of Conservative rule. This was back in the 1980s. At that time the PCs had many ridings where the personal popularity of the member was so well established and not directly connected to the current leader. Bill Davis who had run and governed from what most saw as the centre had retired and the new Conservative leader, Frank Miller was not popular and represented the more rural right.  Communities like London and Kingston went Liberal but the big story was that the PCs mostly held on to their incumbents who were associated with the more moderate policies of Davis but lost many of the seats that did not have an incumbent running. The result was a draw between the Liberals and Conservatives and the stage was set for an NDP-Liberal Accord.

Today, all the swing seat Liberals are closely associated with McGuinty who has led the party since 1996. If they go down they all go together. If McGuinty retires and a new leader can create a new direction then they likely would mostly survive but if McGuinty stays or if a new leader is unable to rebrand the incumbents away from McGuinty, then enough will go down that the PCs will have a majority.

The only other scenario that could lead to a minority here would be if the NDP were somehow to go up very dramatically. A more modest NDP surge is more likely just to bury the Liberals, perhaps even allowing them to slip to third place. The NDP are not in enough strength in the places that would stop a PC majority -- they are in strong Liberal areas so can feed off a weak Liberal party but are unlikely to make a difference when the two bigger parties are close to equal. Put differently, for the Liberals to be challenging the PCs they already need to have beaten the NDP in most of the NDP-Liberal races.

Frankly the next Ontario election is being decided now. The issue is whether McGuinty thinks he can win. He can't, but if he waits too long he will bury his party because it will take longer for a new leader to put a stamp on the party given the way his MPPs are associated with his policies. If McGuinty resigns in the next couple months the next election in October 2011 could be a race-- if he stays on past January, I think it will be a PC majority.

Right now, I think change is in the wind everywhere-- if the Liberals do not offer substantial leadership change, they will barely be in the next election. The next election in Ontario of course will be a campaign based on fear -- the Liberals will try to scare the electorate with visions of Harris 2.0. The Conservatives will go after the finances claiming the Liberals will just find a new thing to tax to keep going. the NDP hopefully will abandon the thin wedge issues and go with a more broad campaign on kitchen table economics-- wedge issues like electricity rates etc. won't do it unless they are part of a much more comprehensive vision than the NDP has put forward in the last couple of tries.

In sum, unless McGuinty is very astute and humble enough to go now the next result will be a PC majority. That will feed talk of alternation between federal and provincial leadership as if the Federal Cons are not yet out of power by October, I think it will be very obvious that they are about to go.

Evening Star

Who could even replace McGuinty?  Dwight Duncan??  Glen Murray??

If Sean's right, and I believe he may well be, we're quite possibly doomed.  AFAICT, suburban voters in ridings like my parents' are mostly voting for whoever will offer lower taxes.

edmundoconnor

Stockholm wrote:

McGuinty as the incumbent premier will have the right to meet the leg. and propose a throne speech. If he puts enough goodies into it for the NDP - he may survive. The only way that Hudak becomes Premier is if he can "out-bid" McGuinty in terms of what he's willing to offer the NDP. Any chance of that???

In that case, I would urge the ONDP to avoid all siren calls from the PCs, as they will be set up as the fall guys in 2015. Look at the UK for an example of a non-right-wing party in a coalition with a right-wing party, and getting precisely nothing out of the bargain. I would impose very, very tough conditions on an accord with the Liberals. A lot of red lines, or we're bringing this session down.

Evening Star

I think we can take as a given that the ONDP won't back Hudak under any situation.  (Can't we??)  The poll is predicting a PC majority though.

edmundoconnor

I wish I could wholeheartedly agree with you, ES, but there's a niggling worry in the back of my mind that won't go away. Power makes people do very, very silly things.

Evening Star

Well, tbf, I wouldn't have ever expected the Liberal Democrats to back Cameron even through the recent education cuts.  And wasn't Layton ready to co-operate with Harper in 04?  So fair point.

Stockholm

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Minorities are rare in Ontario and without more strength for a third party than the NDP currently holds it is unlikely that the next election will produce a minority.

Actually, they are not so rare in Ontario. In fact Ontario is just about the only province (along with Nova Scotia) with any significant experience with minority government. You seem to forget that we had a Tory minority government 1943-45 and then 1975-1977 and then 1977-1981 and then the Liberal-NDP accord 1985-87. The thing to remember is that the 2008 federal election was fought under almost the exact same boundaries as the next provincial election will be fought under - the popular vote was Tories 39%, Libs 33% and NDP 18% - that yielded 51 Tories, 38 Liberals and 17 NDPers - in others words Liberals and NDP outnumber Tories 55 to 51.  If the NDP actually gets as much as 20% or the 22% that ARG projects, we would probably be looking at about 20 NDP seats next election.

Sean in Ottawa

I'll conceed that minority governments didn't used to be rare -- but I would not even start to compare the Ontario of 1977 and earlier to wthe demographics of today. No minorities since 1977 (33 years ago) other than the anomoly with the NDP accord which I explained.

And to point to your stats note that the numbers you show have the Liberals within 6% of the Cons and i don't think that is likely-- I certainly don't see the Provincial NDP at 20-22% with the Liberals that close to the PCs -- we are not going up at the cost of the provincial PCs. If the NDP hits 22% int he next Ontario election (which I am not denying that it may), expect the spread between the PCs and Liberals to be closer to 10-12% --more like our latest poll. That is where the problem lies-- for the NDP to grow they will do so at the expense of the Liberals and if the Liberals are losing votes to the NDP they probably will to the PCs and that is a scenario for a majority not a minority.

The dynamic you mention from the 1970s and earlier was before we ahd this massive suburban bulge in seats that I expect will more likely go one way ro the other but not to split that much. I hope McGuinty is not thinking he can survive even in a minority-- he can't. The Liberals need a new leader to have a chance in the next election.

Bookish Agrarian

Good grief I can think of very little that would drive more votes away from the NDP than talking about keeping McGuinty in power.  You need to get out more around the province if you think that would work.

And it seems that some learned nothing from the Rob Ford win.  Hystronics about how scary Hudak would be will only increase support for the PCs.  It is an obvious equation. 

The secret will be to provide an alternative progressive vision and to not duck some of the issues causing the McGuinty decline outside the GTA and some inside like industrial wind, hst, arrogance and many more.

Stockholm

Whether you like it or not - Andrea Horwath is going to have to answer a lot of questions about what the NDP would do in a minority situation during the campaign next year - and she better have a good answer.

I still remember about how in 1999 after four years of Harris and his fascistic government, Howard Hampton committed a gaffe and mused about possibly keeping a Harris minority government in power. NDP support instantly went into free-fall as the whole Liberal strategic voting tactic got validated and people were left with the impression that the only sure fire way to get rid of Harris was to vote Liberal. I don't want to see that happen again.

Sean, if the ONDP wins 20 seats - it means that the Ontario PCs need to beat the Ontario Liberals by more than a 20 seats margin to form a majority government. That could be atall order and a year is still a long time. You can be sure that the outlook a year from now could be totally different - esp. once Hudak starts unveiling his Common Sense Revolution Phase Two platform etc... Also, one year from now the federal Tories may and probably will be out of power and any "honeymoon" for Ford may and probably will be ancient history.

Evening Star

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

Good grief I can think of very little that would drive more votes away from the NDP than talking about keeping McGuinty in power.  You need to get out more around the province if you think that would work.

Do you think they'd attract more votes by talking about letting Hudak run the province?  Provincially, I probably am an archetypal Liberal/NDP swing voter and I can tell you which of those options would be more likely to get me on the NDP's side.  As far as I'm concerned, they'd need to:  i) show that they are serious about preventing a PC win and ii) make it clear how a Liberal-NDP coalition would be substantially different from a Liberal government.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

I think the answer to the question is relatively simple.

a) acknowledge that both right wing partties are right wing parties.

b) note that, in recent history, the Liberals have been more amenable to working with the NDP than have the Conservatives.

c) state that any post-election deal would be based on advancing the policies that NDP MPPs were elected to advance.

d) don't speculate beyond that.

Stockholm

I agree that you don't ewant to weaken your negotiating hand by announcing in advance that you will only support one of the two parties in a minority situation. So, the NDP has to put out some string policy principles that it would demand in a minority situation - it will go without saying that those policies will be things that the Tories will NEVER agree to - and then let people draw their own conclusions.

Evening Star

Yeah, that makes the most sense.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

You two are buying into the false meme that the Liberals really are significantly more progressive that the Conservatives.  There is no logical reason to believe that - particularly in Ontario, where the LIBERALS were historically the more right wing party (at least until the 1990s).

Bookish Agrarian

With respect the answer is "we wiil work to implement these NDP priorities regardless of the outcome of the election.  Ontarians are looking for a government to replace the arrogant Liberals and we believe we offer a reasoned and strong alternative to them"  Full stop - anything else- anything at all- just leads to more useless coverage away from our message.

And Evening Star I am not saying Hudak in government would not be bad for Ontario.  What I am saying is that over the top histronics backfires every time.  The way Ford was portrayed by outlets like the Star increased his chances of being elected, not decreased them with the average voter.  Attack by positive portrayl of policies you support, not by portraying Hudak as the personification of all things evil.  People are just not open to that kind of rhetoric.

The NDP has compelling policy on issues facing Ontario and they are on issues that McGuinty has failed miserably at.  This is also a big province, a simplistic message about keeping McGuinty in government won't help - what it will help to accomplish in ridings that will make the difference on who wins government is actually electing Hudak.

Stockholm

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

What I am saying is that over the top histronics backfires every time.

I'm not so sure about that. In 2007, I thought the Ontario Liberals used some very over the top histrionics against John Tory and his proposal for funding faith-based schools - it worked like a charm for them.

Evening Star

Malcolm wrote:

You two are buying into the false meme that the Liberals really are significantly more progressive that the Conservatives.  There is no logical reason to believe that - particularly in Ontario, where the LIBERALS were historically the more right wing party (at least until the 1990s).

Well, I think they are and have been since the 80s.  I've argued it before here and my opinion is probably not that common on this board.  They have made mistakes and they've done a number of things I disagree with, sometimes strongly, but I just can't see how anyone could equate Peterson and McGuinty with Harris/Eves/Hudak.  TBH, I'm not even sure that McGuinty has been significantly less progressive than Rae (or even Dexter or Selinger).

Evening Star

xposts I see Stockholm has already made the point.

Stockholm

Malcolm wrote:

You two are buying into the false meme that the Liberals really are significantly more progressive that the Conservatives.  There is no logical reason to believe that - particularly in Ontario, where the LIBERALS were historically the more right wing party (at least until the 1990s).

If you had lived through the Harris nightmare - you would see that there is no comparison whatsoever. For eight long years in Ontario - every single day you dreaded opening the paper to see another story abpout another meat cleaver being swung at the health or ediucation system or about municipalities being amalgamated against their will or massive downloading to cities etc... The Liberals under McGuinty haven't been great - but they also haven't done anything absolutely horrific like we had under Harris. They have given the public sector unions what they want and they have not brought in any massive cutbacks etc..., they even acknowledge that climate change exists (does Hudak??)

Quite frankly, who the hell cares if the Liberals were "historically" the more rightwing party in Ontario (ie: over 30 years ago). We don't live in 1975, we live in 2010! "Historically", the Ontario PCs were wishy-washy red Tory centrists - that legacy meant NOTHING when a hooligan like Harris came to power. You might as well say that we shouldn't care if Sarah Palin becomes president of the United States - after all 40 years ago the GOP had a few moderates like Nelson Rockefeller. So what? He's dead and she is very much alive!

The main thing that made me sanguine about Ford being mayor was the knowledge that most of the ridiculous things he wants to do would require provincial approval (ie: scrapping Transit City, getting rid of half of city council, tearing up labour laws and firing vast numbers of municipal workers). You better believe that if Hudak was Premier - he would quickly pass legislation to give Ford ANYTHING he wanted and that what few protectiosn there are for labour right now would be scrapped.

Evening Star

The Liberals have done more than acknowledge that climate change exists btw.  They have implemented seriously ambitious green energy and reforestation programmes.  There have been some gradual improvements in health care, especially in community health centres, and education.  I am genuinely terrified, on a personal level, about what will happen to universities if Hudak wins, given the already precarious situation of young contract faculty.

Bookish Agrarian

Stockholm wrote:

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

What I am saying is that over the top histronics backfires every time.

I'm not so sure about that. In 2007, I thought the Ontario Liberals used some very over the top histrionics against John Tory and his proposal for funding faith-based schools - it worked like a charm for them.

There is a qualitative difference between demonizing your opponent and calling them a demon. 

Those that think the Liberals have been so much better than the Conservatives need to take a trip out to the rest of the province where we are losing health care, have wind turbines scarring our landscape while the profits go to big business, face under funding in our schools and so much more. 

There is little difference beside rhetoric.  In what matters, policy outcomes, there has been little change.

Evening Star

Good luck with Hudak then!

Bookish Agrarian

Nice try.  I have been actively opposing the conservative agenda for my whole lifetime. 

I refuse to hand them the win by making it easy for them.  Over the top histronics will drive lots of swing voters into their arms.  So while I will be fighting them, your kind of rhetorical excess will be working against it. 

It is a simple message, but please feel free to ignore it.

Bookish Agrarian

On a different note- I notice it is almost my 6th anniversary on babble.  Wow where did the years go?

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

With respect the answer is "we wiil work to implement these NDP priorities regardless of the outcome of the election.  Ontarians are looking for a government to replace the arrogant Liberals and we believe we offer a reasoned and strong alternative to them"  Full stop - anything else- anything at all- just leads to more useless coverage away from our message.

 

Actually, that's way better than what I wrote - and more accurately reflects what I meant.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

The way to move the political discourse to the left is to promote the left, not to defer to the "maybe not quite so egregiously far right."

Bookish Agrarian

Hear! Hear!

Stockholm

I think your delusional if you seriously think that the Ontario Liberals are JUST AS BAD as the Tories under Hudak. The fact is that because the Liberals are always nervous about losing votes to the NDP - it is possible to pressure them from the left - that doesn't work with the tories because they don't care if every union, anti-poverty group and environmental group in the province rises up against them - they revel in it and it makes them MORE popular among their base. This year, despite an 18 billion dollar deficit, the Grits did NOT bring in any savage cuts to public services. They essentially caved to a very small scale campaign by the OFL. If the Tories were in power, they would not think twice about rolling back all wages for teachers, nurses, all other civil servants etc... and they would quickly end all funding for transit in the GTA. You think they wouldn't dare? Think again. Under Harris we saw that NOTHING is too audacious for these people. I'm willing to give credit where credit is due. At least the Liberals admit that climate change exists and they have done a lot to bring in green energy etc...The Tories don't believe that climate change is a problem and want to ditch all green energy initiatives and go back to having coal fired plants belching smoke everywhere. Under the Liberals there are at least SOME relatively progressive ministers. Under the Tories there NONE, NADA, such a thing DOES NOT EXIST. Goodbye Kathleen Wynne and Hello Randy Hillier!

Cueball Cueball's picture

Here we go again. The standard bearer of the Ontario NDP on Rabble defending the Ontario Liberal party, and their candidates. Perhaps you should just join the OLP and get it over with Stockholm and "work for change" from "within"? You could join the "relatively progressive" camp in the Liberal party.

The entire reason McGuinty decided to try and parachute Smitherman to be his minister of Toronto was so that he could handle cuts to promised funding for city services, like the TTC, which are directly the result of McGuinty decision to hand over 2.4 Billion to corporations. But he isn't done, their plan calls for even more corporate tax cuts in 2014!

McGuinty is taking full advantage of Harris era downloading of services to eschew responsibility for holding the line on social services and cutting taxes for corporations, forcing municipalities to develop ham-fisted revenue streams in the form of regressive user fees like the car registration tax.

Geoff OB

The NDP must demand that the Liberals scrap McGuinty's proposed wage freeze as at least one condition for NDP support in the event of a minority government.  Moving the political agenda leftward will require, among other things, an end to the attack on public servants, an increasing number of whom are part-time, contract workers.

Sean in Ottawa

I agree with most of what Stockholm has said in this thread-- especially the last few really good posts--

 

I do disagree however with the idea that the NDP going up means that there is a greater chance of stopping Hudak-- not that I want anything different.

The reason is the NDP is mostly viable against Liberals and if they can take more Liberal seats likely too will be the ability for Hudak to do the same since the election will be mostly a referendum on the government which it usually is.

Frankly the only way the NDP can stop Hudak is to get a lot of seats -- something like 35-- only by that number is the NDP no longer chewing in to Liberals but actually taking seats that Hudak might take.

I actually can imagine the NDP taking 30 seats and it still being a Hudak majority. I think the Liberals actually could collapse. Best strategy is for the NDP to put together a comprehensive campaign and really campaign for a lifetime because the Liberals are not stopping the PCs this time. Yes it is a longshot but I think the Liberals are also going to be a long shot---

I do agree that the current PCs are not the old pre Harris ones and they are different than the Liberals which is saying a lot because the Liberals are truly terrible right now and can be trusted on nothing.

Bookish Agrarian

It is clear to me Stockholm that you don't have the first foggiest notion what the Liberals are doing under the guise of 'green' energy.  Educate yourself, because that kind of positioning will guarentee a Hudak win. 

What didn't you people get about all the fat jokes and name calling of Ford and how it back-fired?

And again, if you really think the Liberals are so swell come on out to rural Ontario and see the increases in poverty, dying industrial bases, closing of hospitals and schools and a farm community in crisis.  The policies from Harris to McGuinty have been exactly the same.  I sure wish they weren't- I expected better- but 7 years of these tools has disabused me of that notion.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

They may not be "just as bad."  Being hit in the face with a fist isn't as bad as being kicked in the 'nads with a steel-toed boot.  That doesn't mean I want to be punched in the face.

Aristotleded24

Bookish Agrarian wrote:
It is clear to me Stockholm that you don't have the first foggiest notion what the Liberals are doing under the guise of 'green' energy.  Educate yourself, because that kind of positioning will guarentee a Hudak win. 

What didn't you people get about all the fat jokes and name calling of Ford and how it back-fired?

And again, if you really think the Liberals are so swell come on out to rural Ontario and see the increases in poverty, dying industrial bases, closing of hospitals and schools and a farm community in crisis.  The policies from Harris to McGuinty have been exactly the same.  I sure wish they weren't- I expected better- but 7 years of these tools has disabused me of that notion.

Interesting perspective. From this distant vantage point, as much as the Liberals like to complain about Mike Harris, they haven't actually done anything to fix the damage that he's done (other than calling an inquiry into the shooting of Dudley George).

Stockholm

I would say that while the Ontario Liberals have not done a lot to reverse what Harris did - I will give them credit on some things - I think there is a lot more peace in the education system that when Harris was busy "inventing" a crisis and vilifying teachers. Now the teachers unions seem to like the Liberals - they must be doing something right if the teachers unions like them. Compare that to the Harris years with all the days of action and work to rule campaigns and the constant strikes etc... At least under the Liberals the rightwing agenda that was being implemented at breakneck speed under Harris has stalled. If Hudak came to power, thery would press the "ON" button and the Common Sense Revolution would be back - never mind palid talk about a wage "freeze" for public service employees - the Tories won't settle for that, they will ROLL BACK wages and they will love every minute of it. 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Really? I thought ETT endorsed Joe Pantalone, and not George Smitherman.

Same with OSSTF

I understand why you are trolling for Liberal support, but at least you could stay within the facts.

Fidel

That's right, Pinocchio and company are not as bad as Mike Harris and his uncommon nonsense counter-revolutionaries were. Did John Snomobelen ever get his diploma?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Nobody gives a fuck.  Cut their taxes, you'll win!  YAY!  :(

Cueball Cueball's picture

That is succesful because no one is making the case that taxes are necessary to fund public service and that public service is useful. The more useless public service gets the less desire they have to pay taxes.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

How about mailing health care costs each year?  Even show 'em on their taxes what their health care cost?

Evening Star

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

It is clear to me Stockholm that you don't have the first foggiest notion what the Liberals are doing under the guise of 'green' energy. 

Do you have links or sources you'd recommend?  What I've heard has generally been good but my knowledge may be surface level.

Quote:
What didn't you people get about all the fat jokes and name calling of Ford and how it back-fired?

Who has done or advocated anything like that here?

Quote:
And again, if you really think the Liberals are so swell come on out to rural Ontario and see the increases in poverty, dying industrial bases, closing of hospitals and schools and a farm community in crisis.  The policies from Harris to McGuinty have been exactly the same.  I sure wish they weren't- I expected better- but 7 years of these tools has disabused me of that notion.

We may have talked about this before.  Maybe you're right about rural ON, which I am not an expert on.

Sunday Hat

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
... the NDP hopefully will abandon the thin wedge issues and go with a more broad campaign on kitchen table economics-- wedge issues like electricity rates etc. won't do it unless they are part of a much more comprehensive vision than the NDP has put forward in the last couple of tries.
What's comprehensive look like?

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