Saturday, August 26, 2006

Times & Transcript poll

Not sure how many of you have seen the big poll in the T&T today. It is an interesting concept. They have picked 600 voters which they will survey three times over the campaign. The concept is that they will be able to see how individual voters move which I would think would have a huge effect on the margin of error with an already barely big enough sample.

Also, their pollster is Bristol, the Tory ad firm, and the same pollster the T&T used in 2003 which showed the Tories up 11 points when CRA and the actuall election result had them within one point.

That said, I was surprised to see the results were right about where I think they are:

PC 26, Lib 26, NDP 5, Undecided 32

Without the undecided it was:

PC 46, Lib 45, NDP 8

Strangley, they say when asked the undecideds were breaking 56-39 in favour of the incumbent Tories. This is quite a typical of how undecides split and, when you think about this race, it is even stranger. It would think that most voters have made their mind up on Lord and the Tories and, if they were undecided, it would most often be because they didn't like Lord but weren't sure about the alternative. Most of these people, I would imagine, would, having already decided they don't want Lord, end up with an opposition party at the end of the day.

What gets interesting is the regional results. The province is broken down into 5 regions, which means we are talking about sample sizes of 120 so huge margins of error. This is pretty clear when you read the results:

"Regionally the two main parties are deadlocked at 46 per cent in the Moncton area and 44 per cent in the Edmundston to Woodstock region.

Meanwhile Tories are dominating in Saint John leading the Liberals 49 per cent to 39 per cent. The Grits, however, have eked out a 49 per cent to 43 per cent lead in the Miramichi-Chaleur region and hold a 49 to 44 per cent advantage in Fredericton."

Talking to people in the streets it is clear the Saint John is probably the strongest anti-Lord part of the province yet he enjoys his best lead there according to this poll. In the meantime, Lord's best region is Moncton yet according to this there is a tie in that area.

If Graham manages to tie Lord in Moncton, he'll win at least 40 seats. I don't expect either to happen.

This explained away in that the "Moncton" area goes all the way to Richobucto while the "Saint John" area includes Albert County. Still the numbers in the Saint John area are outrageous and make a clear demonstration on a Tory slant I think as the numbers are impossible. Even the Transcript admits as much.

So, to sum up, I never have much faith in Bristol impartiality or accuracy and their regional numbers are clearly junk. However, if their record holds, this should mean that the Liberals are currently in the lead by as much as about 8 points, something I think is possible for an end result and perhaps even now but, I think, it is still a dead heat. I guess time will tell whether my gut is more accurate than statistics.


scott said...

It would think that most voters have made their mind up on Lord and the Tories and, if they were undecided, it would most often be because they didn't like Lord but weren't sure about the alternative.

You're right NB politico. Much like Chretien and the liberals in the '97 and 2000 election, there was not a clear alternative to the governing party as there was vote splitting on the left and an undecided that was weary of voting Reform/Alliance/PC. Shawn Graham does not have the support of all Liberals in this province and this will ultimately hurt on the 18th.

Harrap said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Harrap said...

The New Brunswick electorate is quite unpredictable... more so these days.

1999 - projected Liberal win was actually a Tory landslide

2003 - projected Tory landslide was a near-Liberal win.

There have been other unpredictable results in the past too - 1952's suprise win for Flemming's Tories and Robichaud's suprise election win in 1960.

A thought... I'm wondering if election-weariness might hurt the incumbants (as we've had two federal elections in a short period of time and now a provincial one -- could Lord inadvertantly be the target for voters frustrated at Martin & Harper?)

Anonymous said...

NBPolitico you actually read that rag. I stopped reading Bernard Lord's Newsletter sometime ago. I do not trust what they say as it is mouthpiece for Bernie.

Bernie is quite unpopular in Saint John and Northern NB. If Libs are tied with Cons in Moncton then it is Bye Bye Bernie.

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Spinks said...

Harrap makes a really good point. Trying to predict elections in NB, particularly the individual seats is nearly impossible. Look at the poll in the TJ. I wouldn't have predicted the Tories polling so well in Saint John but lots of dough has been sunk in down there lately so maybe they;re giving the PC's a second look.

Now, I'm not surprised the Liberals are polling better in Fredericton. Think about it. How often do YOU get to turf your boss? That's why COR did so well around Fredericton in '91. Nothing like sending a message to your boss than changing the game on him/her.

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Anonymous said...

Yes, that's somewhat of an old wives tale that undecided's tend to stick with the guy in power. You have to keep in mind that the vast majority of the population is not like us. They have zero interest in politics, and certainly no interest in reading and writing about it. The reality in that these two parties are almost indistinguishable as far as the major policies are concerned and of course everybody knows there is no point voting NDP.

The places where the two parties differ have very little impact on most people, so an undecided could very well vote the way a relative does, change their mind in the booth, see a sign or who knows what. That's why talking about polls is so easy, because everybody talks to different people. If you are poor and follow Charles blog, you may think Bernie's toast, but most don't read Charles blog and the poor are of little consequence-or may end up costing them more tax dollars.

There are 'hot' topics out there, but most have to do with Irvings interests, so neither party wants to touch them with a ten foot pole. When you have a 'one party system' with just different 'management styles' then its obvious why so many are undecided.