Friday, August 27, 2010

The first poll, the first riding update

Yesterday's CRA poll was good news for the Liberals and no one else. They've recaptured the lead for the first time in a year, and it is outside of the margin of error.

The PCs have slipped. The NDP is flat. And the others aren't even on the radar.

CRA has a nasty habit of showing decided voters alongside an undecided voter number giving you a total of far in excess of 100%. I prefer to see the real numbers so here they are:

I was hoping that this poll might be broken down by region which would be more helpful for me in terms of making a few calls here and there. But based on what there is in this poll, and on your feedback, here are my adjustments.

Campbellton-Restigouche Centre: from leans Liberal -> safe Liberal
I was tempted to label this safe Liberal before because it is simply a rematch of 2006. A poll showing the Liberals ahead suggested the same.

Rogersville-Kouchibouguac: from toss up -> leans Liberal
Reader feedback all suggests that this traditionally Liberal seat is likely to return to the Liberal fold with Rose-May Poirier out of the picture. That coupled with the poll prompted this call.

Dieppe Centre-Lewisville: from leans Liberal -> safe Liberal
Melanson has been nominated almost a year and working very hard. The Liberals nearly snagged this in both 2003 and 2006. The Liberal fortunes in Moncton are likely to be improved with Bernard Lord off of the ballot. The poll shows the Liberals ahead.

Fredericton-Lincoln: from toss up -> leans Liberal
I got a lot of feedback suggesting I was crazy to have this in the toss up column.

Fredericton-Silverwood: from leans Liberal -> safe Liberal
My earlier analysis incorrectly stated that Dominic Cardy was the NDP candidate here. It turns out it is economist Tony Myatt, he of lets eliminate BNB fame. A PC and NDP candidate in the core of the capital city calling for the elimination of civil service jobs? Sounds like Rick Miles doesn't even need to show up.

Projection summary - Liberals have the edge:

Liberals: 25 (15 safe + 10 lean)
Conservatives: 18 (11 safe + 7 lean)
Toss up: 12


Beausoleil said...

I agree Fred.-Siverwood, Fred.-Lincoln & Camp.-Rest.-Centre reviews but my sources say that Rogersville-Kouch. is still toss-up and that Dieppe Centre-Lewis. is still Leans Liberal. Also Bathurst is not leans Liberal , it is a real toss-up(PC candidate is on the rise). Nepisiguit is not Toss-Up it is Leans Liberal(new minister is personnally liked). Mira. Bay-Neguac is not leans Liberal, it is Leans PC(liberal MLA has become impopular and may top liberal supporters have abanboned her). Everyone in Miramichi knows that this year Mira.-Centre is a Safe PC(the Liberals bad record there will bring out voter anger) and Southwest Miramichi is a Leans PC(Liberals have poor investment record here, remember Norm Betts, well being a Minister dosn't mean a thing here!). Moncton-North will be Safe PC( with popular Blais whom voters know would be a very strong PC French Lt.under Alward). Charlotte-Campobello will be Leans PC( with recent PC ferry announcement). This gives Liberals: 14 Safe & 8 Leans=22, PC: 13 Safe & 11 Leans=24 and 9 Toss-Up. Only 27 seats are safe! The reality is that the governing Liberals only have one quarter of support of the population. The recent rush of Liberal announcements would of course push them up, however mostly in strong liberal ridings where they were made! But at 41% undecided this means that a large chunk are questioning LEADERSHIP not only from party leaders but from local candidates. PC organizers seem a bit in disarray and if they want to win they need to focus on key issues and keep away from nasty issues such as former Premier's wife! If NDP leader Roger Duguay wins in Tracadie, a minority situation could arise and at 16 % they have maintained a strong showing! This election is a TOSS-UP. But, this is not good for the Liberals.

nbpolitico said...

I tend to agree with your view on the Miramichi seats and would have moved the two to leans PC had the poll been even or had the PCs ahead.

The ferry affects residents in the safe Liberal riding of Charlotte-the-Isles, not the vacant riding of Charlotte-Campobello.

The Mad Ape said...

I have entered the election race, urging New Brunswickers to break free from the Casino Gulag Economy.

Vote for real change. Vote for the Mad Ape.

Anonymous said...

Good point about Charlotte-Campobello. You are right on that! I stand corrected! My predictions stand corrected at 23 vs 23 with 9 Toss-up! But clearly as you have already stated you do not know as much as you would like about the political situation in Miramichi! No government can survive a 2000 total job loss without losing valuable seats. Just call up people and they will tell you what is happening! They may say to you that things are ...the very best!... but they are not!!! With a major federal Conservative 550 federal jobs announcement by PM Harper a week before the provincial election will tip over any Liberal chances to save those ridings! The federal MP is a Conservative and she soundly defeated a veteran popular Liberal MP in the last elction two years ago. And at 41% undecided with a CRA poll(that has consistently shown liberal polling tendancies through the years) means it is much closer than you are trying to project!!!

nbpolitico said...

I disagree with how your interpret my prediction. I would call this as a slight Liberal edge, which jives with the only recent poll we have that shows the Liberals ahead just outside of the margin of error.

What my projection means is that if the vote were held today, the Liberals would win by a narrow margin. But if the polls we to swing even a bit to the PCs, it would be 30-25 for the PCs. And if it were to swing hard to the PCs, it would be 40-15 for them.

If we get a poll that shows things tightening up, many of those toss up seats would become lean PC and some lean Liberal seats would become toss up.

However, I found it difficult for me to push a bunch of seats into the PC column in an update that was based mostly on a poll that say the Liberals with a +10 net gain over 3 months ago.

As for CRA, I would not call them a Liberal-leaning pollster. They are the only outfit that regularly polls New Brunswick, and they have the best track record - having predicted all recent NB elections within the margin of error.

In 2006, their poll had Libs +2, actual result was PCs +0.4 - an error of 2.4, well within the margin.

In 2003, their poll had the Lib/PC tie with the expectation the PCs would win a small majority, the actual result was PC +0.9 with a one seat majority.

Anonymous said...

Good analysis. We all agree that this one will go down the line to the very end! And it could go either way depending on electoral mode.

daniel said...

re: undecideds

My knowledge on this particular matter isn't that robust, so I'm wondering if you would have any info on it, nbp; I know that most studies have shown that undecideds tend to break in a way that's similar to the final poll numbers,
but has that been the case in New Brunswick? It seems to me that in the past 3 elections, the numbers in the final days of the campaign turned more harshly against the respective incumbent governments than most people predicted (Lord's surprise-landslide in 1999, his surprise near-miss in 2003, and Graham's last-minute mini-surge in 2006).

Anonymous said...

Good point. The % number of undecided actually went up. This seems to buck the trend. Usually as we approach election day the number reduces as more people make their preferences known. We'll need to check on this on why this is happening. Is it that an important percentage have made their decision but prefer not to tell the pollster for fear of disclosing their choice. Which would mean that we also need to remember the polls before the election of unexpected COR seats. It was a total surprise because it was so concentrated! I agree that more regional polling would give a much more clearer picture of voter trends.

nbpolitico said...

daniel - The undecided number is about average for CRA going into a campaign. And it does usually break roughly along voter intentions as a rule.

There was an exception to both rules in 1999. Undecided was up over 50% and it broke about two-thirds for the PCs even though the Libs were slightly ahead among decided voters.

DL said...

I'm not sure why you would say the NDP is "flat". They took 5% of the vote in the 2006 election and this poll has them at 16%. If more than tripling your vote is "flat" then can I have some more of the "flatness" potion?

We know that in the 2008 federal election the NDP took 21% of the vote across New Brunswick - so clearly there is a large chunk of New Brunswickers who have put there "x" in front of the NDP before.

James Gordon said...

I am not sure I agree with your Fundy-River Valley assessment. Keir has done a lot for that riding, much more that than the previous Conservative MLA, people will remember that when it comes time to vote. If a tory wins that riding, it's at least 4 more years of neglect. That riding has far more Keir support than you give it credit for.

whitedove2 said...

I have to agree with Beausoleil with regards to the Nepisiguit riding. I am from that area, and Minister Lavoie is tremendously popular. In fact, word on the street is that the PC candidate is not expected to get a lot of votes.
She has been known for years as a voice for seniors' rights in the area. This is a lady who went into her ministry knowing a lot about her portfolio. With so many seniors in the riding, Minister Lavoie will get the vote in Nepisiguit.

nbpolitico said...

DL when I said the NDP was flat, I was comparing them to the last poll, not the last election.

Anonymous said...

Tories picking up momentum, if they can keep it up... could be landslide (as the bandwagon effect is strong in New Brunswick).