12 March 2012

Poll Math #nlpoli

Just for the heck of it, here’s the most recent CRA marketing poll adjusted to take out the misleading way CRA reports its clients poll numbers.

Here are the Conservative Party voter choice results from the fall of 2010 when Kathy Dunderdale took over the Tory leadership until the most recent poll in February.

CRA Q1-12

The solid blue line is the percentage of respondents who picked Conservative.  It’s the real percentage, not the share of “decideds”.

The light blue dashed line is the actual percentage of eligible votes the Tories got in 2003 and 2007.  Yes, friends, 43% of those eligible to vote picked Tory.

The bottom line is the share of eligible votes the Dunderdale Tories got last October.  If you can’t quite pick it out, the number is 32%. It’s the lowest share of eligible vote any Tory government received and won re-election to government.  The previous record low was 33% in 1975

So while there’s nothing in these numbers that would send the Tories into a panic, the fact is that the Tories don’t have the kind of overwhelming electoral support that would allow them to do things like…say… slash public spending without risking a pretty significant turn around in popular support. 

Keep that in mind over the next few weeks.

You see while the Tories might be 20 points ahead of their nearest rival according to CRA, that really means that only an 11 percentage point swing puts the Tories in second place, behind the New Democrats.  Even a five point swing to the NDP would send shock waves through provincial politics.

Heck, if the Tories drop down in the public polling to numbers below 50% in the misleading way CRA reports them and you’d see people raise their eyebrows.

Slow down government spending to any great degree, chill economy with talk of lay-offs or – to be really daring – actually lay people off and you can bet there’ll be a change in the polling numbers.

It’s important to keep these things in perspective.

- srbp -