By now you have all heard about the latest CRA August quarterly marketing poll.
Supposedly the Liberals grew at the expense of the New Democrats. You’d believe that too, unless you looked at CRA party choice numbers without the “decideds-only” skew. For your amusement, here is a convenient chart showing the numbers as SRBP has unscrewed them
Liberals (red line) are at 29 up from 23 in May. The NDP, cleverly represented by the orange line are at 23, down notionally from 24. And the Glorious Conservatives are at 19, up from 18. The undecided, will not vote, and refused to answer totalled 29.
These numbers are all consistent with polling done by other firms so we can talk about them with some degree of relative confidence that the Liberals are indeed ahead of the NDP who are ahead of the Tories.
The Liberal growth appears to have come from the undecideds. The other two parties have been stable for the past couple of quarters. Indeed, if you look at CRA trending over time or the MQO monthly polling (available to subscribers only), the New Democrats have been pretty much steady for the last 12 months or so.
We’ve had two quarters of sameness for the Tories. They might have found bottom, but let’s not be too hasty. There still might be a few search parties out there from the Tory caucus still searching for lower poll numbers who have not reported in.
Rumours have started to circulate that Kathy Dunderdale will toss her teddy bear in the corner in October. Maybe. Unless the Tories change the House of Assembly Act to reverse the changes they made a decade ago, they’ll be forced to go to the polls within 12 months of her departure. That might have made sense once, but with the mess they currently have , there’s no guarantee the Tories would be able to run a successful election that quickly.
A more cautious – perhaps more likely - approach would be to tough it out for as long as they can. If the Tories can survive politically with Kathy Dunderdale in the figurehead position until October 2014, they won’t need to go the polls legally until the next scheduled general election anyway. If the Tory backrooms crowd think time heals all wounds, they will play for time. It’s the one ally the Tories have.
Meanwhile, they will avoid as many retirements, resignations and departures as they humanly can in order to prevent strengthening the opposition parties in the House.