Green and growing

My story about being a Green politician in Canada, and why it was the best thing I ever did.

Friday, November 16, 2007

New poll shows Greens edging ahead of NDP

This is an update to an earlier graph I did. The first two data points represent the national popular vote, by party, in the 2004 and 2006 general elections. The last point shows the voter preference as measured by the most recent Globe and Mail / CTV poll done by Strategic Counsel, which shows Liberal and Conservative support tied at 32%, the Greens in third place at 13%, NDP fourth at 12% and finally the Bloc at 11%.

Of course, the margin of error in the poll is about 3%, so the three parties are statistically speaking at the same level. However, Green support has been above Bloc support for some time now, and continues to trend up.

What is the significance of this? Well, it means that the Green Party is about to be in the House of Commons. As I commented earlier this year, all of the other parties are reluctant to trigger an election, since their numbers are down. Based on the graph above, the Liberals might be the only other party who would benefit from an election at this point, and that is a recent spike in the numbers, and so bears further watching.

Have a look at Jim Harris' blog for some of the implications of this trend.


At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Devin said...

I would disagree with the comment that "all the other parties are reluctant to trigger an election." Actually, both the NDP and the Conservatives are itching for an election because they smell Liberal blood. I would also disagree that this means that "the Green Party is about to be in the House of Commons." It improves the odds, certainly, but you are well aware of the pitfalls of the FPTP system. Remember: in 1993, the PC's got more than 16% of the popular vote and only 2 seats. Finally, you can't really compare the national polling numbers of the national parties to those of the Bloc. The Bloc only runs candidates in one province, or about 23% of the ridings. Sitting at 11% nationally actually puts them in the 40%-50% range in those ridings in which it contests elections.

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Lucan Jim Johnston said...

Hi, Devin.

Fair points. It is difficult to impute intention on political parties, so I will acknowledge that the NDP might be gung ho for an election at this point. However, the NDP is still down in the polls relative to 2006.

Your comments re FPTP are right on, but there is enough variation that there are pockets of stronger support, eg. Elizabeth May's 26% showing in London North Centre and Shane Jolley's 33% finish in the Ontario provincials. Only time will tell how the increased support will manifest itself in the next election.

Finally, you are correct that the national Bloc number does not indicate their strength on the ground in Quebec. However, they are polling below their results from 2006, so I think that my observation is vaild. This delta is even larger when viewed within Quebec. Quebec may well hold the biggest surprises in the next election.


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