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Politics in 2013

Jed said:
Drinking already?
Not yet, give me a couple of hours.  8)

A couple of hours?!  :eek:rly:

If I drank enough to deal with that, my liver would catch fire....
2013 has been a good year for the Liberals according to this article which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail:


Liberals rebound from disaster in 2013, with national and provincial poll leads


Éric Grenier
Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Dec. 18 2013

If it had not been for the near-death experience of the Liberal Party in 2011, the rebound that Liberals have experienced at both the federal and provincial levels in 2013 would not be nearly as remarkable. But it was a banner year for Liberals almost everywhere in Canada, coinciding with the leadership victory of Justin Trudeau.

The disastrous federal election campaign for the Liberals occurred more than two years ago, but as recently as the spring of 2012 Liberal parties throughout the country were in a bad state. The federal party was third in the polls nationwide and held no leads in any region of the country. No provincial Liberal party was leading in the polls anywhere, with the exception of Prince Edward Island. Not since the early 1980s were Liberals at both levels of government as irrelevant as they were a little over a year ago.

(For more analysis and numbers, check out our political polls page.)

Contrast that to the end of 2013. The Liberals hold a wide and consistent lead in the polls nationally and in every region of the country except Alberta and the Prairies. Provincial Liberal parties are leading outright or vying for the lead in seven provinces. If an election were held today everywhere in Canada, Liberal premiers would potentially sit in more provincial capitals than at any time since the Second World War.

(Note that, unlike the New Democrats, the federal Liberals do not have official relationships with all of their provincial counterparts. The B.C. Liberals, for example, are perhaps more closely affiliated with the federal Conservatives.)

Where Liberals are doing well

Under Mr. Trudeau, the Liberals have experienced an increase in support everywhere in Canada. Federally, the party has support in the mid-30s, according to an average of polls, and a comfortable lead over the Conservatives. The Liberals are well in front in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada, and hold a narrow lead in British Columbia. In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the Liberals are in a neck-and-neck race with the Tories, and almost stole a safe rural Manitoba riding from the party in last month’s by-elections.

Provincial parties are doing similarly well, in part due to the emergence of new leaders of their own: Liberal parties in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador are led by different men and women than they were just over a year ago.

In British Columbia, Christy Clark defied the odds and was re-elected in May. Stephen McNeil in Nova Scotia trounced the New Democrats to form government in October’s election. Philippe Couillard has surged the Quebec Liberals ahead of the Parti Québécois in most polls, and Brian Gallant in New Brunswick and Dwight Ball in Newfoundland and Labrador are polling well ahead of the PC governments in those two provinces. Robert Ghiz in Prince Edward Island remains safely ensconced in his second term as premier and is easily on track to win a third.

In short, Liberals are doing well almost everywhere in Canada and are certainly doing better than they were just a short time ago from coast to coast. Mr. Trudeau’s leadership of the federal party has boosted the fortunes of the ‘brand,’ but new blood in half of Canada’s provinces have also contributed.

Where the results are more mixed

But not every new leader is surfing on a tide of goodwill. Kathleen Wynne’s approval ratings are higher than PC leader Tim Hudak’s, but her disapproval rating is creeping upwards. If an election were held today in Ontario, there is no guarantee that Ms. Wynne would prevail. However, the party is doing much better under her leadership than it was at the time Dalton McGuinty announced his intentions to resign.

Mr. Couillard’s numbers have also soured somewhat. On approval and suitability to be the next premier, he is polling about even with the PQ’s Pauline Marois. He, too, cannot be assured of victory in a snap election.

And the Liberals remain a minor player in Alberta. Though the party has experienced an uptick in support in the province, the federal Liberals are still at around 20 per cent support and could still fail to win a seat. The provincial Liberals in Alberta have also been reduced considerably from their historical standing, polling in the mid-teens. That is, however, better than the 10 per cent the party managed in the 2012 election.

And where things have gone, or could go, bad

In neighbouring Saskatchewan, the Liberals are a faint memory. The party failed to nominate more than a handful of candidates in the 2011 provincial election there and did not break even 1 per cent support. There is little sign that the provincial party is on track to return to relevance any time soon. Polls also suggest that the federal Liberals are not being boosted in Saskatchewan to the same extent they are in Manitoba.

And the elections likely to take place in Ontario and Quebec in the spring could go very badly for the Liberals. Problems for Ms. Wynne’s government continue to mount, and if the campaign does not go smoothly she could easily be reduced to third-party status in the province. Mr. Couillard is not in the same danger in Quebec, but a second consecutive defeat for the Liberals at the hands of the PQ is not an impossibility – and with the reduction in support for François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec, Ms. Marois could potentially end up with a majority government if things take a turn for the worst for Mr. Couillard.

But with the luck the Liberals have had in 2013, fortune seems to be smiling on the party and its provincial counterparts. A surge in support for Mr. Trudeau has no doubt been buoyed by the emergence of several effective and popular new leaders at the provincial level as well. The near-death experience of 2011 was apparently just the shock the party needed to renew itself.

Éric Grenier writes about politics and polls at ThreeHundredEight.com.

But, the old adage (Harold Wilson's adage, actually, so it's not that old) is that a "week is a long time in politics," and we've got about 90 "long times" until the next general election is scheduled.

Edit: format
Rocky Mountains said:
If we're lucky the Conservatives will have gerrymandered May out of a job and the voters will spank Hyer.
Hyer's in my riding, and I think he underestimates how much his being part of the "Orange Machine" was a factor in his being elected here.  And it appears the Orange Machine is unhappy, given they didn't say bupkiss when he left the caucus to become an independent.
"The shock they needed to renew themselves"?

What renewal is he talking about? Where are the policies, the fundamental philosophies or even the candidates with outstanding resumes that are needed to renew a party? They haven't even cleared away the old scandals like ADSCAM, or the fact that multiple former leadership candidates are afoul of the law WRT illegal campaign contributions dating back to the Stephan Dion era, much less blazed a new trail.
>In British Columbia, Christy Clark defied the odds and was re-elected in May.

Weak analysis.  The BC Libs are _not_ synonymous with the federal Libs; although Clark is part of the faction of the BC Libs which does favour the federal Libs, she was partly a liability and in the end the BC Libs can probably thank the people who couldn't bring themselves to support Adrian Dix.  If that is representative of the whole, the entire article probably isn't usable for much more than cage liner.
E.R. Campbell said:
2013 has been a good year for the Liberals according to this article which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail:


But, the old adage (Harold Wilson's adage, actually, so it's not that old) is that a "week is a long time in politics," and we've got about 90 "long times" until the next general election is scheduled.

Edit: format

Éric Grenier extends his look back at 2013, this time for the Conservatives, in this article which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail:


Conservative support hits lowest point since Harper became PM: polls


Éric Grenier
Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Dec. 26 2013

By any objective measure, 2013 has been a very bad year for the federal Conservatives. They have lost the lead in voting intentions for the longest period of time since first forming government in 2006, and are showing little signs of an impending recovery. But some provincial conservative parties of various stripes are doing much better.

The federal Conservatives are now routinely polling below 30 per cent support, representing a drop of at least 10 points from their performance in the 2011 election. They have not held a national lead since Justin Trudeau became leader of the Liberal Party, and their support is lower now than at any time since the party moved ahead of Paul Martin’s Liberals in the 2005-2006 election campaign. Only in Alberta do they consistently poll ahead of their rivals.

But in contrast to the New Democrats and Liberals, who have some ties to the provincial parties who share their name, the federal Conservatives have no official affiliations with their provincial counterparts. The informal ties they have with these parties varies from province to province.

There are seat-holding Progressive Conservatives parties in seven of the 10 provinces, while the Saskatchewan Party is the equivalent political force in that province. The B.C. Liberals are more closely tied to the federal Conservatives than they are the federal Liberals, while in Alberta the presence of Wildrose complicates things. In Quebec, there is just a fringe Conservative Party and the closest thing to a right-of-centre option in the province, the Coalition Avenir Québec, would largely bristle at being grouped together with the federal Tories.

Nevertheless, there are conservative parties in every province and their voters tend to be the same people who vote for the federal Conservatives. And the strength of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives is broadly – but not always – repeated at the provincial level.

Where conservatives are doing well

The bedrock of Canadian conservatism remains out west, and it is there that the Conservatives poll most strongly. Mr. Harper’s party can still count on majority support from Albertans, just as the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties in the province draw support from over 60 per cent of residents in polls.

Brad Wall is easily the political leader in Canada with the widest support in his or her jurisdiction, and his re-election in the next provincial election in Saskatchewan is a virtual given. In neighbouring Manitoba, Brian Pallister’s Progressive Conservatives have moved decisively in front of the governing NDP in the polls, with the New Democrats hobbled by the hiking of the sales tax. After 14 years under the New Democrats, Manitobans seem likely to go back to the Tories when the next election is held.

And in British Columbia, the B.C. Liberals were re-elected to a majority government in the surprising May vote. From the Pacific to the Manitoba-Ontario border, right-of-centre parties are strongly favoured.

Where the results are more mixed

But there are a few wrinkles in that support. The B.C. Conservatives performed poorly in the May election, and the B.C. Liberals draw support from both the federal Liberals and Tories. The divide between the PCs and Wildrose in Alberta splits conservatism in that province, and opens up more seats to the provincial Liberals and New Democrats than might otherwise be the case. The federal Conservatives, meanwhile, have dropped significantly in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and are in a neck-and-neck race with the Liberals in most polls in the region. The by-election results from November in particular demonstrated the fragility of Conservative support in Manitoba.

The Conservatives have also lost a lot of votes in Ontario, though they are still a potent electoral force thanks to their strength in rural areas and the GTA. The Ontario PCs are in a similar position, but should be doing far better against a Liberal government weighed down by Dalton McGuinty’s decade in office. An election held today in Ontario would likely deliver a plurality of seats to the federal Liberals, and could return Kathleen Wynne to the premier’s office. This is in large part due to Tim Hudak’s woeful personal approval ratings.

The provincial election in Nova Scotia vaulted Jamie Baillie’s Tories into official opposition status, but the party nevertheless placed third in the popular vote.

And where things have gone bad

Remarkably, that makes Mr. Baillie the Atlantic Canadian Tory leader in the most enviable position. The Conservative vote has tanked in the region, having not recovered from the changes made to employment insurance long before the Liberals surged under Mr. Trudeau. The PC governments of David Alward in New Brunswick and Kathy Dunderdale in Newfoundland and Labrador are trailing by a significant margin in the polls, while Ms. Dunderdale is one of the least popular premiers in Canada. Internal turmoil in Prince Edward Island has dropped the Tories there to third place, behind an NDP that was able to nominate only a half-slate of candidates in the 2011 provincial election.

The federal Conservatives have dropped to third in most polls in British Columbia, and are lucky to break double digits in Quebec. The tiny provincial Conservative Party of Quebec is not a serious player and François Legault’s CAQ is struggling to break out of the traditional levels of support that Mario Dumont’s ADQ used to manage. From the Ontario-Quebec border to the Atlantic, then, right-of-centre parties are floundering.

This makes the electoral calculations for another Conservative victory in the next federal election difficult to compute. Provincially and federally, a base remains for the movement in western Canada. With the Conservatives being squeezed out in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, however, Ontario is more important than ever to the party’s fortunes but increasingly looking unreliable. Provincial conservatives from Ontario to Newfoundland could use a boost from their federal cousins, but it is the Prime Minister who may be in more dire need of some good news for the blue team in central and eastern Canada.

Éric Grenier writes about politics and polls at ThreeHundredEight.com.

I agree with Éric Grenier that Ontario and the West are the keys to another Conservative majority government. Prime Minister Harper must secure and, ideally, increase the strength of his Western base; he must hold Ontario and gain some strength in the new, essentially suburban ridings. The CPC must learn to govern without Québec ~ not against Québec, just with very minimal (say three to ten seats) in that province ~ and with only scant support in Atlantic Canada. This means making promises and enacting policies that foster job creation in Western Canada and Ontario and inviting Eastern Canadians to go there, to "go West," and take some of those new jobs by making it less and less attractive to remain in low productivity areas of the country.