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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics September 30, 2008
  Sep 30, 2008

This is a targeted sample of 860 respondents -between September 27-30, 2008- who voted in the last federal general election in 2006. These numbers were derived as represented from each province as follows: BC (200); Alberta (100), Saskatchewan (40), Manitoba (40), Ontario (300), Quebec (100), New Brunswick (20), Nova Scotia (30) PEI (last election results used), Newfoundland (30). Outcomes adjusted proportionally to population. We are establishing a margin of error of only 2.0% based on the results from questions 1 and 2 particularly. ROBBINS declares that it is our professional opinion that as of Wednesday October 1, 2008 the Conservative party public support ranges between (35-39%), Liberal support (24-28%), NDP (21-25%), Bloc (6-9%), Greens (5-8%) less a deduction for other not suitably determined herein. Conservative member and Coquitlam city council candidate Jim Van Rassel helped with the cost of this survey.

Question #1
For which leader and party did you caste your ballot in the last federal general election in 2006?
Stephen Harper and Conservatives    36.64 %
Jack Layton and New Democrats    17.75 %
Paul Martin and Liberals    30.45 %
Gilles Duceppe and Bloc    9.95 %
Jim Harris and Green    4.24 %
Question #2
If an election were held tomorrow for which leader and party would you caste your ballot?
Stephen Harper and Conservatives    37.46 %
Jack Layton and New Democrats    23.14 %
Stephane Dion and Liberals    26.07 %
Gilles Duceppe and Bloc    6.82 %
Elizabeth May and Green    6.37 %
Undecided    15 %
Question #3
In your opinion is the economy the number one issue for you personally in Canada’s national federal election debate?
Yes    68 %
No    30 %
Undecided    02 %
Question #4
In your opinion are democratic elections more fair if a party receives the number of total seats it is allocated based on the percentage of total vote it receives from the election?
Yes    44 %
No    42 %
Undecided    16 %
Commentary
Stephen Harper and his Conservative party remain heads and tails above the rest of the national parties heading into the French and English debates this Wednesday and Thursday (respectively). The Conservatives numbers have dropped somewhat during the course of this general federal election; however the male/female mix (52/41) is a good sign for the Prime Minister going into the debates where the economy is the number one issue.
Stephen Harper is in good shape, there are no major concerns about him personally, despite running a campaign that was only above average. Some voters clearly don’t like him, nearly one in two do. He has a good base, and there are more voters lining up to get in the tent (me thinks) than leaving, the Undecided remaining an enormous factor in this election.
Federal New Democratic leader Jack Layton is the hottest politician in the country. His evolution during this federal election has been very positive as witnessed in the progress Layton made during his interview with Peter Mansbridge of CBC, a Jean Beliveau deft, subtle but not without a stiletto type impatience if his intelligence is insulted---to Don Newman—a politico unafraid to use his elbows against erstwhile Prime Ministers and politicians on the way up—which as these numbers indicate frame Jack Layton’s sweet political opportunity right now. New Democrats know there is something in the air, and are already contacting Greens—and working behind the scenes to steal Liberal support in Toronto, and in the suburbs of Ontario in the Golden Triangle---and grinding away at every party in Quebec in a push that some New Democrats are calling “the greatest political opportunity in our entire history.” Jack Layton must not talk up Prime Minister but he needs to sneak up on it. With hard work, and a lot of luck Layton can get within five points of the Conservatives. With hard work, and a lot of luck Layton can get within five points of the Conservatives.
Stephane Dion never seems to have the timing of his actions be in synch with the tone and pace of the election. He hasn’t been able to get traction in part because Harper stole the first two weeks, Layton is making the move of his career and Elizabeth May and Greens and Gilles Duceppe and Bloc are “still in the way.” Westerners are starting to blame Trudeau—not a good sign for sentimental Liberals—I think Trudeau will be making a comeback in the election following this one. However, the Liberals are enjoying a bump, a slight comeback of sorts—however Jack Layton’s NDP are staying close as a few voters move away from the Bloc and Greens prior to debates.
Gilles Duceppe is an experienced politician and is a game breaker in these debates. Honestly, you would have to knock Duceppe out—for the Bloc to fade—and I’ve watched this guy for years---he’s too good—and the greater likelihood is that Duceppe will hurt you as you he. This ROBBINS poll contradicts a Harris Decima poll conducted over roughly the same period of time—with ROBBINS positing that the Bloc is down simply because a small portion of their voters are either Undecided or have left for the Conservatives and NDP. Duceppe will need to perform well in debates to achieve last elections totals—and current support for Bloc is discounted by voters to reflect this.
Elizabeth May is on a train ride—hasn’t had the news coverage—we’ll see how the cross country thing works out—it hasn’t hit the phones---at least not our phones--- yet. Many 1996 Greens have migrated to the NDP party and some to the Liberals leaving the majority of those supporting the party currently looking to Elizabeth May for results—while those who have left from 2006 wanting to see how they feel with the other parties leaders against May’s performance.
A recent Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey puts the Tories at (36%) while ROBBINS puts the Conservatives after adjustments at or about (37%) statistically close. The Harris Decima poll puts the federal Liberals at (24%), while ROBBINS puts the Liberals at (26%), statistically close. Harris Decima places the New Democrats at (17%), while ROBBINS has the NDP at 23%, a fairly substantial difference. Harris Decima has the Greens and the Bloc national totals combined at 21% while ROBBINS totals for those parties are only two-thirds of this amount.
Essentially Harris Decima and ROBBINS agree on the Conservatives and Liberals, but don’t agree on the New Democrats, Green and Bloc amounts.
The question on the economy is manipulated to the extent that by offering the economy as the number one issue, respondents may be more inclined to answer in the affirmative. However the question is valid to the extent it reflects how easy it was to get more than two thirds of the country to face our economic future as the United States exterminates their economic woes with crisis management in the economy. Canada’s French and English debates guaranteed to be focused primarily on our countries economy ought to attract more Canadians who want to hear what the politicians are going to say.
The “election that never was” should change quickly watch for more Canadians to start paying attention as everyone from the coffee shop to the grocery store has an opinion on Canada’s economic future. I would promote these debates as primarily focused on the economy—get Canadians moving quickly as tomorrow (Wednesday) is the start of the real action with the French debates. If you really enjoy politics—you need to watch the French debates to see how this plays in Quebec. If Duceppe wins big, no majority—if Harper shines the election could turn all his way even before the English debate starts.
The majority of Conservative party supporters are aware that any type of proportional representation does not serve their party well, however nearly one in six who support that party are of the opinion that it would be “more fair if a party receives the number of total seats it is allocated based on the percentage of total vote it receives.” It is plainly obvious even Liberal supporters are uncomfortable as a majority of them support the suggestion of a different type of election format. New Democrats are overwhelmingly supporting this and so are Greens—while Bloc supporters, like Conservatives are aware that proportional representation does not serve them as well as the current first past the post system.
Numbers by Province:
Stephen Harper and Conservatives- BC (35%), Alta (56%), Saskatchewan (50%), Manitoba (46%), Ontario (38%), Quebec (29%), Atlantic Provinces (34%).
Stephane Dion and Liberals- BC (22%) Alta (18%), Saskatchewan (23%), Manitoba (24%), Ontario (32%) Quebec (17%), Atlantic Provinces (37%)
Jack Layton and NDP-BC (34%), Alta (23%), Saskatchewan (22%), Manitoba (21%), Ontario (21%), Quebec (18%), Atlantic Provinces (24%).

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