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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics January 23, 2009
  Jan 23, 2009

Published 12:05 PM pst January 24, 2009-- A targeted survey of 1,003 Canadians who voted in the most recent Canadian federal election in October 2008--conducted between January 16-23/2009. All calls were conducted in the United States of America--with a blind conducted in Canada in Ontario-Quebec-BC. The percentages from Question #2 are in our opinion within a margin of error of 2%-while the remainder have a margin of error of 3.3.-36%, 19 times out of 20 @ 95%---(scientific calculation relating to sample size only).
An honourarium was provided by Jim Van Rassel (604) 328-5398.

Question #1
For which leader and party did you caste your ballot in the most recent federal general election in October 2008?
Stephen Harper and Conservative Party of Canada    37.5 %
Stephane Dion and Liberal Party of Canada    27 %
Jack Layton and Canada’s New Democrats    17.5 %
Gilles Duceppe and Bloc Quebecois    9.5 %
Elizabeth May and Green Party of Canada    7.0 %
Other    1.0 %
Spoiled    0.5 %
Question #2
If an election were held tomorrow for which leader and party would you caste your ballot?
Michael Ignatieff and Liberal Party of Canada    31.57 %
Stephen Harper and Conservative Party of Canada35.43    35.43 %
Jack Layton and Canada’s New Democrats    16.7 %
Gilles Duceppe and Bloc Quebecois    8.4 %
Elizabeth May and Green Party of Canada    5.1 %
Other    2.5 %
Undecided    7.4 %
Question #3
Do you favour a Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition led by Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff to replace Stephen Harper’s Conservative government?
Yes    52.5 %
No    43 %
Undecided    4.5 %
Question #4
Are you pleased that Barack Obama is the President of the United States of America?
Yes    74.6 %
No    22.3 %
Undecided    03 %
Question #5
Which federal Canadian political leader and party-- in your opinion-- would new U.S. President Barack Obama probably be best suited to?
Jack Layton and Canada’s New Democrats    24 %
Michael Ignatieff and Canada’s Liberal Party    38 %
Stephen Harper and Canada’s Conservative Party    24.5 %
Gilles Duceppe and Canada’s Bloc Quebecois Party    7.5 %
Elizabeth May and Canada’s Green Party    6.0 %
Don’t Know/Undecided    18 %
Question #6
In your opinion do governments and corporations ‘conspire’ to protect their own interests over the interest of the taxpaying public?
Yes    39 %
No    40 %
Undecided    21 %
Question #7
Should Canadian Taxpayer’s be forced to pay for a $750,000,000 bailout on the 2010 Winter Olympics Athlete Village and Future Condominium Developments in downtown Vancouver---now that the main lender to the development refuses to provide further loans?
Yes    12 %
No    74 %
Undecided    14 %
Question #8
Should Canadian Taxpayers be forced to pay the one billion dollar security bill for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics even if it means taking troops from Afghanistan to do it?
Yes    28 %
No    63 %
Undecided    09 %
Question #9
Do you intend to take advantage of federal Conservative finance minister Jim Flaherty’s policy to allow tax free $5,000 per year savings accounts at your bank or financial institution?
Yes    19 %
No    64 %
Undecided    13 %
Commentary
Commentary
Michael Ignatieff is up (16.9%) from totals achieved by Stephane Dion’s federal Liberal Team in the last federal general election in October 2006. Of those who support either the Federal Liberal or Federal Conservative Party, (47%) support Michael Ignatieff and his Liberal Team while (53%) continues to support Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.
About (80%) of respondents who support Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Party of Canada are also “pleased (sic) that Barack Obama is President of the United States.” This question was able to draw out the fact that the highest numbers of voters in Canada who are not pleased with Barack Obama’s election are Conservatives, and that Obama’s overwhelming popularity at this early point in his presidency reaches across political ideology—.
A minority of Green Party supporters are ‘concerned that economic problems in the United States will force President Obama to spend less attention to the environment’.
(72%) of Canadians are of the opinion that either Jack Layton and Canada’s New Democrats or Michael Ignatieff’s Federal Liberal Party are best suited to new U.S. President and massive political bandwagon leader Barack Obama. It is important to note that too much adulation can reverse---these numbers should not necessarily attempt to attract too much attention from President Obama’s popularity—as a direct political benefit for them, but rather harness some of the approaches Obama has contemplated for his country in a manner which translates to the real needs of Canadians.
President Obama should address Parliament (as opposed to dominant photo opportunities with Prime Minister Harper) in order to include all party members and of course -Haitian born- (English/French) Governor General Michaelle Jean. He should also spend a day in Montreal where he is extremely popular---Ontario was a very strong Clinton province-and although supportive of Obama now slightly less so than the remainder of Canada’s provinces. Montreal is home to many English in a predominantly Francophone province—but the message from this choice from the President sends sufficient signals to other countries about the scientific nature of the new President’s political calculus—particularly if he, Mrs. Obama (and the girls) get to take in a Montreal Canadiens hockey game---the second most successful sports franchise in the world.
The overwhelming majority of supporters of Canada’s New Democrats, Bloc Quebecois and--a conspicuous majority of Green Party supporters are more inclined to be of the opinion that “government and corporations (sic) protect their own interests over the interests of the taxpaying public”, while a majority of Liberal and Conservative supporters are not inclined to support this statement. For Michael Ignatieff to properly rule a coalition he will have to address this difference of opinion among party’s---involved-- other than his own. Michael Ignatieff and his Liberal Party are also popular (relative to recent history—(33%) in the city of Montreal.
(52.5%) of Canadians support a Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition, with (27%) ‘overall’ support coming from federal Liberals, (14.5%) ‘overall’ from New Democrats, (6.5%) from Bloc Quebecois and (4.5%) from the federal Green Party of Canada after factoring out Undecided’s by one half.
Stephen Harper and his Conservatives are down (9.5%) from the October 2009 election. Although there are supporters of all parties who will take advantage of the government’s new $5,000 savings initiative-- the majority of this overall -minority of total respondents- come from Conservative and Liberal ranks—while the majority of Canada’s New Democrats, Bloc Quebecois and Green do not intend to “take advantage”.
It is clear that the Prime Minister’s new $5,000 savings initiative is a hit with a noticeable minority of Federal Liberal supporters—as well as Conservative supporters-- but only attracts flecks of other party supporters—however supporters from every party will take advantage of the offer. The question is will contributions to RRSP’s suffer as a consequence and was this the government’s intention to get Canada’s Chartered Banks some consumer money to loan back to other consumer with the ‘vig’ in play for profit—particularly with so many more Canadians at the age of retirement where they can pounce of those RRSP’s—certainly a potential recipe for financial meltdown.
The Prime Minister’s supporters do not support the heavy costs of the Olympics and many are dead against using any military presently in Afghanistan on the Olympics (anecdotal). His recent trip to British Columbia followed by the depressing news about Olympic cost overruns has a small chunk of Harper supporters less than enthusiastic or downright angry about any effort by this government to help with Olympic costs overruns. There is a slightly higher percentage of federal Liberal supporters who are ‘down’ with using the military for the Olympics but once again—New Democrats, Bloc and Green supporters are not supportive of the overall proposal—we think because of the money factors. While Gordon Campbell’s polling numbers are up recently--- (we don’t believe them for a second but instead think it is a media before and after—as Olympic costs overruns---the end of 3P’s----in play---investors heading for the hills—all post a recent Harper Campbell duet-----just further signs that the people may be concerned about the current government’s penchant for managing optics over policy on occasion. Interesting.
A previous ROBBINS poll revealed that a good chunk of Conservative supporters did NOT support a deficit---of any kind. Will these Conservatives be mollified by the new $5,000 saving initiative or not?
We will see what happens in the upcoming Canadian federal budget later this month—won’t we?
Respondent/Voter preferences through the provinces are as follows
Conservative: BC (37%); Alberta (52%); Saskatchewan (48%); Manitoba (42%); Ontario (38.5%); Quebec (20%); Nova Scotia (30%); New Brunswick (36%); PEI (42%); Newfoundland and Labrador (30%).
Liberal: BC (27%); Alta (22%); Saskatchewan (26%); Manitoba (33%); Ontario (37%); Quebec (28%); Nova Scotia (41%); Newfoundland and Labrador (43%); New Brunswick (32%); PEI (30%).
The Federal Liberal Party now leads Stephen Harper’s Conservative government in total support in Ontario and Quebec based on near equal support in vote rich Ontario and a pretty clear lead in Quebec. Michael Ignatieff also has more popular support in the Atlantic provinces—nothing much has changed—but remains behind in the western provinces. Things are improving for the federal Liberals in BC but have not reached any historical highs. I would speculate that at this moment the Federal Liberals are up ten seats overall.
The Harper Conservatives have dipped slightly in Ontario still reeling from the impact of economic fallout and have lost some ground in Quebec. Atlantic provinces numbers are steady and the Conservatives still rule the western provinces. I would speculate the Conservatives are down six seats overall.
Michael Ignatieff needs to continue to get his name out in front of British Columbians and exploit the opportunities present in Manitoba for modest gains. He needs to take 2% from the Conservatives in Ontario and push his lead in Quebec by another 2% in order to get Stephen Harper in is sights as far as competing for government should an election roll around. These numbers are not changing easily.
The Conservatives are terrified of another coalition push as it could easily prove successful. Stephen Harper still has sufficient support from Canadians to potentially make this a risky maneuver for Mr. Ignatieff particularly out west and in Ontario. An unsuccessful budget could change this overnight.

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