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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics November 7, 2008
  Nov 07, 2008

340 Respondents—supporters of Liberal Party of Canada. Strategic calling environment(s)-Atlantic Provinces, Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia. Respondent numbers linked to population. Adjustment made for gender. Scientific margin of error based on sample size only approximates (6.0%), margin of error-- based on Robbins strategic calling environments and the ROBBINS methodology I estimate the margin of error at (3.0%) each of 19 times if you called 1,000 people 20 times. Confidence is at 95%.
This poll is sponsored in part by Jim Van Rassel (604) 328-5398. Oct. 31, 2008-November 5, 2008.

Question #1
Of the following candidate choices who would you prefer to be the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada?
Quebec Premier and leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec, Jean Charest    37 %
Deputy leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and former Liberal Party leadership candidate Michael Ignatieff    24 %
Former Liberal Party of Canada leadership candidate, Liberal Party of Canada Member of Parliament and former Premier of Ontario Bob Rae    18 %
Other    07 %
Undecided    17.5 %
Of the three candidates offered in this poll to-- lead for the Liberal Party of Canada, current Quebec Liberal Party leader, the “youngest federal Cabinet Minister”—in Canadian history- Jean Charest-- is the hottest politician in Canada, particularly Quebec and Atlantic Canada. His numbers for public support in Quebec among Liberal Party of Canada supporters reflect support among (57%) of the three party candidates. Premier Charest has control of an astounding (60%) among federal Liberal Party supporters in Atlantic Canada.
Michael Ignatieff leads among the big three choices offered in Ontario, however between he and Charest is only (04%) and between Charest and Bob Rae is also only (04%).
Former Ontario Premier Bob Rae is first in British Columbia only, ahead of Charest by only (03%) and Michael Ignatieff by only (06%).
Jean Charest rules Quebec, and Canada’s Atlantic Provinces including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Michael Ignatieff leads in Ontario but it could be a three way race in Canada’s largest province.
Bob Rae is third in every province or region (Atlantic Provinces aggregate), other than British Columbia.
Between Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff the 100% is apportioned (44%) Rae—and (56%) Ignatieff. Between Jean Charest and Ignatieff the 100% is apportioned (60%) Charest and (40%) Ignatieff.
Obviously this is a stunning result for Jean Charest with the start of a Quebec provincial election, where Premier Charest is seeking a majority government.
If Jean Charest’s Quebec Liberal Party wins a majority, the buzz will naturally be—could he make a move to win the Liberal Party of Canada nomination—after securing another provincial election win-- something most pundits would dismiss as ridiculous-- or does he parlay his cross-over popularity to be the main power broker in central Canada with an eye to becoming the next Prime Minister of Canada—should Stephen Harper fail to secure Quebec in the next federal election? No matter-Liberals love him—how would Conservatives respond?
ROBBINS readers will recall Stephen Harper’s federal payments to Quebec a couple of years ago--- which Jean Charest turned around and distributed to the citizens of Quebec—beginning one of the most significant popularity upsurges any Quebec politician has experienced in decades. From dubious win---minority government-- to potential prospects of a clear majority government--// should an election be called this December 08.
Jean Charest is the man to watch in Canadian politics given the remarkable outcome of this ROBBINS poll---“the most accurate pollster in the world”.
Michael Ignatieff brings an aura of positive energy to the Liberal leadership contest; he is not yet well enough known to all Canadians, but a second run at the top prize (he was expected to win the last one) will ultimately showcase his ample political skill. Ignatieff’s speaking oratory ability and the manner in which he communicates complicated political matters to passionate expressions to voters make this outcome—a clear underachievement for a man who certainly has what it takes to lead the country.
Bob Rae is a great crossover candidate on the centre left side of the political spectrum. If I were to telephone federal NDP supporters and Liberal Party supporters—I would speculate that Bob Rae’s numbers would be considerably more competitive.
But these respondents support the Liberal Party of Canada and right now they support Jean Charest-- the Liberal Premier of Quebec. These numbers are extremely important as Jean Charest’s popularity among Liberals in Canada’s three largest provinces as well as the Atlantic Provinces—is without doubt, and if he wins Quebec and wins well—the whole political scene in Canada will shift under his considerable political influence.
The amount for “Other” (07%) suggests that these three political actors are able to absorb most of the attention for the Liberal leadership race---one of them running for Premier, the other two the obvious main candidates to run for the Liberals—able to draft off Jean Charest’s powerful lead.
At a minimum this ROBBINS poll reflects the futility of other francophone leaders in the race to be the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
Glen P. Robbins

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