Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tories lead Grits by 14 points

The news keeps getting better for the Tories and correspondingly worse for the Grits—and especially for Michael Ignatieff. A new EKOS poll confirms earlier reports that Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have edged up to majority territory while Michael Ignatieff has led his Liberals down into the land of look-behind, a place the Grits last inhabited under Stéphane Dion’s leadership.

In the land of look-behind, fear, uncertainty and apprehension stalk the footsteps of Liberal leaders like Michael Ignatieff and Dalton McGuinty, who this week seem in full retreat.

The EKOS poll—full report here—shows the CPC at nearly 40 per cent and the LPC at just above 25 per cent. Not since the departure of Stéphane Dion has the LPC sunk so low. Here are the national results:

Conservatives: 39.7 (+3.7)
Liberals: 25.7 (-4.0)
NDP: 15.2 (+1.3)
Green: 9.7 (-0.8)
Bloc Quebecois (in Quebec): 38.7 (-0.9)

And here are the results for Ontario:

Conservatives: 43.8 (+3.8)
Liberals: 32.5 (-3.2)
NDP: 13.9 (+0.5)
Green: 9.7 (-1.1)

Even in Quebec, where Michael Ignatieff was expected to break through and rival the Bloc, the outlook is gloomy. The Conservatives have now taken a slight lead over the Grits. And wonder of wonders, the Conservatives lead the Liberals by over 9 per cent in the city of Toronto.

The Tories are ahead of the Grits in every region of the country and in all major cities except Montreal. They also lead among women, the university-educated and Canadians born abroad, all former strongholds of the Liberals.

In less than a year, Michael Ignatieff, who has spent almost all his adult life outside Canada, has managed to alienate Canadians in every region. His lack of natural leadership skill and basic misunderstanding of Canadians’ wants and needs are sinking his party—and there is no bench strength to pick up the slack.

Waiting not so patiently in the wings are leadership hopefuls Gerard Kennedy and Bob Rae, both dyed in the wool socialists, and Denis Coderre and Martin Cauchon, two light-weights from Quebec. There are other stalkers in the land of look-behind, who are more likely to grease Ignatieff’s skids than give him a hand up.

And he needn’t look to John McCallum who does not even know what make of car he drives (or lies about it), or to the totally ineffectual ex-Tory Scott Brison. And he can’t look to Ujjal Dosanjh—he is so left-wing he makes Bob Rae seen almost conservative.

One of the few bright lights of the Liberal Party, Dominic Leblanc, was rudely shunted aside in the rush to anoint Ignatieff as leader and may be too gun-shy to stick up his head again.

In politics, as with life in general, fortunes ebb and flow. I know that. But for now I’m loving the new poll.

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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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