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The Tale of Two Polls November 26, 2005

Posted by Binford in Politics.
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I saw the following headlines over at Nealenews:

EKOS/TORONTO STAR POLL: Liberals 38%, Conservatives 29%, NDP 16%…

and

IPSOS-REID POLL: Liberals 34%, Conservatives 30%, NDP 16%…

The poll done by Ekos and the Toronto Star had a very favourable view of the Liberal’s chances in the upcoming election:

The Liberals are heading into the election campaign with a majority victory in sight and a lead of almost 10 percentage points over the second-place Conservatives, a new Toronto Star poll says.

Recovering from the negative impact of Justice John Gomery’s sponsorship report, the Liberals stand at 38.7 per cent of voter support, while the Conservatives have 29.4 per cent and New Democrats have 16.9 per cent, according to EKOS Research Associates Inc.

While the poll done by Ipsos-Reid for Canwest newspapers and Global National paints an entirely opposite view:

The election campaign that begins next week will be a tight race between the Liberals and Conservatives thanks to deep public cynicism over how Prime Minister Paul Martin’s government has resorted to a massive spending spree to attract votes, a major new poll has found.

The Ipsos-Reid survey, conducted for CanWest newspapers and Global National, found that many Canadians have been unimpressed with the Liberals’ performance in recent days and weeks.

The race for voter support has tightened in just the last week alone.

The governing Liberals now have the support of 34 per cent of decided voters (down two points from an Ipsos-Reid poll a week earlier), while the Conservatives stand at 30 per cent (up by three points), Jack Layton’s NDP remains unchanged at 16 per cent, Gilles Duceppe’s Bloc Quebecois is at 15 per cent (up by two points), and the Green party is at five per cent (down by one point).

Ipsos-Reid president Darrell Bricker said in an interview Friday that one of the reasons for the declining Liberal support is an apparent voter backlash to the government’s pre-election strategy of promising billions of dollars in tax cuts and new spending programs.

So which poll better reflects the current mindset and voting intentions of Canadians?  How reliable are polls when two of them show entirely different results and reasons.  If I had to choose which poll to take seriously, it would be the one done by Ipsos-Reid, as it is clear that the Toronto Star is a mouthpiece for the Liberals and they want nothing more than to help them get re-elected. 

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