Monday, April 25, 2011

YouGov Could Have Asked Canada

So I've been reading so many polls about voter intentions in Canada that I thought I'd take a break from it... and look at voter intentions in the UK.

So I looked at YouGov, the only British pollster I could remember by name. Labour well over Conservatives, LibDems still performing horrible. Business as usual.

But I found something interesting, where they took a few sentences and asked the people they polled which party (or 'none of them') the phrase applied to most. I'd be curious how those would look if asked of Canadians. Here are my speculations:
  • It seems rather old and tired. In the UK, Labour still leads regarding this slight. In Canada? Well, it's been clear since the dropping of the writs that within Québec, most people would say that about the Bloc (which remains one of Canada's newest parties). In the RoC, I'd have to guess it'd be the Liberals who would lead in this category.
  • Even if I don't always agree with it, at least its heart is in the right place. The NDP was made to score well on this. Green would be a good answer too, if people thought of Green at all, really.
  • It seems to have succeeded in moving on and left its past behind it. Well, this doesn't apply to the BQ. It probably doesn't really apply to the NDP either. It applies to the Liberals, but isn't complimentary when it does so. Whether or not Canadians would say it (and they probably would), it's the Conservatives who deserve this accolade - getting over their 90s rift and their early flirtations with populism and Western alienation.
  • It seems to appeal to one section of society rather than the whole country. God, where do we start? Perhaps this has always been true in Canada, but it feels probably even more true now, as the Conservatives reach for their majority by poring through demographics with a fine-tooth comb and the Liberals, bizarrely, seem content to let their support atrophy across all but a few key demographics. Live in Toronto or Montréal and the fact that the Tories are leading in the polls seems like science fiction. Live in Calgary or in rural-almost-anywhere and the fact that they don't have a majority seems bizarre. The BQ are a regionalist party, of course, and the NDP's current boost obscures the fact that they're dead in the water in suburbia and were a sub-frings party in Québec until... well, about last week or so, right?

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