Monday, April 11, 2005

"A Breathtaking Shift"

Those are the words of Frank Ekos, following the release of the latest poll in the Toronto Star today, the first since the publication ban on the Brault testimony's been lifted. And the shift is indeed seismic:

"The pollster found that only 25 per cent of respondents nationwide would vote today for the Liberals, compared to 36.2 per cent for the Conservatives. The Liberals won a minority government with about 37 per cent of the vote in June 2004.

The NDP have moved up to 20.5% nationally as well. Of course, this really reflects the extent of the immediate backlash over unsubstantiated news of corruption, but it does indicate how drastically the bedrock of Liberal support has eroded. The Conservatives are ahead of the Liberals by 3 points in QUEBEC, if you can believe it!

I still think the election's on hold until after the summer, primarily for logisitical and circumstantial (B.C.'s got elections coming in May as well), but these numbers are certainly going to tempt all the opposition parties. When does Parliament conclude for their summer holiday?

I see Harper having a much firmer footing to stand and govern on if he can see out the full report and spend the summer bolstering a "government-in-waiting" image while the Liberals are seen performing desperate damage control. An election now would be reduced to an argument over whether the timing is appropriate before the conclusion of the inquiry, whereas the fall election would be about implementing the reforms proposed by Gomery. It is at the later date that the refrain of "We don't trust you anymore" lingers more strongly.

But who knows, maybe waiting only allows Martin the time he needs to recover? At this point, I'd say it's probably an even money proposition, though I'd trust Guinness's maxim that "Good Things Come to those who Wait". What's your advice, Cooper?


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