Election 2008: Day Eight

Harper and Dion took the day off. Layton campaigned in Gatineau and Elizabeth May appeared on Cross-country Check-Up with Rex Murphy.

Pundits were busy assessing the first week of the campaign. Jeff Simpson of the Globe and Mail gave the nod to Harper as the week's winner:

"Distractions aside, the Conservatives know what they are doing, how to do it, whom they are targeting and with what messages. The campaign tour runs with paramilitary precision. Local candidates, as in previous elections, are prevented from speaking to journalists. The whole campaign revolves around Mr. Harper, as does the entire government. Ministers are pygmies in the campaign, as most of them are in the government, and it would appear nothing will change after the election, since the Conservatives have attracted almost no new candidates of great stature. As they paraded out their new candidates across the country, the most common reaction was: Who?
The Conservatives are trying (thus far successfully) to defang Mr. Harper among swing voters. The entire Conservative strategic effort – in which policy, speechmaking and advertising reinforce each other – is to make Canadians, or more precisely middle-class Canadians, feel comfortable with the idea of Mr. Harper and the Conservative Party as middle-of-the-road, pragmatic, non-ideological."


The latest Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll indicates that the Conservatives have solidified a substantial lead among Canadian voters, thanks at least in part to a lack of confidence in Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion. Those polled supported the Conservatives 40%, Liberals 26%, NDP 15%,Green party 9%, and Bloc Québécois 8%. One interesting note is that Jack Layton remained the most popular of the five leaders, with 53 per cent of respondents registering a positive impression and just 33 per cent a negative one. This explains stories today suggesting that the Tories will turn their guns on Layton next week.

Harper's campaign will focus next on Ontario and Quebec where he needs to win seats to obtain the much desired but unstated goal of a majority. The Bloc still has a slight edge over the Cons in Quebec. Today the Conservatives unveiled new ads taking aim at Duceppe. The Liberals unveiled new ads featuring speakers other than Dion, taking aim at the Conservatives' negative campaign.

I have not been attempting to summarize the promises made by the various parties this past week. A handy summary of promises so far can be found at CTV.ca ( http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080911/election2008_promises_080913/20080913?s_name=election2008&no_ads= ).

For those interested in projected seat outcomes based on the polls so far, I recommend checking the Calgary Grit ( http://calgarygrit.blogspot.com/ ) and Democratic Space ( http://democraticSPACE.com/canada2008 ) websites.

Calgary Grits latest has Tories now projected to win 144.5 seats, the Liberals 92.5, the Bloc 42.3, and the NDP 27.8. Greg Morrow of Democratic Space projects Tories 146, Liberals 91, NDP 30, and the Bloc 39. These are remarkably similar. 155 seats are required to form a majority government. So at this stage in the campaign the Tories are within spitting distance of a majority.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dion had better get moving or Layton will end up as Opposition leader!