Monday, January 02, 2006

The Liberals Have To Go Negative

The Truth Hurts: Canadian Political Blog
[As soon as you see a new SES Research poll check here, I will have a seat forecast within minutes. Bookmark this page and keep checking back.]

In two previous articles (Is Liberal Support About To Collapse; Is Liberal Support About To Collapse - Part II) I predicted that Liberal support would collapse at a time when the mainsteam media were even predicting that the Liberals had "momentum". I called it then and now it is happening. The recent RCMP investigation has been the impetus for this (I do not believe the Klander slander had much if any impact). Based on what I described in those two articles I believe this drop for the Liberal Party is going to stick, at least to some degree. That is reinforced by SES Research's leadership index which shows Stephen Harper edging out Paul Martin on leadership, at least at a national level. Where there is hope for the Liberals is that while their support has slipped in Ontario, their lead is holding. Adding to that is the fact that Martin has recovered "best PM" status in Ontario in the SES Research data. He has also maintained that status in the Atlantic region, which means the Conservative Party's recent fortunes there are likely to face pressure, though how much is yet to be determined. Where there is hope for the Conservative Party is in British Columbia. With momentum for the Liberals downward in every part of the country, to various degrees, I cannot see how there can now be significant positive momentum for the Liberals there. I held off on my own predictions in B.C. because of the historic tendency of Liberal support to slip in B.C. during the campaign, and I expect we will see that played out in the next poll.

All in all, the Liberal Party does not seem to have much choice but to run negative ads. They have been taking a hit with negative ads from the Conservatives and NDP, and the RCMP investigation plays very well into that. Plus, those negative ads against the Liberals have been very good and very effective. They are getting hit hard and losing support. Without running negative ads of their own the Liberals are fighting this election with one hand tied behind their back.