Harper ahead but takes a one day hit on trust
Nationally, Conservative support stands at 39.7%, while the Liberals are at 31.2%, the NDP at 16.8%, the BQ at 7.8% and the Greens at 4.0% . The highlight of yesterday’s tracking, however, is that we are starting to see some interesting possible movement on the Leadership Index. As you know, this is the second election for which we have used the Nanos Leadership Index. It is designed to accomplish a number of things. It is a one day snapshot of the views Canadians have of their leaders on trust, vision and competence. I consider it a leading indicator to monitor in terms of possible change in the election. Consider it a more granular spotlight on the very popular Best PM measure that is very common in the research industry.
Even factoring the smaller one day sample size, Harper took a one day 7.6 percentage point negative hit on the percentage of Canadians who trust him most (the margin of error is 5.0 percentage points) - down from 32.2% to 24.6% in one day. This is an example of how we benefit from our design of the index as a leading indicator that can capture the daily changes in the campaign. In this case, we know his score is down and can directly point to weakened perceptions of trust. With a standard Best PM question like the other pollsters do, you could not make that same connection in terms of what drove those numbers down. The key factor to consider is whether this is a sustained hit or a one-off.
Our observation is that Harper still has an advantage but it is diminished mostly as a result of weaker personal showing in terms of trust and that this change is related to yesterday’s campaign and media stories. Of note, while Harper’s leadership score took a negative hit yesterday, all other leaders’ numbers trended up.
Also, I would not underestimate the likely credibility Canadians assign to the Office of the Auditor General especially in terms of a broader narrative on ethics.
Feel free to join the live online discussion that I’ll be leading with CTV during tonight’s leaders debate on the CTV website starting at 7pm ET or post a comment below.
What do you think?