Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Riffing on the SES "best prime minister" data

I already linked to Accidental Deliberations' excellent post over at the update on my last post, but I wanted to single one part out for special attention:

[The Greens deciding not to run a candidate against Dion] would be a bizarre choice at the best of times, but it's all the more so given the party's current supporters' actual preference among possible PMs.

That's right: as the lone party leader who already holds the dubious honour of being her own party's supporters' second choice for PM, May is throwing her support to their fourth choice (or sixth if one counts "none of the above" and "unsure") in an attempt to stop their first choice. Which only seems likely to alienate both a good chunk of current Green supporters, and anybody who might otherwise have flipped from supporting the Cons.
More of a visual person? Well, the poll AD points to summarizes Greens' first choice for prime minister as the following:

Harper in first place, May in second, Layton in third, and Dion in fourth. That's a terribly amusing statistic. Kind of hilarious, really.

Let's not stop there, though! While the data sets for the other parties aren't quite so funny, they're still pretty interesting. Here, for example, is the Liberals' chart:

And here's the Conservatives':

And here's the NDP's:

And here's the Bloc's:

And most of interest to all the parties trying to sway new voters, the undecideds:

Some fun facts about the data:
  • An awful lot of Canadians are planning to vote for parties other than the party with the leader they'd most like to see as PM.
  • The only party leaders to have more than 50% support for PM by their own parties are Harper and Duceppe.
  • More than a quarter of Liberal voters prefer Harper to Dion.
  • The party least likely to think Harper would make the best prime minister is the NDP. And yet even that number is greater than the number of NDP voters who would pick Dion as their first choice.
  • Apart from partisan Greens, the most likely party to name May as best PM is the NDP.
  • Of all the parties' supporters, Green voters are most likely to say "none of the above" as their first choice.
  • The undecideds' first choice for PM is Harper, even over "unsure."
  • A number greater than zero of all of the major parties' voters thinks the best prime minister of Canada would be Gilles Duceppe.
What I'm really curious about is people's second choices for PM. Too bad that question wasn't included.


KevinG said...

Two minutes for roughing.

Jason Cherniak said...

The question was "Of the following individuals, who do you think would make the best Prime Minister?" That's different than asking "who do you want to be Prime Minister"

Idealistic Pragmatist said...


Good point. That explains some of the surprising conflicts in the data in terms of people voting for particular parties but not naming that party's leader as their top choice for PM.

West End Bound said...

Great graphics, IP . . . Guess that makes me a "visual person".

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

west end bound,

Yeah, me too. :-)

Stephen said...

As far as I can tell, we don't know how the questions were worded.

Erik Sorenson said...

Re: second choice. I listened to Stephen Taylor's interview with Nik Nanos of SES and he said, in every case, Harper was the second choice.Not CPC, obviously.

Summitcrazy said...

The wording of polls certainly can be misleading for respondents in these types of surveys. But I also think that we socialists like myself view the results we have this corrupted part of our brain saying you can't trust Stephen Harper as the result of the 2004 Liberal Campaign. I may disagree with alot of his possistions but at least I know what his posistions are and I know what priorities he is putting forward. With the exception of a few broken promises he has managed to come through on a great deal of his campaign promises which under the liberals we would be lucky to see 2 or 3 promises kept from a previous election.

So I think we do need to give some credit where credit is due. I think this polls shows that recognize the leadership of this individual but they don't agree with all of the policy that his party stands for when you look at other polls.

Anonymous said...

Amazing, really, on how Harper's achieved such favour among the voters.
This is the same guy who was noted last election for lacking any charisma.