Wednesday, October 01, 2008

On leadership

Paul Wells points out the party standings in the latest CROP Quebec polling which shows the New Democrats tied with the Libs at 16% in the party standings. But there's another finding which looks to be far more significant, as Jack Layton is now up to 27% in the "best prime minister" numbers in the province - only five points behind Harper's 32%.

So what makes that important? While regional and national polls alike have consistently shown Layton ahead of Stephane Dion for second place in "best PM" numbers, this appears to be the first poll where Layton is more than a distant second behind Harper. And as long as neither Layton nor Dion moved near Harper's territory, the obvious story to be told was about Harper's lead rather than any race for the position.

Now, Layton is breathing down Harper's neck in Quebec in a poll which mirrors the preferred ballot question for both the New Democrats and the Cons. And he's arrived in that position just in time to get to make his case in tonight's French debate - offering an ideal opportunity to convert positive personal impressions into party support.

Of course, there's never any guarantee as to how well the effort will work. But all indications seem to be that Layton is peaking at just the right time to firm up any soft Quebec support as well as push leaners into the New Democrats' corner. And if he's able to get that done in Quebec tomorrow - and make that the narrative which emerges out of the debate - then that can only set the stage for a similar national push for the rest of the campaign.

No comments:

Post a Comment