Monday, September 26, 2011

Canadian election: Who switched parties in the last week? And why?

The EKOS survey taken after the election throws some interesting light on the Changers. The G&M article is here, and the poll results are here

Scott's Diatribes deals with another facet of the poll results – click here to see this.

This extract I find very interesting:

Voting intentions were very stable:

Almost 3/4 did not change their minds about who they were going to vote for, while 1 in 5 (21%) did.

However, of the Changers, the majority waited until the last week to switch, according to their recollection in the follow up poll. Whether they actually did wait that long is impossible to say; certainly, they said they did.

So we have just under 60% of the Changers shifting in the last week. What does this say about the campaign? Clearly, right up until election day, minds will be changed. What is not certain, and possibly almost impossible to find out and to verify, is why these people changed their minds in the last week.

One thing parties have to consider is the need for a barrage of simple, theme-based advertising in the last week, just in case this will entice the Changers to change their minds.

Successful Tory framing won the day:

Another finding should give Liberals and Dippers pause for thought. For years now, the Harper new Tories have consistently and effectively used the political technique of framing far more than the other two parties have. 

Despite it being crystal clear for years that the Liberals and NDP had not learned from the right wing strategies in the US, while the Tories – who had experts from America come up here to teach them how to do it – had adopted and perfected for the Canadian environment the fine art of framing, many of us watching the battles found that the Liberals and NDP seemed almost oblivious to what was going on.

And both parties paid a price. Harper's majority came about because he was able to move the Changers who moved to him with his framing: this is clearly shown by the fact that 75% of those 1 in 5 voters who did change their minds and vote Tory during the campaign, did so because they bought into Harper's two frames – 43% bought the argument that it was time for a majority government,  and 32% that we needed to stay on a sound economic trajectory.

Both those frames were Harper's; the Tories hammered them home repeatedly before and during the election campaign in May.

What is equally clear is that neither the Liberals nor the NDP were able to hammer home their frames or themes. 

Liberal advisor nonsense about Harper "stealing" the Liberal platform:

Another lesson Liberals should learn from these results and the successful Tory framing that shifted 3 out of 4 of the Changers, is that the reluctance of the Liberal advisors to reveal the Liberal platform until the write was dropped, was nonsense, as many of us argued at the time.

The Liberals might have been much better off if they had revealed their platform well before the election, and then spent a lot of time on framing the issues.

The fact that Harper won his majority with his twin Majority Now and Stability Now frames – which moved most Changers who in turn comprised one in five of the voters – shows to me that the ridiculous beliefs of some advisors and commentators that the Tories would steal the Liberal platform ideas if the platform was released before the campaign started  were nonsensical.

Harper did not need to steal any Liberal idea to win his majority. He simply did what he had been doing consitently for years: he outframed the hapless Liberal pros, and capitalized on his third framing – that some form of cooperation between Liberals and Dippers post election would, in a minority government setting, create instability.

His ability to use these twin Majority Now and Stability Now frames also derived from the lamentable lack of discussion between the Liberal and NDP parties about what shape such cooperation would take. Ignatieff's insistence that such talk belonged post-election simply opened the door for Harper to frame the issue as in itself creating instability, and to paint himself and his party as the source of stability.

Perhaps the opposition parties will learn from these results?

1 comment :

  1. Mr Graves is trying to take the heat off of pollsters for changing the vote by their crooked polls..Pollster always have some kind of angle to make them look genuine.


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