Sunday, October 11, 2015

Election 2015: The Dramatic Tale of the Debates

Just a note for future elections: Debates count. A lot! Far more than most people realize.

And the most recent poll by Signal / Toronto Star shows that even debates designed to avoid having millions of Canadians watch them, as our recent series were, count.

Here’s a snapshot of voting preferences for the period August 30 until yesterday, with the time of each debate shown by a vertical line. In each and every area of the country, the debates moved the needle, but not to the same extent.

Let’s start with the national polls - note the takeoff of Justin and the start of the downward trend of Mulcair:

Now let’s see what happened in Ontario - note the significance of Justin's performance in the foreign policy and second French debates - these are the points when Harper lost Ontario

And in Quebec - the significant trend here is the Dog that did not bark in the night (that is, for those not familiar with Sherlock Holmes, the absence of any uptick in the steady downward trend of the Mulcair/NDP support since before August 30 - it's as if the debates just did not take place):

And the Liberal bastion of the Atlantic provinces:

And in the prairies - Justin takes off after the foreign policy debate, when he showed he was ready to govern over foreign events:

And in Battleground BC - the foreign policy debate kickstarted a steep rise in Justin's fortunes:

And the needle even moved in Tory Fortress Alberta - Justin moved ahead of Mulcair with the first debate, and kept increasing the gap:

So the lesson for party leaders in future elections is this: Treat the debates as life and death events.

Because they are.

Just ask Thomas Mulcair. And Stephen Harper.

They know. Now.

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