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NDP Leadership Race Polls

While the LeaderPost published a poll of voter intentions in the province for the provincial NDP leader, I was curious when I heard about some internal polling done by the candidates themselves.  Over the last couple of weeks the Broten, Meili, and Wotherspoon campaigns have all done some polling.  Interestingly enough, the buzz is that both the Wotherspoon campaign has commissioned two polls right after the other.  If you don’t like the results of the first poll, maybe you just keep polling?

The Broten campaign has been the only one talking about the results which if accurate, makes sense.  It is bad news for both Ryan Meili and Trent Wotherspoon.  I know Nate Silver says to not believe campaign polling but it’s all we have.  Until the Wotherspoon and Meili camps post their numbers, I only have the Broten numbers to go on and here they are.  

When I looked at the poll, it was done by Public Polling Inc which is a polling company out of Toronto (there is a Saskatchewan Party attack ad in there someplace).  It was a large poll with a margin of error is only +/- 2.2%.   The poll asked two basic questions — (1) “If you were to vote for the new NDP leader today, who would be your first choice?” and (2) “Who would be your second choice for the new NDP Leader?”  The results of the poll show the following breakdown of first ballot support among decided voters throughout the entire province:

If the poll is correct, it looks like a 3rd ballot victory for Cam Broten and he would become the next leader of the opposition.  Trent Wotherspoon has either lost his support or pundits have really overestimated his support in the first place.  Maybe that is why he is polling so much.  According to the poll, Broten is the second choice of most of the people surveyed.  With the NDP at about 11,000 members and with the vast majority of them casting a ballot; I can’t see the convention floor delegates having enough votes to change the outcome but I have been wrong many times before.

The end result is that a) it’s going to be a boring convention b) Cam Broten will become the next leader of the opposition c) the Saskatchewan Party is probably already cutting the attack ads on Broten as I post this.

It also means that 2015 is going to be an interesting election. 

Update: I immediately was emailed as asked if who I was voting for.  I am not a member of any political party and therefore won’t be casting a ballot in this race.  I am just looking at it from the outside.

10 Comments

  1. I should think it’s a trifle dubious to treat one campaign’s internal polling as though it is the most accurate, particularly when it is at such variance with the one public poll. For me, it also begs another question: If Cam Broten is in the lead, why does he trail both Ryan Meili and Trent Wotherspoon in fundraising, and by such a significant margin? I’d be curious to know how you think that circle might be squared.

    By way of full disclosure, I am a Meili supporter and, while heavily involved in some aspects of the campaign, I have seen no internal polling.

  2. If the other campaigns want to release their polls, I offer pithy feedback here as well. I am only going with the polls that have been published.

    As for the difference in the public polls, those are done all of the time are done from a much larger sample, most of who don’t vote in the leadership election.

    As for fundraising, I am told that Broten pushed his supporters to give to the NDP at years end so the war chest would be full to fight the Sask Party rather than to his campaign.

  3. Chad says:

    If you have zero momentum what a better way to cover that over with your own poll!

  4. aarongenest says:

    Hey Jordon. Lots of respect from here for your continued writing and engagement with politics in the province and the city.

    I’m worried that you’re being played a little. Something that looks a lot like this poll has been circulating for a week or two already, so the timing of releasing it to you within 48 hours of the Praxis poll is interesting to me. I’m also aware of a poll promoted in a mail-out by the Broten campaign as “independent” that appears identical to the one you saw. You comment that the one you saw was internal, and I’m inclined to agree based on what I’ve seen. At least internal in the sense that it was paid for by the Broten campaign, which means that any questions were, by law, required to be prefaced with a statement that the call was on behalf of the Broten campaign.

    You’ve made excellent points about Silver’s comments about internal polls and the lack of any data, including internal data from the other candidates. Without the numbers from the other campaigns, we can only comment on the apparent validity or invalidity of this one. Despite the confidence range, I’m inclined to take this one with a significant grain of salt: in addition to the internal issue, it was also an IVR poll, which always skew along certain lines… older voters respond in greater preponderance and the name recognition provided at the beginning (with the announcement of sponsorship) skews heavily.

    Without seeing any more details from this poll, it’s fluff. That and I have seen internal polling from other candidates that disagrees equally strongly. Of course, that too could be fluff.

    In the end, I can’t imagine that we can know what the validity of the poll is until election day… and even then, things may have changed. What does upset me is that it appears that this is being used as a weapon from the Broten team specifically against the Wotherspoon team. This makes me sad, since I had hoped not to see this kind of behaviour in this election. I’m also upset that they may be trying to use your very valid desire to write about it as a way of spreading the attack more widely.

    Again, I appreciate your writing. Keep it up!

    ./A

    P.S. As you know, I’m helping with the Meili candidacy. Interestingly, we’ve interpreted this poll and the results as not much of an attack on Meili. So this isn’t really motivated by partisanship. Honestly.

    P.P.S. On further reflection, the independent/internal thing really steams me. I went back and looked at my copy of the letter from the Broten campaign: “a recent poll conducted by an independent opinion research firm” is how it’s put. Technically, they’re not saying it’s independent, but they sure are implying that. How else would you run an effective poll in this kind of election? Getting your volunteers to call people? If that were valid polling, all the candidates would be claiming victory.

    1. Aaron, of course I am being played. It’s an INTERNAL poll but I looked at the methodology and realized that it was reliable enough to trust.

      I know you are part of the Meili campaign and of course you guys are going to doubt the poll because when you are losing, all polls are suspect and when you are winning, they are correct. A long time ago I played the same game, when we were losing and winning.

      There was some internal polling being done during the last civic election with similar technology and the results were dead on so I have some confidence in the numbers and the methodology but who knows.

      As for your comments on if being an attack on Wotherspoon, this is your party’s civil war and for you all to settle. I am not a New Democrat or a member of any party (until Joe Clark makes a comeback, then I am back in…). When I found out about the poll, I asked some questions and decided to post it. If the Meili or Wotherspoon campaign’s have contradictory numbers, I’d love to post them here.

      Good luck with the campaign.

      1. aarongenest says:

        Fair enough. I know you’re not affiliated at all with this race, and it frankly makes me happy, since the commentary is that much more interesting. I appreciate your considered response, in any case.

        We do have numbers that were reached with the same (or highly similar) methodology, of course, as does the Wotherspoon campaign, I imagine. I’m not sure what to think about their multiple polling, if that’s really happening. Perhaps they’re just looking at different demographics. At this point, the only thing I really believe is that it’s going to be an interesting and fun convention.

        I do sincerely hope it’s not actually a civil war. Or at least that it remains very civil.

        Just thought I’d mention that as part of Charlie’s campaign in the civic election we did similar polling and it vastly underestimated our support and that of Chad. Interesting, eh?

        Cheers and thanks for the best wishes.

        Oh… and if Joe comes back, I’m quitting my job to volunteer. See you in the war room.

        1. As for my civil war comments, I know you have called for a kind of gentler politics but I think the NDP leadership campaign should be tough because if Ryan or Cam wins, on day 3 of their job, the Saskatchewan Party is going to run some devastating attack ads that will try to define them in an unfair and unnuanced way.

          Politics isn’t fun and I personally think that the NDP leadership campaign hasn’t been that tough. Parties can have tough races (83 with Mulroney/Clark) and come together and do great things.

          1. Chris Randall says:

            Jordon, i really enjoy your blogs – that said, I think I learned more from the comments them from the initial blog post.. thanks for the discussion both Jordon & Aaron.

  5. Daniel C says:

    Good post Jordon very interesting race. I can guess who the Sask Party would love to see win

    1. I think Brad Wall is bankrolling Erin Weir’s campaign personally :-)

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