On Friday at noon ET, Nik Nanos of Nanos Research joined The Globe and Mail online to take reader questions. Follow the questions and answers below:
[Comment From Nik Nanos (The Pollster)]For the Guergis and Guelph stuff - they are too new. For stories to move the numbers a number of things have to take place, including the opposition parties effectively taking advantage of those opportunities. The Auditor-General's report is a case in point, beyond a few minutes in the English leaders' debate, it was not discussed - so it was a break for Harper and a missed opportunity for the opposition.
Jennifer MacMillan, Globe and Mail Nik, when do you expect the impact of the news about Guergis and Guelph might show up in future polls?
[Comment From Nik Nanos (The Pollster)]/b> Because we do a three-day rolling sample, the full impact, if any, would not be known until three days later - so for us, we would monitor the weekend.
Jennifer MacMillan, Globe and Mail Do you think the statements by Helena Guergis, and how Harper and the other leaders have responded, will register with voters outside of Guergis' riding?
[Comment From Nik Nanos (The Pollster)]This is a tricky issue for Harper on a number of levels - first, because it could be used to represent a particular leadership style, second because there is the issue of fairness of treatment and finally because Helena Guergis was a female cabinet minister. For the Tories to have any sort of chance for a majority they need to be competitive among women (who are currently more undecided than men) - so he has to be careful in how he manages this.
Jennifer MacMillan, Globe and Mail Nik, we're getting several questions about the youth vote. A lot of people are wondering:
a) Will youth turn out in bigger numbers for this election than they have in the past?
b) Is it possible that youth aren't being accurately represented in polls because they predominantly use cell phones instead of landlines?
[Comment From Nik Nanos (The Pollster)]To engage youth a number of things have to happen. First, there needs to be relevance - for our federal leaders to talk about issues young Canadians are concerned about. Maybe it's talk about our democracy... The second thing needed is authenticity - more youthful thinking from our leaders.
On the polling front, I believe it is accurate. Here is a great link on the subject of youth and polling and cells - we follow this technical approach. If you are a propeller head - you'll love this as a first dip into the topic: http://bit.ly/cellsample
[Comment From MikeB]/b> Do you think the debates had the effect of shoring up Conservative support without necessarily raising it?
[Comment From Nik Nanos (The Pollster)]/b> Based on the first two nights of post-debate polling, Conservative support has remained steady, even though the Nanos Leadership Index showed that Canadians believed that Harper had a very strong showing. Basically a recognition of a good job but not a growth in support. I expect the Conservative supporters to be more firm based on his performance.
[Comment From queerthoughts]/b> How does the NDP look in Quebec and how might that translate into seats for them, and how will the LPC/CPC do with more NDP votes in Quebec?
[Comment From Nik Nanos (The Pollster)]/b> Jack Layton's leadership numbers are very strong in Quebec, and the NDP are in a three-way statistical tie with the other federalist parties. Looking at the numbers from last night they are at 18.1 per cent - this compares to the last election where they hit 12.2 per cent in Quebec. Positive news for the NDP but they need a concentration of support to win more seats - or a blow-up from the other party leaders in Quebec.
[Comment From Alex]/b> Why is polling not done to project the outcome of ridings won by a party?
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