At least that's the story according to the-above-the-fold front page headline in today's Vancouver Sun.
Analysis: Strategic voting can be confusing and can easily backfire.
As you might expect, the actual story by Peter O'Neil is not nearly so 'scary'.
But still there is this bit, wherein Mr. O'Neil focuses on one of the most muddled ridings in all of British Columbia:
...The new riding of Vancouver Granville, for example, might turn out to be the subject of an academic thesis on the risks of strategic voting.
An organization called Leadnow had two polls done by the firm Environics, one in August and one in September, suggesting that the NDP’s Mira Oreck had a modest lead and was in a better position than Liberal Jody Wilson-Raybould to defeat the Conservative candidate.
For months Leadnow has done door-to-door canvassing, while providing voters with that data.
But things became murky on Tuesday when Leadnow issued a new Environics poll for that riding showing the Liberals at 35 per cent, the NDP at 33 per cent, the Conservatives under candidate Erinn Broshko at 28 per cent and the Greens’ Michael Barkusky at four per cent. That poll of 505 respondents, done Oct. 9 through 11 and using automated voice technology, had an error margin of 4.4 percentage points, putting the Liberals and NDP at a statistical tie.
But another poll, sponsored by Friends of Canadian broadcasting and conducted by Mainstreet Research on Oct. 8, had the Liberals way ahead there. It used similar technology but with a larger sample size (665) and resulting lower error margin (3.7 percentage points). That poll put 44 per cent of decided and leaning voters with the Liberals, 28 per cent with the NDP, 20 per cent with the Conservatives, and nine per cent with the Greens...
Mr. O'Neil then goes on to confuse the issue further by treating aggreators and riding-specific polls equally. The problem with that is that even the best of the aggegators, Eric Grenier, makes it clear that the aggregators become, essentially, only marginally better than chance when things are really close (scroll down).
And, as we noted yesterday, Vancouver Granville is one of the true exceptions in that it really is just too close to call for either the Dipper or the Liberal at this point. Regardless, it is still very, very clear that a vote for the Green candidate in that riding is a vote for the Stealth-Con.
Of course, the thing that Mr. O'Neil does not delve into in any depth is the fact that there are numerous other ridings in British Columbia where the Strategic Voting choice is already pretty much crystal clear, as we and others have also pointed out recently.
What is this really all about Alfie?
I mean, honestly, are the fine folks running the VSun actually suggesting that the seventy percent of us who want our country back should just roll over and play dead?
Paying attention is just too damned hard or something.
Interestingly, in his kicker, Mr. O'Neil quotes political scientist Richard Johnston as saying that no one should trust polling info that is more than a few days old when making their ultimate decision...I agree with that, especially in ridings where things are close...Perhaps more interestingly Mr. O'Neil failed to mention how a riding specific-poll in very close race helped save Esquimalt from the Cons in 2011...Imagine that!