Gun Registry Poll

The latest gun registry poll represents a fascinating change in public sentiment, but not necessarily that bad a result from the Conservative perspective.

I’ve watched these registry polls for some time. Up until the debate reached crescendo, little movement, but once we had vested interests picking side, the pro registry side numbers moved noticeably. This Ipsos Reid poll only confirms the end game opinion.

When you drill down into the numbers, while it’s true that we Liberals could benefit, it’s also true that the Conservatives don’t really suffer, possibly gain. Just as the national polls have shown, the NDP are the ones with the chief problem moving forward. Whether the gun registry remains a key issue during the next campaign remains to be seen, but I would expect the Conservatives to push it- that fact in and of itself supports the notion that the numbers still can work for their side.

If you look at who supports the registry, you find a healthy majority in this poll. However, when you look at who will vote, and who is most passionate, it becomes a bit less cut and dry. Young people don’t vote, relative to the other subsets, so when we look at the real key demographics, the Conservatives find some comfort. 47% of people over 55 don’t support the registry, a finding that is heightened by expected election turnout. You can’t simply look at the overall numbers, because the Conservatives once again benefit from the 3 against 1 scenario, the anti registry vote is theirs, and theirs alone. This simple fact almost makes majority, no majority talk irrelevant, because per usual the Conservative benefit from divided opposition. 

A key finding:

Of New Democrats, 14% said it makes them want to vote for a party that advocates killing the registry, while nine% indicate they still want to support a party that supports it.

The Conservative base is largely not in play, but we see that a full 1/3 of NDP support is against the registry. The above highlights why this issue could be problematic. The question then becomes who stands to benefit from this divide. It is fair to say, most of this dissent is rural, and the Conservatives are the main competition. It is for this reason, that when you take these overwhelming support numbers on balance, it isn’t necessarily the bad news finding that first blush suggests.

However, it is also true that this poll provides plenty of upside for the Liberals. The Liberals have a large pool of voters who do support their position on the registry. The fact the Liberals took the lead role in advocating for the registry, while the NDP comes off with a confusing stance, could help in a campaign. There are a few Liberal seats that could be affected by this issue, but that is balanced by the overall distribution of support.

This poll strikes me as one that we shouldn’t see an "either/or" in terms of advantage. In fact, while I think the numbers are probably best for the Liberals, one can just as easily see some upside for the Conservatives. All that said, there is little question, that these numbers, like recent horserace ones, leave the NDP wanting and vulnerable to some degree. 

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2 Comments

  1. What they NEED is a poll to find out just how many people that support a registry, actually KNOW what the registry does? Many comments from Liberal and NDP MP’s including Iggy hisself, do not even have a clue what the registry does. Virtually EVERY argument they put forward is dealt with in licensing and NOT the registry. The RCMP HAD a registry that started in the 70’s with the FAC which took all the same firearm information as they do now, and they abandoned it and even destroyed many of the records, calling useless and a waste of money. If it was useless and a waste of money then, it’s every bit as useless and a waste of money now.
    Canadians are politically Groomed Victims. Living in a culture of defenselessness ..
    Don’t forget to thank a Liberal for this at the next election.

  2. Steve, Val, perhaps you could do your readers a service, and tell them exactly what falls under the Firearms Act (Bill C-68)… go into detail about PAL and RPAL licensing, the registry, safe storage laws, background checks, the provisions of the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code that pertain to long gun ownership, the penalties for non-compliance… and let your readers understand this at the same level we firearms owners do… and then let them deccomment_IDe if the registry makes them safe, or if its the training, licensing, screening, and storage components of the ACT.

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