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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

6/10/2004

Numbers and Gender

Conservatives 37%,
Liberals 32%, NDP 17%, BQ 10%, Green 5%.

We've had a chance to crunch the gender numbers and it looks like the focus
on social conservatism has negatively impacted the Conservatives ability to
attract female voters. This may be an obstacle to Conservative growth.
Also, over a one week period, the percentage of undecided female voters has
increased. Looks like women may have a significant impact on who wins the
election. We have posted a table of the gender breakdown on our website
www.sesresearch.com.
SES
Which brings up the question, "What do women want?"

While unlimited access to abortion is almost certainly not it, the notion that men and women want and expect different things in politics is well established. From the conservatives end this is, at best, mixed news. A good deal of what the Conservatives are on about is fairly hard edged. The theory of gender based politics is that women do not like hard edged platforms.

Frankly, I think that theory is bunk. Most women have a keen sense of the value of a dollar and, in many cases, rather higher standards for ethical conduct than their male counterparts. The waste and corruption of the Liberals can and should offset the split issues like Iraq and abortion.

It is significant that the female undecideds are going up. At a guess, pre-writ, there would have been a female preference for the Grits; now its a new game entirely.