Friday, May 27, 2016

More provincial aggregates added

More provincial polling averages have been added to the site today. You can access the one for New Brunswick here

The averages for Quebec, including regional and linguistic breakdowns, can be found here. The latest poll from the province was out just this past week.

The averages for Alberta are here.

And in case you missed them last week, pages for Nova Scotia and Ontario were also added.

For future reference, these averages can be found in the right-hand column of the site further down the page. 

The Pollcast: The Stephen Harper years and beyond

Stephen Harper will speak to party members on Thursday evening at the Conservative Party's policy convention in Vancouver. It could be some of the last words he will speak in public as an elected member of Parliament.

Canada's 22nd prime minister is expected to resign his Calgary Heritage seat before the fall, a seat he has held since returning to federal politics in a by-election in 2002. 

As leader of the Canadian Alliance, Harper led the party into a merger with the Progressive Conservatives in 2003. He then led the merged party to power in 2006, where it remained until it was defeated by Justin Trudeau's Liberals in October.

Harper's 10 years in office have left an impact on the political landscape of the country and shaped the modern Conservative Party. How will Canadians remember his time as prime minister and what will the Conservative Party look like without the only permanent leader it has ever known?

Joining me to look at Stephen Harper's legacy and the future of the Conservative Party is Postmedia's Ottawa political bureau chief, John Ivison.

You can listen to the latest episode of the Pollcast here.

Canadians shrug off Justin Trudeau's elbow, polls suggest

The altercation in the House of Commons last week between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and members of the opposition captured Canadians' attention, but two polls published this week suggest a majority of those Canadians have shrugged it off like a wayward elbow on a crowded subway.

The latest poll, conducted by Ipsos for Global News, shows that 63 per cent of Canadians feel the tussle was "no big deal," a "momentary lapse of judgment" on the part of the prime minister, and that "we should all just move on."

You can read the rest of this article here.

Leadership race rules could exacerbate Conservative Party divisions

The Conservative policy convention being held this week in Vancouver will help determine the future of the party. But how much of the party's divided past is still a factor, more than 12 years after the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives united the right as the Conservative Party of Canada?

Compared to the Liberals and New Democrats, the Conservative support base is split more evenly between its centrist supporters and those on the edges of the political spectrum.

Polling data provided by Abacus Data suggests that 45 per cent of Conservative voters self-identify as being centrist, compared to 45 per cent who say they are either on the centre-right or right.

You can read the rest of this article here.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Provincial poll aggregations to be added

You may have noticed last week that I added a poll aggregation page for the upcoming provincial election in British Columbia. It is at the top of the right-hand column of the site.

Today, I have also added one for Nova Scotia and one for Ontario (they are a little further down the right-hand column).

My intention is to continue adding these pages until I have one for all 10 provinces. Links to them will be in the right-hand column, and they will be ordered from top to bottom according to the electoral calendar.

Though there are not always a lot of polls for every province, I've set these up so that they can be an easy reference for the latest polls. Each page features an aggregation (including a regional aggregation, if regional breakdowns exist), the monthly poll averages chart for the province, and links to all recent polls so that you can read them yourselves.

As time allows, I will add seat projections to these pages.

As I'm sure long-time readers have noticed, I have cut down drastically on original content here on The reason is simple — because I now work for the CBC, I do not have the time or energy to dedicate to original content here. I hope that these provincial poll reference pages (in addition to a federal one eventually) will give you reason to still come to the site frequently.

I will also continue to post snippets and links to my articles and podcasts for the CBC. That's the analysis you can expect to find here on a daily basis, whereas the provincial poll averages will be updated on a weekly basis as new polls are published.

I've also changed the font used at to update the look of the site, which was getting very dated. A small tweak that I hope makes the site a little more readable. Obviously a complete overhaul of the design would be better, but that is not in the cards for the time being.

Comments on these changes are welcome!

The Pollcast: The state of the Conservative leadership race

With Michael Chong launching his leadership campaign this week, the race to replace Stephen Harper now has three contestants. What are their chances?

With a year to go before members of the Conservative Party cast ballots, Chong has joined fellow Ontario MP Kellie Leitch and Quebec MP Maxime Bernier in the marathon race. None of them, however, are seen as front runners — which is why they have launched their campaigns early in order to build up their profile and organization.

Can they use the time ahead of them to build a constituency large enough within the party to prevail? What impact might the upcoming party convention have on the race? And who will be the next Conservative to throw his or her hat into the ring?

Joining me to break down the race are Conservative insiders Tim Powers of Summa Strategies and Chad Rogers of Crestview Strategy.

You can listen to the latest episode of the Pollcast here.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton: not a coin toss yet

Last week, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had drawn almost even in a general election match-up. The gap between the two candidates had dropped to just one point.

Headlines blared that the race for the White House was a toss-up. Clinton and Trump were neck-and-neck. Much ink was spilled.

The next day, Reuters/Ipsos was back in the field with their five-day rolling poll. This time, the gap between the two candidates had widened again to four points, a more conventional margin. The poll went mostly unnoticed.

Welcome to the fevered coverage of public opinion polling in the U.S. presidential election, which will culminate a mere 173 days from now. Expect polls which show a competitive race to get outsized attention compared to their duller counterparts.

You can read the rest of this analysis of the U.S. election here.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Pollcast: The Liberals' electoral reform gambit

On Wednesday, the Liberals announced they would be striking an all-party committee to study options for changing the way Canadians vote. The intention is to ensure that the 2015 election will be the last decided under the first-past-the-post system.

But this all-party committee includes two parties, the Greens and Bloc Québécois, that won't be able to vote on how Canadians should vote. And a majority of the seats on the committee will be held by Liberals.

Has the Liberal government stacked the deck in their favour, as the opposition parties claim? What about holding a referendum to put the government's electoral reform proposal to Canadians? And can a change to the way Canadians vote be implemented in time for the next election in 2019?

Joining me to try to answer these questions on the latest episode of the Pollcast are the CBC Parliamentary Bureau's Aaron Wherry and Alison Crawford.

You can listen to this podcast here.

Partisan interests difficult to avoid in electoral reform debate

"This is not about what's good for one party over another," said Maryam Monsef, minister of democratic institutions, on Wednesday after announcing the Liberal plan to set up a committee that will look into changing the voting system.

"This is about what's in the best interests of Canadians."

Maybe. But the fact remains that some parties stand to do better than others, depending on which rules are in place by the next election. And the people who will be deciding on the rules just happen to be those who will be most affected by them.

You can read the rest of this analysis on electoral reform here.

How Conservative and NDP leadership contenders stack up on the money

Money talks — especially in party leadership races, and the money raised in recent years by potential Conservative and NDP leadership contestants suggests that a few candidates could prove to be more formidable than currently thought.

And others may have more of an uphill climb ahead of them.

Contributions received by sitting MPs, as reported in the financial returns of their electoral district associations can be indicative of a leadership contestant's potential success.

You can read the rest of this article here.