Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Progression of the Projection

This chart shows the trend in projections this site has made since January.

Monday, March 30, 2009

New Poll: Léger Marketing

Léger Marketing released a new poll today, taken between March 18 and March 23 and involving 1,508 interviews. Here are the national results:

Liberals - 35%
Conservatives - 34%
New Democrats - 14%
Bloc Quebecois - 9%
Greens - 6%

And now Quebec:

Bloc Quebecois - 42%
Liberals - 33%
Conservatives - 12%
New Democrats - 10%
Greens - 3%

And Ontario:

Liberals - 45%
Conservatives - 35%
New Democrats - 12%
Greens - 8%

The only other regional poll worth mentioning is that for British Columbia:

Conservatives - 37%
Liberals - 29%
New Democrats - 24%
Greens - 8%

The poll also asked who Canadians felt was the best to handle the economy. Michael Ignatieff got 41% compared to Stephen Harper's 33%. As to who would be the best Prime Minister, Ignatieff got 31%, Harper got 28%, and Jack Layton got 15%. Taking this with the voting intentions, this is not a good poll for the Conservatives.

The projection has changed as well, with all parties gaining or losing seats. The Conservatives are down two to 134, thanks to a seat loss in Ontario and Quebec each. The Liberals are up two to 105, gaining a seat in Ontario and the Prairies. The NDP is down one to 19, losing a seat in the Prairies, and the Bloc is up one to 50. Nationally, the popular vote has changed:

Liberals +0.3
Bloc -0.0
Greens -0.1
New Democrats -0.1
Conservatives -0.2

This Léger Marketing poll closely follows the recent Angus-Reid Strategies poll which put the Liberals and Conservatives in a dead-heat, with the Liberals given the edge. So, this would seem to confirm the situation hinted at in the ARS poll.

In the first week of April, I'll be doing a "March projection", which gives the seat projection when only the March numbers are considered.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Poll: CROP

CROP released a new poll today, taken between March 12 and March 23 and involving 1,001 interviews. The poll concerned Quebec only. The result:

Bloc Quebecois - 35%
Liberals - 30%
Conservatives - 18%
New Democrats - 13%
Greens - 4%

The Bloc is down in this poll, but this seems to be a continuing trend. The Liberals look steady, but the NDP and Conservative numbers are higher than what has been the norm this month. Good news for them.

The poll also asked who would make the best Prime Minister. Michael Ignatieff is the favourite with 35%, followed by Jack Layton at 22% and Stephen Harper at 19%. The Conservatives really need to improve their image in Quebec if they still want to compete.

The poll was also broken down regionally and linguistically. In the region of and around Montreal, the contest is between the Bloc (33%) and the Liberals (32%). The NDP (15%) and Conservatives (14%) aren't in it, but the NDP seem to be back in the game in Outremont. In the region around Quebec, the Conservatives look likely to maintain their seats, as they top the poll with 32%, followed closely by the Bloc (30%). The Liberals (24%) are competitive but unlikely to take a seat. In the regions outside Quebec and Montreal, the Bloc has a solid lead (38%) over the Liberals (29%) and the Conservatives (19%).

Linguistically, the Bloc has the francophone vote with 41%, followed by the Liberals at 27% and the Conservatives at 17%. The non-francophone vote is solidly Liberal at 46%, followed by the Conservatives at 22% and the NDP at 16%. The Bloc is fifth at 6%.

The projection has changed. The relatively strong Conservative result and the weaker Bloc result has caused a seat trade between the two parties, putting the Conservatives at 136 nationally and the Bloc at 49. In terms of popular vote, the Liberals and NDP gained 0.3 points and the Conservatives gained 0.1, while the Bloc lost 0.3 and the Greens lost 0.2.

The poll also included a provincial result (40% PQ, 33% PLQ, 10% ADQ), so you should head over to my Quebec provincial projection part of the site (the Quebec flag on the right side of the page).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monthly Picture: February 2009

The model looks at all polls taken recently that still have some weight. This can extend back several months. I also include past electoral results to "ground" the polling numbers. However, this means the projection is always relatively conservative and doesn't swing widely due to a few recent polls.

I thought it would be interesting to look at what my projection would be based solely on polls taken within the same month. Since March isn't over and it is possible a new poll will come out, I'll start with February. It will also give a basis of comparison with the March results.

The average national support each party received in the four February polls (totaling 3,881 interviews) was:

Conservatives - 34.0%
Liberals - 32.0%
New Democrats - 15.5%
Greens - 9.3%
Bloc Quebecois - 8.8%

Now, for each region, here are the average popular support followed by the seat projection based on those numbers:


Conservatives - 48.0% - 27
Liberals - 24.0% - 8
New Democrats - 20.0% - 1
Greens - 6.0% - 0

ALBERTA (one poll)

Conservatives - 70.0% - 28
Liberals - 17.0% - 0
Greens - 7.0% - 0
New Democrats - 4.0% - 0

PRAIRIES (one poll)

Conservatives - 55.0% - 23
Liberals - 22.0% - 4
New Democrats - 15.0% - 1
Greens - 8.0% - 0

ONTARIO (four polls)

Liberals - 40.5% - 56
Conservatives - 34.8% - 38
New Democrats - 16.3% - 12
Greens - 9.3% - 0

QUEBEC (four polls except Strategic Counsel for BQ and GPC)

Bloc Quebecois - 40.3% - 51
Liberals - 25.8% - 16
Conservatives - 16.8% - 7
New Democrats - 11.8% - 1
Greens - 4.7% - 0

ATLANTIC (two polls)

Liberals - 47.5% - 24
Conservatives - 29.0% - 6
New Democrats - 22.0% - 2
Greens - 2.0% - 0

So, with these numbers (and assuming 2 wins in the North for the Liberals and 1 for the Conservatives), the February projection is:

Conservatives - 130
Liberals - 110
Bloc Quebecois - 51
New Democrats - 17

So, the February results show stronger performances by the Liberals and the Bloc, but weaker for the NDP and the Conservatives. Once March is finished, I imagine the projection for that month will be even closer.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

New Poll: Nanos Research

Nanos Research released a poll today, conducted between March 13 and March 18 and involving 1,002 interviews. The national results:

Liberals - 36%
Conservatives - 33%
New Democrats - 13%
Bloc Quebecois - 10%
Greens - 8%

This is the best poll the Liberals have had since the election. Previously, 34% was their high-watermark, back in early January, also in a Nanos poll. The Ontario result:

Liberals - 44%
Conservatives - 31%
New Democrats - 14%
Greens - 10%

Again, this is a high for the Liberals, their previous high being 43% in a Strategic Counsel poll in early February. The Quebec result:

Bloc Quebecois - 36%
Liberals - 32%
Conservatives - 19%
New Democrats - 7%
Greens - 6%

This is on the high level for the Liberals, but not out of the ordinary. The Bloc result is the lowest since late January in an Angus-Reid poll, but the Conservative result is the highest since that poll as well. The NDP result, however, is the lowest result they've had since the 2008 election.

There is an Atlantic result with you can see in the detailed table below, as well as a West result which hasn't been entered into the model but I will present here for you:

Conservatives - 46%
Liberals - 30%
New Democrats - 15%
Greens - 10%

In addition, Nanos asked which leader would make the best Prime Minister. Stephen Harper led the pack with 33%, followed by Michael Ignatieff at 27% and Jack Layton at 12%. Harper was most popular in the West (48%) but least popular in Quebec (14%), continuing a worrying trend for Harper's personal appeal in that province. Ignatieff got his best result in Ontario (33%), but his worst in the West (21%). However, as is the case in virtually every poll, the Ignatieff result has far less variation than Harper, demonstrating he is a bit more of a "national" leader. Layton, surprisingly, had his best result in Quebec (19%) and his worst in the West (9%).

The projection has changed, as the Liberals (103) continue to creep up on the Conservatives, who are down one seat to 135. The national popular vote has also changed:

Liberals +0.2
Bloc Quebecois +0.0
Greens +0.0
New Democrats -0.1
Conservatives -0.1

In Ontario, the Liberals are starting to pull away, gaining 0.1 points while the Conservatives have lost 0.2. There is now a 0.4 point gap between the two. There are no significant regional changes, though it looks like the Liberals and NDP have traded 0.2 in Quebec.

This has to be the most worrisome poll for the Conservatives in a long time. But, there are a few positive points for them. Nanos usually has more favourable Liberal results, and the 19% in Quebec is a reversal in their downward spiral. The Liberals have much to be pleased about, especially their 13-point lead in Ontario and the 4-point gap between them and the Bloc in Quebec. This is another worrying poll for the NDP, and the 7% in Quebec virtually wipes out any hope of gaining a seat in that province and puts Thomas Mulcair in danger. The Bloc has been slowly dropping in support, with polls having them drop one or two points, consecutively. Their opinion poll trend is a steady but slight slope downwards.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Reading Between the Lines: Strategic Counsel

Strategic Counsel released a new poll today concerning the feelings of Canadians towards bailing out the auto industry, taken between March 13 and March 16. Along with regional variations, the poll also listed results according to voting intention. As the poll details how many people of the 1,000 who were asked (and the 828 who committed to one of the parties), I am able to extrapolate the political results from the poll. Nationally, we get this number:

Conservatives - 34%
Liberals - 30%
New Democrats - 18%
Bloc Quebecois - 11%
Greens - 7%

I am also able to extrapolate the Bloc Quebecois result in Quebec, which is 44%. However, since this is not an official national political poll, and so the methods and samples could be different, I won't be adding this to the projection. I just thought it was interesting.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New Poll: Angus-Reid Strategies

Angus Reid Strategies has released a new poll today. It was taken between March 10 and March 11 and involved 1,002 people. Here is the national result:

Conservatives - 35%
Liberals - 31%
New Democrats - 16%
Bloc Quebecois - 10%
Greens - 7%

The Ontario result:

Liberals - 39%
Conservatives - 38%
New Democrats - 12%
Greens - 10%

The decline of the NDP in Ontario continues. They need to do something. I haven't seen the NDP in the news for weeks.

The Quebec result:

Bloc Quebecois - 38%
Liberals - 29%
Conservatives - 16%
New Democrats - 13%
Greens - 3%

The Conservatives continue to have trouble in Quebec, but it isn't the doom and gloom of two recent polls putting them at 10% and 13%. Nevertheless, it is clear the fight is now between the Liberals and the Bloc, but it is difficult to tell whether the Liberal vote is super-concentrated or not.

The poll also had some leadership questions. Stephen Harper was named the best PM by 26% of those polled, followed closely by Michael Ignatieff at 24%. Jack Layton was far behind with 10%. Harper was most popular in Alberta (50%), but way behind in Quebec (11%). That is extremely problematic for him. Ignatieff's best score was in the Prairies (28%) and Quebec (27%), and he did worst in Alberta (18%). Layton did best in Atlantic Canada (15%), but had a dismal 3% in the Prairies.

There are some bright spots for the NDP leader, however. He was named most trustworthy of the three (34%), and also was considered the one who most understood the problems Canadians had (39%). Harper was named the best on the economy (31%). In terms of which leader inspires confidence, which is probably the most important indicator, 30% said Ignatieff, 26% said Layton, and 25% said Harper.

The projection has changed because of this new poll. The Conservatives are down to 136 seats, losing one seat to the Liberals in Ontario, who are now at 102. The national popular vote has changed as follows:

Bloc Quebecois +0.1
New Democrats +0.0
Liberals -0.0
Greens -0.1
Conservatives -0.1

In Ontario, the NDP has dropped 0.3 but the Liberals have gained 0.1, putting them ahead of the Conservatives for the first time since I have begun making projections. In Quebec, the Conservatives and Liberals have traded 0.1 to the Liberal advantage, and the NDP has taken 0.2 from the Greens.

For the Conservatives, this is a decent poll since they are still ahead of the Liberals nationally and are in a statistical tie in Ontario. It is also somewhat better for them in Quebec, though still very worrisome. Their 33% in Atlantic Canada is strong, and they continue to dominate in British Columbia. The Liberals should be worried about their showing in that province, but can be happy to be ahead of the NDP in the prairies and in a dead heat in Ontario. The Quebec numbers continue to look good, though the 36% in the Atlantic is potentially trouble.

The NDP has some positive to take from this poll, as it has them performing better in British Columbia than they have recently and their 13% in Quebec and 29% in Atlantic Canada are better numbers than they have seen for some time. The 12% in Ontario, however, is critical.

The Bloc continues to be steady, though they would like to see the numbers back over 40% soon.

Friday, March 13, 2009

New Harris-Decima Poll

Harris-Decima has released a new poll, taken between February 26 and March 8 and involving 2,000 interviews. So that makes two large polls in recent days. But the result here is very different from the last two Ipsos-Reid and Strategic Counsel polls we've seen. The national results:

Liberals - 33%
Conservatives - 32%
New Democrats - 14%
Greens - 10%
Bloc Quebecois - 9%

We have the Liberals and Conservatives in a dead heat, which is a little different than the slight lead by the Conservatives that was reported in the two other recent polls. This does confirm, however, the weakness of the NDP.

The regional results were also interesting. In British Columbia, the Conservatives are at 38% and the Liberals at 32%, far closer than what we've seen. The NDP is only at 19%, which would be worrisome for them. In Alberta, the Conservatives were listed at 49%, which is low for them.

The Quebec results:

Bloc Quebecois - 39%
Liberals - 32%
Conservatives - 13%
New Democrats - 9%
Greens - 6%

This confirms the Bloc numbers we've seen over the last few weeks, hovering around 40%. The Liberal result, however, is rather strong and the Conservative result gives further evidence that they are in trouble in Quebec.

The Ontario results:

Liberals - 38%
Conservatives - 34%
New Democrats - 13%
Greens - 13%

The NDP is really struggling in Ontario, the only place they could make some real gains. Jack Layton has to be worried about this. Having Thomas Mulcair from Quebec as the deputy party leader is good and all, but the NDP isn't going to grow in Quebec.

The projection itself has changed as well. The Liberals have risen to 101 seats and the NDP has slipped once again, now to 20. The seat loss comes in British Columbia. The +/- projection change nationally is as follows:

Greens +0.4
Liberals +0.3
Bloc Quebecois -0.1
New Democrats -0.2
Conservatives -0.5

Regional changes have been substantial in some places. The NDP and Liberals have more or less traded a point, to the benefit of Michael Ignatieff. In Ontario, the Conservatives have dropped 0.3 and the Liberals have risen 0.1, which is significant in that the two parties are now tied in Ontario. The NDP is down half a point. The Liberals have gained 0.7 in Quebec while the Conservatives have slipped by 0.6 to below 18%.

So, the Coles Notes for this poll are the following: the Conservatives should be concerned everywhere, especially in Quebec. The Liberals should be satisfied, especially in Quebec, but not over-confident. The NDP should be in crisis mode, and the Bloc is steady.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Polls, New Projection!

Strategic Counsel has released a new poll, and Ipsos-Reid was nice enough to send me the details of their poll (thanks!), so there is a new projection! For the rest of the information from the Ipsos-Reid poll, go to the bottom of the page. Here are the highlights from the Strategic Counsel poll, held between March 5-8 and involving 1000 people:

Conservatives - 35%
Liberals - 31%
New Democrats - 16%
Greens - 10%
Bloc Quebecois - 9%

In Ontario:

Conservatives - 41%
Liberals - 37%
New Democrats - 15%
Greens - 8%

In Quebec:

Bloc Quebecois - 40%
Liberals - 30%
Conservatives - 10%
New Democrats - 10%
Greens - 10%

Now this result is interesting, for a few reasons. One, apparently the Green Party has had a disastrous drop from 26% to 10%. What happened?! Oh right, Strategic Counsel messed up the last poll. Two, the Conservatives are down to 10%, the lowest result I've seen since 2005. It's clear that the Conservatives are in trouble in Quebec.

Strategic Counsel also groups the poll by the "West", which can't be entered into my system. But here is the result nonetheless:

Conservatives - 45%
Liberals - 23%
New Democrats - 20%
Greens - 12%

There has been a change in the projection. The Conservatives are down to 137 seats, the Liberals up to 100, the NDP down to 21, and the Bloc up to 50. As for the national popular vote, the change from early February's projection is:

Liberals +0.4
Bloc Quebecois +0.3
Greens +0.2
Conservatives -0.1
New Democrats -0.7

In Ontario, the change is as follows:

Liberals +0.5
Greens +0.1
Conservatives -0.3
New Democrats -0.4

And Quebec:

Bloc Quebecois +0.9
Greens +0.2
Liberals -0.3
Conservatives -0.3
New Democrats -0.6

What do the various parties have to take from this? The Conservatives have to be concerned with what is going on in Quebec, and Ontario is becoming a real battleground. The Liberals have to be pleased with their performance in Quebec and Ontario, but are losing ground in British Columbia. The NDP is in trouble across the board, and needs to re-evaluate their strategy.

Monday, March 9, 2009

New Ipsos-Reid Poll

Ipsos-Reid released a new poll this evening, but it is a little problematic. Ipsos-Reid requires a subscription to read their polls, and so I have to glean what information I can from news reports, which are notoriously incomplete. Because of this, I have been able to update the national popular vote projection, but that's it. All of the other information is incomplete, so I can't enter it into the system. I can, however, report about it here.

Nationally, here are the results:

Conservatives - 37%
Liberals - 33%
New Democrats - 12%
Bloc Quebecois - 10%
Greens - 8%

The numbers here are more or less within the numbers we've seen over the last few months. The NDP result, however, is the lowest since an Ipsos-Reid poll in December. For the projection, it has bumped the Liberals up about half a point and the NDP down half a point.

The regional breakdown mostly mentioned only the Liberals and Conservatives, but here they are anyway:


Bloc Quebecois - 41%
Liberals - 27%
Conservatives - 16%


Conservatives - 50%
Liberals - 26%


Conservatives - 70%
Liberals - 15%


Liberals - 42%
Conservatives - 37%


Conservatives - 49%
Liberals - 28%


Liberals - 41%
Conservatives 29%

There are no real surprises in these numbers. Were I able to enter them into the model, there wouldn't be much of an effect.

Once I have some more information (and if any of you obtain it, please contact me!) I can update the regional projections and so get some seat projections. Until then, this is what we have to work with.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Angus Reid Afghanistan Poll

Some interesting results from the latest poll from Angus Reid Strategies.

When asked whether Canadian troops should leave Afghanistan before, in, or after 2011 (as is scheduled), a surprising 48% believe that the troops should be pulled out before 2011. Only 35% believe we should stick to our pledge of 2011, and a mere 7% believe we should stay.

Regionally, Atlantic Canada and Quebec are most for pulling out before 2011, with 55% and 54%, respectively. Only more people in the Prairies believe that we should leave as scheduled than pull out early. It's a little unexpected. Most support for staying after 2011 comes from Alberta (11%).

When asked if Afghanistan will be able to look after itself without the help of other nations after 2011, only 16% believe this is so, while 48% believe it is not. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the regions which most believe Afghanistan can handle it (Atlantic Canada and Quebec) are the regions which pushed for an early withdrawal.

When asked whether Canadians agree or disagree with the decision to stay until 2011, 41% agreed and 52% disagreed, with similar regional breakdowns. Only 30% of Quebecers agreed with the 2011 idea (34% in Atlantic Canada), and a whopping 66% disagreed in Atlantic Canada (59% in Quebec). The decision only has majority support in Alberta and the Prairies, while a majority are against it in the two easternmost regions as well as Ontario.

When asked what Canadians think the Afghanistan mission is, 30% said a mission of peace while 47% said a mission of war. The regional numbers were more or less consistent with what we've already seen, but it is interesting to note that Quebec had the most "not sure" responses (29%), probably representing the linguistic divide and the comparatively low coverage of the war in francophone media.

56% of Canadians still believe the Harper government has not effectively explained the mission, compared to 33% who believe it has. Not surprisingly, people in the blue regions of Alberta and the Prairies felt he explained it best.

A virtual consensus (69%) believe that Canada is shouldering too much of the burden, with more or less even regional breakdowns. Only 12% believe Canada is not shouldering enough.

Nevertheless, 51% of Canadians believe that the Afghan people are benefiting from our involvement in the country, compared to 26% who don't. There is no major regional difference, though Quebec and Atlantic Canada are the only regions without more than 50% who believe the Afghan's are benefiting. One important note may be that only Quebec has more than 30% (32% to be exact) who believe the Afghan people are not benefiting from Canada's involvement.

From a political point of view, this poll demonstrates quite clearly that Afghanistan is still a divisive issue in the country, but also an unpopular one. The regional breakdowns for or against the mission mirror the regional breakdowns for or against the Conservatives - it is clearly seen as a Conservative issue. Unsurprising, then, that the mission finds its least support in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, where the Conservatives have their worst polling results nationwide.

As always, there is that delicate balance to play. If the Conservatives want to increase their support in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, they have to speak more harshly about the mission. But that puts support in the West and Ontario at risk. The Liberals, who have a gray-area position on the mission, are likely in the best place to be, since people seem unsure of their views on the war. The Bloc Quebecois is in tune with Quebec's anti-war attitude, and the NDP are clearly within that margin that is highly critical of the Afghanistan mission. How the Conservatives and Liberals manoeuvre on this issue could be important, but the Conservatives have drawn their line in the sand far more deeply than Michael Ignatieff has.

Note: With no polls, there are no projection updates. C'est la vie.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Oil Sands Poll

Harris-Decima has released a poll on the opinion of Canadians towards the Alberta oil sands. The results are interesting.

Overall, 57% of Canadians believe that the oil sands bring more benefits than drawbacks, while 35% think otherwise. Regionally, and unsurprisingly, Alberta is most in favour of the oil sands, with 70%. Also unsurprisingly, Quebec is most opposed with 49% against, 39% for.

Far more interesting is the political breakdown. Conservatives have great faith in the oil sands, with 76% for and only 18% against. I'm a little surprised to see the Liberals supporting it in numbers that they do, with 57% to 37%. Another big surprise is the Green result (53% to 44% against). The Bloc number also shows that while Quebecers are not in favour of the oil sands as a whole, nationalist/sovereigntist Quebecers are even more so. Only 28% saw benefits in the oil sands while 63% only saw drawbacks.

What do these results show? Well, it shows that the environment is not a particularly important issue right now. The two major parties have supporters who, by a significant margin, see more economic benefits than environmental drawbacks in the oil sands. Even NDP opinion was split 44% to 49%. It seems that most Canadians are willing to take environmental risks for economic gain. Only Quebec is strongly against this view. Obviously, the Conservatives have their position on the issue as do the Bloc and NDP, but these numbers demonstrate that the Liberals should be wary of being too critical of the oil sands if they want to get elected.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Quebec Projection Updated

While the federal scene has had a dearth of polls, Léger Marketing has released a Quebec provincial poll. Accordingly, the Quebec provincial projection part of the site, called CentVingtCinq, has been updated.