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.