Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Poll: EKOS

EKOS has released a new poll today, taken between April 8 and April 13 and involving 1,587 interviews. It's a big poll with big numbers, and there have been some changes in the projection. Be sure to go to the bottom of this post to see how many seats this poll alone would translate into. First, the national result:

Liberals - 36.7%
Conservatives - 30.2%
New Democrats - 15.5%
Bloc Quebecois - 9.4%
Greens - 8.1%

Here's British Columbia:

Liberals - 34.6%
Conservatives - 34.0%
New Democrats - 23.8%
Greens - 7.5%

Of note, the Liberals have never been ahead of the Conservatives in a poll from British Columbia since Ignatieff's arrival. Alberta has the Liberals at 25%, which is high for them, and the NDP at less than 6%, which is low. The Prairies have a very surprising result, with the Liberals at 39.1%, the Conservatives at 31.7%, and the NDP at 28.5%.


Liberals - 42.0%
Conservatives - 32.4%
New Democrats - 14.8%
Greens - 10.8%

Nothing new here.


Bloc Quebecois - 39.5%
Liberals - 33.0%
New Democrats - 11.7%
Conservatives - 10.9%
Greens - 4.9%

The Conservative number is low, only once has it been lower. But this is the first poll to put the NDP ahead of the Conservatives in Quebec.

The poll included a few other questions. The country is split on whether the country is going in the right direction, but only 38% believe the government is going in the right direction. A huge 72% want an election in two years or more, while only 24% want one before the end of the year. Only 39% support the mission in Afghanistan compared to 48% who don't. As to approval vs. disapproval ratings, Stephen Harper has a 38/54 split (which isn't good) while Michael Ignatieff has a 50/28 split (which is). In Quebec, Gilles Duceppe is 52/36 while nationwide Jack Layton is 37/46 and Elizabeth May is 39/26. Notable is the 35% of respondents who had no opinion of Ms. May. The next highest was Ignatieff at 21%, which in itself is interesing. US President Barack Obama has an 82% approval rating in Canada, while only 7% dislike him.

And now, the projection. The Conservatives have dropped two seats (one in Ontario and one in Alberta) to 131 while the Liberals have risen two to 108. I must remind everyone that the projection is meant to give a picture of what the result would be AFTER an election campaign, rather than right now.

The projected popular vote has changed significantly from April 8 for the two major parties:

Liberals +0.4
Greens +0.1
New Democrats +0.0
Bloc Quebecois +0.0
Conservatives -0.4

Regionally, some of the biggest changes included Liberal gains of 0.7 points in British Columbia, 0.5 points in Alberta, and 0.8 points in the Prairies. The Conservatives lost 0.5 points in British Columbia, 0.8 points in the Prairies, 0.4 points in Ontario, and 0.3 points in Quebec.

This is, by far, the best poll the Liberals have had since the election. Conversely, it is the worst poll for the Conservatives. For the two parties, this would likely result in a repeat of the 2004 election where Paul Martin won a minority government. After a long election campaign, things can change dramatically, but if the Liberals maintain these numbers Ignatieff will be the next Prime Minister.

During the last election campaign, polls were coming out to the tune of 2-3 per day. We're now getting 3-6 per month, and the projection has changed significantly from the beginning. During a campaign, with all the polls streaming in, the projection will change far more quickly than it does at this slow rate. I'm sure Liberals look at the projection and wonder about it, considering all of the recent favourable polls. ThreeHundredEight's model takes polls with a grain of salt, and doesn't swing wildly according to new information. The projection is all about trends, both past and present. Voter turnout, past behaviour, margins of error; these aren't taken into account by individual polls.

Nevertheless, from now until an election is finally called, I will be also showing how many seats each poll directly translates into. If the electoral result was identical to this EKOS poll, this is how many seats each party would have in the House of Commons:

Liberals - 139
Conservatives - 97
Bloc Quebecois - 52
New Democrats - 19
Greens - 1

Yes, with 8.8% in the Atlantic provinces, that is enough to give May her Nova Scotia seat. This is what I would label a Stable Liberal Minority Government.