Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Poll: Strategic Counsel

We have the first April poll this morning, courtesy of Strategic Counsel. The poll was taken between April 2 and April 5 and involved 1,000 interviews. The national results:

Liberals - 34%
Conservatives - 32%
New Democrats - 15%
Bloc Quebecois - 10%
Greens - 9%

These national numbers are significant because it is the first time three consecutive polls have put the Liberals ahead of the Conservatives.

The Quebec numbers:

Bloc Quebecois - 41%
Liberals - 29%
Conservatives - 15%
New Democrats - 9%
Greens - 6%

This is a good result for the Bloc, as this is the second consecutive poll to put them at or over 40%. The Liberals are steady and the Conservatives are steady at a worrisome 15%. The NDP result of 9% should be a concern as well, as it is starting to put them at a point where Outremont is in danger.

UPDATE: When I originally worked on the projection, CTV was reporting the Bloc at 40%. Strategic Counsel has released the details, and the Globe and Mail turned out to be accurate in reporting it at 41%. That's the last time I trust CTV over that newspaper. I've made the appropriate changes in the projection and on the charts, but they'll just be put to date on the site when the next poll is released. There is no change for the Bloc except they are at 37.8% instead of 37.7%.

The Ontario result:

Liberals - 45%
Conservatives - 32%
New Democrats - 15%
Greens - 9%

This is a huge result for the Liberals, as it marks three consecutive polls at this height. If you look at the opinion polling trend chart, you really see the Liberals pulling away from the Conservatives over the past few weeks here.

The poll also includes Western Canada, which is useless for my model. Nevertheless, here is the result:

Conservatives - 46%
Liberals - 24%
New Democrats - 19%
Greens - 11%

These numbers are extremely similar to what Strategic Counsel reported as a result in March.

The projection has changed accordingly. Along with this poll, because we are in a new month all older polls have been reduced in weight. In addition, I've reduced the weight of past elections based on the amount of new polls that were released in March. This will be a new process for me here on out, so that eventually new polls will have much more weight and past elections will have less. They won't disappear entirely, however, as I feel they are an important anchor.

The seat projection is now showing the Conservatives at 133, down one from last time (in Ontario). This is the lowest Conservative result so far, and 106 for the Liberals is their highest. The Bloc and NDP have remained steady at 50 and 19, respectively.

The national popular vote projection has also changed from last time:

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

This is one of the first times that the NDP has actually improved its result in the projection. This is a trend throughout the country, where the NDP has increased by 0.1 points in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada. They are up 0.2 in the Prairies, but down 0.1 in Quebec. The Liberals have actually gone down a little in the West and Atlantic Canada, but are up 0.2 in Ontario and have opened up a 1.7% lead over the Conservatives, who lost 0.3 in the province. The Bloc dropped 0.2 points in Quebec.

The Conservatives need to be worried. This isn't an especially bad poll for them, but it is a continuing trend. They are way down in Ontario, which is where they need to improve their score. The continued basement-results in Quebec are solidifying, and as far as I can tell Stephen Harper hasn't shown any signs of trying to turn this around.

For the Liberals, more good polling news. They aren't going to launch an election at 34%, but with such a lead in Ontario they have reason to be confident. Continued strong results in Quebec is another positive sign.

For the NDP, the national and Ontario results were on the better side for them, but they are still down from their 2008 electoral result, and they need to start thinking about defending their one Quebec seat, as expanding now seems impossible. The Bloc is doing well, no doubt aided by an increasingly unpopular PLQ government in the province.