Saturday, April 11, 2009

Second Choice Poll

Nanos Research released a new poll today, which lists people's second choices. The results:

No Second Choice - 35.9%
Liberals - 18.3%
New Democrats - 14.8%
Conservatives - 14.0%
Greens - 13.9%
Bloc Quebecois - 2.1%
Other - 1.1%

These results are interesting. Being first among the parties is huge for the Liberals, but I also find it interesting that the Greens are so low. I would have imagined they would be a good second choice for people who can't bring themselves to vote for one of the other parties. Turns out, then, that either a majority of Canadians are non-partisan and can vote for a second party, or that the Greens have become part of the partisan environment.

Now into the nitty-gritty. Demonstrating the Liberal Party really is a centrist party, second-choice for Liberals is split, with 28.1% going to the Conservatives and 19.9% to the NDP. The Greens are the second choice of 18.3% of Liberals, and the Bloc 2.5%. Liberal voters are also the second-least partisan, as only 29.7% could not bring themselves to vote for another party.

Side note, it is unfortunate the poll isn't broken down more thoroughly. The Bloc numbers are virtually useless without context of its proportion of Quebecers.

Conservatives are far more partisan, as 43.9% are unable to make a second choice. Out of all the party options, the Liberals are on top with 32.5%, followed by the NDP at 12.1% and the Greens at 9.6%. The Bloc brings up the rear at 0.4%.

The New Democrats take the title as the least partisan, as only 21.6% wouldn't vote for another party. However, 20.7% would vote for the Greens, 7.2% would vote for the Bloc, 39.6% would vote for the Liberals, and 9.9% would vote for the Conservatives.

It isn't very shocking to see that Bloc voters are least likely to vote for a second party, something 51.6% said they couldn't do. Considering that Bloc voters are sovereigntists who absolutely don't see themselves in the pan-Canadian parties, this is to be expected. Only a few said they could vote for another party. The NDP had 18.7%, the Greens 14.3%, and the Conservatives and Liberals tied at 7.7%.

Finally, 33.8% of Green voters said they could not vote for a second party. The Liberals got 24.3%, the Conservatives and NDP 20.3% each, and the Bloc 1.4%.

Who should be happiest about this polling result? Clearly the Liberals, as they were the most popular second choice of Conservative, NDP, and Green voters. The Conservatives were only the second choice of the Liberals, and the NDP of the Bloc. One result which is, in retrospect, not surprising but blows a hole in past Conservative strategies is that Bloc voters aren't likely to move towards the Conservatives. The Tories have been trying to take that nationalist vote since 2006. Apparently that boat has sailed.

What can be taken from this? When looking to take support from other parties, the Liberals need to focus on the Conservative voter and the NDP voter. The Conservatives should look to the Liberal voter and the Green voter, the NDP to the Liberals and Bloc, the Bloc to the NDP and Liberals, and the Greens to everyone.