Saturday, June 27, 2009

New Poll from Nanos: 4.1% Liberal Lead

Nanos released a new poll today, taken between June 17 and June 21 and involving 1,004 interviews.

As mentioned earlier, projection updates will only be made on Thursday, but in the meantime here are the national results:

Liberals - 36.3%
Conservatives - 32.2%
New Democrats - 16.8%
Bloc Quebecois - 9.8%
Greens - 4.8%

This counter-balances the EKOS poll from Thursday which put the Tories in the lead. Nevertheless, this Nanos poll does show a drop in Liberal support from 37.2% in May, and a gain of Conservative support from 31.8%. The NDP and Bloc also made gains.

Atlantic Canada continues to show massive improvement for the NDP, who poll 31.8% (up from 17.5% last month). They've supplanted the Tories as the second party in the region, which is definitely somewhere Jack Layton wants to be.

In Quebec, the Bloc also shows improvement, back up to the 38% that won them 49 seats in 2008. That is up three points from the previous Nanos poll, which corresponds with the three point drop of the Liberals, who are now at 35.4%. That is still a very strong number for them. This poll also echoes the EKOS poll in that it shows a bump for the Tories, rising from 11.6% to 14.0%. The NDP is back in fourth at 10.8%.

The biggest "story" from this poll is the flip-flop in Ontario, where the Tories have gained almost nine points and now stand on top with 42.4%. The Liberals slipped only slightly from 42.1% to 40.9%, but this has put the NDP in a very difficult position: 11.5%. They need to be at least at 15% if they want to win anything more than a couple seats.

Nanos has seemed to removed the "West" category and has replaced it with "Prairies" and British Columbia. I'm seeking clarification as to whether the Prairies includes Alberta or not. But in British Columbia, Nanos gives the Liberals the lead at 36.4%, a significant 6-point lead over the Tories who are at 30.4%. The NDP remains in third at 24.0%.

UPDATE: Thanks to a quick response from Nik Nanos, I can tell you that the "Prairies" in their poll refers to Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Unfortunately, that means it cannot be used in my projection model, but the new category for British Columbia is certainly helpful.

They also asked whether people have a positive or negative impression of the two main party leaders, and after the calculations are done it comes out that Stephen Harper has a -14.8 net impression score to Michael Ignatieff's +5.2. Harper's best score was in the Prairies at +9.1, but he had had negative scores everywhere else, including a -33.3 in Quebec. Ignatieff only had a negative score in the Prairies (-11.1) and had his best score in Atlantic Canada (+18.0).

This poll would result in the following seat totals:

Liberals - 123
Conservatives - 116
Bloc Quebecois - 48
New Democrats - 21

The close result in Ontario is counterbalanced by the strong Liberal performances in British Columbia and Atlantic Canada, giving them a small minority government.

A good poll for the Liberals, but Nanos has tended to poll better for them in the past. I'm sure several other polls will come out this week, plus polls will be "aged" on July 1, so the July 2 update could have some interesting results.

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