Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Polls: EKOS and Harris-Decima

Two polls were released yesterday and today. The first is by Harris-Decima, and was taken between May 28 and June 8 and involved 2,000 interviews. However, only limited details are available through a Canadian Press article, so I've only entered the information I do have into the projection. I will have to update it with the rest of the polling data when it is available.

The second poll is by EKOS and was taken between May 29 and June 9, involving 6,259 interviews. This is part of their deal with the CBC to release polls every Thursday, and it is a very large poll. These two overlap, and their results are very similar. Here are the national results, Harris-Decima first and EKOS second:

Liberals - 35% / 35%
Conservatives - 31% / 30.3%
New Democrats - 15% / 15.1%
Bloc Quebecois - 9% / 9.2%
Greens - 8% / 10.4%

Of note is that EKOS says the polling data turned hard against the Conservatives near the end of their polling period, coinciding with the Raitt affair. Also, looking at the polling trends, a clear gap is beginning to form between the Liberals and the Conservatives.

The EKOS poll, the details of which can be seen at the bottom of the page, would result in the following seat totals:

Liberals - 138
Conservatives - 101
Bloc Quebecois - 49
New Democrats - 20

The short-term projection has changed, with the Liberals gaining two seats, the Conservatives losing two seats, the NDP losing one seat, and the Bloc gaining one. This puts the Liberals on the brink of having a stable minority government.

The Liberals have gained 0.7 points in the national short-term vote projection, while the Greens have gained 0.2 points. The Conservatives and NDP have each lost 0.4 points.

The long term projection has changed significantly. The Liberals now have the seat total lead, the first time they've had it since I started making projections. They gained three seats to reach 120, while the Tories have lost four seats to drop to 117. The NDP has gained one seat as well, and stands at 22. The Conservatives lost their seats in British Columbia (one) to the NDP and in Ontario (three) to the Liberals.

The long-term national vote projection has also shifted, with the Tories losing half a point and the Liberals gaining 0.4 points. The Greens have also gained 0.2 points. The Liberals now have a significant 1.4 point lead over the Conservatives.

Regionally, the Conservatives lost 0.3 points in Atlantic Canada, 0.4 points in the Prairies, and 0.8 points in Ontario and British Columbia each. The Liberals gained 0.3 points in British Columbia and Atlantic Canada and 0.6 points in Ontario. The Greens also had a good shift, gaining 0.3 points in both Quebec and Ontario, 0.4 points in British Columbia, and 0.6 points in the Prairies.

These are two very bad polls for the Tories. The EKOS one would see the Conservative seat total in Ontario drop to 27. With all the bad press coming out against them recently, they should try to do all they can to avoid an election and hope the tide could turn during the summer. The Liberals, though their lead is narrow, are in the best position of any party. The NDP's result isn't horrible, and is in fact a little better than what we've seen lately, but Jack Layton would be taking a huge gamble if he supported a non-confidence motion, as he will surely see his caucus fall to under 30 seats. He could even lose as many as half of his MPs. The Bloc has nothing to gain in an election, except maybe a return to areas that the Conservatives have won in the last two elections. But they are likely to see their caucus drop by a handful of seats, their portion of the vote drop by a few points, their finances to drop by a few million dollars, and their political capital to take a big hit.

Considering that the Tories and the NDP have to avoid an election while the Bloc has nothing to gain by an election either, it is difficult to see the Liberals being able to corner the two other opposition parties badly enough that they would vote down the government.