Saturday, July 25, 2009

How Far We've Come

With BBQ season in full swing and politics on the back-burner, now's the perfect time to look at what gains and losses each of the parties have had since the October 2008 election.

July polling has been remarkably consistent, so I've averaged out all of the polls from this month and have compared them to the October 2008 electoral results.

Let's start at the national level. The first number is the electoral result, the second is the current polling level, the third is the change in points, and the fourth is the percentage change. For example, if a party goes from 40% to 20%, that would be a 50% loss as they have lost half of their vote.

CANADA

Conservatives - 37.6% / 33.6% / -4.0 / -10.6%
Liberals - 26.2% / 31.7% / +5.5 / +20.9%
New Democrats - 18.2% / 15.8% / -2.4 / -13.2%
Bloc Quebecois - 10.0% / 9.7% / -0.3 / -3.0%
Greens - 6.8% / 8.6% / +1.8 / +26.5%

It might actually come as a surprise to see that the Greens have made the largest proportional gain since the last election while the New Democrats have had the largest proportional loss.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Conservatives - 44.4% / 38.8% / -5.6 / -12.6%
Liberals - 19.2% / 28.4% / +9.2 / +47.9%
New Democrats - 26.1% / 20.6% / -5.5 / -21.1%
Greens - 9.4% / 11.4% / +2.0 / +21.3%

This is a massive gain by the Liberals, and another troubling loss for the New Democrats. The Greens have also made good strides forward.

ALBERTA

Conservatives - 64.6% / 59.4% / -5.2 / -8.0%
Liberals - 11.4% / 19.1% / +7.7 / +67.5%
New Democrats - 12.7% / 11.3% / -1.4 / -11.0%
Greens - 8.8% / 8.9% / +0.1 / +1.1%

Modest losses by the Conservatives and the NDP, but the Liberals have had another massive gain in this province.

PRAIRIES

Conservatives - 51.1% / 48.2% / -2.9 / -5.7%
New Democrats - 24.8% / 24.0% / -0.8 / -3.2%
Liberals - 17.2% / 19.4% / +2.2 / +12.8%
Greens - 6.3% / 8.4% / +2.1 / +33.3%

Things are relatively stable in this region, and the Conservatives and NDP have managed to stave off Michael Ignatieff for the most part. While the Liberals are showing a gain here, it is lower than the national average and significantly lower than the gains in the rest of the West. Something about Ignatieff is keeping him out of the Prairies. The Greens make another big gain, but we must keep in mind that with such small percentages there is a greater inaccuracy.

ONTARIO

Liberals - 33.8% / 38.2% / +4.4 / +13.0%
Conservatives - 39.2% / 37.0% / -2.2 / -5.6%
New Democrats - 18.2% / 14.8% / -3.4 / -18.7%
Greens - 8.0% / 9.9% / +1.9 / +23.8%

The Liberals have put up a modest gain, enough to take them back into first place. The Conservatives have lost some ground, but the biggest losers in Ontario are the NDP. They've lost almost 1 in 5 NDP supporters from last election. With a good portion of their seats coming from this province, Jack Layton needs to do some serious work here.

QUEBEC

Bloc Quebecois - 38.1% / 37.5% / -0.6 / -1.6%
Liberals - 23.7% / 29.8% / +6.1 / +25.7%
Conservatives - 21.7% / 15.6% / -6.1 / -28.1%
New Democrats - 12.2% / 10.1% / -2.1 / -17.2%
Greens - 3.5% / 6.6% / +3.1 / +88.6%

The Bloc has remained stable in the province, while the Liberals have made big gains. What's interesting is that the Liberal gain and Conservative loss in points matches. Could these Tory voters have gone directly to the Liberals? The Greens have made big gains, but again, these are small absolute numbers.

ATLANTIC CANADA

Liberals - 35.4% / 36.8% / +1.4 / +4.0%
Conservatives - 28.8% / 29.5% / +0.7 / +2.4%
New Democrats - 26.6% / 28.2% / +1.6 / +6.0%
Greens - 5.8% / 4.3% / -1.5 / -25.9%

This region bucks all the trends. The Liberals make a small gain and the Conservatives and NDP make gains instead of losses. And we have a big dip in Green support. It would seem possible to explain it, however. The Greens were artifically inflated during the last election because of Elizabeth May, who may very well not run in Nova Scotia next time. The provincial NDP has formed government in Nova Scotia, which undoubtedly gives them more federal support - much of which probably comes from the Liberals who would otherwise have made larger strides forward. And Danny Williams is no longer attacking the federal Conservatives on a daily basis, which allows them to re-gain some lost ground.

So, from the last election the Liberals and Greens have had some great success. The Liberals are up everywhere and the Greens are up in all regions but Atlantic Canada. Ignatieff looks to make some greater inroads in the West and Quebec, and re-gain lost ground in Ontario. The Greens are likely still not in a position to elect an MP, but they could start flirting with double-digits nationally.

The Bloc Quebecois is holding steady, but come election time Gilles Duceppe will want to improve on last election's performance, rather than maintain the same level of support. While the 49 seats was a decent showing for the Bloc, there are no doubts that they were disappointed to have dropped below 40%.

The Conservatives have shown some losses everywhere except Atlantic Canada, but for the most part these losses are modest rather than catastrophic. Only in Quebec have a large portion of Tory voters gone somewhere else. The NDP, however, have great cause for concern. They're down everywhere except Atlantic Canada, and are showing significant losses in British Columbia and Ontario - two regions in which they need to do better.

1 comment:

  1. If you have followed BC polling numbers at all over the years, you would know that Liberals always over-perform between elections there.

    It also seems to be usual for the NDP to drop between elections, and then grow once an election is imminent and underway. This is probably due to the more equal news coverage they start to get around that time.

    Also, I'm highly suspicious of Green Party results between elections. They did not achieve their pre-election polling results in the last federal election, nor in any of the provincial elections held since then. Their results seem to vary between pollsters according to whether their methodology is to prompt with the party's name or not.

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