Thursday, August 20, 2009

New EKOS Poll: 2.6% Conservative Lead

EKOS has released its weekly poll today, taken between August 12 and August 18 and involving 1,886 Canadians. I don't have a link for you, however, as their website hasn't been updated yet. Here are the national results:

Conservatives - 32.8%
Liberals - 30.2%
New Democrats - 17.3%
Greens - 11.0%
Bloc Quebecois - 8.7%

Nothing really groundbreaking here, though it is a strong NDP result. This is in part due to the convention held in Halifax from August 14-16. However, the interesting part is that the NDP showed a huge gain only on August 18, where they polled somewhere around 25%. And their Atlantic Canada result, 22.9%, is surprising low considering where they've been recently and the fact that the convention was held in Nova Scotia. Can we say there has been a convention bump? With contradictory evidence like this, we need a second poll before we can say anything conclusive.

Regionally, Alberta and the Prairies are what you'd expect, though at 24.6% the NDP is back to its usual support in the latter region.

Ontario and Quebec show little movement, with a close race in Ontario (36.3% Liberal and 35.4% Conservative). The NDP (15.9%) and Greens (12.4%) showed some better-than-usual results here. In Quebec, the Bloc still holds the lead at 35%, with the Liberals at 27.7% (a drop), the Tories at 16.5% (the minimum of where they need to be), and the NDP at 12.8%. That might be enough to keep Outremont. The Greens, at 8%, did well here.

Two regions with greater movements are British Columbia and Atlantic Canada. On the West Coast, the Liberals hold the lead with 32.1% followed by the NDP at 27.4% and the Conservatives at 27.0%. Yes, that is the NDP in second and the Tories in third. This is a three-way race, and with the Greens at 13.6% we might even see a Green win for Elizabeth May.

On the East Coast, the Liberals lead with 32.5% (a huge drop), followed by the Conservatives at 31.7% (a nice gain), the NDP at 22.9% (disappointing), and the Greens at 12.9% (good).

This poll would translate into the following seat totals:

Conservatives - 120
Liberals - 108
Bloc Quebecois - 48
New Democrats - 32

This would be a good result for the NDP considering their recent difficulties in the polls. The Liberals make huge gains in British Columbia but have disappointing results in Ontario and Atlantic Canada. The NDP caucus is dominated by BC and Ontario.

In terms of demographics and cities, the Conservatives lead among and in:

Males (36.3%)
Age 45-64 (35.5%)
Age 65+ (44.2%)
High School (34.6%)
College (35.6%)
Calgary (65.8%)
Ottawa (44.0%)

The Liberals are ahead among and in:

Females (30.5%)
Age <25 (29.9%)
Age 25-44 (30.0%)
University (37.2%)
Vancouver (41.6%)
Toronto (39.9%)

The Bloc leads in Montreal with 38.6% while the NDP places second among those aged less than 25 with 20.1%.

This poll shows all of the parties close to where they want to be. The Conservatives have the lead, the Liberals are within striking distance, and both the NDP and the Bloc should be able to (for the most part) maintain their current seat holdings. This doesn't warn any party against going to an election, but doesn't really scream "Opportunity!" either.

I'll update the projection with this tomorrow.


  1. I wouldn't make too much of what this poll says about Atlantic Canada. They only interview 100 people there so the margin or error is gigantic. In most national polls the sample size outside of Ontario and Quebec is really too small to be very meaningful - and BC always seems to be all over the map in federal polling during a non-election campaign.

  2. True, but they still provide some guidance. There's a reason that even small regional polls don't show 80% for one party and 5% for the others.

  3. Yeah, but with a margin of error approaching 10% and the Libs/Cons/NDP all within about 8%, there's no real reason to believe that this week's NDP number in AC is all that accurate.

  4. Oh, of course. But it is still an unexpected result. The margin of error doesn't make it meaningless, there is as much reason to believe the result is accurate (or close). This is a drop of 8 points since last week, and there has been the convention during that time. Even with the margin of error, it is a surprising result.

    Don't be transfixed on the margin of error. Yes, it could mean the NDP are 10 points higher, but it could also mean they are 10 points lower, or five points higher, or two points lower, etc. etc.

    We have to work with what we have.

  5. I agree that they provide SOME guidance - but we have seen a lot of erratic swings in individual polls in the smaller regions like Atlantic, BC and Man/Sask - just compare the BC results in this Ekos poll with the BC results last week - does anyone seriously think that there really was a 20 point swing in federal vote intention in BC over the course of one week when almost nothing was happening?

  6. Probably not, but I'm reporting on polls and what's in them. It's just one piece of the puzzle.


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