Sunday, August 23, 2009

New IR Poll: 11% Conservative Lead

The National Post is reporting on a new Ipsos-Reid poll, taken between August 18 and August 20 and involving 1,001 Canadians. I will no doubt be able to get the full details from Ipsos-Reid tomorrow, but for now we have what Canwest is reporting. Here are the national results:

Conservatives - 39%
Liberals - 28%
New Democrats - 14%
Greens - 10%
Bloc Quebecois - 8%

Now, before we all go into conniptions, this is just one poll with only 1,001 respondents. By all indications, this is an outlier because the last poll that had the Conservatives this high was back in January and it makes a four-to-eight point improvement over the other polls we've seen this month. The last time the Liberals were under 30 was back in January as well. It seems unlikely that suddenly we would have such a huge swing in voter support.

Regionally, we get the Tories 12-points ahead of the Liberals in Ontario, their biggest lead since December. They have been this high before recently, at the beginning of July. But that, too, seemed like a bit of an outlier. At 31%, this is the lowest we've seen the Liberals since December 2008. In fact, this is only the third time this whole year that the Liberals have been under 35% - further indication that this poll is problematic.

In Quebec, the numbers aren't too unusual but show a decent Conservative boost - 20%. They haven't polled over 20% since January. The Bloc still leads at 35% and the Liberals at 29%.

Atlantic Canada is also not unusual, with the race close. The Liberals have 34% and the Tories have 32%.

The Prairies show a big Tory lead, 57% to 25% for the Liberals. Alberta shows the same thing, 64% to 21%.

British Columbia is interesting, however. With such a huge Conservative result nationally, it is surprising to see the party at only 38% in the province with the Liberals doing well at 27%. If we are to suspect that this poll is a little bit off, then the BC number is worse than it looks.

Of course, Ipsos-Reid could've captured a new direction in Canadian public opinion. We can't say anything until we've seen some other numbers from other pollsters. Until then, we have to look at the poll with skepticism - though Conservatives can certainly hope this is an indication of more good news to come.