Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More Details on AR Poll

The Angus-Reid details are now available. The poll was taken between September 11 and September 13, so it was a weekend poll when news came out that the government could fall on the next Friday.

This is a very good poll for the Conservatives, but another indication that a majority without Quebec is virtually impossible. They have solid leads in British Columbia (41% to 26% NDP and 22% Liberal), Alberta (64% to the Liberal 18%), the Prairies (47% to the 29% Liberal and 14% NDP), and Ontario (41% to the Liberal 29% and the NDP 18%). But they polled very badly in Quebec (13%) and so are projected to win only three seats there with this poll.

The Liberal result in Ontario is disastrous, and would get them only 29 seats. The NDP result of 18%, however, is quite good. The race in Atlantic Canada is heated, with the NDP leading with 34% and the Liberals and Tories tied at 31%.

In Quebec, the Bloc polled well with 40%, as did the Liberals with 36%. The NDP are competitive in Montreal with 10%.

So, we get the following seat totals with this poll:

Conservatives - 144
Liberals - 85
Bloc Quebecois - 49
New Democrats - 30

So this would give a very similar result to what we currently have, but as you can see the Tories are still not in majority territory. They simply can't win a majority without Quebec.

The poll asked whether Canadians support toppling the government. The result was 31% for (strong or moderately so) and 59% against. Interestingly, things were broken down by party as well. Conservative supporters are 6% for and 92% against the toppling of the government, unsurprisingly.

But Liberal supporters are for the toppling of the government, 49% to 44%. As are NDP supporters, 44% to 40%, and Bloc supporters 55% to 35%. While their supporters are divided (and we can't know why they might oppose the toppling of the government, it could be because they don't like their chances), there is definitely nothing here to argue against supporting the upcoming Liberal non-confidence motion. Except, of course, some of the regional polling results.

As to what kind of government Canadians want, the result is interesting. Given the choices of Conservative or Liberal majority or minority government, 46% chose a Conservative government of some kind to 54% who chose a Liberal government of some kind. 34% of Canadians would like a Tory majority compared to 31% who would like a Liberal majority. For minority government, however, Canadians choose Liberal - 23% to 12%.

What this tells me is that their own supporters want their party in power with a majority. But if it looks like a minority government is likely, more voters may choose to vote strategically for a Liberal minority government.

Canadians are more politically savvy than we think, though, as 77% expect a minority government. As to whether the next governing party will be Conservative or Liberal, 63% think it will be blue and 38% think it will be red. Contrary to the Liberal minority support numbers, this does not bode well.

Don't forget, tomorrow I'll be updating the projection.


  1. I'm surprised that our model would have the BQ holding on to 49 seats in Quebec if in fact they had a popular vote lead of only 4% over the Liberals - though I guess that you're assuming that the BQ would win about 6 Tory seats to compensate for an equal number of losses to the Libs.

  2. In 2000, the Bloc picked up 38 seats while polling 4.5% *behind* the liberals.

  3. Exactly, the Liberal vote in Quebec is not very efficient, a lot of it being wasted in Montreal.

  4. well we know that when Liberal support in Quebec is 23% as it was in the last election it was very concentrated in Montreal and quite inefficient, but I suspect that IF (and its a big "if") they actually got 36% province-wide they would start to pick up in other regions - for example the Tory Quebec City stronghold could shift en masse to the Grits.

  5. Well, I have them in this poll at 22 seats, which means they'd pick up eight.

    So, let's give them one in Gaspe, one in Quebec City (en masse, I don't see it), one in the Eastern Townships, four in Montreal, and one in the Outaouais.

    It is hard to imagine them picking up many more than that with the Bloc at 40%.

  6. BC Voice of Reason16 September, 2009 18:38

    so you are saying that at the 36-29 break as in this poll the CPC ends up with 144 seats... That would mean that if they are able to reach back to the 2008 split 38-26 with the vote dropping in Quebec they would likely get their extra 11 seats and majority with 3-4 seats in Quebec?

    The CPC vote with poor results in Quebec would be more efficient.

  7. I'm not sure what you're asking. The Conservative vote in Quebec is very inefficient, even more so than the Liberals.

  8. BC Voice of Reason17 September, 2009 00:09

    I am just saying that it looks like theoretically with 38-40% national support and minimal ( 12%) support in Quebec the CPC could pull off a majority.

    That goes against all the rules of Canadian politics that mandate that the road to power goes through Quebec.

  9. I'm not so sure the Tories could easily pick up 12 more seats outside of Quebec, even with 38%-40%. They're pretty close to their reasonable ceilings in British Columbia, the Prairies, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada. The only real room for growth would be in Quebec, unless the Tories can somehow break into Toronto.

  10. That's probably right, but the Ekos poll that came out today shows the Tories pretty close darn close to the Tories in the Toronto area (thought with the small sample size, it's hard to read too much into that one way or the other). Still, the trend over the past couple of weeks has been showing the Tories stronger in Ontario at the expense of Grits (and the latest batch of fighting between McGuinty and Iggy isn't likely to help that). A majority is still a long-shot and would depend on some favourable vote splits, but given what's happening in Ontario, I'd say it's probably more likely now than it was a year ago.

  11. The danger with the Toronto polling is that we don't know where "Toronto" stops. It likely includes a lot of the suburban areas where the Conservatives have already won seats.

  12. True, but even in the surrounding suburbs, the Grits are still the dominant party. Interpreting "Toronto" broadly, there are 46 ridings in "Toronto" and it's various surrounding suburbs. At present the Grits hold 32 of them (20 of which are in Toronto proper where the Grits typically win with larger pluralities), the NDP hold 2 and the Tories hold the remaining 12. IF those EKOS numbers cover that entire area (and they probably do) then the Liberals will be losing seats in "Toronto".

  13. What was the popular vote result in those 46 ridings last year?

  14. Based on the numbers from Pundits Guide and assuming that "Toronto" means essentially Toronto proper and the surrounding regional municipalities (Durham, York, Peel, which is, I think, what the Toronto CMA area is) in the last election the Grits got 43.5% of the vote in "Toronto" while the Tories got 33.2% of the vote.

    What Ekos is telling us is that it's now Liberals 39.7% to the Tories 36.7% (understanding that actual support could be 5% either way on those numbers). That's, what, a 7% swing? In 7 "Toronto" ridings the Liberals beat the Tories by 7% or less last time out, including 3 in Toronto proper. And in 2 or 3 others it was darn close.

    Mind you, these are back of the envelope kind of numbers, but they're suggestive.


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