Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Ekos Poll: 5.2-point Conservative Lead

EKOS has released its weekly poll, taken between September 9 and September 15 and involving 3,164 Canadians.

The result:

Conservatives - 35.1%
Liberals - 29.9%
New Democrats - 16.5%
Bloc Quebecois - 9.6%
Greens - 9.0%

With the consistency of EKOS polling over the summer, and the size of this poll, I think we can now definitively say that the Tories have opened up a substantial lead over the Liberals. The Liberals have been stuck at about 30% now for weeks, while the Conservatives are slowly inching upwards. They're still far out of majority territory, however. This NDP result is alright as well.

Regionally, the Tories are still struggling to pull away in British Columbia. They lead with 36%, but the NDP (26.7%) and Liberals (25.0%) are still punching above their weight.

The result in Alberta and the Prairies is what you'd expect, but in Ontario the Conservatives are leading with 40.1%. The Liberals aren't exactly out of it, however, with 35.5%. The NDP is not at disaster level with 15.4%.

In Quebec, EKOS confirms the rebound of the Bloc Quebecois, who stand at 38.9%. The Liberals have faltered a little, with 27.1%. The Conservative and NDP results of 16.0% and 10.5%, respectively, are serviceable.

In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals are back in front with 37.5%, followed by the Conservatives (28.7%) and NDP (28.2%).

This poll would result in the following seat totals:

Conservatives - 132
Liberals - 98
Bloc Quebecois - 51
New Democrats - 27

Still no majority, and actually quite far out of it. The Liberals and Bloc could outvote the Tories, which would change the dynamic of the House of Commons somewhat.

This version of the polling data has two new interesting demographic breakdowns. The first is between those born in Canada and those who were not. The Tories lead among pure laine Canadians, 35.6% to 27.8%. The Liberals lead among immigrants, 40.0% to 27.8%. The other breakdown is between English and French. The Conservatives lead among anglophones, 40.8% to 31.0%. The Bloc Quebecois leads among Canadian francophones with 40.8% to the Liberal 26.4%.

For the other demographic breakdowns, the Tories lead among males (40.4% to 29.7), 25-44 year olds (30.2% to 28.9%), 45-64 (38.5% to 29.5%), 65+ (45.5% to 34.5%), high school graduates (33.5% to 24.9%), college graduates (41.7% to 24.5%), in Vancouver (37.8% to 28.6%) and Calgary (59.9% to 23.3%).

The Liberals lead the Tories among females (30.1% to 29.7%), those aged 25 or younger (26.9% to 22.1%), university graduates (37.4% to 30.5%), and in Toronto (39.7% to 36.7%). The Conservatives and Liberals are tied in Ottawa with 42.9% apiece.

The Bloc leads the Liberals 38.1% to 31.0% in Montreal.

As to what factor determines how people vote, party platforms received 42%, the party leader 22.3%, and the local candidate 16.9%. New Democrats and people in Ontario were those who banked most on the party platform, Liberals and Quebecers gave the highest results for the party leader, and Liberals and Atlantic Canadians were those most likely to consider the local candidate the determining factor.

As to the preferred potential outcome, 39.4% of Canadians want a Liberal government (14% minority, 25.4% majority) while 35.9% want a Conservative government (8.1% minority and 27.8% majority).

Looking at the third parties, 35.6% of New Democrats want a Liberal government of some kind compared to 13.6% who wanted a Conservative government. The breakdown is 33.6% to 17.6% among Bloc supporters and 35.9% to 13.1% among Greens. So Michael Ignatieff does have some room for growth.

Significantly, undecideds are split down the middle on what they want - 21.7% choosing a Liberal government and 21.3% choosing a Conservative government.

A projection update will be coming later today.


  1. Eric's use of the term "pure laine" to describe people born in Canada is quite inappropriate.

    The normal usage of that term is to refer to Quebeckers, not who are BORN in Quebec, but rather who have French Canadian ethnic ancestry that can be traced to the pre-conquest era.

    Despite being born in Quebec, Mordecai Richler often noted that he would never be considered to be one of the "pure woolies".

    Canadians born in Canada are not "pure" anything -- they are simply Canadians born in Canada.

  2. As a "pure laine" Quebecer myself, I'm well aware of that. I was making a joke.

  3. Your comments on the balance of power in minorities is interesting, but I think measures the wrong thresholds. In this update, you note that this poll would indicate a result where Liberals plus Bloc can outvote the Conservatives - true, but irrelevant. Absent a majority, the next highest priority threshold for the party in government is the options for parties it rely upon to get votes through the house - can any of the other three parties put them over the top, or are they limited to requiring support of a larger opposition party as opposed to smaller.

    In practical terms when numbers are coming in as they are, this leads to the key question: does the Conservative seat count plus even the smallest of the other three (NDP) yield the needed number of votes. If not, Jack loses a lot of power and the PM (assuming Harper given recent results) is forced to have to work with the Bloc and/or Liberals to get votes through.

    Within the poll/seat count results we have been seeing lately, this is the only notable potential change to the overall power structure in Ottawa that I can see (other issues are also intersting -individual races for people like Cabinet Ministers, and whether the Conservatives will retain any ability to represent Quebec, each of which has its own power dynamic).

  4. I disagree that it is irrelevant. Parties often abstain from voting or only get enough MPs to vote for something to ensure it doesn't pass. Currently, for the opposition to successfully oppose the government or pass their own motions, all three parties need to agree. With the results of this poll, only two would be needed and one would have to abstain. While this might not be the easiest of scenarios, it nevertheless opens up more possibilities than there are currently.

  5. Eric wrote:

    "and one would have to abstain"

    Under the projected seat total, it would have to be the NDP that would have to abstain and I cannot recall them ever having abstained on any vote.

  6. No one ever expected them to support the Conservatives, either.

    Anything goes in politics, given the right circumstances.

  7. I am quite happy that this trend has held true.

    My prediction in an earlier thread that the Liberals would sag in Ontario has become fact.
    (although I did also say they may pick up steam in Que....Doh)

    No election this fall is now fairly obvious to this Conservative.


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