Monday, October 26, 2009

Details of the IR Poll

The details of the Ipsos-Reid poll are now available. Here are the full national results:

Conservatives - 40%
Liberals - 25%
New Democrats - 13%
Bloc Quebecois - 11%
Greens - 11%

A big gap, and a big Conservative number next to a small Liberal one. The NDP is also way down.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives are way ahead with 49% to the NDP's 23%. The Liberals are third with 18% and the Greens pull up the rear with only 9%.

In Alberta, the Conservatives are at 59% while the NDP is riding high at 17%. The Liberals are at 15%.

In the Prairies, the Conservatives put up a 60% number, followed by the Liberals and Greens at 14% and the NDP at 13%.

In Ontario, the Conservatives have a good lead with 41%. The Liberals are at 32%, the Greens are at 14%, and the NDP is at 13%. It is a very dangerous thing for the Greens to be out-polling the NDP, which the party manages to do in three regions.

The Bloc Quebecois has a very comfortable lead in Quebec with 42%, followed by the Liberals at 22%, the Conservatives at 18%, the Greens at 11%, and the NDP at 7%. As I said yesterday, such a big gap between the Bloc and the federalist parties inflates the BQ's numbers.

The Atlantic Canada result is a little wonky, with the Conservatives at 46%, the Liberals at 30%, and the NDP at 19%. But what do you expect with only 57 respondents.

The poll would result in the following seat totals:

Conservatives - 158
Liberals - 75
Bloc Quebecois - 54
New Democrats - 20
Greens - 1

So another majority poll for the Tories. The Liberals actually lose a few seats, the NDP loses almost half of their MPs, and the Bloc gets back up to their historic-best of 54. The Greens actually squeak out a win as well - in Ontario. I have 14% as the bar needed for the Greens to take a seat in Ontario (probably Guelph).

Really, with the margin of error, there is nothing new in this poll. The Conservatives still have a big lead, the Liberals are still under 30%, the NDP is still under-performing, and the Bloc is still in a position to make modest gains.


  1. Whatever will lizzie do if a green is elected in Ont, while she cools her heels in BC.

  2. MaryT, it's obvious what she will do - she'll run in Stephen Harper's riding after the next election!

    Good numbers - glad IR released the details, and Eric, you're right... 57 polled in Atlantic region is basically useless.

  3. MaryT,

    i've been pushing for an NDP-Green merger for awhile now.

    One less annoying party for the media to support.

  4. If I recall, the media had a field day making fun of the NDP and the name-change-gate.

  5. Eric,

    yeah because they wanted to be the democratic party which the wonderful Chantal Hebert informed english Canadians would have been pronounced "pede" in french and mean something completely different.

    I don't see why they don't become the Green Democratic Party or the Social Democratic Party.

    I can tell you though, if there were a merger, they'd probably be a viable alternative to the Liberals to form official opposition.

  6. No, I don't think so. You combine the two parties and you get to the floor of Liberal support, but I don't think they'd be able to even surpass the Bloc as the third party. You'd get a lot of the centre-left NDPers going to the Liberals.

  7. Eric,

    The Liberals seem likely to be in Dion territory for awhile now. So NDP + Green is 1% higher than the Liberals according to this poll.

    So unless your model is showing something about the efficiency of the combined vote totals then I don't see why not.

    As for where voters go, remember these numbers aren't static. Once someone says the new GDP is a viable alternative to the Liberals to form opposition then the Liberals might actually lose a lot of their left supporters.

  8. I took a quick look at BC, and combining the two parties only gave the NDP/GPC three more seats.

    My initial reaction would be to say that where the NDP does well, the Greens don't, so they wouldn't help them much. I could be wrong, I'd have to take a look at all 308 ridings.

  9. 2 plus 2 never equal four in these cases. In any case, the NDP would say that thay already are and have always been a "green" party and the Green party would know that if they merged it would be like East Germany "merging" with West Germany (ie: a total takeover). Since the NDP has something like 200-odd elected officials in Canada compared to the Greens with ZERO and the NDP has something like 100,000 members compared to the Greens with about 5,000 - it would be a total NDP takeover - and then all those green apparratciks who owe their jobs to getting political funding would all be fired - so what's in it for them.

    But if we are on the subject of mergers, why don't the Liberals and the Conservatives merge and form one big super party. Right now no one seems to be able to find any discernible policy differences between Ignatieff and Harper and they seemed to have agreed on a budget in a snap last January.

  10. BC Voice of Reason26 October, 2009 11:25

    So based on this poll the CP get a majority with less than 10 seats in Quebec?

    After the additional seats are added this pattern will likely become the norm. The policies the ROC supports are not the ones that work in Quebec.

  11. The Greens will never merge with the NDP. Greens are math nerds with an excellent understanding of economics. NDP, OTOH, is all about doing something because it feels good with no understanding of repercussions.

    Libs and Greens could conceivably merge. Or Libs and NDP. But not all three.

  12. Greens have an "excellent understanding of economics"??? That's news to me. Who would be minister of finance in a green government. Give me a list of Nobel prize winning economists and financial wizards who work for the Green party who you must have in mind.

  13. DL,

    one of the reasons the Greens and NDP wouldn't merge, even thought it would be to their benefit to do so, is because NDP partisans like yourself DETEST the Greens for stealing their third party, protest vote, pro-environment buzz.

    The feeling from a lot of NDPers seems to be "those are our votes!!" when the Greens do well in the polls.

  14. Are you sure about the dates on this poll? The National Post reported it as ending October 22, but Reuters says it ended October 24.

    Which is it? And does it matter to your projection?

  15. The only important reason why such a merger is unthinkable is because the two parties are completely different parties. They only thing they have in common is environmentalism, which they also have in common with the Bloc and (depending on the day) the Liberals.

    There isn't enough in common between any of the parties today that a real merger between any of them is possible. The Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives were close enough to merge, despite their differences. The NDP and Bloc are the most similar parties in the House of Commons, except for the Bloc's focus on Quebec.

  16. Ira,

    Ipsos says October 20-22, so I would assume that is the correct date.

    No, it doesn't matter for my projection. The age of a poll is determined by month rather than day or week (which would require too much work).

  17. Jesse,

    For the reasons cited above, the NDP would be only too happy to "merge" with the Greens since it would effectively be a takeover. Given that the NDP already has environmental policies that are almost identical to the Green party in just about every way - there would be virtually zero policy changes necessary. it will never happen though because Elizabeth May likes being a big fish in a very very small pond.

  18. DL,

    I would expect this to take place after May's next election loss. Its questionable whether she would stay on as leader in that circumstance. A wandering, leaderless Green party might be very open to such a merger.

    One has to think of Jack Layton's future as well. Does he ever wish to retire? If he loses a couple seats next election and can't match his 2008 results does he get forced out?

    Layton might be interested in such a merger as well, maybe even running for the leadership of this new party as a way to make a come back from losing seats and securing his legacy.

  19. Eric,

    I thought the BQ still had some right wing elements.

  20. Thanks for the clarification. I maintain the opinion poll table at Wikipedia, and I have a lot of trouble getting people to record the proper dates. I wanted to make sure I got this one right.

  21. Have you gotten any that I have missed?

  22. @DL:
    Really? Same environmental policies?

    Greens: Pro-carbon tax to discourage people from wasting energy and needlessly polluting

    NDP: Anti-carbon tax to help the poor buy heating oil and live in sprawling suburbs

    The Greens will never compromise on this. Will NDP ever agree that the poor should be paying more for gasoline? Certainly not under Layton.

  23. Leonsp,

    good point. For older voters the NDP is definetly more union blue collar where as I see the Greens as being slightly upscale, more yuppie types.

    But i'd say they both share a younger demographic who tend to lean left on both environmental and social issues.

  24. What's all this nonesense about the Greens merging with the dippers? Not a hope in hell. Most Greens realise that the dippers are morally bankrupt. NDP environmental policy is all about public sector employment, and punishing people the class warriors don't like. Why do you think they love cap and trade instead of meaningful, and fundamental solutions? More jobs for their OPSEU, and CPAC pencil pushers. I'd be happier playing on the freeway than donating a nickel to the NDP.

  25. Everything will "never happen" until it does.

    A couple of years ago I took a look at the Canadian election survey. The results suggested that the Greens are not really distinct from NDP'ers in their views. Liberals and Dippers were about even in second choice preferences. Presumably a merger would up that ratio in favour of the NDP.

    Howver, even if say, the NDP got 75% of the Green vote, the Liberals 10% and the rest stayed home they would only win 4 more seats (using UBC's vote swing model).

    In other words, there isn't the same kind of incentive behind a merger as there was with the Tories and Reform. Green support is not concentrated anywhere in particular.

    It is a very different story with the Liberals because they are competitive across the country. They would win 15 more seats with similar defection numbers from the Greens.

    If you believe that party leaders, not activists are likely to drive any merger process, I posit that despite ideological affinities, a Green-Liberal merger is more likely.

  26. "NDP: Anti-carbon tax to help the poor buy heating oil and live in sprawling suburbs"

    The NDP supported cap and trade, which would have the same impact of effectively pricing carbon. Moreover, it would give policymakers a greater ability to control the amount of C02 emissions. It isn't necessarily the favourite policy of economists, but the NDP are an environmentalist party.

  27. Hosertohoosier,

    the Liberals would NEVER change their name or branding and so you'd have a take over and not a merger.

    The reason people are talking about the NDP-Greens is because Layton was talking about changing the NDP's name anyways.

    But if May fails to win another election what happens to the green party?

    It strikes me that they either merge or die. Canadians aren't willing to indulge them forever.


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