Monday, October 5, 2009

Monthly Picture - September

It's time to look at the polling average over the month of September. Sixteen national polls were taken during this month, totalling about 29,600 interviews. Here are the results we get at the national level, with the difference from last month's average in brackets.

Conservatives - 35.7% (+2.1)
Liberals - 30.3% (-0.8)
New Democrats - 15.4% (-0.7)
Bloc Quebecois - 9.4% (+0.4)
Greens - 8.5% (-1.3)

The Conservatives show a big jump of more than two points, but not all of it came from the Liberals. They sank 0.8 points while the NDP also took a hit of 0.7 points. The Bloc made a modest gain of 0.4 points while the Greens posted the worst showing of all with a loss of 1.3 points. The seat projection for these results is as follows, with the difference from last month in brackets:

Conservatives - 134 (+9)
Liberals - 99 (-10)
Bloc Quebecois - 49 (unchanged)
New Democrats - 26 (+1)
Greens - 0 (unchanged)

The Conservatives make a big nine-seat gain at the expense of the Liberals, who drop ten. The NDP also pick up one, but the Liberals and NDP now do not have the ability to outvote the Tories alone.The regional results, with difference from last month in brackets:

BRITISH COLUMBIA (15 polls - about 3,160 people)

Conservatives - 37.4% (+3.6)
Liberals - 26.2% (-0.7)
New Democrats - 23.5% (-1.2)
Greens - 12.2% (-2.2)

The Conservatives gain a good amount of ground, but it really is only making up for their four-point loss in August. Another month of Liberal loss means the party is down 1.7 points from July, while the NDP drop is compensated by August's three-point gain. The Greens have lost the gains they made in August. We'll call that the May bump.

ALBERTA (13 polls - about 2,320 people)

Conservatives - 61.3% (-0.1)
Liberals - 18.0% (+0.5)
New Democrats - 10.9% (-0.4)
Greens - 6.8% (-2.7)

The Liberals make a modest gain but it doesn't compare to their two-point loss in August.

PRAIRIES (13 polls - about 1,560 people)

Conservatives - 48.4% (+0.6)
New Democrats - 22.3% (-0.3)
Liberals - 21.8% (-0.8)
Greens - 7.7% (+1.0)

Another modest gain for the Conservatives (up a full point since July) while the Liberals lose most of the gains they made in August. The NDP lose a little but have actually consolidated their August gains, and are now second place in the region.

ONTARIO (16 polls - about 9,860 people)

Conservatives - 39.8% (+3.3)
Liberals - 35.7% (-1.8)
New Democrats - 14.5% (+0.3)
Greens - 9.3% (-2.0)

A huge gain in Ontario, where the Tories have really made a move. The Liberals have lost almost two points this month and almost three points in the last two months. They've also lost the lead in the province. The NDP has tread water, but is still far below where they need to be.

QUEBEC (17 polls - about 8,580 people)

Bloc Quebecois - 37.5% (+1.3)
Liberals - 29.0% (-0.3)
Conservatives - 16.7% (+0.8)
New Democrats - 10.4% (-1.1)
Greens - 5.9% (-1.3)

The Bloc more than makes up for the hit they took in August, and now have an 8.5-point lead. A good Conservative gain in Quebec puts them still four points behind their 2008 electoral result. The Liberals, despite all the brouhaha, have only dropped 0.3 points - though that makes two points since July. The NDP has lost the ground it made last month.

ATLANTIC CANADA (14 polls - about 1,700 people)

Liberals - 38.8% (+1.7)
Conservatives - 30.0% (+2.5)
New Democrats - 24.1% (-3.0)
Greens - 6.8% (-0.9)

And the biggest gain of the month goes to the Liberals - almost five points in Atlantic Canada. A strong performance by the Tories really only makes up for the losses they sustained last month, and puts them out of the range of the NDP who has lost some more ground.

By far, the Conservatives had the best month. They made gains in five out of six regions, with their one loss being in Alberta, and that only of 0.1 points. They made huge gains in Ontario and have made good their recent losses in British Columbia and Atlantic Canada.

The Bloc had a good month in Quebec.

The Liberals, surprisingly, had the next best month. They made gains in two regions and losses in the other four. The gain in Atlantic Canada was big and important, but the one in Alberta was small and, probably, useless. The losses in the rest of the country were less than one point, except in Ontario where the party desperately needs to improve/

Both the NDP and the Greens had bad months, losing in five regions. The Greens, especially, had large losses but the NDP also had large one-point losses in several regions.


  1. Something is off with your Atlantic numbers, it adds up to 105%

  2. Right you are. I divided the Liberal, NDP, and Green result by 13 rather than 14.

    Fixed. Gives the Conservatives another seat in the region.

  3. Tom Clark was just on saying he's going to have the results of a new poll that will change things in Ottawa and registers the full extent of the Liberal's problems.

    This could be the end of Michael Ignatieff's leadership.

    The NDP and BQ are going to vote no on the HST harmonization bill.

    To avoid an election Ignatieff's going to have to go back on his word about voting NO on all confidence matters.

    I'm guessing he won't do that and he'll want to take his shot at the polls. The question is whether or not his party shows up to vote for an election that they could lose.

    Another Newfoundland 6, another Denis Codere, how much more can Ignatieff's leadership take ?

  4. As a reader of this site, you know very well that a poll is just a poll. And if the poll is from Strategic Counsel, as with CTV it likely will be, that is even worse.

  5. Whatever happens I can guarantee that no poll is going to "the end of Ignatieff's leadership". There is no mechanism in the Liberal party to dump a leader before he has led the party in an election and Iggy will not quit all of a sudden either.

  6. Sometimes they sneak out CROP or Nanos numbers depending on who the guests are but given that they said full results it probably is a CTV commissioned poll.

    So what's wrong with strategic counsel?

    Also, this poll is coming after the Angus Reid poll so this isn't one isolated outlier.

    If the conventional wisdom begins to set in that Michael Ignatieff is under performing Stephane Dion then all hell is going to break loose.

  7. Strategic Counsel is my lowest rated pollster. They were far off the 2008 electoral result.

    And I still haven't forgiven them for their 26% result they got for the Greens in Quebec, giving them the lead over the Liberals and the Bloc.

    The result itself wasn't unforgivable, but their treatment of it was. An SC spokesperson told me that maybe Quebecers were disaffected and going to the Greens.

    The following month, they said that the Greens took a big hit and lost about 20 points.

    They couldn't have fessed up? I would've been so embarrassed to release that poll were I them.

  8. DL,

    i'm not suggesting that people will view the results of a poll and then all of a sudden Ignatieff will resign or be told to resign.


    I'm saying that if it begins to look like he's doing worse than Dion then he's going to be in serious trouble.

    As for getting rid of a leader - there is no official mechanism BUT party rules are not parliamentary rules.

    The Liberal party caucus can elect whoever they want as their leader.

    The leader of the Liberal party and the leader of the official opposition are different titles and can be held by different people.

    But it would never come to that. People take the steps they need to take to avoid public embarrasment.

  9. Eric,

    are Strategic Counsel results bad because they have a lot of random stuff happening or do they consistently display a pattern similiar to what you have in your pollster leanings chart ?

    If they're just random all over the place noise then i'll ignore the numbers.

    But if there is a consistency to their numbers then looking at the change in party support from their last poll provides usefull information, as does sort of "adjusting" their numbers.

    I guess its sort of like a Harris Decima poll. I roll my eyes whenever I see the pathetic top line numbers they give the Conservatives. But the + or - % numbers are still interesting.

  10. I don't think they're as bad as random noise, but they are unreliable. They certainly aren't a "game-changing" pollster like, say, Angus-Reid or EKOS.

  11. Tories 41%, Liberals 28%.

    Unreliable or not the pundits are now saying Ignatieff is at Dion levels of support.

    I just don't see how he's going to continue this "no confidence" strategy any longer. He's going to be forced to back down.

    Also, why is EVERYONE obsessing over Harper's musical performance ??

    Its everywhere. Ignatieff tried to make a yellow submarine joke about it in QP. He tried singing (horribly) and making some snide remark about Harper's government being out of tune for 4 years. Layton gave a positive review. The media keeps re-playing it again and again.

    Tom Clark said a Liberal MP sitting beside him turned to him and said "ka-boom. Harper has his majority".

    Does a musical performance actually matter this much or have the pundits just gone crazy ?

  12. He might be at Dion support levels nationally, but he is doing better than Dion in British Columbia, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. He is at Dion levels in Ontario. That is where he needs to improve.

    Harper's musical performance was so out of character, and he was actually pretty good. Harper is such a cold and inaccessible personality, it made him seem like a real person. I respect that he took that chance and was able to make a little fun of himself.

    The song choice, though apparently coincidental, could not have been more perfect.

    In a month, though, it won't matter. For a lot of people, they would see that video and maybe for the next day or two would answer "Conservative" in a survey, if they were on the fence before (and I think a lot of Canadians are on the fence between Harper and Ignatieff).

  13. Maybe Harper should follow it up with an arts funding announcement or a charity duet with Jack Layton then (he sings and plays the guitar apparently).

    By the way, if Harper is really +7% higher than his 2008 results in Ontario when does it become possible that Ignatieff loses Etobicoke—Lakeshore ?

    His victories aren't exactly overwhelming and if he's spending all his time out of the riding during an election campaign a strong candidate could be a real headache for him.


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