Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Nanos Poll: 9.8-pt Conservative Lead

Nanos has a new poll out, taken between October 10 and October 18 and involving 1,005 Canadians. Here are the national results:

Conservatives - 39.8%
Liberals - 30.0%
New Democrats - 16.6%
Bloc Quebecois - 8.9%
Greens - 4.6%

So, a much better result for the Liberals and even the NDP. But still a very good result for the Tories. As someone has pointed out in the comments section, Nanos doesn't list the parties in their survey question, which likely hurts the Greens. This explains the higher NDP and Liberal numbers. To me, this is a more accurate representation of Canadian public opinion than a poll that puts the Greens at over 10.0%.

The Conservatives lead in British Columbia with 37.3%, followed relatively closely by the Liberals at 29.4%. The NDP is at 22.6% and the Greens are at 10.7%.

In Ontario, Nanos has the gap as much smaller than EKOS. The Conservatives are still strong at 40.4%, but the Liberals are not out of it at 35.3%. The NDP is also doing well at 17.3%.

In Quebec, the Bloc is well ahead at 39.4%. The Liberals are down at 24.6% while the Conservatives are up to 21.2%. The NDP is at 14.5%, a strong result. The Greens are at 0.4%, a little low!

In Atlantic Canada, the Conservatives lead a close race, 39.6% to 39.1%. The NDP is at 20.1%.

Nanos puts Alberta and the Prairies together, so I can't do a full poll projection. But using the current projection to fill in that blank, we get 142 Conservative seats, 94 Liberal, 50 Bloc Quebecois, and 22 NDP seats. So, pretty much what we have now except the Liberals rip a few seats away from the NDP. Kicking and screaming, no doubt.

Good to see a Nanos poll! They haven't had one in over a month. Variations like these are a good demonstration why it is better to have a conservative (small-c) projection model.

Expect a projection update tomorrow.


  1. Two polls one day!?! Christmas must be close. This poll ends sooner than the EKOS poll which showed the Conservatives at a lower percentage, maybe a trend related to the cheques? I agree about the Green comment Eric. If people are really Green supporters they will choose Green. If they don't care about politics when they get a call and the Green party is mentioned, I think people naturally throw their support that way. I don't have any support for this comment, but it just seems like the Green party is a protest/whatever vote...or thats the sense I get talking to friends.

  2. I don't think 4.6% is a very accurate representation of the likely Green vote. As you've shown, the Greens poll at a higher percentage than they receive in elections, so 10% is probably higher than they will get in actual votes. But they would almost certainly receive more than 7% if there was an election today.

  3. I think my projection of 9.2% for the Greens is likely, if not charitable, but I agree that 4.6% is probably a little low.

  4. The Greens took 6.7% last election and I can think of half a dozen reason why their vote would go down (ie: environment falling off the charts as an issue, Elizabeth May becoming old hat and losing her "deal" with the Liberals, the media losing interest, internal dissension etc...). I honestly can't think of any reason why their support would be higher next year than last year when they had a "perfect storm".

  5. DL commented on the Greens:

    "environment falling off the charts as an issue"

    I don't agree with that assessment at all. Albeit environmental issues have lost some ground to economic ones, "global warming" in particular still generates a lot of ink; with Copenhagen and other developments, you can count on their pet issue generating a lot of press.

    "Elizabeth May becoming old hat"

    While Elizabeth May can no longer count on a media honeymoon, that doesn't necessarily mean she is doomed; sometimes greater experience compensates. Ask the Liberals: are they doomed just because Mr. Ignatieff is clearly past his honeymoon phase?

    "and losing her "deal" with the Liberals"

    I'm not convinced that that makes much of a difference at this point.

    "the media losing interest"

    That remains to be seen. Because the Greens are not represented in Parliament they naturally don't get as much press now. But what will happen come election time?

    (Incidentally, even Eric has a May picture and quotation of equal prominence with the other four party leaders.)

    "internal dissension"

    I don't see that as significant, especially given that people know the Greens will not form the next government.

    On the other side of the equation (why they might do better than ever before), one must consider
    - their unprecedented funding levels (which I commented on in the other thread).
    - their track record: they have increased their share of the popular vote nationally in every single election

    I'm not saying that they are guaranteed to have a best-ever performance next time. But it seems like you're making an unduly confident call that their vote is sure to decline.

  6. "unprececedented funding levels" - well I suppose that the public funding they get for having won 6.7% of the vote was a new precedent for what they got from winning 4.5% the previous time - but its still nothing compared to what the other parties have and by all accounts most of their money is going to get flushed down the toilet in Saanich-Gulf Islands. They get zero caucus funding since they have no seats and their fundraising is quite anemic. They also lost a fortune in the last election because the vast majority of their candidates lost their refunds due to getting less than 10% of the vote in their ridings.

  7. I'm very comfortable with the Tory's slight drop in the polls.

    Some of that gain had to be given back eventually as the month of negative Iggy coverage wore off and the sustained week of media Harper bashing began.

    Its hard to tell where these numbers stabalize because there has been so much movement lately.

    Still, if the best ever Tory election result becomes the new "floor" then yes the permanent opposition Liberals will start to worry and a couple of the older members with no hope of getting back into cabinet will probably think about resignation.

  8. Eric the Greens poll higher than actual results from many pollsters?

    Some pollsters seem to favour certain parties.

    Angus was the most accurate in the last election.

    I am still waiting for your individual polling stats for edm

  9. I called one person, and they said they were voting Tory, so that was good enough for me.

  10. Nanos has always polled a bit more conservatively for the CPC IMO, so this result is pretty good. I appreciate all of the time it must take to consolidate all of this information, Eric. It's nice to see a drill down of the stats!

  11. Eric compared to the last week Polls captured before the election in Ontario ridings how does this latest Poll compare?

    "In Ontario, Nanos has the gap as much smaller than EKOS. The Conservatives are still strong at 40.4%, but the Liberals are not out of it at 35.3%. The NDP is also doing well at 17.3%."

  12. If Nanos' numbers about Ontario were borne out on election day - it would be almost identical to the result of the last election. The Liberals would be up 1% and the NDP down 1% and that would be it and I don't think it would shift more than 2 or 3 seats in the whole province.

  13. (I don't know why but I assumed the liberals had more seats in Ontario in 08)

    E-day 08 in Ontario
    39.2% Conservative 51 seats
    33.8% liberal 38 seats
    18.2% NDP 17 seats

    Nanos - Oct 22 in Ontario
    40.4% Conservative
    35.3% Liberal
    17.3% NDP

    Ekos - Oct 22 in Ontario
    41.8% Conservatives
    31.6% Liberal
    14.1% NDP

  14. So basically Ekos and Nanos both have the Tories at about the same level. The difference is that Ekos grossly overestimates (IMHO) the green vote and underestimates the Liberals and NDP accordingly.

    I will go out on a limb and say that anyway you slice it - if the Tory popular vote in Ontario is essentially unchanged from '08 and can't get above 40% or so - the Tories will gain very few if any new seats in Ontario.

  15. Dl,

    over at democracticSPACE they say the Greens have a -1.3% ballot box score, the Conservatives +1.6%.

    As we've said a million times, comparing pre-writ polls to election results is apples to oranges. Tories have CLEARLY improved their position in Ontario.

    And you might hate the party but expecting the Greens to dissapear is foolish and naive. The media loves those precious darlings.

  16. If the media "loves" the green party so much, I wonder why they have given them ZERO publicity lately? A year ago May was the toast of town with endless sycophantic profiles of her going on about how "nice" she is (even though anyone who has ever worked directly with her will tell you that "nice" is about the last adjective anyone would ever use to describe her). Now they get as much publicity as the Christian Heritage Party.

  17. DL,

    I watch CTV so I can only speak to that but I saw coverage when she made the move to Saanich. I saw coverage of her performance at that yearly reporter's gala as well. We can probably expect more coverage when the international climate change conference starts.

    But this is all pre-writ stuff. Last election it was all about her riding a train, all about her getting into the debate and speaking french well, all about whether they'd make a breakthrough.

    Once the election starts we can expect her to get just about equal coverage as the NDP.

    It ALWAYS happens. I'm sorry but its wishful thinking to think it won't this time around.


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