Monday, November 30, 2009

Quebec Provincial Poll

Le Devoir released a new Léger Marketing poll on Monday. The Parti Québécois has opened up a lead over the Quebec Liberals greater than the margin of error, a significant point in what has been a very close public opinion race since the December 2008 election. The PQ's lead is built largely on the francophone vote. They have 47% of francophones behind them, compared to only 29% for the Liberals. As francophones are the deciding factor in the vast majority of Quebec seats, this means a lot of wins for the PQ outside of Montreal.

The Action Démocratique du Québec, which has been going through internal turmoil for the past few months, is at only 8%, roughly half of last year's electoral score. Québec Solidaire and the Quebec Greens (PVQ) are tied at 7% apiece, though they usually tend to over-achieve in polls, especially in the case of the PVQ as they don't run in every riding.

The PQ leads in the Montreal region, 41% to 37%, with QS in third with 8%. In the Quebec City region, the PQ leads as well, with 34% to 28%. The ADQ only shows life here, with 26% support. So there are three-way races there.

Jean Charest of the Liberals is the favourite for Premier, but only at 29%. Pauline Marois of the PQ follows at 26%, Amir Khadir of QS is at 8%, and Guy Rainville of the PVQ is at 1%.

In terms of seats, this would give the Parti Québécois 67 seats and a majority government. The Liberals would win 54, the ADQ would be reduced to two seats, the QS would gain one seat and win two overall.

The big question will be whether the PQ can maintain this lead until the next election in 2012-2013. Charest is a slippery character and always seems to come back whenever he is down.

New Léger Quebec Poll: 17-pt Bloc Lead

Le Devoir is reporting on a Léger Marketing poll of Quebec voters.The Bloc has a very strong lead, and is at their 2008 level. This score is inflated, however, by the weak Liberal number. They are tied with the Tories who are also at 2008 levels.

The New Democrats are riding high at 17%, while the Greens are at only 5%.

The francophone vote (which is the decider in the vast majority of Quebec ridings) is solidly Bloc, at 44%. The Conservatives follow at 20% (indicating they are still doing well in the Quebec City region) while the Liberals and NDP are at 16%.

In the Montreal region, the Bloc leads with 38%. The Liberals are down to 23%, the NDP is at 16%, and the Conservatives are at 15%. This means the Bloc will be able to hold on to what it has on the island, and will keep everything around it.

A bit of a surprise is that the Conservatives are back in the lead in the Quebec City region, with 38%. The Bloc follows with 26% and the NDP, not the Liberals, are third with 19%. The Liberals are at 12% there. So, it will be a Tory-Bloc contest in the old capital, but the Tories have the advantage - and a surprisingly big one.

In terms of seats, this would give the Bloc 50, the Liberals 14, the Conservatives 9, and the NDP 2.

None of this is new for Quebec, however. The Bloc has been steady for almost the entire year, while the Liberals have lost some ground and the Conservatives are back where they were a year ago. The NDP is making some strides forward, but whether that will translate into actual votes is another question.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Newfoundland & Labrador Provincial Poll

Corporate Research Associates have a new Newfoundland & Labrador poll out.A shocking landslide! Oh wait, Newfoundland? Never mind.

Danny Williams and his Progressive Conservatives have a safe 61-point lead. He's actually five points up from this time last year.

Yvonne Jones and the Liberals are down three points from a year ago, while Lorraine Michael and the NDP is down two points.

Newfoundland & Labrador is not much of a fun political contest to watch. King Williams is an extraordinarily popular leader, with 87% saying they are completely or mostly satisfied with his performance as Premier. That's as close to unanimous as you get in politics. He's the best Premier for 79% of Newfoundland & Labradorians, while Jones gets the nod from only 10%.

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and project a majority government for the Progressive Conservatives in the next election in October 2011. It's ballsy, I know, but I have to follow my gut.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Healthcare Top Issue Once Again

On Tuesday, Nanos released a new poll asking Canadians what their top issues were. Between November 7 and November 10, 1,005 Canadians were surveyed.

Healthcare took the cake with 27%, up two points from a similar poll taken a month ago.

The economy has dropped to 24% as a top issue, down six points from the last poll and down about 30 points from earlier this year. Apparently, Canadians believe the economy is doing fine and they are returning to more traditional concerns.

The environment was at 9% and education at 4%, more or less unchanged.

One wonders whether the political parties, the Conservatives in particular, will change their message. A puzzling aspect about this is that the federal government is not the level of government responsible for healthcare - the provinces are. And whenever the federal government does try to get involved to a greater extent than they already are, the provinces object. It is a lose-lose situation for federal parties, as if they give healthcare a priority, they can't really do all that much about it, other than give the provinces more money.

Anyway, it is another sign that Canadian politics is returning to normal.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

CP Mentions New Harris-Decima Poll

The Canadian Press is reporting on a new Harris-Decima poll, taken sometime recently over two weeks. The national result:

Conservatives - 36%
Liberals - 27%
New Democrats - 15%
Greens - 11%

In Quebec, the Bloc has 39%, the Liberals have 22%, the Conservatives have 18%, and the NDP and Greens have 10%.

As far as I can tell, the last Harris-Decima poll was never uploaded to their website. We got an incomplete newspaper article and that was it. At this point, that is what we have from this poll as well.

I won't be adding it to the projection without complete information.

Update on EKOS Poll

EKOS has updated this morning's poll, with a week-to-week breakdown. Similar numbers of people were surveyed between November 11-17 and November 18-24.

Here is the first week's result:

Conservatives - 37.7%
Liberals - 27.2%
New Democrats - 14.8%
Greens - 10.8%
Bloc Quebecois - 9.5%

Now, for the second week, we get these results:

Conservatives - 35.7%
Liberals - 27.1%
New Democrats - 15.8%
Greens - 12.1%
Bloc Quebecois - 9.3%

Statistical anomaly, or an indication of things to come in the future? Well, on November 18 the testimony on torture of Afghan detainees came out, and the "Direction of Government" poll went from 48.5% who said it was going in the right direction to 43.4%.

We'll need some more polling in the next week or two to see if this has really had an affect on Conservative support.

New Ekos Poll: 9.8-pt Conservative Lead

EKOS has their latest poll out. It is a big one, as they promised, but it doesn't reveal all that much in terms of change.This represents a 0.3-point gain for the Conservatives from EKOS's last poll (November 4 to November 10). The Liberals, however, are also up, by 0.5 points. The Greens are up 0.2 points and the Bloc is up 0.6 points (nationally). In contrast to some other polls we've seen, it is the NDP that takes the hit here - a full 1.5 points.

The Conservatives had a big gain of 10 points in the Prairies, and are now well ahead. Their Alberta and British Columbia results are still lower than they need to be, while they are still riding high in Atlantic Canada. Their Ontario and Quebec results are close to their 2008 electoral result.

The Liberals had a gain of 3 points in Alberta, but aside from that there isn't much to be happy about. Their BC and Prairie results are alright, the Ontario one isn't horrible, but it is bad for the Liberals to be behind in Atlantic Canada and they need to do better in Quebec.

The NDP saw an 8-point loss in the Prairies, and showed weak results elsewhere. No silver lining for them in this poll.

The Bloc is up a tiny bit, but is steady. The Greens are riding high at 17% in British Columbia, though that still doesn't give them a seat in my projection.

Speaking of which, these are the results for this poll:

Conservatives - 146
Liberals - 85
Bloc Quebecois - 50
New Democrats - 27

So the Tories don't really make any gains from what they currently have, while the Liberals are up a few. The NDP is still the big loser in terms of seats.

The Conservatives would win 70 in the West and North, 55 in Ontario, 10 in Quebec, and 11 in Atlantic Canada.

The Liberals would win 15 in the West and North, 39 in Ontario, 15 in Quebec, and 16 in Atlantic Canada.

The NDP would win 10 in the West, 12 in Ontario, and 5 in Atlantic Canada.

The demographic breakdown in this poll revealed a few interesting tidbits.

For one, the Tories are way, way ahead among males - 40.9% to 25.0%. But the Liberals are running a close race among females, with the Tories leading 32.8% to 29.2%.

The Conservatives lead in all age groups except those under 25. The Liberals lead there, with 24.7%, while the Greens are second at 23.4%.

All education levels are being led by the Tories, except that the Liberals are back in front among university graduates, 33.6% to 32.8%.

Finally, in Toronto the Liberals lead 40.0% to 36.9%. The Tories lead in Vancouver, Calgary, and Ottawa.

Nothing ground-breaking here, but some very small signs of life in the Liberal numbers. The NDP numbers are back down to earth, doing away with the story line that the NDP is replacing the Liberals as an alternative. The Conservatives are still doing well, but are not in majority territory anymore.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Brunswick Provincial Poll

Léger Marketing has released a new poll concerning New Brunswick provincial politics and the sale of NB Power to Hydro-Québec.Apparently, it is an unpopular move.

Shawn Graham's Liberals have dropped 14 points from the 2006 election, a huge loss. David Alward's Progressive Conservatives, though, have merely maintained their vote, dropping two points. It is the NDP under Roger Duguay that has become a factor, up 14 points from the last election.

The sale of NB Power is the culprit, as only 22% favour the sale compared to 60% who oppose it. Interestingly, there is a higher proportion of supporters among the francophone population.

The fact that the NDP has benefited from the Liberal woes indicates that New Brunswickers are more unhappy with the Liberals, and looking for an alternative, than attracted by another party. The number of PC supporters, it would appear, is maxed out.

Léger also asked Quebecers what they thought of the sale, and 55% favour it while only 14% oppose it.

New Brunswick is the province that is most likely to have the next election. It is scheduled for September 27, 2010 and since NB has fixed election dates, that will be the date of the election. I hope to give coverage and projections of it at that time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Two new British Columbia Polls

Two new British Columbia provincial polls were released last week, one from the Mustel Group and the other by Angus-Reid.This actually represents a drop of three points from Mustel's August poll for the BC NDP, but nevertheless up one from the election earlier this year. The BC Liberals are down three points since August but down a whopping 11 points since the election. The BC Greens have gained three points since August and seven since the election, while the BC Conservatives are up three.

Premier Gordon Campbell has an approval rating of only 34%. That is worse than August's 38% and much worse than May's 46%. NDP leader Carole James doesn't seem to be all that popular, though, with 39% approving of her performance and 37% disapproving.

The Angus-Reid poll shows an even better gap for the NDP in British Columbia.

So what does this mean at the federal level? Hard to say, since the provincial parties don't carry-over to the federal scene. But, for Jack Layton, it can never be bad news to have people voting, or wanting to vote, NDP at either the provincial or federal level. And if the federal NDP manages to own the HST issue, they could get some traction out of it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Projection: CPC 139, LPC 91, BQ 49, NDP 29

This latest projection stops the Conservative march towards a majority. But it is the NDP that is this week's big winner.So, the New Democrats are up two seats to 29, while the Tories lose one and fall to 139 while the Liberals lose another and are at 91. The Bloc remains steady at 49 seats. The NDP made the biggest popular vote gain with 0.2 points, while the Conservatives gained 0.1 points and the Liberals lost 0.4 points, a very big drop.

Despite the seat drop, the Conservatives are stable or growing everywhere in the country. The one hiccup was in British Columbia, where they gained 0.3 points but lost one seat. The party also gained 0.3 points in the Prairies, 0.2 points in Ontario, and 0.1 points in Atlantic Canada. They were stable in Alberta, Quebec, and the North. All in all, though, it was a rather mediocre week for the Tories.

The Liberals dropped in every single region. The biggest came in Ontario, where they are down 0.4 points and one seat. They also lost 0.3 points in Quebec and British Columbia (which hurts them a lot), 0.2 points in the Prairies and Atlantic Canada, and 0.1 point in Alberta and the North. A bad week for Michael Ignatieff.

The New Democrats are actually pretty stable, with tiny gains in most of the country. But the fall of the Liberals worked to their advantage. They're up 0.1 points in British Columbia, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada, while stable in Alberta and the North. The two seat gains came in British Columbia and Ontario. A good week for them.

The Bloc is up 0.1 points in Quebec, marking another week of small gain. The Greens were up and down throughout the country, but only to the extent of 0.1 point. They gained that much in Alberta, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada, but lost that much in British Columbia and the Prairies.

I think we're going to keep seeing the Liberals drop until they get to about 26% in the projection. During that time, the Tories will likely get themselves up to 37% and the NDP back to about 16.5% to 17%. Actually, it looks like we're going to end up with a mirror image of the 2008 election results unless there is some sort of dramatic change.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Ipsos Poll: 13-pt Conservative Lead

Ipsos-Reid has a new poll out, more or less confirming the results of the Angus-Reid poll that was released yesterday.So, another Conservative result just below majority territory, and another Liberal result on the brink of annihilation. This 24% confirms that Angus-Reid's 23% was on the mark, and that the Liberals are actually in a worst-ever scenario.

The NDP saw a big bump from 13% to 19%, which is a very strong pre-writ number for them, especially considering the Greens are at 10%.

The Tories aren't as strong as they need to be in a few regions, however. The 37% in British Columbia isn't enough, and neither is the 20% in Quebec. The 31% in Atlantic Canada, while giving them the lead, is not a big result.

The Liberals are doing badly everywhere. British Columbia and the Prairies would put a lot of their MPs in danger, and 29% in Ontario is another bad, bad result. The 24% in Quebec is alright, that is what Dion got, but the 24% in Atlantic Canada is disastrous. However, small sample size there.

The NDP have to be excited with this poll. At 34% in British Columbia, they max out their potential seat gains. The 15% in the Prairies is bad, though, but 21% in Ontario is great. Their Atlantic and Quebec results are enough to keep what they have.

The Bloc should be happy with 38%, confirming Angus's findings that the Bloc is at or better than their 2008 result. The Greens did alright, particularly in Alberta, but the 21% they earned in this poll in Atlantic Canada has to be due to the small sample size.

This poll would result in the following seat totals:

Conservatives - 146
Liberals - 68
Bloc Quebecois - 50
New Democrats - 43
Greens - 1

I had to give the Greens a seat in Atlantic Canada. The Tories are kept out of a majority, but not by the Liberals. The Bloc and the NDP take the credit for that. The Conservatives win 69 seats in the West and North, 57 in Ontario, 9 in Quebec, and 11 in Atlantic Canada.

The Liberals win 8 seats in the West and North, 31 in Ontario, 15 in Quebec, and 14 in Atlantic Canada.

The NDP wins 18 seats out West, 18 in Ontario, 1 in Quebec, and 6 in Atlantic Canada.

The political picture we're looking at now is that the Tories, Bloc and the NDP are back to 2008 levels. The Liberals, however, are below 2008 levels. If we were headed into an election, the question would be who picks up the two-to-three points the Liberals have lost, and where.

Friday, November 20, 2009

New AR Poll: 15-pt Conservative Lead

Angus-Reid has a new poll out. It shows a massive Conservative lead.So, at 38% the Conservatives aren't exactly at an all-time high, but that is still a good result. It is, however, two points down from Angus-Reid's last poll at the end of October. The big result from this poll, though, is that the Liberals are at a gruesome 23%, down three points from the last poll. At 23%, the Liberals would be well below Stéphane Dion's sorry 2008 performance.

Surprisingly, the NDP isn't the net beneficiary from the slip of the two major parties. They remain steady at 17%. The Greens pick up three points and the Bloc picks up two.

Regionally, the Conservatives are doing well everywhere except Quebec. The numbers out West are just fine, while the 43% in Ontario is terrific. The 33% in Atlantic Canada is good (could be better), but the 19% in Quebec is troublesome. That is what kept the party below 40% in this poll.

The Liberals have to be worried everywhere. Alberta's result is fine, but the BC and Prairie results mean few seats. The Ontario result is absolutely horrendous, while Quebec's 19% would put them at historic lows. The 33% in Atlantic Canada isn't even very good.

The NDP is doing alright in several regions, but they should really be taking advantage of the Liberal woes. At 25% in BC and 27% in the Prairies, the NDP is competitive but not poised for any gains. The 15% in Ontario would result in some losses, while the 29% in Atlantic Canada won't see them gain any seats either. The 14% in Quebec, though, is good.

The Bloc's 42% in Quebec is a very good result, while the Greens are doing relatively well everywhere except in the Prairies and Atlantic Canada. At 12% in BC, though, Elizabeth May isn't close to getting elected.

This poll would result in the following seat totals:

Conservatives - 157
Liberals - 68
Bloc Quebecois - 53
New Democrats - 30

So, with the right opposition numbers, a majority below 40% is possible. The Conservatives take 75 seats in the West and North, 65 in Ontario, 8 in Quebec, and 9 in Atlantic Canada.

The Liberals, at only 68 seats, would barely form the Official Opposition. They take 9 seats in the West and North, 29 in Ontario, 13 in Quebec, and 17 in Atlantic Canada.

The NDP didn't do well enough in the regions they need to, and so take only 11 seats out West, 12 in Ontario, 1 in Quebec, and 6 in Atlantic Canada.

Peter Donolo could not be starting his job from anywhere lower. This is a horrible, horrible poll for the Liberals. The Conservatives can be happy with their own result, but less so about Quebec. The NDP must be wondering why they can't get some traction and overtake the Liberals, while the Bloc should be pleasantly surprised.

So, we're still going to be getting polls now and then. I think I will no longer update the projection at a set day of the week, and instead update as time and polling frequency permits.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gun Control Poll from EKOS

EKOS, as part of their "viewer question" series of polls, has a new one out asking people about the long gun registry and gun ownership.

In general, Canadians give a slight edge to banning the long gun registry (but there is a huge "don't know" group), but are also in favour of banning gun ownership in its entirety and banning gun ownership in urban areas.

But looking behind the numbers, we get an idea of party support between November 11 and November 17. EKOS asked respondents who they would vote for in addition to how they felt about guns in order to get an idea of how particular party supporters feel about gun ownership and the long gun registry. Using those numbers from a pool of 2,517 decided voters, we get:

Conservatives - 38.1%
Liberals - 26.6%
New Democrats - 14.5%
Greens - 10.6%
Bloc Quebecois - 10.3%

Now, take those numbers with a grain of salt, as I don't believe EKOS weighted the regional results the same they do for a normal national poll.

Anyway, as to the actual topic, we find that the supporters of the four opposition parties are far closer to each other than they are to the Conservatives.

On abolishing the long gun registry, 56% of Conservatives saw it should be, while only 20% say it shouldn't. The next highest supporters of abolishing the registry are NDP supporters at 35% (29% opposed), then the Greens at 29% (32% opposed), the Liberals at 27% (47% opposed), and the Bloc (20% to 47%). I find it surprising that NDP supporters are more for abolishing the registry than they are against it.

One other thing to look at is the undecided group. Among them, 33% are for abolishing and 25% are against. What does that mean? Undecideds are more in line with the NDP then either the Liberals or the Conservatives - at least on this issue.

Outlawing guns in urban areas gets a lot of support, even from Conservatives (51% to 38% opposed). It gets highest support among Liberals (76% to 18% opposed) and Bloc Quebecois supporters (74% to 21% opposed). NDP and Green supporters see eye to eye on this issue, with 67% and 66%, respectively, for outlawing guns in urban areas.

Undecideds, at 61% for and 25% against, are somewhere in between. It is interesting to note that on gun control issues, the Conservatives and the Liberals (or at least their supporters) are diametrically opposed.

As for outlawing guns in their entirety, Liberals and Bloc voters are most for the idea (67% and 66% to 33% and 34%, respectively). NDP and Green supporters are also in favour (58% and 54% to 42% and 46%, respectively). Here again, Conservative supporters are alone on the issue, with 38% in favour of outlawing guns and 62% against. Undecideds are split down the middle, 54% to 46%.

So, apparently, on gun control the argument is between the Tories and everyone else.

EKOS Schedule Change

As reported here, EKOS will be changing their schedule of the release of polls. Rather than reporting on the national voting intention every week, they will be reporting every second week, but with larger sample sizes. They'll also be reporting on questions requested by CBC viewers, which could be interesting some of the time.

Unfortunately, since this seems tied to CBC News Network's Power and Politics, I imagine that in the future the info won't be released until the end of whatever day they're released on.

So, this reduces what is already becoming a thin roster of active pollsters. The larger sample sizes, however, will be helpful.

I had based my projection-update schedule on EKOS, so I'm not sure what to do at this point. I'll probably continue to update at the end of every week, but there was only one Nanos poll released over the last week so I'm not sure if it is worth it.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nanos Ontario Provincial Poll

Nanos has a provincial poll for Ontario out, taken between October 24 and October 25 and involved 503 Ontarians. The result:

Liberals - 37%
Progressive Conservatives - 35%
New Democrats - 17%
Greens - 10%

This marks a significant drop for Dalton McGuinty compared to Nanos' last Ontario poll, with the PC and the Greens benefiting the most. The Liberal lead is thanks to women, who support the Liberals over the Progressive Conservatives by a margin of eight points. The Tories lead among males, 38% to 33%.

Dalton McGuinty is the best option as Premier for 27% of Ontarians, down from 42% in April. Tim Hudak is at 17%, but that is only up three points from April when Bob Runciman was the option. Andrea Horwath is the choice of 14%, up five points, while Frank de Jong is at 5%.

Interesting to see the margin has closed for the two major parties. But an election is still a few years away.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Nanos Poll: 9.2-pt Conservative Lead

Finally, another pollster weighs in. Nanos gives similar results to Thursday's EKOS, but is better for the NDP and the Liberals.This poll represents a drop of 1.8 points for the Conservatives and 1.2 points for the Liberals. The NDP gains 1.3 points and is now at a very good 17.9%, while the Greens take 1.3 points.

Nanos is different from the other pollsters in that they don't prompt the parties, which is one of the reasons they poll lower for the Greens. Of course, considering other pollsters give the Greens 50% to 100% more than they got in the last election, Nanos is probably closer to the mark.

The regionals have goods and bads for all parties.

The Conservatives polled very well in Atlantic Canada, at 41.8%. But they were low in British Columbia. Their results in Ontario and Quebec are good, but within the norm of what we've seen lately.

The Liberals polled very well in British Columbia, and much better than they have been polling in Ontario and Quebec. But being in second place in Atlantic Canada is an issue.

The NDP polled very, very well in Ontario. Quebec is good, British Columbia is okay, and Atlantic Canada is bad.

The Bloc's 35.6% is low.

Since Nanos lumps Alberta and the Prairies together, I've used the seat projections from the last EKOS poll for those two regions. With them, we get:

Conservatives - 139
Liberals - 92
Bloc Quebecois - 47
New Democrats - 30

The Tories take 65 in the West, 52 in Ontario, 10 in Quebec, and 12 in Atlantic Canada.

The Liberals take 17 in the West, 41 in Ontario, 17 in Quebec, and 17 in Atlantic Canada. Those are decent results west of the Ottawa River.

The NDP takes 13 in the West, 13 in Ontario, one in Quebec, and three in Atlantic Canada. The result out east is problematic for them.

As for who would make the best Prime Minister, Stephen Harper gets 34.8%, Michael Ignatieff gets 17.7%, and Jack Layton gets 14.9%. That is a good result for Harper, though a few points lower than September's result. It's a horrible result for Ignatieff, down six points. Layton's result is good, though still lower than his party's national result. Duceppe took 23.2% in Quebec (ahead of the others), and May took 4.5% nationally. "None of them" was favoured by 9.3%. This bumps the "Best PM" track to 30, 15, and 13 for the three leaders.

Nothing earth-shattering in this poll, but it's clear the Tories are back to their front-of-the-pack-but-minority status and the NDP is back in the game. This looks like a decent (relatively speaking) poll for the Liberals, but it actually represents losses from the last Nanos poll.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Projection: 140 CPC, 92 LPC, 49 BQ, 27 NDP

Only one poll this week, so no major changes. But new polls replace old polls, and the weight of new polls makes old polls less important, so every little bit makes a difference.The Conservatives gain one seat and are now at 140. The Liberals lose one and are now at 92. The Bloc and NDP remain steady at 49 and 27 seats, respectively. Very little movement in the popular vote, as the Liberals lose only 0.1 points and the Greens gain 0.1 points.

A mixed update for the Conservatives, who lose 0.2 points in Alberta and the Prairies and 0.1 points in British Columbia. They gain 0.2 points in Quebec and Atlantic Canada and 0.1 points in the North. They also gain a seat in Ontario, though they remain stuck at 39.1%.

The Liberals are down a little bit everywhere except in Alberta. They're down 0.3 points in Quebec, 0.2 points in the North and the Prairies, and 0.1 points in Ontario and Atlantic Canada. Their seat loss comes in Ontario.

The NDP is either steady or making gains. Their support hasn't changed in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. They've made a gain of 0.3 points in the Prairies and 0.1 points in the North and British Columbia.

The Bloc is unchanged. The Greens make gains of 0.3 points in Quebec, 0.2 points in the Prairies and Alberta, and 0.1 points in Ontario and British Columbia.

Things seem to be solidifying at their current level, which is getting closer and closer to the 2008 result. The Liberals have seemed to hit their floor, the Conservatives are falling back from their highs, and the NDP is clawing its way back up to 2008 levels.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Ekos Poll: 10-pt Conservative Lead

The latest EKOS poll is available online (thanks DL for pointing it out), and has some interesting results.Nationally, this represents a loss of 0.8 points for the Conservatives and 0.2 points for the Liberals compared to last week's EKOS poll. We can certainly call the Liberal support steady, and the Conservative loss is no biggie, but this marks a steady decline of the Tory vote from the dizzying highs of early October.

In fact, I love this poll. It vindicates my projection, as I'm sure many of you saw the Conservatives polling at 40% to 41% and wondered why I was still at around 35%. The projection cancels out the sort of momentary extremes the Conservatives were riding on for a few weeks.

We also see an NDP gain of 0.5 points from EKOS's last poll. In general, this is a very good poll for them.

It is not a very good poll for the Conservatives, leaving aside their 10-point lead. They're down five points in British Columbia, five in Alberta, five in the Prairies, and one in Ontario. That's made up by gains of two points in Quebec and four points in Atlantic Canada. Indeed, in that region of the country the Tories are polling extraordinarily well: 36.5%.

The silver lining for the Liberals in this poll is that the bleeding has stopped. They're up four points in British Columbia, but down four in the Prairies and three in Quebec. They're steady in Ontario, Alberta, and Atlantic Canada. The Quebec result, putting them in third, is certainly worrisome. But the by-election results in the province sort of predicted this drop.

For the NDP, they haven't lost any ground anywhere. They are holding fast, though, in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. But they're up two points in Alberta and, most significantly, eight in the Prairies.

The Bloc is down two points, which should come as no surprise after the disappointing by-election result in the Bas-St-Laurent.

About 18% of respondents were undecided, well within the norm.

One of the demographic results that explains the strong NDP showing is in the under-25 age group. There, the NDP is first with 23.9%, followed by the Liberals at 23.8% and the Conservatives at 22.7%.

This poll would result in the following seat totals:

Conservatives - 143
Liberals - 84
Bloc Quebecois - 49
New Democrats - 32

So, almost identical to the 2008 election result. There are some differences, however.

The Conservatives take 68 seats in the West (including the North), 54 in Ontario, 10 in Quebec, and 11 in Atlantic Canada. That's compared to the 2008 result of 72 in the West, 51 in Ontario, 10 in Quebec, and 10 in Atlantic Canada.

The Liberals take 12 seats in the West, 40 in Ontario, 14 in Quebec, and 16 in Atlantic Canada. The 2008 breakdown was 8-38-14-17.

The New Democrats win 13 seats out West (compared to 15 last year), 12 in Ontario (rather than 17), two in Quebec (rather than one), and five in Atlantic Canada (instead of four).

The biggest thing to take from this poll is that we're back to square one, back to October 2008. Which means no one has a reason to go to an election.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The ADQ Self-Destructs

Gilles Taillon, leader of the Action démocratique du Québec, has announced he will be stepping down as leader. This is only the latest in a series of missteps and mistakes that have brought the once fledgling provincial party to the brink of destruction.

A brief run down. In 2007, Mario Dumont's ADQ won 41 seats and became the official opposition, only a handful of MNAs away from forming government. Over the next year, Dumont mishandled several issues and the inexperience of his new MNAs became clear. In the 2008 election, the party dropped to 16% and 7 seats, and Mario Dumont announced he would be stepping down as leader.

A leadership race was then called, with Gilles Taillon (who did not win in his riding) and Éric Caire (who did) becoming the clear front-runners. The leadership race was ugly, with each side seemingly forgetting that they'd have to work together if either of them had won.

Gilles Taillon then won the race, which was held only a few weeks ago, by two votes. The turnout of the telephone voting was very low, and in the end it was learned that Infoman (a Quebec comedian) had gotten an ADQ membership under the name of Omar Bongo and cast his vote for Taillon. That brought his true win down to one vote.

Then, after being snubbed by Taillon, Caire and his friend Marc Picard left the party to sit as independents in the National Assembly. That brought the ADQ caucus from 6 to 4 MNAs. A few days later, the president of the party (responsible for the non-partisan running of the leadership race) stepped down when it was learned he had donated to Taillon's leadership campaign.

To add insult to injury, Janvier Grondin, long-time ADQ MNA and 11th-hour supporter of Taillon, as come out to say that he regrets having thrown his support behind Taillon.

Now, Taillon has stepped down as leader, seemingly at the request of his caucus. The leadership race divided the party in two, and now the half that supported Taillon is divided as well. He has said he will stay on as leader until a new one is found, but that poses a few problems. The party can't afford a leadership race, and Caire has said he wouldn't run to lead the party. There are few potential replacements, and the most likely replacement, MNA Gerard Deltell, has been making nice with the provincial Liberals and even attended an event with Jean Charest.

Lastly, Taillon threw out the bombshell that he has found irregularities in the party's finances dating back to 2003, which he will look into. The Liberals and PQ are starting to circle the two new independents and the 4 ADQ MNAs to see if they won't come over to their sides. Recent polls put the party at around 6% to 8%, tied with the Parti Vert and Quebec Solidaire.

The Conservatives were smart enough to jump ship not too long ago, and have since reconciled with the provincial Liberals under Charest. This is good news for them, as had Harper tied his Quebec star too tightly to Mario Dumont and the ADQ, he wouldn't have won the Bas-St-Laurent by-election last night.

Saskatchewan Provincial Poll

Thanks to commenter Barcs for pointing out this Saskatchewan provincial poll to me. It was taken between October 29 and November 2, involving 801 Saskatchewanians. The result (portioning out the undecideds and non-respondents):

Saskatchewan Party - 61.7%
New Democrats - 21.2%
Greens - 5.2%
Liberals - 3.9%

In the 2007 provincial election, the Saskatchewan Party took 50.9% of the vote, so they've made some gains. The NDP took 37.2%, so that is a big loss for them. The Liberals had 9.4%, so that is also a big loss. There isn't any major regional variation, except in Regina where the NDP is more competitive. The Saskatchewan Party is more or less the provincial version of the Conservatives, so while not critical or even all that indicative, it is a good sign for the Tories. Again, the provincial/federal divide is significant as it is in all provinces, but that is certainly not good news for the federal NDP and Liberals.

To give you an idea of how it compares, here are the 2008 election results in Saskatchewan:

Conservatives - 53.7%
New Democrats - 25.6%
Liberals - 14.9%
Greens - 5.6%

I enjoy these provincial polls, since we don't see a lot of them. When the next federal election finally happens, I intend to then look at the next likely provincial election and try to project that, as well as keeping a watch over the federal scene.

Monday, November 9, 2009

By-Election Coverage

00:37 - It is getting too late to wait for the last eight polls in New Westminster-Coquitlam, so I'm calling it now. It will be kept for the NDP, and Fin Donnelly will become the newest NDP MP. They're back up to 37 in the House of Commons. This race turned out to be far less close than everyone assumed. As of writing, the NDP is at 50% followed by the Tories at 36%, the Liberals at 10%, and the Greens at 4%. But the voting turnout was low, about 30%. The Liberals did as well as they did last year, but that is not exactly a positive thing considering British Columbia appears to be one of the regions they can make some gains. The Conservatives saw a slight dip, which fits in with how they're doing in the province. But the NDP gain of almost ten points is very significant. I would not be surprised if we see an NDP bump in the polls in British Columbia soon.

That does it for tonight. Good night!

00:20 - So, the Conservatives pull off the only upset tonight, taking Montmagny-L'Islet-Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup from the Bloc. But, remember, this is right next to the Tory block of seats in and around Quebec City, so this doesn't represent a breakthrough into a new region of the province. It does show, however, that the Conservative brand is still a winner in this part of Quebec. That certainly bodes well for the future. The Tories were written off in Quebec only a few months ago, they're now back in it. They take the riding with 43%, 12-points more than the election. The Bloc drops eight points to 38%, while the Liberals drop two to 13% and the NDP drops one to 5%. These two parties really weren't in the race. But then again, they weren't in the race last year either. Turnout was 37%, as good as anywhere else, showing that "voter fatigue" doesn't really exist if something is at stake.

We're now just waiting on New Westminster-Coquitlam. Nine polls left, and it looks like an NDP win.

00:14 - So, all the polls from Hochelaga are now in. Daniel Paillé will be the next Bloc MP, putting them up to 48 total in the House of Commons. He won pretty easily with 51%. The NDP finished a strong second with 20%. The Liberals were behind with 14%, and the Conservatives were at 10%. The only real movement was between the Liberals and the NDP, and the NDP seems to have taken about 1/3 of Liberal voters in the riding. The turnout was only 22%, very low. That's usually the case when the result is a foregone conclusion.

23:41 - Donnelly still leads, now by 1,800 votes. With 110 out of 225 polls reporting, that looks like the NDP will hold on to the seat. Apparently, people in the riding were aware of the race between the CPC and the NDP, as the Liberals had only 9% support. The Conservatives lead in Montmagny with 1,100 votes. With only 17 polls left, this looks like a Tory pick-up. Two more seats for them, putting them up to 145. The Bloc will be at 48 and the NDP will be at 37 tomorrow.

23:18 - So, the gap is starting to narrow between the Conservatives and the NDP in NWC, but Fin Donnelly still holds an 800-vote lead over Diana Dilworth. In MLKRDP, Généreux is up to about a 900-vote lead, with 220 out of 257 polls reporting. Unless the remaining polling boxes are from Bloc-friendly parts of the riding, this just might be the night's upset. But, as I explained before, this riding does fit the profile of a Conservative Quebec riding, so I wouldn't call this a "game changer".

23:05 - Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley is settled. Scott Armstrong will be the new Conservative MP for the riding. He earned 46% of the vote, followed by the NDP at 26%, the Liberals at 21%, and the Greens at 3%. The Christian Heritage Party managed 776 votes and 3% as well. The turnout was 36%, not horrible for a by-election. This result is good for the Tories, obviously. The NDP can be happy with placing second, but they had built it up to be a little more of a race than it was. The Liberals should be disappointed considering Atlantic Canada is one of their better regions, but 21% isn't disastrous.

We have 20 polls reporting (of 225) from New Westminster, and the NDP is still in the lead, 52% to 36%. Montmagny has 205 of 257 polls report, and the lead is 720 votes.

22:48 - Not much change, at all!

22:34 - Only three polls reporting, but a good beginning for the NDP in New Westminster, up about 60 votes, 55% to 34%.

Bernard Généreux has opened up a 450 vote lead on Bloc candidate Nancy Gagnon, 42% to 39%, in Montmagny.

22:18 - Still nothing from British Columbia, but the Bloc is doing better in Hochelaga and are up to 52% with 50 of 219 polls reporting. The NDP's vote increase isn't exactly significant, neither is the Liberal drop, for a by-election.

In Montmagny, it is still a dead-heat, 40% apiece, with 100 of 257 polls reporting. Neither the Liberals nor the NDP have moved much at all.

In Nova Scotia, the Tories got about 54% of Casey's vote, compared to 20% for the NDP and 17% for the Liberals. While the NDP is doing well to be in second, the Liberals aren't as out of it as everyone assumed they'd be.

New Westminster is still up in the air, but Montmagny is turning out to be the race to watch.

22:05 - First results are in, and the Bloc is well ahead in Hochelaga. The NDP has increased their vote to 21%, but it is not a close race. The Liberals drop from 21% to 14%.

In Nova Scotia, the Conservatives have re-earned the Casey vote. They lead the NDP 46% to 26%. The Liberals are at 21%.

The race is very close in Montmagny, tied at 39% as of right now. The Liberals maintained their vote, however.

No results from British Columbia, which isn't a surprise, considering the polls just closed.

No Comments Until Tonight

Because of the by-elections and a mandated blackout of information until the polls close, I've shut down the comments for now to avoid any trouble. They will be back up once the polls close.

Check back here at 10:00 PM Eastern for results and reaction.

By-Elections Today

In British Columbia, Quebec, and Nova Scotia, by-elections are being held today. If you live in any of these ridings, be sure to vote.

Here are some predictions (not projections).

New Westminster-Coquitlam

This Vancouver suburban riding was held by Dawn Black of the NDP. She had won this riding by three points and about 1,500 votes over Conservative candidate Yonah Martin. This is really a race between the NDP and the Conservatives. The former have been trying to tie the provincial government's HST plan to the federal Conservatives, while the Conservatives are fighting hard to win back this riding. The Liberals and Greens are not in the race. The NDP has been relatively stable in BC of late, but are actually under-performing from their 2008 result. The Conservatives are also under-performing, but have some positive momentum. That, coupled with the Tories being in government, make me lean towards the Conservatives. But this is a 60-40 chance.


Formerly held by Réal Ménard of the Bloc Quebecois, this is a sovereigntist stronghold. He had almost 23,000 votes and 50% in the last election. His closest competitor was Liberal Diane Dicaire, who had 21% and 9,000 votes. Daniel Paillé is going to try to keep the riding for the Bloc. He's a "star" candidate, and the Bloc has been pushing hard to elect him. The NDP has also been pushing hard to elect their Jean-Claude Rocheleau, who had 14% in the 2008 election. The media is making this out to be a race where the Liberals will finish third, but the NDP's momentum in Quebec isn't much better than the Liberals'. This is a 95% chance of a Bloc win, but I'd say it is 50-50 as to whether the Liberals or the NDP will finish second.


This riding has been voting a lot of late, five times over the last year. They had a federal election, then a provincial election, then a provincial by-election, then municipal elections, and now a federal by-election. This riding has been Bloc since 1993, and Paul Crête won it last year with 46% and 20,500 votes. The Tories were second with 31% and 13,600 votes. Nancy Gagnon is up for the Bloc, while Bernard Généreux, former mayor of La Pocatière, is up for the Tories. This is supposed to be a close race, but the Bloc sent 20 of their MPs to the riding to help out over the weekend. I've also heard that outside of La Pocatière the Conservative candidate is having trouble. The Conservatives do have some positive momentum in the province, but it has only gotten them back up to 2008 levels. The Bloc is steady. Some people have called a Conservative win here a "game changer", but it actually fits the profile of a Tory Quebec riding, as the adjacent riding is Lévis-Bellechasse, held by the Conservatives. Nevertheless, this is likely to be a Bloc win. I'd give it about a 75% chance.

Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Vallet

This riding was left vacant after Bill Casey left the Conservative Party and won as an independent. They elected him with a huge 69% majority with 27,000 votes. The Conservatives and NDP have been fighting for this riding, but it has a very blue history. The only way the NDP has a chance is if Casey loyalists are still displeased at the Tories for booting him out of caucus. I'd say that isn't enough of a possibility to make this anything but a Tory win. Say, 80-20.

So, that makes two Conservative wins and two Bloc wins, putting them up to 145 and 49 seats, respectively. We'll find out what actually happens tonight!

So, again, if you live in any of these ridings, GO VOTE!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Projection: 139 CPC, 93 LPC, 49 BQ, 27 NDP

There's only been one poll released since last week's update, but with the passing of a month the weight of older polls has been reduced, which results in some changes:The Conservatives pick up one seat and are now at 139. The Liberals lose one and are at 93. The NDP and Bloc remain steady at 27 and 49 seats, respectively. The Liberals have lost 0.3 points nationally, 0.2 of them going to the Conservatives and 0.1 going to the NDP.

The seat gain for the Tories comes in British Columbia, from the Liberals. The Conservatives have gained 0.5 points in that province, and 0.3 points each in Alberta, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. They've dropped 0.3 points in the Prairies, however.

The Liberals did not gain any ground anywhere. They lost 0.4 points each in British Columbia and Quebec, 0.2 points in Alberta, and 0.1 points each in the Prairies, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada.

The New Democrats made some progress this week. They gained 0.3 points each in the Prairies and Quebec and 0.2 points each in British Columbia and Ontario. They lost 0.1 points in Atlantic Canada, and remained steady in Alberta.

The Bloc is up 0.2 points in Quebec. The Greens lost ground everywhere except in Quebec, where they were steady. They lost 0.1 points each in Alberta, the Prairies, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada. They lost 0.3 points in British Columbia.

So, a good week for the Conservatives, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois. A bad week, again, for the Liberals but also the Greens.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Alberta Provincial Poll

Just wanted to alert you to this Environics poll taken between October 19 and October 31 and involving 1,000 Albertans:

Progressive Conservatives - 34% (-21 from October 2008)
Wildrose Alliance - 28% (+24)
Liberals - 20% (+5)
New Democrats - 9% (-3)
Greens - 8% (-5)

The Progressive Conservatives lead in Edmonton with 34% but are followed closely by the Liberals at 27%. The Wildrose Alliance leads in Calgary with 34%, followed closely by the Progressive Conservatives at 30%. In rural Alberta, it's 38% PC and 32% WA.

Could the reign of the Progressive Conservatives in Alberta be coming to an end? And will this have any effect on federal politics?

New Ekos Poll: 10.4-pt Conservative Lead

EKOS has their weekly poll out. This gives me the opportunity to show you guys my new way for presenting polling information.As EKOS points out, the Conservative and Liberal results closely match their results in 2008. The NDP is down and the Greens are up, but on voting day some of that vote will leak to Jack Layton's party. So, this more or less matches 2008. A year has passed, and nothing's changed!

Some of the regional results are worth repeating. In British Columbia, it appears that both the Tories and the NDP are moving up while the Liberals are moving down. This means we're likely to see a very close race in New Westminster-Coquitlam on November 9.

In Ontario, the gap is now six points. The Conservatives are down below 40% and the Liberals are keeping themselves above 30%. The NDP is still really under-performing, however.

In Atlantic Canada, we've been seeing the Conservatives making gains and the race is now a close one. We're unlike to see any ABC campaign by Danny Williams this time around, so the contest in this part of the country will be heated.

This poll would result in the following seat totals:

Conservatives - 146
Liberals - 83
Bloc Quebecois - 50
New Democrats - 29

So, a few extra seats for Stephen Harper while the Liberals benefit a little bit from stronger results in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. The NDP still loses eight of the seats they held on election night, while the Bloc picks-up one.

The Conservatives win 72 seats in the West, 55 in Ontario, 8 in Quebec, and 10 in Atlantic Canada. The Liberals win 10 seats in the West, 39 in Ontario, 15 in Quebec, and 17 in Atlantic Canada. The NDP take 10 seats in the West, 12 in Ontario, 2 in Quebec, and 5 in Atlantic Canada.

This is, actually, a disappointing result for the Conservatives. They were polling in the 39% to 41% range, or on the cusp of a majority. This actually puts them down, though their dip and the Liberal uptick is both within the MOE. What seems clear, however, is that the movement has stopped and is starting to go back to normal levels.

A projection update will probably come tomorrow, but with only one poll things won't change too much.

UPDATE - As requested, and since this poll is being lauded as the same as the 2008 election, here are the results of that election in the same style of graph as in the polling information above. Open them both in separate tabs, and you can compare easily.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Some Last Hypotheticals

In my post positing four hypothetical scenarios, someone asked what it would have looked like if the Conservatives were still split. So, without a poll in sight, I've tackled that question.

Using the UBC Election Forecaster to distribute the votes, I split the Conservative Party votes over the last three elections between the Progressive Conservatives and the Canadian Alliance. Using the 2000 election as a guide, I split the vote regionally according to the proportion of votes going to the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives. The UBC forecaster doesn't give enough options, so I added the Canadian Alliance's votes to the "Other Parties". This, actually, helps simulate how many centrist voters went to the Liberals after the merger by giving the Canadian Alliance a few more votes than the split of the Conservative vote would give them.

Obviously, this isn't a perfect simulation. But it gives us a good idea of what it would've looked like if Peter MacKay had not merged his party with the Canadian Alliance, all other things being equal.In the 2004 election, the Liberals are elected to another majority government under Paul Martin, which comes as no surprise. But the majority is very slim.

The Canadian Alliance under Stephen Harper increases its caucus to 75 MPs, the most it has ever had. Thanks to the sponsorship scandal, the Bloc returns to prominence in Quebec with 54 MPs, while new leader Jack Layton wins seven more seats for the NDP. Peter MacKay, leader of the Progressive Conservatives, is given a thumping and is reduced from 12 to 3 MPs, all in Atlantic Canada.

The Liberal strength is in the east and in central Canada. In Ontario, the party wins 90 seats, while Atlantic Canada and Quebec provide another 47. Only 19 seats come west and north of Ontario.

The Canadian Alliance wins only eight seats in Ontario, with 67 MPs coming from Western Canada.

However, after less than two years in government, the Liberals lose some MPs to retirement and floor-crossings, and in late 2005 the Paul Martin government - now a minority - falls and Canadians head to an election.Stephen Harper of the Canadian Alliance manages to change the game during the Christmas break with promises of 'Open Federalism' to Quebec. On election night, Paul Martin is elected to a minority government with 126 seats. Canadians begin to wonder how such a small minority government will actually work.

The Liberals see losses in their core regions, dropping to 73 seats in Ontario, 13 in Quebec, and 22 in Atlantic Canada. Martin does, however, win two more seats in the Prairies.

Harper makes big gains for the Canadian Alliance and bumps his caucus up to 88 seats. He manages to take five seats in Quebec, mostly around Quebec City. He also makes a breakthrough in Ontario with 20 seats, but the bulk of his caucus (63 seats) is still west of Ontario.

With a three-way split of the federalist vote in Quebec - four if you count the NDP - Gilles Duceppe wins 57 seats in Quebec, the most his party has ever won.

Jack Layton has another successful election with 32 seats, 13 of them in Ontario and another 10 in British Columbia.

After stepping down as leader of the Progressive Conservatives, Peter MacKay is nevertheless re-elected in Central Nova and new leader Bill Casey wins two more seats for the party in Atlantic Canada. Under Casey's leadership, the Progressive Conservatives are increasingly becoming focused on Maritime issues, added by the presence of PC provincial governments in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.

In 2008, hugely unpopular and faced with an unworkable minority, Paul Martin decides to step down as leader of the Liberals and Stéphane Dion is elected leader of the party and becomes Prime Minister. Shortly thereafter, the opposition joins together to bring down the government.The country is more divided than ever, as Stéphane Dion wins the slimmest of minority governments with only 105 seats. Outnumbered by even the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives, Dion approaches Jack Layton and the two enter into a minority coalition government.

Dion managed to maintain his office with seat wins in the east. He takes 21 seats in Atlantic Canada, 15 in Quebec, and 56 in Ontario. Only 13 MPs in the Liberal caucus represent the West and North.

Jack Layton's 17 MPs in the North and West increase the government's representation in the region to 30. Overall, Layton wins 41 seats for his party, 18 of them in Ontario and 10 in British Columbia. He even elects one MP in Quebec and one in Alberta.

Stephen Harper remains as Leader of the Official Opposition, increasing his party's caucus for a third consecutive time with 101 seats. He wins 12 more in Ontario for a total of 32, while his Quebec caucus is reduced by two to three seats and the party finally wins a seat in Atlantic Canada. Again, the majority, or 65 seats, are Westerners.

Gilles Duceppe benefits once again from the federalist split and takes 56 seats, losing only one from 2006's result.

Bill Casey manages to keep his five seats in Atlantic Canada and the party's provincial wing maintains its hold on New Brunswick, and looks likely to stay in power in Halifax.

Will the Dion-Layton coalition last long? Pundits think it won't. More and more conservative thinkers are pushing for a merger of the Progressive Conservatives and Canadian Alliance, but the PCs are poo-pooing the idea as the Canadian Alliance is not considered open to their regional issues. However, there are doubts that even a merged Conservative Party would be able to defeat the Liberals and NDP, who have agreed to work together and would undoubtedly merge themselves if a Conservative Party appeared.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monthly Picture: October

Another month has passed, and it's time to take a look at October's polling average. Twelve national polls were taken during this month, totalling about 22,600 interviews. Here are the results we get at the national level, with the difference from last month's average in brackets.

Conservatives - 39.2% (+3.5)
Liberals - 27.0% (-3.3)
New Democrats - 15.1% (-0.3)
Bloc Quebecois - 9.2% (-0.2)
Greens - 8.9% (+0.4)

The Conservatives show a huge jump of three and a half points, virtually all of it coming from the Liberals. The NDP make a small dip of 0.3 points, but that totals one entire point since August. The Greens make up some of the ground they lost in September. The seat projection for these results is as follows, with the difference from last month in brackets:

Conservatives - 151 (+17)
Liberals - 80 (-19)
Bloc Quebecois - 50 (+1)
New Democrats - 27 (+1)
Greens - 0 (unchanged)

The Conservatives make a massive 17 seat gain from last month's projection, and are on the cusp of a majority. The Liberals lose 19 seats, but are still a few seats above last year's election. The NDP makes a seat gain but is still 10 down from last year, while the Bloc gets up to 50. The regional results, with difference from last month in brackets:

BRITISH COLUMBIA (10 polls - about 2,070 people)

Conservatives - 41.2% (+3.8)
New Democrats - 24.7 (+1.2)
Liberals - 23.3% (-2.9)
Greens - 10.1% (-2.1)

The Conservatives make another big gain, meaning a bump of almost eight points over the last two months. A big part of that gain came from the Liberals, who are down almost three points. The New Democrats make a gain, but it is just erasing the loss they had in September. The Greens show another loss, representing more than four points over the last two months. The by-election in British Columbia seems to be pushing people to the NDP and the Conservatives, but the gains of the Tories over the last two months bodes well for their chances in New Westminster-Coquitlam.

ALBERTA (8 polls - about 1,360 people)

Conservatives - 59.1% (-2.2)
Liberals - 17.2% (-0.8)
New Democrats - 12.2% (+1.3)
Greens - 9.6% (+2.8)

The Tories take a hit, but at 59% I think they'll be okay. The Liberals take a hit as well, but they had gained half-a-point in September. The NDP seems to have been one of the beneficiaries, and is up more than a point. The Greens make a big gain, but it actually matches their big loss from September.

PRAIRIES (8 polls - about 970 people)

Conservatives - 58.8% (+10.4)
Liberals - 18.1% (-3.7)
New Democrats - 16.7% (-5.6)
Greens - 6.1% (-1.6)

The huge gain by the Conservatives has more to do with two very large numbers (67% and 73%) than anything else, but they are definitely up in the region. The Liberals and Greens take a hit, while the NDP takes an even bigger one.

ONTARIO (11 polls - about 6,590 people)

Conservatives - 42.2% (+2.4)
Liberals - 32.0% (-3.7)
New Democrats - 15.1% (+0.6)
Greens - 10.3% (+1.0)

The Conservatives make another gain in the province and are up more than six points in the last two months. The Liberals take another big hit, and the gap is now at more than ten points. The NDP is up again in Ontario, almost an entire point since August. The Greens are also up, but they had lost two points in September.

QUEBEC (12 polls - about 5,700 people)

Bloc Quebecois - 37.9% (+0.4)
Liberals - 24.1% (-4.9)
Conservatives - 20.9% (+4.2)
New Democrats - 10.1% (-0.3)
Greens - 6.7% (+0.8)

The Bloc makes a modest gain and is holding on to their vote. The Conservatives have made a huge gain in the province, but it is coming entirely from the Liberals as federalists are again becoming divided. The NDP shows a small loss, seemingly to the benefit of the Greens. The ups and downs of the Bloc, NDP, and Greens is pretty small, especially when compared to the Tory and Liberal changes. This demonstrates that the movement in the province is almost entirely between these two parties. The Bloc's strength means they should easily hold on to Hochelaga and be expected to keep Montmagny-L'Islet-Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup, but the Conservative gain means the race in the latter riding will be a good one.

ATLANTIC CANADA (10 polls - about 1,350 people)

Liberals - 35.8% (-3.0)
Conservatives - 35.4% (+5.4)
New Democrats - 22.0% (-2.1)
Greens - 6.3% (-0.5)

After a good September, the Liberals show a big loss and now hold the smallest of leads over the Tories in the region. The Conservatives are up almost eight points in the last two months, and look to take Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley in the by-election. The NDP, losing more than five points since August, seem to be inexplicably falling away in Atlantic Canada, as they certainly aren't losing votes to the Greens who also down this month.

The Conservatives have had an excellent month, posting huge gains in British Columbia, the Prairies, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. They're only down in Alberta, and solidified their significant lead in Ontario. Things are going very well for the Tories right now. There's nothing else to say.

That gain has come almost entirely from the Liberals, who have posted huge losses in every region except Alberta, where they only had a small loss. The decrease in support in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada is especially significant, as that is supposed to be their bread-and-butter.

The NDP had mixed results, with gains in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario - the last two regions very important for the party. But they also had losses in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and the Prairies, where they need to do better.

The Greens also had mixed results, up and down everywhere in the country. The decrease in support in British Columbia, where Elizabeth May will be running, is very troublesome for them.

The Bloc had a very good month in that they managed to stay above the volatility the Liberals and Conservatives are seeing. In fact, where they are the Bloc benefits greatly from the Liberals and Conservatives splitting the vote the way they are.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

And the winner is...

Gérald Tremblay, with about 37% of the vote. Louise Harel finishes a close second with about 33%. Richard Bergeron, with about 26%, helped split the opposition vote with Harel. So, no change in Montreal.

Régis Labeaume in Quebec City was elected with about 80% of the vote. No surprise there.

Gilles Vaillancourt will remain as mayor of Laval, with about 61% of the vote.

Caroline St-Hillare, former Bloc MP, will be mayor of Longueuil with about 53%.

In Gatineau, I was wrong to say Gravel was in the race. He wasn't. But Marc Bureau will continue to be mayor, with about 44% of the vote.

Finally, in Saguenay Jean Tremblay won with 78%.

The race for the mayorship of Sherbrooke is very, very close. At the moment of writing, Bernard Sévigny is ahead of Hélène Gravel by 0.1 points!

From the Globe and Mail

A hilarious critique of The National's new style by Tabatha Southey.

Some excerpts:

Could not the news be authoritative rather than urgent? After all, if a man appears on television, fully aflame, screaming, "I've lit myself on fire with a crème brûlée torch and fairy dust!" he'll likely get the viewers' attention, but he will not have authority.

The anchor you want is the person who can calmly say, "A man has just lit himself on fire with a crème brûlée torch and fairy dust" - and be believed.


CBC news assures us that with "customizable" news we'll be told "only what matters" to us.

To me? Really? Yes. Ideally one day I'll be able turn on the TV and have Peter tell me, "Nonie and Sandy have your electric sander. Goodnight and thanks for watching." Or perhaps I'll have this information shouted at me by a bike courier as he hurls past.

Here's the article.

For my part, it just looks like it is trying too hard. I appreciate that they've given politics a two-hour slot, though.

Election Night

It isn't a provincial, federal, or by- election, but it is momentous nevertheless. Tonight, all of Quebec is voting at the municipal level. Some mayors are being elected without opposition, but about 500 mayoral races are in question.

The most important race is, of course, in Montreal. The two front runners are Gérald Tremblay of Union Montréal, who has ties to the provincial Liberals, and Louise Harel of Vision Montréal, who has ties to the Parti Quebecois. The third major candidate is Richard Bergeron of Projet Montréal, who does not have ties to the major provincial parties.

Tremblay and Harel have been the front-runners for the entire campaign, but Bergeron is starting to come up the middle and some people are seriously speaking about the possibility of Bergeron benefiting from the vote-split between Tremblay and Harel. Tremblay had 53% of the vote in the last municipal election to Vision Montréal's Pierre Bourque's 37%. It will no doubt be much closer tonight.

The next most important mayoral race is in Quebec City, but is also one of the most predictable. Régis Labeaume will almost certainly be re-elected.

In Laval, Gilles Vaillancourt is a good bet to repeat, after taking 72% in the last municipal election. He's been mayor since 1989.

In Longueuil, the race is between Jacques Goyette (the successor of departing mayor Claude Gladu), and Caroline St-Hillaire, formerly a Bloc Quebecois MP.

In Gatineau, Marc Bureau is looking for his second term, and will be opposed by Aurèle Desjardins, Luc Desjardins, Tony Cannavino, Richard Gravel, and Roger Fleury. I haven't been following the race, but from what I have heard the race is between Bureau, Aurèle Desjardins, and Richard Gravel.

In Saguenay, the outspokenly-Catholic mayor Jean Tremblay will be up against Michel Potvin. Tremblay seems to be popular, however.

Should be an interesting night. We can get our election-coverage-watching selves some practice for the by-elections on November 9.