Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Manitoba Polls

Probe Research has released federal and provincial polls for Manitoba. Let's look at the provincial poll first.The New Democrats, and their new premier, have a good ten point lead over the Progressive Conservatives. But things are pretty static in the province. Probe's last poll, in September, was not much different. These numbers represent a two-point gain for the NDP and a loss of one point each for the Progressive Conservatives and the Liberals - all well within the margin of error.

NDP support is strongest in Winnipeg, where the party leads with 52% to the PC's 30%. The Liberals trail with 13%.

Outside of Winnipeg, it is the PC that is leading, with 49%. The NDP is still in the game at 39%, while the Liberals are not, at 9%.

It would seem that Manitobans are just fine with their new Premier, and that they haven't changed their opinions since the 2007 election. At that time, the NDP took 48% of the vote, the Progressive Conservatives took 38%, and the Liberals took 13%. In Winnipeg, the breakdown was 53%, 29%, and 15%. So virtually no change at all!

At the federal level, the results are very different, demonstrating that in Manitoba provincial and federal fortunes don't coincide:

Conservatives - 50%
New Democrats - 22%
Liberals - 21%
Greens - 7%

Compared to their last poll in September, this is a two point gain for the Tories and a one point gain for the NDP and Greens. The Liberals are the big losers, dropping four points. That result, at least, is outside of the margin of error.

This isn't much different from 2008's election, however. The Conservatives had 49% of the vote, the NDP had 24%, the Liberals had 19%, and the Greens had 7%. So, all within the margin of error. Perhaps, if an election took place today, there would be no changes in Manitoba.

This is confirmed by the Winnipeg results. The Conservatives lead with 43% (up four points), while the NDP is at 26% (up five points) and the Liberals are at 24% (down six). The Greens are at 7%, down one.

But in the 2008 election, the results in Winnipeg were 43% Conservative, 27% NDP, 23% Liberal, and 6% Green.

In other words, things haven't changed at all!

Outside of Winnipeg, the Tories are well ahead with 59%. The NDP is at 17% and the Liberals are at 15%.

As I track "the Prairies" together, I can't use this poll in my projection. But the lack of change, both at the provincial and federal levels, is remarkable.


  1. Outside of Winnipeg the only riding that is one any importance is Churchill which has gone NDP to Liberal to NDP in the last few elecetions. The other rural seats are as Tory as rural Alberta.

    Even a large province-wide poll like this with 400 interviews outside Winnipeg tells us nothing about Churchill since that riding is so sparsely populated and about half the voters are First nations on reserve many of whom don't have phones etc...

  2. Manitoba is one of those really bland provinces these days. They haven't changed government in ten years and don't look like they'll be sending the NDP to the opposition benches anytime soon. And Manitoba has elected a majority of right-wing MPs since 1997. I expect maybe one or two federal seats will change but other than that the status quo rules in Manitoba.

  3. The only seat I see Tory strategists wanting to target is Elmwood—Transcona.

    Tories only reached 76% of their spending limit in '08 compared to the NDP's 95%.

    The same candidate with full financial backing could probably turn this one competitive.

  4. The CPC not spending all their money looks like an accident. They have boatloads of cash; they finish each election with enough left over to hold another one.

  5. Ira,

    Yeah, i'm not quite sure how that works but I do know that the CPC maxes out its spending each election.

    Maybe its the cost of the campaign plane and national advertising that reduces the amount available to individual candidates.

    Or maybe there's a limit to how much money the party account to transfer to individual candidate accounts.

    Whatever it is I know that they are very specific about which races they spend money/time on and not.

    If we didn't have these ridiculous restrictions the CPC would probably get far more votes than they do now.

  6. The provincial Manitoba New Democrats could be categorized as "Orange Liberals" that have business savvy and are pragmatic, business-oriented, and very successful unlike their dogmatic and ideological BC or federal cousins.

    The Manitoba NDP is:

    1. Eliminating corporate capital taxes altogether;

    2. Moving toward the lowest corporate income taxes in the country;

    3. Permits publicly-owned Maitoba Hydro to engage in IPP contracts with private power - mainly wind power;

    They won't even implement "anti-scab" laws, which are still extant in both BC and Quebec under the Liberals.

    The BC NDP or federal NDP take opposite views on these areas of public policy.

    That's why the Manitoba NDP continually have had a consistent lead in the opinion polls provincially and will likely remain there for the foreseeable future .

  7. The Manitoba NDP is a lot more closely linked to the NDP than you might think. Doer's wife is the federal NDP's pollster and Doer and Layton are actually very close friends. Apparently Doer suggested that the NDP make some overtures to the Tories over EI in the Fall etc...

    Being in power tends to moderate people. Before Manitoba NDP took power, they were also easily stereotyped as rabid ideologues led by the former head of a public sector union (Doer).

  8. And the Manitoba New Democrats are also viewed as "competent" fiscal and economic managers and they are rewarded as such at the polling booth.

  9. "Orange Liberals," I like that term. I've been looking for a way to categorize those types of Dippers; Manitoba NDP, NS NDP, Rae, etc.

  10. DL - Doer also supports the Afghan mission and the Alberta oil sands, something unheard of for a New Democrat leader.

    I guess that's why he's now Harper's man in Washington.

  11. Eric, new Harris-Decima poll -

    Con - 34%
    Lib - 28%
    NDP - 14%
    Green - 13%

  12. Doer has to pay lip service to Canadian government policy as ambassador - but he is counting down the days until there is a change of government so he doesn't have to read from the scripts that DFAIT sends him. It's not "unheard of" for anyone in the federal NDP to support the Afghan mission - in some form - there are several MPs who do. Though I think that as public opinion in general is starting to coalesce around the idea that the mission is a total waste of time and money - they are rapidly falling by the wayside.

    Seriously, can anyone keep a straight face and claim that Canada has accomplished anything in Afghanistan? It's been a total flop - and every penny of our tax dollars spent there has been a penny wasted.

  13. DL,

    Correct me if i'm wrong but I don't believe a single NDP MP voted for the Afghan mission extension.

    In fact, isn't official NDP policy to support a pull out of Afghanistan ASAP ? So which rookie MP has broken with Layton ?

    "counting down the days until there is a change of government"



    When on earth is that going to happen ? I don't know if you noticed Eric's projection but right now its say Conservative minority.

  14. Harris-Decima hasn't been releasing their polling data on their site. The last publicly available poll posted on their site was on September 16.

  15. Re: Harris Decima

    Look at those numbers! NDP at 14%, despite their hulabaloo over the HST! Who can say it matters now?

    And the Greens @ 13%? What in the world... so much for Climategate.

  16. Volkov,

    Check Eric's analysis on the leanings of polling comapnies please.

    Harris Decimae is one of the MOST favourable pollster to the greens, +2%.

    Its also one of the least favourable to the Conservatives at -2.5%.

    But you're right - these numbers have to be somewhat dissapointing for the NDP.

  17. Jesse,

    I know, but still, 13% for the Greens? That is a rather unsettling number, considering.

  18. Volkov,

    Unsettling to whom?

    When I look at the Green party all I see is a bunch of wasted votes that could have helped NDP or Liberal candidates.

    My only problem with the Greens is that they are included in the debates.

    Ms. May's inclusion was totally inappropriate and offensive.

    What next? The Communist party leader ?

  19. The Communist leader? No freaking way!

    Now, the Marxist-Leninist leader is an intelligent fellow. But the Communists?



    I showed a few months ago that Green votes split pretty much equally among the other parties, so it doesn't really help anyone if they disappeared.

    In any case, I'm exiling Harris-Decima until they start posting their data.

  20. "When I look at the Green party all I see is a bunch of wasted votes that could have helped NDP or Liberal candidates."

    They are only wasted votes when they actually end up in the ballot box - and we know that very few of them do. Look at the four recent byelections: 2%, 3%, 2% and 4% - PATHETIC....and whenever we have a federal election - there won't be a Copenhagen conference happening on election day.

    "I don't know if you noticed Eric's projection but right now its say Conservative minority."

    I think Eric should change his terminology. His current projection is for a Conservative PLURALITY. Whether or not the Conservatives would actually end up forming a minority government after the next election is something we do not know. If the opposition parties all vote down the Throne speech after the next election, we could end up with a minority government led by the party with the second largest number of seats.

    Message to Eric - you are currently projecting a Conservative "plurality" not a Conservative "minority". This site is about trying to project the seat breakdown after the next election based on polling data (right?) - its not about projecting what the parties will do post election and what permutation will produce what government.

  21. Technically, a government formed by a party without the most seats in the House would only take place AFTER the government formed by the party with the most seats in the House falls.

    In other words, I am projecting a Conservative minority. If the government falls two weeks later, it doesn't change the fact that a Conservative minority was elected.

    That is why I have qualifiers. This is a "strong" minority because all three opposition parties are required to defeat the government. That is the most unlikely occurrence.

    I then have "stable" (which means the 2nd and 3rd parties are needed to defeat the government) and "unstable" (which means the 2nd and 4th parties are needed to defeat the government).

  22. DL, Eric,

    You shouldn't bother with any of it.

    Until we hear otherwise as far as I know the official position of the Liberal party is NO COALITION.

    So unless they're planning to lie to Canadians for an entire election (like Dion/Layton did when they insisted there would be no budget deficit) then there is no point in entertaining the possibility.

    I really don't see Canadians accepting a coalition built on such a lie.

  23. A "coalition" is where two or more parties share seats at the cabinet table. There are all kinds of other arrangements that parties can make that involve - say - the second and third largest parties power - that are not "coalitions" per se. For example when the Ontario Liberals and NDP took power in 1985 despite the Tories having the most seats - it was an "accord" not a "coalition.

    "Technically, a government formed by a party without the most seats in the House would only take place AFTER the government formed by the party with the most seats in the House falls."

    That's not quite true. After an election the incumbent party remains in power until it resigns or is defeated in the house. If the Tories came in second, Harper could still form a government and try his luck at getting his throne speech passed. Paul Martin apparently seriously considered doing that in 2006. So by Eric's logic, no matter what the seat distribution is after the next election, any minority government is in effect a Conservative minority government until parliament meets and either keeps them in or throws them out.

  24. New Ekos is out - looks good to me!

  25. DL,

    We already know the NDP aren't going to support the Liberals unless they are given cabinet seats.

    So unless the polls dramatically chnage or the parties change their official positions then I don't see where PM Harper is going anytime soon.

  26. "We already know the NDP aren't going to support the Liberals unless they are given cabinet seats."

    Really, I didn't know that and I'm an NDP member. I think that after the next election, there will be intense pressure on the opposition parties to remove the psychopath (aka: Harper)from power - and they will do whatever it takes.

  27. DL,

    Really? Intense pressure on the NDP to hand power over to the torture/Iraq war supporter without influencing any changes on Liberal policy ?

    That's absolutely laughable. Layton's policy has always been no blank checks.

    The price of admission last election was cabinet seats. I don't see why that has changed.

  28. No one said anything about "blank cheques" but there could a formal accord with some massive policy concessions etc... there are many, many things the NDP can demand from the Liberals that don't involve cabinet seats.

  29. DL,

    Ok these are all distinctions without a difference. It would be called out as a coalition in seconds.

    And that's frankly unacceptable and a total con pulled over on the voters.

    Many Liberal supporters would flee the party if they knew it was going to have anything to do with the NDP.

    NDP-Liberal coalition pushed the Conservatives over 50 last time.

    If the Liberlals anbonded the center and joined the left a good chunk of their support would go to the Conservatives and we'd be in majority territory anyways.

  30. It may be unacceptable to you - but I think its perfectly acceptable to everyone else. In 1972-74 - the Liberals made massive concessions to the NDP in order to regain power and Martin made his budget deal with the NDP in 2005 - which also went over very well with the public as I recall. When the second place Liberals and the third place NDP made an accord to take power in Ontario in 1985 - it produced an incredibly popular government and the Tories were reduced to 3rd place and 16 seats in the following election.

    I realize that this topic drives diehard Tories to distraction because they know deep down that unless they get a majority in the next election, the opposition will find a way to flush Harper down the toilet - and there are many ways to do so.

    Mark my words, Ignatieff will choose his words very carefully - and give himself endless ways to take power after the election.

  31. DL,

    I have no doubt Iggy's ego is bigger than Dion's and if he loses the next election he'll attempt to take power.

    That's why i'm asking that everyone be as honest as you are now.

    Give Canadians a choice - Harper or Iggy/Layton in a coalition like arrangement.

    I'm telling you right now that they'll give Harper his majority if those are the options.

    And since we all agree that they are indeed the options then we'll just have to wait and see what the voters say.

  32. All Ignatieff has to see is that he will consider all possibilities after the election once we see what house we have been given. Who knows, Ignatieff could even form a minority government and govern based on etting the Tories to support his legislation on some things and the NDP and/or BQ on others - in other words just like the way Harper is governing right now.

    Harper could also throw down the gauntlet and say "give me a majority or I will resign the day after the election!"

  33. DL,

    OK so during the election when Harper says the choice is between a Tory majority or a Liberal minority propped up by the NDP you'll agree with him ?

    And then Ignatieff, predictably, says NO THAT'S A LIE!!

    You'll also agree that Ignatieff is just talking out his ass to try and keep the votes of right leaning Liberal supporters who hate the idea of a coalition ?

    I'm just wondering if this honesty will last into the election or you guys will try and pull a fast one over on Canadians.

  34. Liberals want to be in power (just like supporters of other parties want their parties to be in power). Liberal supporters didn't seem to mind when Paul Martin made a deal with the NDP and they didn't mind when Trudeau did it either.

    God forbid that parties in a minority government might actually talk to each other! - I mean seriously, imagine a Liberal minority government with support from the NDP and the Bloc - why they might do something crazy like running a $55 billion deficit and passing a resolution recognizing Quebec as a nation! (oh yeah Harper already did that...)

  35. DL,

    Lol! Please tell me you did not mention the deficit!

    The NDP has ZERO credibility on fiscal matters considering that at every turn they were yelling MORE MORE MORE spending.

    Regardless, Liberal opinion is not monolithic.

    Polling shows that there are a certain percentage of Liberal voters who actually prefer a Harper government !

  36. Being a "Liberal" and "preferring a Harper government" is an oxymoron. If you want Harper to rule then you are ipso-facto a Conservative.

    You'll see, we will have an election sometime in 2010 - the Tories will have more seats than any other party - but no majority - and then they will be voted down on the first throne speech after the election and the leader of the opposition will be asked to form a government. End of story. You know and I know it and Harper knows it too.


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