I hope everyone had a wonderful holidays, and while it seems Parliament won't be working for another two months, that doesn't mean the rest of us will stop working. Nanos has a "new" poll out. It is "new" because it was taken between December 10 and December 13 - more than two weeks ago. That puts the poll right smack dab in the middle of an EKOS and Angus-Reid poll, both of which were actually quite different. The results:The Conservatives are up (from the November 7-10 Nanos poll) 1.5 points nationally to 39.5%, while the Liberals are up 1.4 points to 30.2%. The NDP is up 0.8 to 18.7%, a very good result for them, while the Bloc is down 1.6 points to 7.7% and the Greens are down 1.9 points to 4%.
Really, all three parties major national parties can be happy with those numbers.
The Conservatives have a big lead in British Columbia, picking up 8 points to reach 43.2%. They are also up four points in the "Prairies", but are down three points in Ontario and have lost the lead there. They are up two in Quebec, and at 23.8% are riding high. They are down six in Atlantic Canada and have lost the lead, but the sample size in that region is tiny.
The Liberals picked up four points in Ontario and are leading (yes, leading) with 38.5%. They are also up three points in Quebec and are at 29.5%, very good, but down seven in Atlantic Canada. Very bad.
The NDP makes an unbelievable (literally) 14-point gain in Atlantic Canada, and lead with 35.6%.
The Bloc drops four points to 32.4% in Quebec.
But this poll looks very different from the EKOS and Angus-Reid polls taken at the same time. Let's look at how they compare at the national level, with Nanos first, EKOS second, and Angus-Reid third:
Conservatives - 39.5% / 35.9% / 36.0%
Liberals - 30.2% / 26.7% / 29.0%
New Democrats - 18.7% / 17.0% / 16.0%
Bloc Quebecois - 7.7% / 9.2% / 11.0%
Greens - 4.0% / 11.2% / 6.0%
AR and EKOS agreed on the Conservatives, but Nanos has them almost four points higher. The Liberal results have a variation of 3.5 points, while the NDP ranges from 16% to 18.7%. The Greens poll either at 4% or at nearly three times that much.
Perhaps, instead, we should look at relative change. How has the Nanos numbers changed from November to December as compared with changes to EKOS and Angus-Reid? Thankfully, EKOS and Angus-Reid both came out with polls taken at a similar time to Nanos back in November. So let's compare the growth or loss between November and December (Nanos first, then EKOS, then AR).
Conservatives - +1.5 / -0.7 / -2.0
Liberals - +1.4 / +0.1 / +6.0
New Democrats - +0.8 / +0.2 / -1.0
Bloc Quebecois - -1.6 / +0.4 / 0.0
Greens - -1.9 / 0.0 / -4.0
So, one of the biggest disparities between these three polls is in the Conservative numbers. Nanos has them showing considerable growth. Angus-Reid has them showing considerable loss. EKOS also has them down, but just a bit.
What they do agree on is Liberal growth, though EKOS and Nanos has them growing more modestly than Angus-Reid.
The NDP's numbers haven't changed enough to really come to a conclusion, and the Bloc's national numbers are meaningless. For the Greens, this shows they are showing losses between November and December.
Now, let's look at Ontario. First, the raw December numbers (same order):
Conservatives - 37.4% / 38.9% / 41.0%
Liberals - 38.5% / 31.1% / 34.0%
New Democrats - 16.6% / 17.2% / 17.0%
Greens - 7.5% / 12.7% / 7.0%
The Tory and NDP results are relatively close, but the Liberals ones are not. Clearly the Conservatives are around 38% to 39% and the NDP is at around 17%, but where the Liberals are - anyone's guess. The average result is 34.5%.
How about the change since November?
Conservatives - -2.3 / -0.3 / -2.0
Liberals - +3.3 / -2.7 / +5.0
New Democrats - -2.3 / +1.7 / +2.0
Greens - +1.4 / +1.1 / -6.0
So, the Conservatives seem to be sinking. Nanos and AR would argue the Liberals are growing quickly, but EKOS disagrees. It is difficult to pin point what is happening the NDP and Green numbers.
Quebec's raw December numbers:
Bloc Quebecois - 32.4% / 39.8% / 42.0%
Liberals - 29.5% / 22.7% / 25.0%
Conservatives - 23.8% / 16.9% / 17.0%
New Democrats - 12.1% / 10.1% / 8.0%
Greens - 2.3% / 10.4% / 5.0%
Nanos is at odds with the other pollsters for every party, while EKOS and Angus-Reid are much closer together.
Here are the changes since November:
Bloc Quebecois - -3.2 / +4.2 / 0.0
Liberals - +2.3 / +1.4 / +6.0
Conservatives - +1.6 / -4.8 / -2.0
New Democrats - +1.1 / -0.6 / -6.0
Greens - -1.6 / -0.2 / -2.0
So the Bloc is either showing growth or loss. Angus-Reid doesn't provide us with a useful third set of data, since they show no change. The Liberals, however, seem to be on the rise but the Tories are sinking for two of the three pollsters.
Comparing polls in this way shows how much of an inexact science it is. In this context, it is almost impossible to take anything concrete from individual polling results. The best picture we get comes from looking at all of them together.
Happy New Year!