Thursday, February 18, 2010

New EKOS Poll: 2.2-pt Conservative Lead

EKOS has its weekly poll out, and the only thing remarkable about it is how weak all of the parties are.The Conservatives are at 31.2%, up 0.2 points from last week. The Liberals are steady at 29%, the NDP is up one point to 16.5%, the Greens are up 0.5 points to 11.8%, and the Bloc is down 1.5 points to 8.8%.

Those are pretty low levels for all the four major parties, though 16.5% is higher than usual for the NDP in an EKOS poll.

But in Ontario, the leading party - the Liberals - has only 35% (down one). The Conservatives are at 34.6% (up four). The NDP is at 15.4%, down two points.

In Quebec, the Bloc is at 35.9% (down six), the Liberals are at 24.9% (up two), and the Conservatives are steady at 15.5%.

British Columbia illustrates just how close the race is becoming. The Conservatives have dipped below the 30% mark, and are at 29.9%. The Liberals are up five points to 29% and the NDP is down three to 24%.

Nothing remarkable in the three smaller regions, but the Conservatives are not polling well in Alberta and the Prairies. The NDP posts a nine-point gain in the Prairies.

As you can see, I've added the results of Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal to the chart above. No surprises in that chart, really, but it will be interesting to watch how those numbers move.

With this poll, the Conservatives would still take the most seats, with 124. More than half, or 65 seats, comes from the West. The party also takes 45 in Ontario, six in Quebec, and eight in Atlantic Canada.

The Liberals increase the size of their caucus by about half, taking 19 seats out West, 48 in Ontario, 17 in Quebec, and 19 in Atlantic Canada.

The NDP take a few losses, with 11 seats out West, 13 in Ontario, two in Quebec, and five in Atlantic Canada.

The Bloc increases its caucus to 50 seats, thanks to the weak Conservative results in the province.

Things are pretty steady, is about all that can be said. The main fight seems to be in Ontario and British Columbia - but for some reason in that latter province it is only about the Tories dropping.


  1. Hi Josh/Volkov

    Not that much to smile about today

    Except the right/wrong track numbers, more people think wer'e going in the wrong direction than right.

    The BC numbers look interesting.

    The one thing that makes me really smile is that there is no Harper majority, on the horizon phew!!!

    Interested to know your thoughts

    Thanks guys

  2. Éric: I've added the results of Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal to the chart above. No surprises in that chart, really, but it will be interesting to watch how those numbers move.

    This is an interesting experiment, but most of the sample sizes are so small that individual polls give highly misleading results. Plotting the numbers over time as you do for regional numbers (and especially smoothing the graphs) would be valuable, but the single-poll numbers are just fodder for the cackle-and-wail crowd. (Make that cackle-and-rationalize.)

    Clearly the Saskitoba and Atlantic sample sizes are also small, but they're defensible as an integral part of the survey. Fuzzy numbers are better than gaping holes. The city results lack that justification.

    I suggest you leave the city numbers out of your posts. If you're feeling keen I'd be very interested to see them plotted on a trends graph. But hey, it's your blog and you get to display what you want.

  3. There isn't really much for anyone to smile about. For the Tories its bad news because for the fifth straight week they are essentially tied with the Liberals and are down almost 6% from what they got in the last election. Their only consolation is that things aren't getting any worse. But as the Martian on Bugs Bunny would say "where's the BOUNCE?? there was supposed to be an earth-shattering Olympic bounce!?"

    For the Liberals I guess its good to know that they are back in the game after the crash they had in the fall and they are about 3% above what they got in the last election (disastrous as that was for them). But it seems like they are hitting a bit of ceiling at 29/30 percent and they have been fading a bit in Ontario lately - which in this poll is compensated for by this surge in BC which I don't think anyone believes is real or can be sustained. For the last 20 years, the Liberals have regularly polled well in BC in between elections and then it invariably evaporates during an election campaign.

    For the NDP it's nice to move up a notch to 16.5%, but its still a notch behind the 18.2 of the last election. Once again there are encouraging signs of pick up opportunities from the Tories in the west, but Ontario will be a defensive game.

    For the BQ its essentially a replay of the last election - they would probably gain a few Tory seats while losing a few marginal Montreal seats to the Liberals.

    I guess Green/Other are the only ones to really be happy with these polling numbers since this puts the combined Green/Other vote at 14.5% compared to about 7.5% in the last election - but no one thinks that's for real and I suspect that at least half of that 14.5 percent are actually undecided voters.

    All that being said, poll after poll after poll produces seat projections that would give the Liberals and NDP a plurality over the Conservatives and any way you slice it - that means Haroer is GONE.

  4. John, in EKOS polls the city samples are about as big as the samples for Atlantic Canada and the Prairies, so I think the results are relevant. The MOE is only about 5-8 points, which is what we get in most other polls for Ontario.

  5. The Olympic bump has happened. The Liberals have picked up 5 pts in BC because Gordon Campbell has been front and centre cheer leading and having a great time.

    The people that are answering this poll do not comprehend that he is NOT a Federal Liberal (and will be in the 50% of Canadians that don't vote or will be confused why Gordon Campbell and Harper's name is not on their ballot)

    If there is any credence to my hypothesis, it would seem that the CPC is slowly building up a lead in the polls

  6. DL

    It does look like Harper is starting to wear out his welcome, which is fine with me.

    No olympics bounce?

    I could never understand why the tories thought they would ever get one in the first place

  7. Look at NDP and Green numbers in youngest group and Cons numbers among the seniors - perhaps there is hope as the Cons die off and youth retain their idealism

  8. Looks like what I called "vibration" about a week ago. Seemingly there is nothing out there to grab voters attention ?

    What we may really be looking at is core support numbers with the undecideds off with the NDP or Greens.

    The real crunch will come I suspect after the Budget comes down or if the Liberals actually do come out with something the public can latch on to ?

  9. 49 Steps -

    I have lots of things to smile about. This poll is enough to satisfy me, anyways.

    Why? Because it confirmed what I said - this is a dull week for polls. There is barely any movement for anyone. It means that no one is really buying Harper's media tactics, and that any Olympic bump is slow to come, if it will at all.

    But the fact that all polls save that Environics one show the Liberals hitting around their 2006 levels. That's good. I'm happy with that. It means we've made some progress. Our numbers in the cities as well are good too, especially that Toronto one. So long as I'm right, and that isn't Toronto proper, it means the Liberals would have a much stronger result in the surrounding 905 area, out to Oakville and Oshawa, which is where we need to be strong.

    And I mean, to surpass the NDP in Vancouver - that's always good.

  10. Heh, I just realized that it would only take the NDP to give the Conservatives majority votes.

    That's amusing, when you think about it. It just gives them 155 - meaning it would take only one unhappy Dipper to give the Opposition power, or hold up the entirety of Parliament.

  11. In some ways its even better if we have a scenario where the NDP alone cannot save the Tories on any confidence vote. That creates a scenario where the Tories have to rely on on the BQ to remain in power - not a good place for them to be!

  12. This is just a poll guys. Don't get too excited. Hey Spring Training begins today! Seven weeks and its opening day!

  13. Just because the Expo's fled Eric there's no reason not to like BB. It's a great game. I've been a Yankee fan since I was 13 in in 1934.

  14. That sounds about right.

    I went to see an Expos game or two when they were still in Montreal, but I never liked the game. Too slow and too organized for my taste.

    There's plenty of good hockey on TV right now. I stayed up to watch two periods of the game between the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

    It was the first game of the Olympics between two good teams, and boy was it a great game.

  15. I didn't see that game Eric but Olympic and playoff hockey is good. The regular season, not so good. Even if you're not a BB fan Spring Training is the first sign of spring.

  16. Winter and Fall are my favourite seasons, so that's another knock against baseball!

  17. I'm a baseball fan, but I understand why some wouldn't like it. I enjoy how quantifiable it is (and I'm amazed at the number of baseball fans who are unwilling to consider the statistical side of the game).

    And I'm in Vancouver, so I can't tell the seasons apart. It's always spring.

  18. Hi 49 Steps,

    I agree that the sheer percentage of the population that thinks the country is going in the wrong direction should be of concern to any sitting government.

    What can't be denied is that Canada is indeed in worse shape today than we were 4 years ago. It's a fact that drives conservatives bonkers when you point it out.

    Also, I too am happy that a Harper majority is likely to never happer. Harper's place in history will be as a footnote - an 'error' to never be repeated.

    I'm still amazed at how quickly the political fortunes for these clowns nose-dives - every time they reach 'majority' territory, Harper just can't help himself - he gets cocky, starts acting 'Harper-like', and the next thing you know they drop in the polls.

    I've got a feeling this time things just might be different. Harper may indeed poll in the mid-30's - but they simply won't cross that threshold ever again. Too many Canadians who have been on the fence with Harper for the past 4 years have beened turned off for good.


  19. Hi Josh

    Glad to see you back!!

    Us liberals need to stick together
    and keep bringing sanity to the board.

    Keep up the good fight and I'll try and help as much as I can

  20. Josh

    I agree with your analysis.

    Harper never sees a belt he doesn't want to hit below.

    Did you see his performance in Haiti a few days ago. Slagging the liberals for not supporting the troops.

    Leave it to Harper to make a foreign visit and turn it into an oppurtunity, to slam his opposition.

    Completely inappropriate.

    What's the old saying "patriotism is the last vestage of a scoundrel"

  21. "I agree that the sheer percentage of the population that thinks the country is going in the wrong direction should be of concern to any sitting government."

    Can I assume that you agree with the 60% of the US population that thinks that Obama is taking the country in the wrong direction on his way leftward too?? (Yes 60% is still more than the 48% in Canada)

    Or is it possible that you only disagree with Harper and his moves to the right?


    Nik Nanos....

    Layton surpasses Iggy this month in all 3 categories: trust, competence and vision.

    But yes, Harper dropped a bit, so if you add up the favorables for Iggy and Layton. The 2 of them on strict addition do still marginally surpass Harper (atleast as long as they are separate parties).

    So while the tories lead their leader by about 5%.... Iggy trails his party by about 17%.

  23. 49 Steps -

    Harper never sees a belt he doesn't want to hit below.

    LOL! That's a great line!

    Did you see his performance in Haiti a few days ago. Slagging the liberals for not supporting the troops.

    I questioned Harper's Haiti response before... would Harper have done anything at all if he were polling at 40%? I'm willing to bet he wouldn't have done anything.

    As for him slagging the Liberals, that's pretty much expected. Imagine if Harper put in 1/10th the effort into governing as he does in his warring with all parties and playing politics, he just might have been the best PM ever. I seriously believe that.

    BTW - You know that clip in the news they keep playing of that murderous Air-Force captain with Peter McKay? Imagine if it was a clip of him and Ignatieff? The cons would be using it as an example of how "weak the Libs are with crime."

    I feel bad for cons though - reality has a liberal bias and they just can't accept it.


  24. Barcs writes:

    Can I assume that you agree with the 60% of the US population that thinks that Obama is taking the country in the wrong direction on his way leftward too?? (Yes 60% is still more than the 48% in Canada)

    Huh? Weird.

    Talk about trying to set up a straw-man argument. A very weak attempt. If I didn't know better I would have to assume your ability to reason is all but non-existent.

    Are you trying to say that a high percentage of people who think the government is headed in the wrong direction is not an issue for any sitting government?

    Not exactly sure where your reasoning so blatantly broke down and you somehow assumed that such a comment is an automatic "left vs right" issue. That has nothing to do with Harper or Obama - it's simply stating a fact.

    Your rush to create a straw-man arguement exposes you as a fool.

    How sad it must be to be you.


  25. Josh

    I alway's found Harper's response to Haiti to be phoney, just like him.

    Yes the cons would be using the Captain against Ignatieff in a nano second if they could.

    They would probably be running attack ads as we speak.

    Trying to ignore the "S" wannabes if you know who I mean, not worthy of a response.

    Come on up to the above thread, Volkov is on and "s" has only made one appearance today so far.

  26. Josh

    Just a heads up

    It's back on the above thread

    Just a warning!!!

  27. Josh

    The party is over above, the nutty gate crasher has arrived in full force, so I have officially left Dodge City on that thread for the day.

    You know what I can't understand.

    You have guys like Earl who are honest conservatives, and provide decent commentary and conversation.

    No talking points, or bull, just intelligent honest conversation.

    Where are all the conservative Earl's out there.

  28. Hey 49 Steps,

    Yeah I agree - let the trolls do their thing.

    I'm not really into Quebec provincial politics, so those Leger polls rarely grab my attention which is why I hadn't even visited it today!

    Have a good one.


  29. Eric,

    Angus Reid has some Quebec numbers out. They're interesting, considering that apparently a party lead by Lucien Bouchard would wipe the floor with all major parties today.

    Take a look:

  30. Volkov that's fascinating.

    Perhaps the commentary i've seen about him creating a new party isn't so far off base.

    I wonder if the ADQ wouldn't fold up shop and its sitting members transfer over to such a party?

    Especially if Dumont endorsed such a move.

  31. More people think the Gov't is on the right track than vot CPOC. Will they vote for change, Idoubt it. I think that is why each time Iggy looks election hungry CPOC number go to near 40%. Can the Libs overcome this? I doubt it without some "Game Changer"


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