Friday, March 12, 2010

February Averages

Time to look at February's polling. Twelve national polls were taken during this month (seven more than last month), totalling about 26,060 interviews. Here are the results we get at the national level, with the difference from last month's average in brackets.

Conservatives - 32.8% (+0.4)
Liberals - 30.8% (+0.7)
New Democrats - 16.2% (-0.1)
Greens - 9.8% (-0.1)
Bloc Quebecois - 8.9% (-0.6)

The Conservatives manage a tiny rebound, but it pales in comparison to their 4.4-point loss in January. The Liberals also make a small gain, but this is a gain of almost three points compared to December's result. The NDP hardly moves at all, but they would much prefer to be at around 2008's 18%. The Bloc drops, but it is more important to look at the Quebec number. The Greens drop a little, but it is still a 1.6-point gain since December. It is quite astonishing to see such a close race between the Tories and the Liberals at such a low number.

The seat projection for these results is as follows, with the difference from last month in brackets:

Conservatives - 121 (-2)
Liberals - 109 (+6)
Bloc Quebecois - 49 (-2)
New Democrats - 29 (-2)
Greens - 0 (unchanged)

Only a loss of two seats for the Conservatives, though they were at 140 seats in December. The Liberals are up six seats, when they were only at 86 seats in December. The NDP is down two more (after being down one in January), while the Bloc is down two after gaining one.The regional results, with difference from last month in brackets:

BRITISH COLUMBIA (12 polls - about 3,010 people)

Conservatives - 34.3% (+0.8)
Liberals - 26.3% (+0.1)
New Democrats - 24.5% (-0.6)
Greens - 12.7% (-0.3)

The Conservatives manage to tread water and make a small gain, but they are still more than four points lower than their December level. The Liberals remain stable, which is good considering their level of support. The NDP drops a little, but this is a drop of almost two points in two months. The Greens seem to always be taking steps backwards and forwards in this province, losing ground this month.

ALBERTA (11 polls - about 2,270 people)

Conservatives - 54.4% (-0.6)
Liberals - 21.2% (+2.7)
New Democrats - 10.6% (-0.3)
Greens - 10.6% (-0.7)

The Conservatives continue to slip in the province. The Liberals, meanwhile, make a large gain - this trend in Alberta can't be ignored. The NDP broke the Conservative sweep in 2008, and the Liberals look like they will continue to block that sweep in 2010-11. The NDP slips a little, while the Greens slip a little more.

PRAIRIES (11 polls - about 1,650 people)

Conservatives - 47.0% (-0.4)
New Democrats - 21.7% (-1.9)
Liberals - 21.3% (+2.2)
Greens - 8.9% (+0.4)

The Conservatives drop a little, but this is more than five points of losses since December. The Liberals are up, a gain of more than three points in two months. What is going on in the west? The NDP has dropped about two points, erasing their January gains. The Greens are up a point in two months.

In all, the Conservatives take 66 seats in the West. The Liberals win 18 and the NDP win 11.

ONTARIO (12 polls - about 8,740 people)

Liberals - 38.1% (+0.9)
Conservatives - 34.9% (-0.2)
New Democrats - 15.3% (-0.2)
Greens - 10.6% (unchanged)

The Liberals are up almost a point, marking gains of almost four points over the last two months. After losing four points in January, this is a small drop for the Tories, but worrisome for them nevertheless. The same goes for the NDP, who lost one point in January and now another small loss in February. The Greens remain stable.

The Liberals win 53 seats, the Tories win 41, and the NDP takes 12.

QUEBEC (12 polls - about 5,820 people)

Bloc Quebecois - 36.4% (-1.4)
Liberals - 26.5% (+0.9)
Conservatives - 16.4% (+0.5)
New Democrats - 11.0% (-0.9)
Greens - 8.3% (+1.3)

The Bloc takes a relatively large step backwards, but the trend seems to have been that every loss is made-up by a gain the next month. We'll see if that trend holds in March. The Liberals make a decent little gain, up a full point since December. The Conservatives make a small gain, but are still down more than two points since December. The NDP is down, erasing their gains from January, while the Greens are up almost two points since December.

The Bloc wins 49 seats while the Liberals win 18. The Conservatives are reduced to six and the NDP win two.

ATLANTIC CANADA (12 polls - about 1,860 people)

Liberals - 37.5% (+1.7)
Conservatives - 30.9% (+0.9)
New Democrats - 23.1% (-3.2)
Greens - 7.5% (+1.0)

The Liberals are up, marking almost six points of gains since December. The Conservatives make a decent gain, but that is still more than four points of losses in two months. The NDP is down big here, almost six points in all in two months. The Greens are up a little for another month.

The Liberals dominate with 20 seats, while the Conservatives (eight) and NDP (four) split the rest.The Conservatives are starting to re-gain their balance, with gains in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and British Columbia. But they are modest gains when compared to the huge losses they've suffered, and they are still down in Ontario, the Prairies, and Alberta. While those two last regions are still safe, something has to be done in Ontario.

The Liberals continue to make gains, which they have done in every region of the country. They are re-establishing themselves in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada (their bread and butter), and are even making inroads in British Columbia and Alberta. In other words, they are heading in the right direction.

The NDP had a very rough month in February, losing ground in every part of the country. Their large losses in Atlantic Canada and the Prairies are troublesome. They seem to be suffering from the Liberal re-bound as much as the Conservatives have been.

The Bloc sees a drop equal to the gains made by the Liberals and the Conservatives, which is a source of worry for them. But, they still hold a good lead over the Liberals and will be able to take advantage of the Conservative drop.

With a loss in British Columbia and stability in Ontario, the Greens are not closer to electing their first MP.