Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Tale of Two Polls - 4 or 7 pt CPC Lead?

Two polls were released this morning, one from Nanos and one from EKOS. Lately, these two pollsters couldn't be any different. EKOS finds rock-bottom support for the Conservatives and Liberals, while Nanos usually has them both higher than everyone else. According to Nanos, 70.4% of Canadians support one of the two big parties. For EKOS, that number is 59.2%.

We'll start with Nanos, who last polled in early March.Compared to that poll, at 37.2% the Conservatives have gained 2.5 points. The Liberals have dropped 1.4 points to 33.2% and the New Democrats are down 1.6 points to 16.2%. The Greens are down 1.4% to 3.8 points.

It's difficult to reconcile these numbers with other polls - which I know can be a fool's errand. But no one has had the Liberals over 30% in a very long time, and the Conservative result will be one of the highest in my model. And the Greens below 4%? I suppose it could be true, but I doubt they will get 0.3% support in Quebec and 0 votes in Atlantic Canada.

Anyway, in Ontario the Liberals drop 0.1 points to 41.6%, while the Conservatives are down 2.1 points to 37.1%. The NDP is up 2.1 to 16.7%.

In Quebec, the Bloc Québécois jumps 6.4 points to 37.9%, while the Liberals are down 4.3 to 26.7%. The Conservatives are up 1.7 points to 23.5%, one of their best results ever. The NDP is down 0.1 points to 11.6%.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives have lost 0.7 points but still lead with 36.1%. The Liberals are up 4 points to 32.2% and the NDP is up 2.5 to 25.6%.

In the "Prairies", which Nanos defines as Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, the Conservatives are up 7.2 points to 54.7%. The Liberals are down 4.4 to 24.6% and the NDP is down six to 13.8%. In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals lead with 43.7%, followed by the Conservatives (up 13.4 to 38.4%) and the NDP (down 11.6 to 17.9%).

Using this site's current projection for Alberta and the Prairies, the Conservatives win 66 seats in the West, 41 in Ontario, 10 in Quebec, and 9 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 126.

The Liberals win 19 seats in the West, 55 in Ontario, 16 in Quebec, and 22 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 112. A good result for them.

The Bloc wins 49 seats.

The NDP wins 10 seats in the West, 10 in Ontario, and 1 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 21.

Now, EKOS.
Compared to last week's poll, the Conservatives are up 1.2 points to 33.1%. The Liberals drop again, 0.5 points to 26.1%. The NDP is down 1.6 to 16.0%.

Coupled with Nanos, this indicates the little bump the NDP had may have disappeared.

The Greens are up 0.6 points to 11.5% and "Other" is down 0.2 to 3.1%.

In Ontario, the Conservatives are steady with 36.3%. The Liberals drop a point to 32.5% and the NDP is down two to 15.7%. The race is close in Toronto, with the Conservatives at 37.8%, two points ahead of the Liberals. In Ottawa, it isn't as close, with the Conservatives leading with 40.6%.

In Quebec, the Bloc is up one point to 40.4%. The Liberals are up two to 20.9%, as are the Conservatives at 18.4%. The NDP is down three to 9.6%. In Montreal, the Bloc leads with 36.4%.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives are up two points to 29.6%, followed closely by the NDP at 25.5% (up three) and the Liberals at 25.1% (up two). In Vancouver, the Conservatives have a narrow lead over the NDP, 32.7% to 31.2%.

Elsewhere, the Conservatives lead in Atlantic Canada with 38.6%, where the NDP has dropped seven points. The Tories also lead in Alberta with 49.8%, down five. In the Prairies, they lead with 48.4%, up 10, while the Liberals are down eight to 19.8%.

The Conservatives win 66 seats in the West, 50 in Ontario, 8 in Quebec, and 11 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 135.

The Liberals win 16 seats in the West, 41 in Ontario, 14 in Quebec, and 17 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 88.

The Bloc wins 53 seats in Quebec.

The NDP wins 13 seats in the West, 15 in Ontario, and 4 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 32.

So, two very different polls. The big culprit seems to be the Greens, as I think we can all agree it is unlikely the Greens would drop to 3.8%, losing almost half their support, or double their support to reach 11.5%. So, they are more likely somewhere in between, meaning there are four points to distribute elsewhere. That changes both polls quite a bit.

More importantly, though, is where the polls are similar. They both show the Conservatives making modest gains, and the Liberals losing ground. They both show the NDP down and the Bloc up. They both show a close race in Ontario and British Columbia. These are the things to take from these two polls.