Monday, June 7, 2010

May Polling Averages

Time to look at May's polling. Ten national polls were taken during this month (one more than last month), totaling about 19,840 interviews. Here are the results we get at the national level, with the difference from last month's average in brackets.

Conservatives - 34.6% (+1.6)
Liberals - 27.8% (+0.4)
New Democrats - 16.4% (-0.7)
Greens - 9.6% (-1.2)
Bloc Québécois - 9.6% (+0.1)

The Tories made a decent gain in May, while the Liberals also take a (small) step forward. The NDP, however, after a few months of gains, fall back down below 17%. The Greens see their gains from April slip away, and more.

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

Conservatives - 134 (+7)
Liberals - 91 (-4)
Bloc Québécois - 52 (unchanged)
New Democrats - 31 (-3)
Greens - 0 (unchanged)

The Conservatives win seven more seats than they did last month, inching back up to their 2008 electoral result. The Liberals, on the other hand, have dropped 11 seats in two months. The NDP drops back three seats, but is still up one over their March level.The regional results, with difference from last month in brackets:

BRITISH COLUMBIA (10 polls - about 2,310 people)

Conservatives - 36.8% (+2.0)
New Democrats - 25.9% (-1.3)
Liberals - 22.4% (+0.2)
Greens - 12.6% (-1.3)

The Conservatives make a big, and important, gain in the province. The NDP is down quite a bit, but they are still higher than they were in March. The Liberals are up a bit, but they lost 2.2 points in April.

ALBERTA (9 polls - about 1,790 people)

Conservatives - 55.7% (-1.6)
Liberals - 18.8% (+2.9)
Greens - 10.9% (-1.2)
New Democrats - 10.9% (-0.8)

The Tories take a step backwards, but are still well ahead. The Liberals make a big leap after dropping last month. The NDP also seems to be losing ground, but at least they are now tied with the Greens for third.

PRAIRIES (9 polls - about 1,270 people)

Conservatives - 46.5% (+2.0)
Liberals - 22.1% (-1.0)
New Democrats - 21.4% (+0.1)
Greens - 8.2% (-1.8)

The Conservatives erase their losses from the previous month, while the Liberals lose after a month of good gains. The NDP is stable, but considering they gained 1.1 points last month, that is good news.

The Conservatives take 67 in the West (unchanged since April), while the Liberals win 15 in the West and North (unchanged) and the NDP wins 13 (unchanged).

ONTARIO (10 polls - about 5,920 people)

Conservatives - 37.2% (+2.1)
Liberals - 34.9% (-0.2)
New Democrats - 15.8% (-1.2)
Greens - 10.8% (-0.3)

The Conservatives make a big jump in this battleground province, taking back the lead. After losing 1.4 points, losing only 0.2 this month is better news for the Liberals, but overall it has been a bad 60 days. The NDP is also down.

The Conservatives win 50 seats (up five), the Liberals win 43 (down three, down 10 in the last three months), and the NDP wins 13 (down two).

QUEBEC (10 polls - about 4,440 people)

Bloc Québécois - 38.7% (+0.1)
Liberals - 22.4% (+0.1)
Conservatives - 17.3% (+0.8)
New Democrats - 12.2% (+0.1)
Greens - 7.3% (-1.6)

After a big gain last month, the Bloc consolidated it with a tiny gain in May. The Liberals are up a teeny bit, but are still too low overall. After a loss of 0.6 points last month, the Tories are up 0.8 this month. The NDP are also up a little.

The Bloc takes 52 seats (unchanged), the Liberals take 14 (down one), the Conservatives take 7 (up one) and the NDP win 2 (unchanged).

ATLANTIC CANADA (10 polls - about 1,490 people)

Liberals - 36.9% (+1.0)
Conservatives - 34.7% (+2.4)
New Democrats - 21.4% (-1.1)
Greens - 5.8% (-2.5)

The Liberals gain a point after some modest gains last month. The Conservatives are up big, marking almost five points of gains in two months. The NDP has dropped more than three points in the same time span.

The Liberals win 19 seats (unchanged), the Conservatives win 10 (up one), and the NDP wins 3 (down one).May's big winners are the Conservatives, who saw gains in five regions and had a big bumps in seats. Their only drop was in Alberta, where they can afford it. They had gains of two or more points in Ontario, Atlantic Canada, the Prairies, and British Columbia - all good news.

Next would be the Liberals, who despite everything saw gains in four regions. Their gains in Quebec and British Columbia were insignificant, but so was their drop in Ontario. Their gains in Atlantic Canada and Alberta were of a good size.

The NDP only gain in two regions: Quebec and the Prairies. And both of these were of 0.1 points. Their losses in Atlantic Canada, Ontario, and British Columbia (all over 1.0) hurt.

The Bloc only gain 0.1 points, but their lead over the Liberals is huge and they are above their 2008 level. So, good news for them to be treading water.

The Greens had a very bad month. Ironically, it was the month of May. Except in Ontario, all of their losses were greater than 1.2 points.


  1. It is interesting comparing fact (well polling fact)to spin.

    With the EKOS what if coalition poll it makes Jack Layton and the NDP are on the rise and would be a fairly equal partner in the coalition.

    From the latest press you would imagine that Ignatieff and the Liberals were in absolute free fall.

    Meanwhile your polling averages show the NDP and their well stated platforms (higher corporate tax, shut down oil sands and make banks into credit unions) are actually losing support.

    The Liberals are not in free-fall and are hanging on to their base support and within a reasonable range for challenging to win the next election.

  2. Hi Eric:

    Does this average happen to include the Leger Poll?



  3. BC Voice of Reason,

    I think you mean Angus Reid, not Ekos.

    As you said though, it the results seem somewhat counterintuitive. The media narrative is mostly negative for the Liberals right now, yet its the NDP who are suffering while the Liberals remain stable.

    Maybe the media isn't as much a factor as previously thought? Or maybe people simply aren't happy with the NDP.

  4. I don't know what passes for reason in B.C., but where I come from the suggestion that the Liberals are "challenging to the win the next election" would be taken as proof positive of derangement.

  5. Congratulations Eric: First line mention in the Globe and Mail:

  6. Very nice Eric, congrats! You're well on your way becoming the Canadian Nate Silver. xD

  7. I can only aspire to punditry. Silver's background in statistics makes him both a pundit and an analyst.

  8. I don't know what passes for reason in B.C., but where I come from the suggestion that the Liberals are "challenging to the win the next election" would be taken as proof positive of derangement.


    Wow... my Voice of Reason sure opens me up for abuse!!

    I don't think I have to make any arguments or look for precedents to have one party drop 4% point and the Other gain 4% points during an election campaign.

    That is basically the CPC majority scenario.

    so right now using the average May polls there is an equal chance of a CPC majority and a Liberal minority win.

    Using logic, leadership approval numbers, campaign experience and possible trend analysis the CPC majority seems a lot more likely but the polling numbers show the Liberals frightfully close.

    PS. thanks Mr. V it was indeed the AR poll that I incorrectly credited to EKOS.

  9. Former Conservative pollster on the idea of coalition:

    For discussion purposes only

  10. "The wonderful website has the May polling average up this morning – essentially a poll of all of the polls released over the last month. As usual, the results reaffirm the current prevailing Ottawa narrative."

    Well done Eric

  11. Eric how much if does the absence of the CPC favourable poll reduce their standings and inflate everyone else's? I know you can't post it because of lack of information. I thought a 12 point lead might put the CPC in majority territory?

  12. Any chance of showing seats won using the latest Angus Reid poll of a merged LPC-NDP with either Ignatieff, Rae or Layton as leader?

    Angus Reid shows provincial breakouts of voter support for the merged LPC-NDP and CPC ...

  13. CuriosityCat,

    I already did:


    One more poll in a pool of 10 wouldn't change much.

  14. Green supporters obviously won't be overjoyed about the May trend, but ups and downs can be expected in the long haul. The Green Party is still the only party polling above the 2008 election results, and it's above by a substantial amount.

    That's worth precisely nothing under our first-past-the-post electoral system. What is worth something is Elizabeth May running neck-and-neck with Gary Lunn in Saanich--Gulf Islands polling. There are major parallels between her and Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion, UK, leader of the UK Green Party and the first Green elected to the British Parliament.

    There are also major parallels betwee Caroline Lucas and Bob Bell in Guelph. Both first gained public notice as municipal councillors. Guelph and Saanich--Gulf Islands are the two most likely seats for a Green breakthrough in the next election. For the Green Party, the polls in those two ridings are the critical ones for predicting results in the next election.

    By the way, in the UK 2010 election, UK Green Party support nationwide was 1.0%. (Yes, that decimal point is in the right place.) Canadian Green support is an order of magnitude higher. Green seats in the 41st Parliament of Canada are a very real proposition.

  15. John,

    I don't think Bell has that much of a chance, in all honesty. If Nagy, who had a lot more visibility and name recognition (I know this for a fact, I've talked to a lot of Guelph residents), couldn't manage to win when both the Liberals and the Conservatives were tearing eachother's throats out, and the NDP absolutely stagnant, I don't see Bell making it.

    No, I see the first Green seat in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, simply because the support there is proven and widespread. It mirrors the provincial riding and support there is pretty high. If Shane Jolley made the switch to federal politics and ran in the riding, then I think the Greens have a very good chance there, more so than Guelph.

    As for comparisons of May and Lucas... eh. I think May had a chance, but I don't think she has as good a chance as Lucas had in Brighton Pavillion. It'll take both Liberals and NDP dropping themselves out for May to get the support she needs to take out Lunn, whose support base is pretty damn solid. The Liberals have a moderately strong candidate as well, while the NDP's candidate will probably hold the base and regain those lost votes from 2008. Where can May grow?

    Lucas had the benefit of a much stronger position. I mean, in 2005, only 6000 votes separated the Greens and Labour. In 2008, there was a 21,000 vote spread between Greens and the Conservatives. In 2006, which is probably more representative of a normal vote share, it was 18,000. Do you really think May can make up that many votes without having both Liberals and NDP drop out?

  16. Eric:

    You just got a plug for the website on Power Play on CTV from Paul Wells

    Great !!

  17. John let's hope there are no Green seats in our next Parliament. The Green Party and Ms. May in particular are a destructive force in our nation. One need only look at the damage being inflicted here in Ontario in the name of being green.

    The Green Party advocates the use of both wind and solar power. Neither efficient or reliable. Both are enormously expensive. Until the Green Party has realistic and economically feasible goals that take into account jobs and people's livelihood, I see it as a blight upon the country. I respect both your posts and enthusiasm but not your Party's current goals.

  18. Peter,

    --- You just got a plug for the website on Power Play on CTV from Paul Wells

    Neato! I'll be making the big bucks soon. Will CTV cut me a check?

  19. "Will CTV cut me a check?

    Umm? You might want to keep that idea under advisement ??


  20. Maybe I will start charging per comment. You'd all go in for that, right?


  21. Of course, Eric, so long as you start paying us.

  22. "The Green Party is still the only party polling above the 2008 election results, and it's above by a substantial amount."

    The same amount that they polled over their election result for the entire month preceding the election...

    In fact in more than 110 election polls the greens rarely polled less than their 6.8% election result... Only in Nanos and Angus Reid polls.

    If you take the same bottom of the graph as the election result would seem to imply..... you come up with the same 6.8% or so.

    Give that inflated support back to the parties that will actually get that portion of the votes.... and you get the same numbers we got on election day.

    Speaking of Elizabeth May, is she still going to be leader when the next election comes? Doesn't she have a leadership term limit ending in August?

  23. --- Of course, Eric, so long as you start paying us.

    What, my blood, sweat, and tears aren't enough?

  24. Eric, I've got to ask, how many times have you bled, sweated or cried while doing 308 business?

  25. Every goddamn day. I'm quite unstable.

  26. That makes sense. They do say the nuttiest people make the greatest contributions sometimes.

  27. "Eric, I've got to ask, how many times have you bled, sweated or cried while doing 308 business?"

    "Éric said...
    Every goddamn day. I'm quite unstable."

    .... Probably trying to squash that mouse while his hand is still using it to click links.... :)

  28. No, the system knows who is clicking.

  29. Hmm, Wells called my site three-oh-eight-dot-com, which may not help anyone finding my site.

    Ah well.


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