Thursday, June 24, 2010

New EKOS Poll: 3.3-pt Conservative Lead

Hey, it's a new EKOS poll. Surprise! And it's a yawner. Surprise!The Conservatives have gained 0.5 points and are now at 31% (oddly enough, The Economist quoted the Conservatives as being at 31% this week. Do they have an inside scoop?) The Liberals have gained more: 1.4 points to 27.7%. The New Democrats dropped 0.9 points to 16.5%.

The Greens are at 13%, up 0.7 points. The Bloc Québécois is down 1.2 points to 9.3%, while "Other" is at 2.5%.

The Liberals lead in Ontario with 35.3%, unchanged from last week. The Conservatives are at 32.3%, up one, while the NDP is at 18.2%, up two. The Liberals lead in Toronto with 36.6%. The Tories are in front in Ottawa with 38.1%.

The Bloc is down three points to 38.9% in Quebec, while the Liberals are down one to a woeful 18.8%. The Conservatives are steady at 14.6%, as are the NDP at 13.1%. The Bloc has 39.8% in Montreal.

The Liberals, gaining ten points, lead all of a sudden in British Columbia, with 29.1%. The Conservatives are down three to 27.1% and the NDP is down eight to 22.3%. The Greens are up two to 19.2%. The Liberals lead in Vancouver with 35.8%.

The Conservatives jump nine points in Atlantic Canada and lead with 37.8%. They also lead in Alberta with 54.9% and the Prairies with 45.1%. The Liberals are up five in Alberta.

The Conservatives win 63 seats in the West, 36 in Ontario, 5 in Quebec, and 12 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 116 - a loss of 28 MPs.

The Liberals would win 20 in the West and North, 52 in Ontario, 14 in Quebec, and 17 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 103 - a gain of 26.

The Bloc wins 54 seats in Quebec, a gain of seven.

The NDP wins 11 seats in the West and North, 18 in Ontario, 2 in Quebec, and 3 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 34, a loss of two.

The Greens win one seat in British Columbia.

A few other things: the NDP is the favourite "second choice", with 21%. The Liberals are next with 16%, but of course "no second choice" leads with 37%.

An interesting question was whether Canadians would prefer a Conservative government under Stephen Harper or a coalition government under Michael Ignatieff. With these seat totals, it is a good question to ask.

The country is split, with 39% preferring either the Conservatives or a coalition. Interestingly, this gives the Tories a bump of eight points, but a loss of five points for the combined Liberals and NDP.

Support for a Conservative government greatly outnumbers the party's support in British Columbia (40%) and Alberta (66%). In Ontario, it bumps up the party's support to 39%, in Quebec to 23%. In Atlantic Canada, it only gives them an extra point.

Support for a coalition only outnumbers the combined parties' support in Quebec, where 45% would prefer a coalition government (the two parties have 32% support in the province). Coalition support outnumbers Conservative support in Ontario (41%) and Quebec only. It is very close in British Columbia (38%) and Atlantic Canada (38%).

Interestingly, while 66% of Liberals would support the coalition over a Conservative government (18%), only 57% of NDP supporters would be happier with the coalition, versus 19% with the Conservatives.

Those are dangerous numbers, since it appears 1 in 5 Liberal or NDP supporters would consider jumping to the Tories if a coalition was explicitly pursued by the Liberals and NDP.

Overall, this poll has a few odd results (especially at the two extreme ends of the country), but is generally bad news for the Tories, who are behind in the three battleground provinces. It isn't great for the Liberals, as they are doing badly in Quebec and are not very strong in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

However, the combined seat totals of the Liberals and NDP puts them at 137 - pretty much the same as today's Conservative minority. Perhaps that is the most important number.

Bonne St-Jean-Baptiste!


  1. Needless to say the BC look absurd and totally out of line with every other poll - but all in all it seems to me that Harper is in a much weaker position than the media makes him out to be. Too bad Ekos didn't also ask if people would prefer a coalition led by Jack Layton since if its a tie between Harper and an Iggy-led coalition - Imagine what the results would be if it was Harper pitted against someone people don't universally hate!

  2. Eric,

    The combined Lib/NDP is 137

  3. The "second choice" question is interesting.

    As a precursor to AV ?

    Otherwise this poll basically stil show the stagnation.

  4. --- The combined Lib/NDP is 137

    Whoopsie. Fixed.

  5. If we take the June 11 projection and compare it to Ekos and HD polls.

    HD fairly close to June 11

    Ekos significantly different.

    With all the noise about the summit costs, Tony Clements pork and some other bad news for the Tories I've got to think Ekos is closer to reality?

  6. The numbers have been scrambled lately.

    With summer started, the G8/G20 still happening, and the fury over the HST bubbling beneath the surface its going to be tough to get a clear reading on things.

    Since at the moment we have 0% chance of an election what will really matter is how these numbers look by mid July.


    Ignateiff gives up leadership and decides to go to the south of France instead of touring Canada on a bus.

    Ignatieff forces a fall election in the hopes of gaining 5-10 seats and holding on to his leadership while taking out Harper.

  7. The weekly EKOS reality check. No math, just the Mark I eyeball against recent EKOS surveys. Here are the EKOS numbers followed by my opinion of where they really should be. I compare results to recent polls to smooth out jitter.

    Conservative: 31.0% (31.0%, no adjustment)
    Liberal: 27.7% (27.0%, -0.7)
    NDP: 16.5% (16.9%, +0.4)
    Green: 13.0% (12.6% -0.4)
    Bloc: 9.3% (9.7%, +0.4)

    All in all, the national numbers are unusually believable this week.

    From a Green perspective, the provincial numbers aren't wildly off either. At 19.2%, BC might be a bit high, but by less than a point. (The numbers for the other parties are in fantasy land.) By contrast Ontario's 11.5% could be slightly pessimistic, but again by less than a point. Alberta at 12.5% is plausible; knock off half a point at most. Quebec is a bit further out at 13.2%. Take as much as 2% off that.

    I've given up on assessing EKOS Green numbers for Saskitoba and Atlantic Canada. What's the altitude of a yoyo? The sample sizes ensure moments of low comedy (especially for the under-25 micro-slice) but not much enlightenment.

    Don't like these numbers? Other opinions are welcome. The only caveat is the usual one: the adjustments above are relative to EKOS polls only. Feel free to dispute my spline placement, but please, no bistromathics.

  8. on the impact of the G8/G20 security costs:

    Cost of security in 2002 - $200M

    Give the same staff a 7% / year increase and they are getting paid 72% more in 2010 than 2002.

    G8 security costs should be $340M.

    In 2002 7 foreign powers attended.

    In 2010 there are 18 foreign powers attending as G20 members plus Ethiopia, Malawi, the Netherlands, Spain and Vietnam and the EU.. total of 24. -- 3.4 times as much as the 2002 G8.

    Taken together 70% wage increase plus 340% magnitude increase would bump the security price to $1.156B

    The fact that Canada definitely had to build the incremental security capcity makes this look like a bargain.

    What did we expect?

    The openness of the price of security shows how much more transparent the Canadian government is over the US and Brits (not giving any political party credit here... Chretien was open with the 2002 costs as well).

  9. DL,

    Actually people don't universally hate Ignatieff, a large number of people have no opinion of him. He is just as disliked as Harper in polls.

  10. For my regular weekly question:

    Why in the world would any Liberal supporter be mentioning any NDP coalition??

    A signed anti-coalition document prohibiting any NDP from being in cabinet with a Liberal PM would likely put them ahead of the CPC in the polls.

  11. "Quebec is a bit further out at 13.2%. Take as much as 2% off that."

    Take just TWO percent off that? How's about taking at least TEN PERCENT off and you would still be overestimating Green support in Quebec - their Quebec leader even deserted to the BQ last week because the party is so moribund. When Environics did a poll with no prompting, Green support in Quebec was ZERO, Nothing, NADA!!

  12. All,

    I've said for ages that the longer this government stays in office, the narrower the seat margins potentially become for this Prime Minister.

    Fortunately for me, this Prime Minister is a well known quantity -- that my friends is why we need an election, pronto.

    If Harper is re-elected, he comes in again with reduced seats. To my mind, that is an absolute by now. Hence his decision to coast rather than follow any other proposed political option.

    Given that political reality, Michael's numbers can't help but rise "incrementally" (boy, how Conservatives love that word!) on a steady path. The more jaded among us might suggest Michael's prospects are improving, in spite of himself and his performance but yours truly does not subscribe to that argument.

    We will see whether I'm full of it when we discover how this Prime Minister's second honorable apology goes over in the next batch of polls. That real Harper sincerity was smart political strategy but in my view, it will likely come as too little, too late and will be nothing more than a minor blip on the polling radar.

    Droning on, I would say that Liberal fortunes look increasingly good. Hang in until October. Have Michael repeat the past Harper success on the barbecue circuit and then knock those guys right out of the park at the earliest opportunity this fall.

    My view is that it's now (meaning the autumn) or never. If we humiliate ourselves any further by backing down once again this fall, then forget it. Conservatives will be in power for at least another year with this Prime Minister choosing the point of maximum potential upswing as the moment for deliberately sinking his own government in the Commons.

  13. DL: Take just TWO percent off that? How's about taking at least TEN PERCENT off... ZERO, Nothing, NADA!!

    "The only caveat is the usual one: the adjustments above are relative to EKOS polls only. Feel free to dispute my spline placement, but please, no bistromathics."

    I live in hopeful anticipation of the week when the standard caveat is universally understood.

  14. The TRUE number is likely closest to the projection. This should be obvious.

  15. IF

    " Have Michael repeat the past Harper success on the barbecue circuit and then knock those guys right out of the park at the earliest opportunity this fall.


    Very similar personaility traits in both leaders as I can't see either one of them really enjoying the BBQ circuit.

    Mr. Harper did his BBQ circuit and stuck it through and at thye very least gained support for effort.

    Will Mr. Ignatieff have the fortitude to stick it out for the summer and
    1) get credit for it with ppositive press coverage or
    2) embarass himself by not being able to relate to BBQ Canadians
    3) Give up and either mail in the effort or call the tour off or schedule back at University lounges or in the South of France.

    IF he delivers THEN the Liberal fortunes pick up

    ELSE ...... Bye bye

    Mr. Ignatieff is not be as motivated as Mr. Harper as his life wasn't ever focussed on being Canada's PM.... sort of an accidental Leader of the Liberal party.

  16. Éric: The TRUE number is likely closest to the projection. This should be obvious.

    You mean the projection that is the ONE TRUE NUMBER beside which all other numbers are sacriligeous idols, deserving only of sputum and vitriol? (And do you know how hard it is to type while kneeling?)

    Do I qualify as a novice in the priesthood of Éricosavantry?

  17. I am really interested to see what happens to those Green votes on election day. There's no way I'll believe Green numbers over 10 without seeing them in the ballot box.

  18. An interesting result is that by far the most popular second choice for Bloc supporters is the NDP (34.5%). And vice-versa, too: 5.7% of NDP supporters' second choice is the Bloc, which is a huge number considering only a small percentage of NDP supporters have the option of voting Bloc.

    Maybe the Liberals would do well NOT to knock off Thomas Mulcair; they need a strong NDP in Quebec to split the Bloc vote.

  19. The next election will be interesting. The potential for major shifts during the campaign based on some sound bite will be extremely large as right now it seems most people are as uninterested as it gets. A recession, a recovery, record deficits, scandals, opposition that looks hopeless. What a combo.

    I fear it will be something minor in one of the parties platforms that decides things. The media will jump on it and make it 'the issue' as they hunt for something, anything to get readers/viewers interested. For some reason I think it will be drug policy - with the extremes being the CPC pushing hard on closing the BC injection clinic and the Green policy of legalizing marijuana leading to the Liberals claiming they'll do something to make things right in an effort to take soft red Tory votes and GPC votes to hit 30%+ while the Tories go 'Liberals soft on crime'.

  20. From Kady O'Malley

    The national numbers, with a neat and tidy 2.36 margin of error:

    Conservatives: 31.0 (+0.5)
    Liberals: 27.7 (+1.4)
    NDP: 16.5 (-0.9)
    Green: 13.0 (+0.7)
    Bloc Quebecois: 9.3 (-1.2)
    Other: 2.5 (-0.5)

    So the Tories go up 0.5 but the Liberals go up 1.4.

    Looks very much to me like fading Tory support. Maybe some of the old PC's are shifting ?

  21. I just really enjoy watching Jack Layton.

    He is trying to fan the flames of fury in BC, over the HST, hoping to score some cheap political points for himself.

    Jack Layton, is against the HST, on principle or so he says. He says it is a regressive tax an an attack on the poor.

    Well, Jack Layton, never condemns Nova Scotia, NDP premier Darrell Dexter for raising the HST 2% and Nova Scotians are paying the highest rate in the entire nation.

    Jack Layton, can't be against the implementation of the HST, in Ontario, and BC, and be all for an NDP premier raising this tax now can he, that would be unprincipled and hypocritical now wouldn't it??

    The fate of the LGR, also rests in Jack's hands. It will be up to jack Layton and the NDP, whether the LGR, survives or if the Tories finally have their way and scrap it.

    It is great when Layton, has to take responsibility for his actions.

    It is great knowing that his actions will have some consequences.

    Support for the LGR, is highest in Quebec. The BQ, have always consistently said they want to keep the LGR, intact. They have always said they are not against improving the LGR, but they are 100% against scrapping it.

    Ignatieff, is whipping his caucus as well.

    Thomas Mulcair, represents the riding of Outremont. That is where Ecole Poly technique is located, the sight of the massacre of the female students by Lepine.

    Perhaps, DL can stop worrying about the Green Party and their support in Quebec, and maybe turn his thoughts to Thomas Mulcair, and what will happen to him if the registry gets scrapped because of the actions of the NDP.

    DL, you don't have to come back and say that Mulcair will vote to keep the LGR, that doesn't matter. If the LGR gets scrapped it will be because of his party.

    Perhaps DL, can also tell us how that will play in Downtown Toronto, where Olivia Chow holds a seat.

    DL, is going to come back and say it is a non issue because Chow, and Mulcair are voting to keep the LGR.

    Well DL, that doesn't matter. If LGR gets killed it will be because of the NDP.

    Just another accomplishment Jack will rack up for himself, along with the killing of the national child and early learning program, and the Kelowna Accord.

    You could almost say that Jack Layton, is the best friend that Stephen Harper has.

    The NDP, certainly doesn't stand for anything progressive, and that just goes along with Jack Layton's non existent principles.

  22. BC Voice of Reason,

    Do you remember how relatively timid Stephen Harper was in private, in person, when he was Alliance leader and later, running for the Conservative leadership?

    When he and I met during the leadership race for the first time, both of us were timid. For my part, I was also somewhat classless having at that time a rather profound dislike for the man.

    All of this to say that the gentleman knew what he had to do on the circuit and true to form, he did it. No one can claim that it wasn't at the very least, a net positive for him personally and for the party.

    Now, to your point about Michael: he like Harper before him knows damned well what he has to do to win. And by thunder, the man will do it. Whether he wins will depend whether he can put his entire being, especially his heart into the effort. I think he can. In fact, I KNOW he can. He doesn't get riled up often but when he really takes a lot to seriously get under his skin but when he's finally had it, look out!

    That's the Michael I confidently expect to see with us on the campaign trail.

    Win or lose, Michael is a person who really listens. That's a big part of his personality. Either way he will be genuinely interested in hearing what caucus has to say. One can presume that their comments will be a fair representation of what the membership thinks. Translation: under either scenario, Michael will very quickly know how to proceed going forward.

  23. Peter,

    The Internet Queen tends to be on the mark. This does not strike me as an exception!

    I hardly think that I'm the only Red Tory who is either flirting -- or as in my own case, has actually gone over to the Liberals.

    Now, if we can only get Joe to sign a membership card!

  24. Ronald:
    The Internet Queen tends to be on the mark.


  25. Ronald:
    or as in my own case, has actually gone over to the Liberals.

    That is my suspicion. The real PC are fleeing the CRAP

  26. Ronald O. just what has Stephan done that so inflames your passions to move to the LPOC? I'm not a Shadow Conservative, nor a Libertarian, I'm a middle of the road conservative and I'm not happy with Harper but Iggy has given me precious little to vote for. You are obviously voting against something.

  27. Peter,

    Oops. My apologies. I realize now that starting from the word "So" that that part is your own view.

    In spite of three thats, it's my way of saying you are on the mark in my humble estimation.

    Keep up the good work!

  28. Earl,

    I wasn't your run-of-the-mill Conservative (and I mean no disrespect to anyone) by using that term. There are at least seven kinds of Conservatives that I could find in the party.

    Yours truly was and is what Thatcher would call a "wet", or as the Alliance preferred "Liberal-lite".

    I voted against the merger for a start because I knew the Alliance would take control of the CPC with their superior membership numbers.

    I thought we could beat Harper in the leadership race but sadly, I was living in a fool's paradise.

    When Belinda walked, I had mixed feelings. To blame only Harper for her departure would be the height of hypocrisy but he did not mesh well with such a strong personality as that of Belinda. Enough said.

    I was a live-and-let-live Conservative, not particularly hawkish except on fiscal issues.

    Enough blah, blah. Now to answer your question: I respect the views held in all parts of the country, including the western view and more particularly the so-called "Alberta" view of Canada.

    But, I cannot agree with the so-called Conservative approach based on the so-called Alberta view. That is not my view of Canada, for a start.

    I agree with this Prime Minister that politics is indeed (regrettably) a blood sport. But the CPC takes it too far: the petty, excessive, personal meanness and character assassination turns me cold. I'm not suggesting Liberals were angels on that score (remember how some vilified Stockwell) but to my mind, this round is a new high in "low".

    Finally, excuse me for being long winded, but in a nutshell, I left over the taxpayer subsidy to political parties. That was the last straw for a guy whose previous strategy had been to "wait out" Harper after he became Prime Minister. You can't take on Harper when he's PM like Jamieson and yours truly did after the loss in 2004. So, you do the only thing you can -- you finally pull up stakes and leave for good.

    P.S. As for Michael, each Canadian has a decision to make. Some will support him, some won't and that's both respectable and fine. But all of us can agree that Michael lives or dies politically on how he performs. No one knows that more than he does.

  29. All I can say to 49 Steps - is for the sake of your mental sanity - get over it already and stop hyperventilating. Liberals like you have got to start looking in the mirror when trying to figure out why the Liberal party is out of power and in disarray and stop trying to blame the NDP (or anyone else). The Liberals were totally corrupt when they were in power and the Canadian people voted them out in disgust - you can be in denial all you want - but the fact is the Liberals lost for one simple reason - they were a party of criminals.

    Just think had all those Liberal cabinet ministers not stolen millions of dollars - Paul Martin might be PM today.

    ...and if you're pinning your hopes on the long gun registry to defeat NDP MPs who want to keep it - keep on dreaming...remember that EIGHT Liberal MPs have already voted to scrap the registry on first and second reading - and if the Liberals hadn't so totally mismanaged the registry in the first place - it wouldn't be so hated all across rural Canada. I'm not convinced that there are more than a small handful of people for whom the registry is a vote determining issue anyways.

    Anyways, let's always remember that 18 months have now passed since the LIBERAL PARTY decided that they preferred to prop up Harper in exchange for NOTHING rather than follow through with dumping Harper and bringing in a coalition government. Every nano-second that Harper has been PM since January 2009 - has been a nano-second of power that was gift-wrapped by the Liberal Party of Canada.

  30. Wow. Kevin Rudd is gone!

    Now, that's a shocker, at least to me.

  31. I dunno earl, ronald gave a pretty glowing character reference for iggy.

    But that is not the impression that iggy leaves me with. In my view most of the bad things people say about Harper could also be said about the present leader of the liberals. Stuff like arrogant, won't listen, top down governance,.... probably why he polls as more disliked than Harper. His one saving grace might be that many haven't made up their mind about him. But if they don't ALL get a positive view he will still trail.

    I don't see alot of the principles in him that ronald does..... I still remember "Harper your time is up"!!. Well, he allowed to pass or voted with the government on more than 100 confidence motions in just the last session. Did you know that 65 of the 77 liberal MP's are in the bottom 1/3 for attending votes?? For people so strongly against the prorogation they don't seem to want to be there.....

    He is frequently on several sides of an issue, speaking out of both sides of his mouth trying to seize on any angle he can bludgeon the government with... without actually having it fall.

    I wonder if he would actually vote against removing the long gun registry if it was made a confidence motion. That seems to be the one wedge policy that he has come to a position on.

    When he can articulate policy,... it is often not far from Harper's position. Like now wanting to leave troops in Afghanistan to train.

    He doesn't seem to be that politically astute... saying things made fore attack ads: like "We didn't get it done" Or on comparing himself to obama "Well, they say you can always tell a Harvard man, but you can’t tell him very much. So, we’re an arrogant bunch." ... did he really say even in joking that a US president was arrogant?

    I don't see alot to like about the Ignatieff liberals... from false scandal hounding to flip flops to insulting language directed at those they might not support.

    Even if they have begun to make the case that Harper is not the one to lead us..... they have come nowhere near making the case that they are better and should lead in his place.... quite the contrary actually.

  32. 49.

    Blaming Layton again for 1 or 2 votes when the liberals supported/didn't defeat the government on over 100???

    Reading your rant against Layton I can only think of the words of the immortal Homer Simpson.....

    "Your just as bad as me, but you used to be better... so that makes it worse!!!"

  33. Barcs,

    I respect your view though I wholeheartedly disagree with it.

    However, perhaps you will agree with me that it's high time to clear the air and bring on a fall election. It will be glorious.

    Nothing quite like having a long overdue sort out...don't you think?

  34. Ronald - I've been discussing issues with you for some time, and I've never considered you hawkish on fiscal issues.

    I'm hawkish on fiscal issues. I hope that Stephen Harper is hawkish on fiscal issues (I agree with you that he's quite quiet and reserved in person - I worked for the Reform Party from 1993-2000 and met him several times). You seem moderate on fiscal issues.

  35. Ronald,

    I'd just like to clairify. Are you saying you voted for the CPC in 2008, but that the removal of the political subsidy, convinced you that the coalition was a good idea?
    I can't imagine that.

    I had high hopes that Iggy might be a bluish Lib, but I don't have those anymore. The Liberal left is too strong for him.

    I'm not that bullish on a fall election anymore either. I sense it's unlikely, unless one of the big two can pull away.

  36. AJR79,

    It will perhaps come as no surprise to you that I was on the outside looking in with regard to the Harper government since 2006. Looking at things from THEIR perspective, that was probably a good idea given the fact that I was hardly a happy camper with regard to many but not all positions taken by this government.

    That's precisely why I concentrated my own modest efforts locally to help my friends, most notably Michel Rivard. When the election came, I worked for Josée Verner since I had always had a pretty nice relationship with her. Also did a stint for Luc Harvey, again to please at least two close friends...

    But all observant friends knew I was reaching the boiling point. They were perfectly aware that if the then present trajectory continued that I would not be on board for much longer.

    The political subsidy thing was the last straw. It only reinforced the negative and excessively petty character traits of the leading minds driving this government. And so I walked.

    As for the coalition, I left the party in December and foolishly supported the Dion effort. The Canadian people set me straight on that -- hence my present great reluctance to move in that direction in 2010.

    As for voting -- was unable to cast a ballot on election day since I was working for Harvey on that day and moving from poll to poll location with great frequency.

  37. Ira,

    You are correct. Normally, I would be classed as moderate on fiscal issues but right now, I've swung into the hawkish camp -- I want to get back to balance as quickly as possible. The only proviso, I want to do it "responsibly" without resorting to the Martin slash and burn -- not to mention downloading on provinces and territories.

    Perhaps that bitter pill was appropriate for those times but it would be political office poison if enacted today, at least IMHO.


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