Monday, July 5, 2010

June Averages

Time to look at June's polling. Seven national polls were taken during this month (three fewer than last month), totaling about 12,661 interviews. Here are the results we get at the national level, with the difference from last month's average in brackets.

Conservatives - 32.7% (-1.9)
Liberals - 27.2% (-0.6)
New Democrats - 17.4% (+1.0)
Greens - 10.8% (+1.2)
Bloc Québécois - 9.9% (+0.3)

After gaining 1.6 points in May, the Conservatives have dropped 1.9 points, back below 33%. But the Liberals also take a step backwards, though they did have a small gain last month. The NDP gains a full point, but they had lost 0.7 points last month so this is a bit of a reset. The Green gain is equal to May's losses.

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

Conservatives - 128 (-6)
Liberals - 91 (unchanged)
Bloc Québécois - 54 (+2)
New Democrats - 35 (+4)
Greens - 0 (unchanged)

The Conservatives fall back down six seats, matching's current projection. The Liberals are steady at 91 seats, while the Bloc is up two. The NDP makes the biggest gain, and now have 35 seats.The regional results, with difference from last month in brackets:

BRITISH COLUMBIA (7 polls - about 1,430 people)

Conservatives - 34.2% (-2.6)
New Democrats - 26.4% (+0.5)
Liberals - 20.6% (-1.8)
Greens - 16.1% (+3.5)

The Tories are down big in the province, but it certainly wasn't to the benefit of the Liberals, who are also down significantly. Instead, the NDP gained half-a-point while the Greens gained 3.5 points. They are now nipping at the Liberals' heels.

ALBERTA (6 polls - about 1,030 people)

Conservatives - 55.6% (-0.1)
Liberals - 18.1% (-0.7)
New Democrats - 11.5% (+0.6)
Greens - 11.1% (+0.2)

The Conservatives are stable, while the Liberals have lost a bit. However, they still doing relatively well in the province. The NDP and Greens swap positions, as the NDP makes a larger gain.

PRAIRIES (6 polls - about 690 people)

Conservatives - 45.1% (-1.4)
Liberals - 20.8% (-1.3)
New Democrats - 20.7% (-0.7)
Greens - 10.7% (+2.5)

The Conservatives drop, but drop less than they gained in May, so they are in a decent position. The Liberals are down, marking losses of over two points in the last two months. The NDP is also down, but are now much closer to second place in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The Green gain is generally a reset of May's losses.

The Conservatives take 66 in the West (one fewer than in May), while the Liberals win 14 in the West and North (also down one) and the NDP wins 15 (up two).

ONTARIO (7 polls - about 4,030 people)

Conservatives - 35.2% (-2.0)
Liberals - 34.8% (-0.1)
New Democrats - 17.2% (+1.4)
Greens - 10.9% (+0.1)

The Conservatives drop two points, obliterating their good 2.1-point gain from May. The Liberals don't benefit, however, dropping 0.1 points. But they have been pretty stable, as this is only a loss of 0.3 points over the last two months. The NDP makes an important gain.

The Conservatives win 46 seats (down four), the Liberals win 45 (up two, after three months of losses), and the NDP wins 15 (up two).

QUEBEC (8 polls - about 3,820 people)

Bloc Québécois - 40.6% (+1.9)
Liberals - 21.2% (-1.2)
Conservatives - 15.0% (-2.3)
New Democrats - 12.5% (+0.3)
Greens - 8.4% (+1.1)

The Bloc is up almost two points, putting them at over 40%, the first time they've been at such a level since February 2009. The Liberals lose over a point, and are falling away. The Conservatives have dropped big, and are now in "trouble" territory. The NDP are stable, but at a very good level for them.

The Bloc takes 54 seats (up two, tying a historic best), the Liberals take 14 (unchanged), the Conservatives take 5 (down two) and the NDP win 2 (unchanged).

ATLANTIC CANADA (7 polls - about 910 people)

Conservatives - 35.4% (+0.7)
Liberals - 34.4% (-2.5)
New Democrats - 20.1% (-1.3)
Greens - 8.3% (+2.5)

The Conservatives are up again, almost six points in all over the last three months. They've taken the lead over the Liberals, who are down 2.5 points after gaining one point in May. The NDP is down, yet again. They've really been disappearing in Atlantic Canada. The Greens have re-gained their May losses.

The Liberals win 18 seats (down one), the Conservatives win 11 (up one), and the NDP wins 3 (unchanged).Of the five parties, the Liberals performed the worst in June. Their net loss in the six regions was 7.6 points, but more important they did not make a gain anywhere. Big losses in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, the Prairies, and British Columbia hurts. The only silver lining is that their loss in Ontario was marginal.

The Conservatives also had a very bad month. Their net loss was 7.7 points, but they did gain in Atlantic Canada. Their losses in Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia - Canada's three battleground provinces - should be very worrisome for them.

We then transition into the winners, with the NDP having a net gain of 0.8 points. They were up in four regions and down in two. Their gain in Ontario was a good size and is good news, but the party should be concerned with their performance in Atlantic Canada.

Then it is the Bloc, who had a gain of 1.9 points in Quebec. They are in a very, very good position in the province. While 40.6% is good considering their electoral performance in 2008, their real strength is found in the weakness of their opponents.

Finally, the Greens have to be considered to have had the best month. Their net gain was 9.9 points, with significant increases in support in Atlantic Canada, the Prairies, and, most importantly, British Columbia. But they still aren't in a position to elect a single MP.


  1. The Green party has come under sustained attacked recently.

    First their loss of deputy leader to the BQ, then financials showing them virtually bankrupt and their organization in shambles, and now video surfacing of May saying she'd never run anywhere but in Nova Scotia and declaring her undying love and allegiance to the province.

    Not to mention a mandatory leadership review approaching this fall.

    Breathe easy Gary Lunn!

  2. I look forward to the Best Case Scenarios for June. I expect we'll see an even greater narrowing of the outcomes.

    Of the 7 polls in June, 6 of them showed the Liberals in the 26.2-27.7 range. That's an incredibly tight grouping; every poll falls within every other polls' margin of error.

  3. Shadow: The Green party has come under sustained attacked recently.

    Would that smell be fear?

    Éric: But [the Greens] still aren't in a position to elect a single MP.

    Granularity is all. In Saanich--Gulf Islands, Elizabeth May's canvassers are reporting 42% Green support. Green momentum is growing in the riding.

    Any model based on provincial polling levels will have a hard time integrating that sort of critical number, but SGI is looking more and more likely to go Green in the next election. And don't forget Guelph.

  4. John I laughed when I saw you use the word "fear".

    I suspect you were being a bit too cute by half when you chose that word yourself.

    I think the parties are exercising caution by taking the Greens down a notch and airing their dirty laundry.

    I think they're also annoyed at the outsized attention they get (honestly they should be virtually ignored at this point).

    So its a combination of caution and annoyance at work here i'd say.

    "Elizabeth May's canvassers are reporting 42% Green support."

    That's not really a helpful figure. There is a selection bias at work (people not talking to them when they come to the door are likely NOT green supporters).

    There's also the impossibility of knowing whether they're talking to the 30% of the population that won't vote.

    Beyond that the 42% number is really, really hard to believe.

    NDP support will never fall below 5%, Liberal support will never fall below 25%, and CPC support will never fall below 34%.

    Green support will max out at about 34% in the riding.

  5. Anti HST group launchs court action over BC's HST:

    Any speculation as to how long Campbell's government last before an election is called? Do they make it through their term?

  6. John, right now you have to be aware that the Greens are organizationally screwed, right?

    Besides, I could report 85% support during my canvasses in Burlington too, and I'd be telling the truth. Thing is - people aren't necessarily set on a decision, nor are they even telling the truth, this early on in the game. I guarantee if you asked Renee Hetherington's campaign or the NDP candidate what their "canvass poll" support was, you'd get the same numbers.

    Anyways, the main thing to take from the recent polls is simply this: neither of the parties who can win government (Conservatives and Liberals) are in a respectable position right now. That's a big issue for us.

    Oh, and Eric, in case you didn't see this Manitoba provincial poll: NDP lead PCs 41-40.

  7. Shadow: There's also the impossibility of knowing whether they're talking to the 30% of the population that won't vote.

    This is indeed a major issue for the Green Party. We're worried about the people who are so turned off by the shenanigans on the Hill that they're staying away from the ballot box.

    We want to change that by raising the tone of politics everywhere: in the House, in committee, on the hustings and in discussion and debate by both politicians and citizens.

    I'll pose this question to all commenters on this blog: do you?

  8. Volkov: John, right now you have to be aware that the Greens are organizationally screwed, right?

    Umm... speaking from inside the party, no, I wasn't aware of that.

    The support we're getting in our riding from the central office is the best we've ever had, by far. We're on warning for a fall election and the Green Machine is ready to lead us through it as never before. We have a regional team working on local issues, events and election initiatives. At the riding level we're planning on the largest campaign we've ever had, reaching voters in ways we've never done before.

    That's what I see from where I sit. Your perspective may give you insights I've missed.

  9. I've been predicting a fall election for some time. It seems that Greg Weston at the Ottawa Sun shares this view.

    I believe he has it fundamentally backwards; the Tories would be crazy to trigger a trip to the polls any time soon. However, the fact they're preparing for an election means they expect the plug to be pulled by somebody. I await the predicted "minor cabinet shuffle" with some interest.

    Volkov, any idea when Vision Grit will be released? That will be the harbinger of the countdown.

  10. Basically stagnant, really only "twitching" within the MOE.

    No sign of a breakthrough by any party.

    Still essentially a tie between the Tories and the "coalition" with the Bloc wielding the "hammer of power".

    Not really a good scenario.

  11. Do I want to raise the tone?

    I want to acheive results I like. Raising the tone (or changing the tone - "raising" suggests some sort of value judgment I'm not willing to make) is valuable only if it leads to that outcome.

    I don't think the tone itself has any intrinsic value, no. And given that you want to do it in order to incrase Green voter turnout, I'd suggest that you don't either. You're using it as a tool, just as I would if I found it advantageous.

  12. Lizzy May:

  13. The fututily of Climate Change without China:

  14. Volkov regarding the Green's organization troubles, i've seen that you read pundits guide too.

    The facts don't lie. Staff departing, EDA's being shut down by Elections Canada, and terrible, terrible financial statements.

    If the election were held today May probably couldn't afford her modest ad buy of her travelling on a train that she did last election.

    Your assesment that the "Greens are organizationally screwed" is certainly right, John's inside the party account aside.

  15. HST Leads to PERMANENT prices in BC, ON:

    We must get rid of this tax.

  16. All I know on this Earl that gas prices have jumped 10¢ a litre and that's a bitch !!

  17. Ahhh Gas prices yes. Peter, Ontario despite a myriad of other taxes on gas and diesel didn't charge PST on motor fuels. Now they do and the 8% tax is levied on top of all the other taxes in a litre of gasoline or diesel. Tax on tax. Don't blame Harper for this, blame McGuinty. He decided what was taxed. We also now pay PST in the form of HST on heating fuels. The very necessities of life are being taxed by greedy, gutless governments. Oh and don't forget electricity. Including the "green fees" the price of electricity will be up 20% including HST.

    We can go back to simpler times of a horse and carriage, wood stoves, and no electricity or we can pay HST. McGuinty has decided to tax the very things we need to carry on life as we know it. Turf the man!!!! And find someone who will promise to rescind the HST in 2016.

  18. Ira: I want to acheive results I like. Raising the tone (or changing the tone - "raising" suggests some sort of value judgment I'm not willing to make) is valuable only if it leads to that outcome.

    This is unsettling if it means what it appears to mean. Is a more representative and effective Parliament a "result you like" or an impediment to that result? What about decisions based on reasoned debate?

    Is a healthy democracy an end goal in your view?

  19. Earl I wish you'd get off the "rescind the HST" bandwagon. Harmonization really does cut down on red tape/duplication.

    How about a party that offers to drop the HST to 10% (apply it to all items equally, no silly $4 or under junk food exemption and scrap any sort of rebates.)

    How about a party that halts investments in "green technology" and lets the market decide if its viable or not using non-subsidized price signals (HINT to Green Party, its NOT. See Spain.)

    How about promising to remove all carbon taxes from people's elecriticy bills and going ahead with massive hydro developments that will create jobs and give people cheap electricity once again ?

    That's the kind of platform i'd be running on if I were Hudak.

  20. Earl,

    I have a better chance of having twins than any government, or even potential government, has of rescinding a value added tax...Hudak seems to be living proof of that.

  21. Ron

    or even potential government, has of rescinding a value added tax...Hudak seems to be living proof of that.

    Have to agree sadly and the provincial NDP are as useless !

  22. Hey Ron I seem to remember a certain party reducing the national sales tax by 2% at the federal level.

    Which is why I think promising to shave a few points off the HST is a far, far better policy for the Ontario/BC opposition.

    Its something that could actually be achieved.

  23. "Is a healthy democracy an end goal in your view?"

    No. Democracy is a form of government. The form itself has no intrinsic value.

    If the people (generally) are crazy and decide that those who disagree with them are the be executed, that's a bad outcome, but it's consistent with democracy.

    Democracy is beneficial only if it produces good outcomes in governance, and the structure of Canada (with the different regions having markedly different opinions about how government should operate) ensures that a democratic approach will tend to alienate at least some of the country all of the time.

    Furthermore, democracy is antithetical to individual freedom, as the majority always has to power to impse its will on the idiosyncratic. But just because someone's opinions are uncommon or unpopular doesn't make them wrong. It just makes them different.

    Do you value democracy in and of itself? Why? What does democracy, on its own (regardless of the choices the voters make), do for us?

  24. Ira democracy has value outside of the legislative process becuase it gives people a way to express themselves non-violently.

    This cannot be overlooked.

    However, I disagree with John that the tone should be raised.

    If politicians are seen as knights in shining armour they are likely to get too full of themselves and feel they have free reign to impliment transformational policies.

    I kinda like having the entire political class being kept on a short lease.

    Then again, I wonder if John isn't advocating a higher politics for that very reason ?

    So they have the credibility and stature to bring in a coalition or radical green policies. Where as dysfunction and inaction tends to benefit small government types who would rather legislators cease and desist.

  25. Shadow,

    Agreed but I would lower provincial income tax brackets in a symbolic manner as a consolation prize.

    As you know, that gets you more bang for the buck, politics-wise as that particular party at the federal level is now painfully discovering in spite of a 2% reduction in the GST.

    You know how it ALWAYS goes: what have you done for me LATELY???

  26. Ira: Democracy is a form of government. The form itself has no intrinsic value.

    Hmmm. Definitely not a Green, whose values include
    * that all elected representatives are committed to the principles of transparency, truthfulness, and accountability in governance
    * that all electoral systems are transparent and democratic, and that this is enforced by law

    And yet not a card-carrying Conservative, since that requires actively supporting a set of founding principles including beliefs in
    * ...the supremacy of democratic parliamentary institutions and the rule of law;
    * ...the institutions of Parliament and the democratic process

    So the statement quoted at the top of this comment is grounds for tearing up a membership card in either of the Green or Conservative Parties. From this it can be deduced that Ira is neither, numerous comments regarding the Conservatives notwithstanding.

    (On reflection, membership in the Green Party never really looked like a slam dunk assumption.)

    Do you value democracy in and of itself? Why? What does democracy, on its own (regardless of the choices the voters make), do for us?

    Well, each time a country tries to move beyond our quaint notions of western democracy the exercise seems to end in tears. Winston Churchill apparently shared that view but of course, he was a Tory and we all know what they think.

  27. Shadow: Where as dysfunction and inaction tends to benefit small government types who would rather legislators cease and desist.

    It does appear that this may have been a deliberate policy of the current government. This has been one of the least productive Parliaments in Canadian history.

    We should always bear in mind Napoleon's dictum, "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence." There's certainly ample evidence for the latter. Yet the suspicion lingers...

  28. John I haven't seen any evidence of "incompetence" from the Conservatives.

    I've often seen deliberate tactical moves that have been a little too cute and sometimes backfired.

    But more often than not Harper has crafted a reputation for steady management while keeping the Liberals off balance.

    Remember, they're the minority party. They MUST behave like insurgents.

    A smooth, well run parliament with public respect and high minded democracy that you're calling for would almost certainly mean a coalition and no Conservative policy.

    Everything needs to be passed by divide and conquer or stealth or any means nessecary really.

  29. Shadow: Remember, [the Conservatives are] the minority party. They MUST behave like insurgents.

    Would that expression describe Mike Pearson during his very productive minority governments?

    One could claim that Ignatieff and Layton are a lot nastier than Diefenbaker and Douglas--but they're not. Stephen Harper is simply no Lester B. Pearson.

    Since neither of us think the current Parliament is so ineffectual mainly from incompetence, it looks like we also agree that Harper is deliberately doing as little as possible--even if we disagree as to why. The history books may have a better perspective but as current events, the claim is persuasive.

  30. I don't think the history books will have much to say about Harper's time in government. It's been a relatively uneventful four years.

  31. John now you're just making silly historical comparisons.

    A de facto Liberal-NDP coalition implementing leftist social policy is in no way analogous to today's situation where Harper is ideologically isolated.

    I also disagree that Harper is doing little. Its parliament that's being obstructed, which means its the opposition that's been powerless to do anything.

    Harper has managed to push through a great deal of legislation with the ever present threat of simply calling an election.

  32. Eric i'm pretty sure academic types will write exhaustive tomes on just about every prime minister.

    There's actually a considerable list of substantive legislative accomplishments to discuss, if one was so inclined. Here's a list somebody has compiled:

  33. Shadow: There's actually a considerable list of substantive legislative accomplishments to discuss, if one was so inclined. Here's a list somebody has compiled:

    The linked page deserves full credit for novel use of the word "accomplishments". But appointing an ambassador to the US?

    I defer to those knowledgeable in the field: Parliamentary expert Ned Franks says he can't recall another legislative sitting that has accomplished so little.

  34. John so you object to a specific point on that list ? Good, ignore it and look at the other 30 or so items. Its also only a partial list by the way, I can think if countless technical, policy oriented changes that aren't flashy enough for the average person to care about.

    As for Ned Franks that article was published before the session even ended!

    In fact its still happening as we speak because the senate is still sitting. Since the article was written a last minute deal on pardon reform was passed.

    A once in a generation refugee reform bill was passed (something that gov'ts have been trying to do for 20 years now.)

    And by next week the omnibus budget will be passed. At 900 pages its "stuffed" with the equivalent of a dozen or so bills.

    Don't get me wrong John. I completely agree that a majority Harper government would be able to get more done. In fact i'm all for it!


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