Monday, August 9, 2010

July Polling Round-up

Time to look at July's polling. Six national polls were released during this month (one fewer than last month), totaling about 9,487 interviews. Here are the results we get at the national level, with the difference from last month's average in brackets.

Conservatives - 33.6% (+0.9)
Liberals - 27.7% (+0.5)
New Democrats - 17.0% (-0.4)
Bloc Québécois - 10.0% (+0.1)
Greens - 9.9% (-0.9)
Others - 1.8%

The Conservatives made a decent little step forward in July, but it does not erase the 1.9 points they lost in June. The Liberals are also up, but are back to where they were in May. The NDP take a step backwards after gaining a full point in June. The Bloc is up a tiny bit, but up 0.4 points in the past two months. The Greens have erased most of the gains they made in June, and are now back in fifth place.Looking at the polling trends since January 2009, we see that barring the good result for the Tories in May 2010, this is their best result since December 2009, when the party was polling at 36.8%. For the Liberals, they have been steady at this level, give or take 0.5 points, since March. The NDP seems to be on a slow path upwards despite their step backwards this month, while the Greens have been comfortable over 9.6% since December.

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

Conservatives - 128 (unchanged)
Liberals - 95 (+4)
Bloc Québécois - 52 (-2)
New Democrats - 33 (-2)
Greens - 0 (unchanged)

The Conservatives maintain themselves but the Liberals make a good gain of four seats. At the national level, they come at the expense of the Bloc and the NDP, who both lose two seats.

The regional results, with difference from last month in brackets:

BRITISH COLUMBIA (6 polls - about 1,270 people)

Conservatives - 34.5% (+0.3)
New Democrats - 27.7% (+1.3)
Liberals - 22.4% (+1.8)
Greens - 12.3% (-3.8)

The Conservatives make a modest gain in the province, but their lead over the NDP is shrinking. The Liberals are back to exactly where they were at the end of May. The Greens have lost all that they gained in June.

ALBERTA (6 polls - about 1,040 people)

Conservatives - 59.2% (+3.6)
Liberals - 19.2% (+1.1)
New Democrats - 9.8% (-1.7)
Greens - 9.4% (-1.7)

The Conservatives are back to their traditional levels in Alberta, while the Liberals still look to make a big leap forward in the province, relatively speaking. The NDP has dipped to single-digits, while the Greens are also down.

PRAIRIES (6 polls - about 740 people)

Conservatives - 45.8% (+0.7)
Liberals - 21.7% (+0.9)
New Democrats - 20.9% (+0.2)
Greens - 10.3% (-0.4)

The Conservatives are up a little bit, as are the Liberals and the NDP. The Greens drop but are at a very good level for them.

The Conservatives take 66 in the West (unchanged from June), while the Liberals win 15 in the West and North (up one) and the NDP wins 14 (down one).

ONTARIO (6 polls - about 4,490 people)

Conservatives - 35.6% (+0.4)
Liberals - 33.8% (-1.0)
New Democrats - 17.8% (+0.6)
Greens - 10.6% (-0.3)

The Conservatives make a small gain while the Liberals have dropped a full point. The race is still very tight in this battleground province, however. The NDP seems to be making serious inroads, with a gain of two points in the last two months. The Greens drop but they have been relatively stable in Ontario for the past few months.

The Conservatives win 47 seats (up one), the Liberals win 44 (done one), and the NDP wins 15 (unchanged).

The Liberals seems to be on a slow decline in Ontario from their high of 38.1% in February. They are still performing better than their dregs of October and November 2009. The Conservatives have been relatively stable in the province since the beginning of the year, while the NDP has been on a steady inclcine. Throughout 2009 they were polling anywhere between 13.0% and 16.9%, but since March the party has been doing very well. This 17.8% is their highest polling average since I've been keeping track.

QUEBEC (6 polls - about 2,900 people)

Bloc Québécois - 40.2% (-0.4)
Liberals - 22.4% (+1.2)
Conservatives - 16.2% (+1.2)
New Democrats - 12.2% (-0.3)
Greens - 7.2% (-1.2)

The Bloc is down a little, but this comes after a gain of almost two full points in June. They are still over the 40% mark, which is where the party wants to be. The Liberals have made a gain equal to the ground lost last month. The Conservatives are up from June, but down from where they were in May. The NDP is down a little bit, but they had gained 0.3 points in June. The Greens are down more than a full point.

The Bloc takes 52 seats (down two), the Liberals take 15 (up one), the Conservatives take 6 (up one) and the NDP win 2 (unchanged).

While this is a step down from the Bloc's best-ever (since January 2009 at least) result of 40.6% last month, this is still their third best result, second being 40.3% back in February 2009. The party's trend line is inching steadily upwards. The same can't be said for the Liberals, who have gone from a high of 34.3% back in May 2009 to their current level of 22.4%. They've been stuck in the sub-23% level since March. The Tories have been relatively stable through 2010 while the NDP has been slowing increasing their support. Whereas in 2009 they usually polling around 10% or 11%, they have been over 12% for the last four months.

ATLANTIC CANADA (6 polls - about 810 people)

Liberals - 39.7% (+5.3)
Conservatives - 32.0% (-3.4)
New Democrats - 18.3% (-1.8)
Greens - 8.1% (-0.2)

The Conservatives are down big, dropping more than three points. It is the Liberals who have taken advantage, gaining more than five points and re-gaining the lead. The NDP have really been falling away in the region. They are down more than three points in the last two months, and are now below 20%. The Greens are the only ones showing stability here.

The Liberals win 21 seats (up three), the Conservatives win 9 (down two), and the NDP wins 2 (down one).Of the five parties, it is the Greens who had the worst month. Their net loss in the six regions was 7.6 points, including a loss of 3.8 points in British Columbia. They need to be doing much better there if Elizabeth May is going to have a chance at getting elected, despite Gary Lunn being snubbed at the cabinet shuffle. It also doesn't help the party that they are stagnant in Ontario, where they also have a chance to win a seat if they have a good election.

Next is the NDP, which had a net loss of 1.7 points. They also lost two seats in the projection, and suffered damaging losses of almost two points in Alberta and Atlantic Canada. Their gains in British Columbia and Ontario, however, are good news.

Then we have the Bloc which dropped 0.4 points in Quebec and two seats. But they are still well ahead of the Liberals and look to gain four seats in this projection compared to their current standing in the House of Commons.

On the positive side of the ledger we have the Conservatives, who had a net gain of 2.8 points. While their projected seat total has not changed, they have made good gains in Quebec and Alberta, and had decent results in Ontario, the Prairies, and British Columbia. Their result in Atlantic Canada is troublesome.

And the title of July's big winner goes to the holder of June's big loser title: the Liberals. They had a net gain of 9.3 points and are up four seats from June's projection. They had a very good gain in Atlantic Canada, and performed solidly in Quebec, the Prairies, Alberta, and British Columbia. Their slip in Ontario, however, is the black mark on July's results.


  1. Hmm the sky isn't falling.

    Of course, this doesn't include the second half of that weird EKOS that just came out.

    PM is expected to be doing a cross country tour at the end of August. He should be well refreshed for the fall session.

    Even if that EKOS wasn't a fluke i'd say the smart money is on that number not holding once Harper gets front and center.


    Helena Geurgis.

    My understanding is that an internal poll showed the CPC would lose her riding if she was the candidate.

    Clearly they think its to their political advantage to have a new candidate, even if Geurgis runs against her as an independent.

  2. Hmm?

    129-126 Co vs CPC

    Too close to call really.

  3. While there might be nice "optics" to having the Liberal/NDP seat count higher than the Tory seat count - it isn't really that important. The reality is that unless the Tories win a majority in the next election - there is almost zero chance that Harper will stay in power. The three opposition parties are united by their hatred of him and they will vote down ANY post-election throne speech he proposes - regardless of what's in it - and once that happens the GG will ask the leader of the second largest party to try to form a government - and the NDP and BQ will pass a Liberal throne speech - just to get rid of Harper. End of story.

  4. DL its not just symbolic.

    If the Lib/NDP seat count is higher than the CPC seat count then the BQ have the option of abstaining on votes they don't like.

    Otherwise they are required to actively vote in support of everything, which they won't do for measures they don't like.

    This means less freedom of action for Ignatieff and bolsters the Tory arguement that a coalition would be held hostage to the whims of the Bloc.

  5. A Harper government would also be hostage to the Bloc once the Liberals and NDP make it clear that they are going to oppose Harper.

    If there is one thing we have learned over the last four years its that you can do a lot despite not being able to pass any legislation. The Harper legislative agenda has been almost non-existent - they just like being in power and being able to appoint people etc...The same will be true of the Liberals - they will form a minority government and then they will have a few years to govern while (in all likelihood) all three other parties are busy picking new leaders etc...

  6. Of course one thing that is a bit deceptive about the July numbers is the fact that some of the polls in early July were relatively good for the Tories and bad for the Liberals and then in late July things seemed to swing the other way. I can't wait to see some other up to date numbers that would tell is if the Ekos and HD numbers showing a significant Tory drop are being confirmed.

  7. There does appear to be a deeply-held believe among the opposition parties that Stephen Harper is evil.

    I don't really get it, but it's clearly there.

  8. Harper is a great uniter. He has a knack for uniting his opponents against him as we say after the Nov. '08 economic statement/removal of public funding of the political system fiasco. If there is one thing the Liberals, NDP and BQ have in common its that I think they all regard Harper and dangerous, ruthless, untrustworthy and as having no class whatsoever.

  9. Under estimated Iggy is set for a comeback.

  10. Ira I'm not sure that he's considered evil as much as his views are not that of the majority of Canadians. To be honest I voted for him years ago because I thought the Liberals needed to go. But man am I disappointed in what I've seen. He basically has taken what was the worst of the Liberal party and taken it to another level. This guy was going to come in and make things more tranparent and accountable. The exact opposite has happened. This guy to me looks like would do anything to stay in power. I mean he even broke his own fixed election law. And lets be honest with a less reliable census it will make it harder for gov't to effectively spend our tax dollars. I really think he is the problem with the party. Anyway just my opinion from someone who once supported Harper and can't wait to see him gone.

  11. In all honesty, it isn't that people think Harper is "evil," it's just that we know he will do anything possible to get more power and destroy the Opposition parties, especially the Liberals. What do you expect us to do - sing about rainbows and happiness? Harper, like a lot of politicians, wants power. We don't want him to have that power. Ergo, we oppose him.

    It is only the most partisan people who start calling others "evil."

  12. All,

    Well, after reading posts under the last two headings -- here's my prime ministerial prediction:

    Many, many, many, SLEEPLESS nights...

  13. I'll second Volkov from my perspective.

    I quite liked Ignatieff at one time and tend to avoid a lot of the personal attacks on the blogs that target the leaders.

    I just happen to think its self evident that a Liberal government means higher taxes, more spending, and larger deficits.

    (I know, I know, I know Chretien cut spending. BUT does anyone really think PM Preston Manning wouldn't have cut more and faster too ?)

  14. The only thing the Tories seem to stand for now is being the "nasty party". When the Tories in the UK started to get that reputation it presaged them being annhilated in 1997.

  15. The problem that you guys have - Red Tory Lib and Volkov is that it isn't really in the interests of the BLOC for the Liberals to succeed. The CPC is limited to 10 to 15 seats around Quebec City. Maximum. My understanding is that for $240 million to build an NHL arena in Quebec City the CPC could secure their seats. On the other hand the LPOC could do some damage to BLOC if they formed the government. The Next leader of the LPOC will likely be from Quebec as well. That's not something the CPC can say. So I'm not sure that a Liberal NDP coalition has natural ally in the BLOC.

  16. My big problem with Harper is that he's a liar.

    Ive always found him a bit creepy though but I think that's a lot to do with his coldness, I don't think most people can deny that he comes off as cold.

    For some reason I find he doesn't seem as cold looking with his glasses on, don't ask me why.

  17. "The Next leader of the LPOC will likely be from Quebec as well."

    If Ignatieff forms a government, he will be the LPC leader for the foreseeable future.

    The BQ is likely to build its entire campaign in the next election around the idea that Harper is evil and that only the Bloc can stop Harper in Quebec. Its very very unlikely that a week after the election they would turn around and vote for a Tory throne speech in exchange for nothing.

  18. There does appear to be a deeply-held believe among the opposition parties that Stephen Harper is evil.

    I don't really get it, but it's clearly there
    We heard the same musings about Mike Harris - and similarly, it was bait from his own supporters.

    It's the kindergarten teacher's standard procedure when breaking up fights between 6 year olds. "Now say something nice about each other"...

    All intended to use people's inherent sense of fairness against them to make them feel bad for pointing out the truth. It certainly is difficult to stay nice 100% of the time when you have a PM and supporters who are attacking each and every one of our institutions.


    New ipsos

  20. Ipsos has released another:

    C - 34% (-1)
    L - 31% (+4)
    N - 15% (-1)
    G - 9% (-2)
    BQ - 9% (-1)

  21. I am sorry, can't stop laughing at the headline "Tories, Liberals in near dead heat: Poll"

    35-29-16 at the end of april.... 34-31-15 today.

    It's a precipitous drop!!!! omg!!!

    Except in the most populace province: Ontario the tories go from 36 to 36... and the liberals go from 35 to 35.

    Whereas in quebec the tories drop from 20 (which may have been difficult to believe) to 16.

    They haven't yet published the numbers for the entire country.... but losing those 4 points to the bloc.... might account for the entire 1 point damaging, precipitous freefall (tiny) drop.

    Now the liberals did gain a couple three. Based on a few weeks of no screwups. But it wasn't all from the tories,... in fact given the numbers they have given us so far... not much of it was.

    The numbers don't seem to fit the narrative.

  22. Red Tory Liberal:

    "My big problem with Harper is that he's a liar."

    Welcome to reality. Life isn't fair. Harper lied about income trusts as well. That cost me $30,000 personally. They all lie. Bob Rae lied. Chretien lied, Paul Martin Lied, Trudeau lied, Mulroney lied, and on it goes.

  23. "I don't think people think he is evil"

    "If there is one thing the Liberals, NDP and BQ have in common its that I think they all regard Harper and dangerous, ruthless, untrustworthy and as having no class whatsoever."

    "I don't think people think he is evil"

    "My big problem with Harper is that he's a liar."

    "I don't think people think he is evil"

    "it's just that we know he will do anything possible to get more power and destroy the Opposition parties,"

    "I don't think people think he is evil"

    "Harper is attacking each and every one of our institutions."

    "I don't think people think he is evil"

    "The only thing the Tories seem to stand for now is being the "nasty party"."

    "I don't think people think he is evil"

    "He basically has taken what was the worst of the Liberal party and taken it to another level"

    Am I missing something??? It certainly seems like several people even here are doing everything they can to call him evil without actually using the word....

    "it is just bait from his own supporters."

    ..... uh huh.... Hundreds of them commenting saying mean things about the man on the globe and mail, the star, the cbc... right? Conbots, Bold face liar, sophist, a demogauge, a fascist and a fool, Tar Sands party hillbillies etc etc etc.

    But that is probably just the tory plants trying to create sympathy.. right??

    It's not all just directed at Harper either,.. alot of it is against people who have conservative beliefs. And many times, At Harper because he has those same beliefs.

    Full of hate many of these comments are. It's less about fulfilling their wants, then finding an outlet for their Hate and Bigotry.

  24. Ipsos tends to have strongest "house effect" for the Tories. They invariably have them much higher than anyone else. If Ipsos has the Tories at 34% - they are probably barely over 30% in reality.

  25. Those Ipsos numbers are recent and credible.

    The race has definetly tightened and I wouldn't be surprised if the opposition takes a now or never stance and calls an election.

    Interestingly the census doesn't seem to have cost Harper much of his own support.

    Ignatieff's leadership tour or anger at Harper seems to be polarizing the electorate in a Harper V Ignatieff way.

    NDP, BQ, and Greens could be squeezed in such a scenario.

    Its also possible this could be a re-play of last year and the NDP will re-establish confidence in the government to fend off a strong Liberal result.

  26. "Evil" to me is a word with a religious connotation. Satan is supposed to be "evil". I don't put Haroer in that category. I just think he is a nasty, detestable, small-minded little man. I don't think he's sophisticated enough to be given a lofty descriptor like "evil".

    The NDP will go along with an election whenever the other opposition parties get up the nerve to go for it. Why not? There's money in the bank, Layton is as popular as ever and there is an excellent chance of giving the Tories the boot.

  27. Layton is as popular as ever and there is an excellent chance of giving the Tories the boot.

    And that is the key. The NDP are basically win-win here.

    More seats, the potential of being part of Govt. What's not to like ?

  28. I dunno DL.

    My understanding is that some individuals in the coalition detect the distinct whiff of a sulphur coming from Harper.

    If the man really is a demon, or possibly the devil, as Ignatieff is suggesting then wouldn't that qualify as evil ?

  29. Shadow,

    That devil-demon stuff is a pile of S-H-I-T. I'm no big Harper fan (perhaps that might have something to do with our attempt at giving him the heave-ho in 2005.) In short, never supported his candidacy for leadership, was less than thrilled to have him as leader, was biding my time until he would lose and finally had my fill and left the party.

    And even yours truly who has called him every conceivable name in the book in front of my own bathroom mirror thinks devil-demon is a blow TOO LOW.

    This Prime Minister is far from an angel but he isn't a devil either.

    Put another way, STEPHEN HARPER (Definition):

    !@#$%^&*() *#@! !@#$%^&*_)(*&^%

  30. It looks like I was right the Harper, slide is on.

    I agree with DL, if Ipsos, has Harper, at 34% he can barely be at 30%

    When Ignatieff, started his bus tour he met with nothing but derision from the CPC, especially when his bus broke down and had to be towed to "Harper's diesel"

    Now, he is out talking to Canadians, and is starting to garner some positive press.

    Canadians are starting to see that the vile Harper, attacks against him were all lies.

    Harper, has emerged from his bunker, and has decided to become more visible, and also go across the country.

    Maybe he will even deign to talk to a few peasants.

    It looks to me like Harper, fatigue is starting to set in, and the Canadian public is tired of him and don't really want him for a Prime Minister anymore.

    If the three opposition parties decide to vote non confidence in the Harper, government there is nothing he can do about that, except try for another prorogation, which won't fly.

    Layton, is a seasoned campaigner, and I expect him to do well in an election campaign, and I hope his health will allow him to mount a vigorous campaign.

    Duceppe, is also a seasoned campaigner, and will also do well.

    Ignatieff, has such low expectations, that he doesn't have to do much to exceed them.

    Ignatieff, is doing well on his bus tour, and is honing his campaign skills, and he may yet surprise.

    And now for the skunk at the garden party Stephen Harper.

    Harper, couldn't even get through the last leaders debate without bringing in his cheat notes.

    Harper, has no oratory skills, and has all the charisma and personality of a turnip.

    I will go out on a limb, and will say that by the time Christmas rolls around Michael Ignatieff will be Prime Minister of Canada.

    Stephen Harper, will be eviscerated by his own party.

    There endeth the lesson.

  31. Wow this is huge. Stunning reversal by Kevin Page and a major victory for Jim Flaherty and this government's economic policies:

    Turns out we do NOT have a structural deficit and spending cuts/tax increases will NOT be required after all.

    The government may, in fact, be on track to balance the budget a year ahead of schedule.

    People will remember that previously Page asserted that we would have a small structural deficit in the 5 billion range during the out years of Flaherty's budget plan.

    Flaherty disagreed. The media sided with Kevin Page, saying that he's always right.

    Lately, however, Flaherty's predictions have been more on the money then Page's.

  32. Is it just me or did the comments at the bottom of the Terence Corcoran article that was linked here get dropped?

  33. 49 Steps,

    "I will go out on a limb, and will say that by the time Christmas rolls around Michael Ignatieff will be Prime Minister of Canada."

    I would consider that a Christmas present!!!!

  34. 49 Steps: It looks like I was right the Harper, slide is on.

    Combining multiple polls having different house effects can be entertaining but misleading. The resulting numbers depend on which pollsters are in the mix this month. To identify a slide it's better to stick with one pollster. Any pollster will do because the absolute numbers don't matter.

    As always, check out the EKOS trend graph on page 4 of their latest report. Last week's near-meeting of the Conservative and Liberal numbers is a statistical aberration which we won't see next week. The Tories are at 32%-ish, with no clear movement since the beginning of the year. The Grits are at 26%-ish, with a curve that's more-or-less flat since May or so. Others may adjust these numbers by a point or dates by a month or two, but not in a game-changing way.

    [Stop me if you've heard the following paragraphs before...]

    This stasis doesn't matter. If Ignatieff pulls into the hamlet of Armpit and finds his spine at the back of the general store, we will have an fall election. The resulting reduced Conservative plurality will fall immediately on a confidence vote. After that it's constitutionally irrelevant whether the Conservatives have more seats than the Liberals and NDP combined or not; the stability of the Grit/Dipper (plus Green?) coalition is the only question. Our incoming Governor General understands our system. Deeply. He'll do the right thing.

    Tory spinners (both pro and amateur) will have a post-defeat field day. Expect vitriolic comments here expounding that LOSERS CAN'T FORM GOVERNMENTS. That too won't matter. If the coalition delivers good governance for an extended period, voters will like them, National Post fulminations notwithstanding. There will be no ballot box punishment circa 2013.

    Oh, and if Ignatieff doesn't find his spine? The election will come shortly after he's replaced in the second half of 2011. Yoghurt and Official Opposition leaders both have best-before dates. Ignatieff will start growing blue spots around October. It may take a while to clear out the fridge, though.


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