Thursday, September 30, 2010

Liberals drop in latest Angus-Reid poll

The latest poll from Angus-Reid, released yesterday, shows the Liberals and New Democrats down, with gains going to the Conservatives and Greens.Compared to Angus-Reid's last poll taken on August 10 and 11, the Conservatives have gained one point and stand at 34%. The Liberals are down three to 26%, while the NDP is down one to 18%.

The Greens have gained two points and stand at 11%, with the Bloc Québécois at 10%.

In Ontario, the race is still close with both the Conservatives and Liberals dropping one point to 36% and 33%, respectively. The NDP, contrary to some other polls, is at 19% here (up one). The Greens are unchanged at 11%.

The Bloc leads in Quebec with 38% (up one), followed by the Liberals at 22% (up two) and the Conservatives at 17% (up one). The NDP is down one to 17%.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives are steady at 39%, with the NDP falling three points to 24%. The Liberals are down seven to 18%, while the Greens are up nine to 17%. These are the types of changes chalked up to low sample size.

The Liberals lead in Atlantic Canada with 48%, down 17 points from August's ridiculous 65%. The Conservatives follow with 31%, up 13.

The Conservatives are down nine points to 52% in Alberta, followed by the Liberals at 17%.

In the Prairies, the Conservatives are up eight to 50%, followed by the NDP at 24% and the Liberals at 19% (down 13).

With this poll, the Conservatives would win 73 seats in the West and North, 48 in Ontario, seven in Quebec, and seven in Atlantic Canada for a total of 135.

The Liberals would win 41 seats in Ontario, 25 in Atlantic Canada, 14 in Quebec, and 11 in the West and North for a total of 91.

The Bloc would win 52 seats in Quebec.

The NDP would win 17 seats in Ontario, 11 in the West, and two in Quebec for a total of 30.

This poll looked at a few other subjects, including the approval and disapproval ratings of the three main party leaders. Stephen Harper's approval/disapproval rating was 25/49, a gap that has negatively grown by three points.

Jack Layton's split is 27% to 37%, a gap that has negatively grown by five points. That is no small amount, and perhaps an indication of how the long-gun registry has hurt him.

Michael Igantieff's split is 15% to 47% - very bad numbers, but the gap has actually grown in a positive way for the Liberal leader. It's only one point, but good news on this front is hard to come by for Ignatieff.

The poll also found that 34% of Canadians support having an election this fall, compared to 44% who oppose it. Interestingly, a small majority of opposition party supporters are in favour of an election this fall, while only 28% of Conservative supporters can say the same thing.

All in all, this is a good poll for the Conservatives. An eight-point gap is much wider than what we've seen in other polls. But they didn't get any stellar regional results - they could be doing better everywhere.

Relatively speaking, this is a good poll for the NDP. But with most other polls showing their support shrinking, this could be just an outlier.


  1. It's a bad poll for the NDP. This is the lowest support Angus Reid has shown for the NDP since February.

    It's perhaps not as bad as the recept Ipsos and Decima polls, but it's still bad.

  2. There is something i don't quite get with the seat projection. You say that this polls would give the NDP 11 seats in the west (compared to the 15 they have now). But i just don't see it. This poll has support for the parties in Man/Sask essentially identical to the results of the '08 election - so the seats split should be the status quo. In Alberta, this poll actually has NDP support up and tory support down - the 1 NDP seat there would have to be hold - based on this poll and in BC this poll has NDP support down 2% and Tory support down 5% - but only the Greens have made any gains - since almost all the NDP seats in BC are only vulnerable to a much wider Tory/NDP gap - how can the NDP lose seats if the gap actually shrinks by 3 points??

  3. I've always appreciated ARS as they seem to have realistic figures in terms of the Green vote (which provides more realistic numbers for the other mainstream parties) Eg. In BC, the Green vote is usually in the realistic <10% range.

    But now ARS has the Greens in BC at silly Harris Decima levels of 17%, notwithstanding the small ~140 sample size.

    Hmmmmmm, OTOH, maybe E. May's major announcement last week that federally funded backyard chicken coops, backyard beehives, and converting streets into bike lanes had an impact! :D

  4. Hey Eric,
    What about the EKOS poll? It show NDP support bleeding to the libs and tories-green support is higher in some parts of the country. BC is especially split between male/female support for the tories, and big difference between younger voters who tend to support greens and are turned off mainstream parties, and 65+ voters who support the tories most.The big new is the 3% gap between cons/libs seems to be holding

  5. Its a pretty bad poll for the Liberals. I don't think Angus Reid has had them this low in a very long time. They are frozen that Dion 2008 levels.

  6. DL,

    In Alberta the Liberals and Greens are up 6% and 8% respectivly in this poll which will have an affect on the results when it comes to vote splitting. Eric's seat projecctions don't go by riding and it's quite possible that the NDP's support is more wide spread then it was in 2008.

  7. So AR has the Tories ahead by 8

    Ekos out today has the Tories ahead by 4

    Interesting to see you reconcile those Eric.

  8. Big development! Liberal unity might be unraveling again because Ignatieff is stalled in the polls.

    Those "anonymous sources" that had quieted down are now leaking caucus info to reporters again:

    Also according to Kady the NDP are filibustering the Canada-Panama free trade agreement.

    Harper should take advantage of these new polls numbers and drop the hammer on the NDP.

    Its an economic bill, time to make it a confidence motion.

  9. In the last election, the Tories took 65% of the vote in Alberta. This polls has them at 52% with the NDP up slightly to 14% and the Liberals and Greens each up quite a bit. IF this was the actual vote split in Alberta, we would almost certainly be looking at more Tory seat losses in Alberta. If they could fall short in 1 seat with 65% of the vote - they could lose 2 or 3 more at 52%.

  10. The Conservative won by huge margins though the NDP's seat was a very narrow win.

  11. There is no such a thing as "filibustering" in the House of Commons. That is the US Senate you are thinking of. The Liberals tend to back all free trade treaties - so if push came to shove, they would always support it. In any case, I find it hard to imagine Harper saying "I have decided to dissolve parliament because the Canada-Panama Trade treaty is sooooo crucial that its worth having an election over!"

    "Also according to Kady the NDP are filibustering the Canada-Panama free trade agreement.

    Harper should take advantage of these new polls numbers and drop the hammer on the NDP."

  12. All,

    Any Harper provoked election -- under any pretext, will serve as the final nail in the coffin of this government.

    This Prime Minister maintains an edge so long as an election is not directly triggered by his government. As soon as Harper loses plausible deniability, his goose is throughly cooked.

  13. Once again applying Éric's Infallible House Effect Adjustment for Angus-Reid, this poll is consistent with recent polls and discounts the Dippers-going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket line:

    Party: Vision Critical +/- House Effect = Adjusted Result
    Conservative: 34 - 1 = 33%
    Liberal: 26 + 2 = 28%
    NDP: 18 - 2 = 16%
    Green: 11 + 2 = 13%
    Bloc Québécois: 10 - 2 = 8%

    The NDP may be down a meaningless point from the last Vision Critical (Angus Reid) poll but they're still in good shape. The Tories are perhaps a point above their recent levels and the Grits the same amount below, but nothing that variation can't explain.

    The Green Party has done well for a few polls. However, it's still early days to declare a trend.

    I have trouble believing that Bloc number, but perhaps it's all due to the visceral hate their supporters have for the Long Gun Registry. No, wait. I think I see a problem there...

    Nothing in these numbers should dissuade Michael Ignatieff, Jack Layton or Gilles Duceppe from going to the polls. The word to Grit nominated candidates seems to be that Ignatieff is not planning on pulling the plug soon, but I'm still claiming a November election could be in the cards.

  14. Peter: So AR has the Tories ahead by 8

    Ekos out today has the Tories ahead by 4

    Interesting to see you reconcile those Eric.

    I'll take a shot at it. After applying Éric's Infallible House Effect Adjustment (hey, did I see that mentioned recently?) the Tory/Grit difference is 5% according to Angus-Reid. It's 6% by adjusted EKOS.

    Again, those adjustments were done to the nearest point so there's dirt in the mix. The question isn't how to reconcile the differences; it's why they match so well.

  15. DL the term "filibuster" refers to a broad catagory of action that does indeed take place in Canada.

    While a parliamentary majority can always pass its legislation EVENTUALLY its possible to delay bills for a very, very long time.

    The government has been working on this free trade deal since the first day back from prorogation.

    The NDP has been using various dilatory motions, offering useless ammendments, raising endless points of order, demanding that the bill be sent back to committee, etc.

    Harper can and should say that any further delay tactics will cause an election.

    If memory serves, Conservatives tend to do well in free trade elections.

  16. Shadow:

    Do you think it's wise for Harper to "drop the hammer on the NDP"? After all vote splitting on the left due to a strong NDP can only help Harper -- similar to a divided right helping Chretien.


    I think predicting 2-3 seat loss for the CPC in Alberta is a little ambitious. 52% is an overwhelming number of votes. The closest riding in AB (other than Duncan's) was probably Edmonton-East where Goldring beat NDP Martin 21,500 to 13,300. Shaving off 15% of Goldring's vote(65% drop to 50% for CPC) is about 3250 votes. If all of them went to the NDP he would still be a few thousand votes short -- in the closest AB riding.

    And that assumes that the "lost" CPC vote goes all to the NDP candidate. Unlikely.

    Can the NDP hold onto Duncan's seat? I don't know, but it will be a very tough fight.

  17. Oh, forgot - filibuster is not just in the US senate.

    What makes a filibuster unique in the US senate is that a Senator may speak on a single debate until he/she yields the floor (stops speaking and sits down). In our Parliament and provincial legislatures usually a member's time is limited on each bill. Thus they cannot filibuster as effectively as they could in the US senate. But it is still a filibuster.

  18. "If memory serves, Conservatives tend to do well in free trade elections."

    If Harper wants an election over free trade with a tinpot banana republic like Panama - I say BRING IT ON!!

    Back to Alberta - if Tory support fell 15% to 52% - I suspect the Liberals would win back Edmonton Centre in addition to Edmonton East being up for grabs - and Edmonton-Strathcona would go NDP by a comfortable margin.

  19. "this poll is consistent with recent polls and discounts the Dippers-going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket line"

    THIS poll is not at all consistent with recent polls.

    Its a poll at odds with HD and EKOS which show serious NDP losses.

    The NDP should indeed be worried. They've been caught in a squeeze play.

    Just like this time last year where they had to prop up the government when Ignatieff declared Harper's time is up, they may have to do so again.

    I see no reason why Harper shouldn't resume governing as if he has a majority.

    Its basically what he's done since 2006 at any point when another party has been scared to go to the polls.

  20. whaddaya think eric - p.q. majority plus Stephen Harper led conservative majority equals winning conditions for referendum on Quebec as a nation?

  21. DL have you heard of closure being used in Canadian Parliaments and legislatures? That because of opposition filibustering. It can be done in Canada however the method and means are much different than in the US.

  22. All,

    Stephen Harper: the NEXT Louis St-Laurent!

    The new "pipeline" Prime Minister...

  23. The last time that the Tories were being cry-babies about some of there bills being debated fully in the Senate - their solution was to prorogue parliament so that all bills on the order paper could be wiped off the record and they would have to start all over again. Why don't they try that again?

  24. I don't know Kevin micheal.

    Would Harper solely be to blame? Or would the Quebec liberal (federalist) leader/party be partly to blame for federalism being hurt in Quebec: "Liberals would be reduced to 40 seats, their lowest result since the 1976 election" ???

  25. "The last time that the Tories were being cry-babies about some of there bills being debated fully in the Senate - their solution was to prorogue parliament"

    Yep. Because it let them seize control of the committee system where bills were being held up.

    Not sure how that solution would apply to the situation about NDP filibustering their bills.

    Laughable to suggest that this is about fully "studying" things. Its about delay on behalf of unions.

    Shocking behaviour actually.

  26. First of all the free trade deal you speak isn't even with Panama - its with Colombia - so you might start by getting your countries right. The NDP is right to oppose having a trade deal with a tinpot dictatorship where the government has ties to rightwing death squads and where union leaders routinely get murdered by government henchmen. There are better countries for Canada to have trade deals with than that.

    Meanwhile in other news i see that the Tories have decided to kill new warning messages on cigarette packages because they gave in to the very influential tobacco industry lobby. Shocking really!!

  27. Speaking of filibusters - I seem to recall that it was the Tories who created a whole handbook for the backbenchers to give them tips on how to stall and tie up H of C committees so that they can't get anything done.

    If the shoe fits - wear it!

  28. DL Said: "Anyway, you slice it - the BQ will have the balance of power after the next election. Harper is actually right when he says the election is a choice between a Tory majority or a "coalition". He knows that unless he gets a majority - his government is toast."

    That doesn't follow either. Right now, the opposition parties combined have more seats than the Tories, but haven't been able to take power. So what is it about an election that will change that?

    As I see it, there are really only two scenarios under which the Tories lose office in an election:

    (1) The opposition parties run on a platform of forming a coalition with one or two other parties, or at least don't explicitly rule such a coalition out, if they get more seats than the the Tories, and they do (since that would give the coalition the perceived legitimacy to govern); or

    (2) The Liberals get more seats than the Tories.

    Right now, neither of those scenarios are likely. Despite recent improvements by the Liberals (depending on the pollster), the Liberals are still a long way behind the Tories in terms of seats. So option (2) doesn't look fruitful.

    On Eric's projection option (1) won't work, for now, for an NDP/Liberal coaltion, although its more likely. It could work if you added in the Bloc, but that creates problems of its own.

    The problem is that Iggy seems to have ruled out a coalition (though he seems have wavered on the point over the past couple of years). And with good reason. The prospect of a coalition during an election campaign could see Liberal support peeling off to the Tories (on the right) and the NDP or the Greens(on the left). That's the reason why the Tories are playing that possibility up and the Liberals are trying to dismiss it. And, of course, the prospect of a coalition with the Bloc risks having Liberal support blow-up in English Canada (which is why Iggy dropped the coalition proposal like it was radioactive back in January 2009).

    That doesn't mean that he couldn't go back on his word after an election (a not unheard of action by a politician, I know), but doing so could fatally undermine the legitimacy of his government from the get-go (in contrast, say, to the various parties in the last UK election who campaigned with a view to possibly forming a coalition with another party). That would make it harder for the GG to ask him to form a government without going back to voters (which would likely be suicidal) and, if nothing else, it would give the Tories an excuse to make a nuissance of themselves in the Senate (which they would still control).

  29. "First of all the free trade deal you speak isn't even with Panama - its with Colombia - so you might start by getting your countries right."

    You might want to check your facts before attempting to correct someone.

    The Canada-Columbia free trade deal has already recieved royal assent.

    The Canada-Panama free trade deal is still being held up by the NDP.


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