Thursday, September 16, 2010

New EKOS Poll: 3.5-pt CPC Lead (up 3.2)

So, EKOS is back and shows that the Conservatives have pulled away (again) from the Liberals. The gap is still relatively small, however, and becomes murky when the margin of error is taken into account.Compared to two weeks ago, the Conservatives are up three points to 32.4%. The Liberals are down 0.2 points to 28.9%, while the New Democrats are up 0.9 to 16.6%.

The Greens are down 2.3 points to 10.7% and the Bloc Québécois is down 2.0 points to 8.9%.

While the Conservatives can certainly be happy to be up above 30% in this EKOS poll, the result is actually not horrible for the Liberals. They have often been very low in EKOS polling, so to be at about 29% is not a bad spot for them. Even the NDP can be happy to see some growth.

In Ontario, the Liberals are down three points but still lead with 36.1%. The Conservatives are up two and trail with 34.7%. The NDP is down two to 13.5% - horrific - while the Greens are up one to 13.1%. The Liberals lead in both Ottawa and Toronto, with 44.3% and 44.1%, respectively. The Conservatives are second with 32.8% and 33.8%, respectively.

The Bloc is down eight points in Quebec to 35.7%. The Liberals are up three to 22.5% and the Conservatives are up nine to 21.1%. The NDP is up three points to 11.8%. The Bloc leads in Montreal with 40.9%, followed by the Liberals at 25.5%.

The NDP is ahead in British Columbia with 30.8%, unchanged from two weeks ago. The Conservatives are up one to 27% (very low, nevertheless) while the Liberals are up five to 26.5%. The Greens are down three to 15%. The race is tight in Vancouver, where the Conservatives have the edge 33.7% to the Liberals' 32.4% and the NDP's 28.3%.

The Conservatives lead in Atlantic Canada with 33.2%, up 14. Big jumps like that are always suspicious. The Liberals are down 11 to 32.5% while the NDP is up seven to 22.4%. Finally some life for Jack Layton on the coast.

In Alberta, the Conservatives are down six points to 52%. The Liberals have gained seven and are at 23.4%.

In the Prairies, the Tories are down nine points to 41.8%. The NDP is up eight to 24.4% (this isn't the first time we've seen an NDP jump in this region lately).

The Conservatives would win 59 seats in the West and North, 44 in Ontario, 11 in Atlantic Canada, and 10 in Quebec for a total of 124.

The Liberals would win 50 seats in Ontario, 18 in the West and North, 17 in Atlantic Canada, and 15 in Quebec for a total of 100.

The Bloc would win 48 seats in Quebec.

The NDP would win 18 seats in the West, 12 in Ontario, four in Atlantic Canada, and two in Quebec for a total of 36.

The juxtaposition of Conservative gains in Quebec and losses in the West is interesting in the context of the arena-funding debate. It could, of course, be just a statistical variance but it could be something more. That is a big jump for the Conservatives in Quebec, one that they haven't seen too much of recently. It looks even bigger when you consider that the Conservatives were at 15.8% in EKOS's first week of polling in September. That jump has mostly come in the last week, which is just when this topic was in the news. Coincidence?

Though the NDP would prefer to be over 18% nationally, the seat projection for them in this poll would not be unwelcome. At the cost of some seats in Ontario, the NDP would make gains in British Columbia and Quebec - perhaps better spots for this social democratic party than in northern Ontario.

While this poll doesn't have the doom-and-gloom of EKOS's last poll, it will not quiet the talk of a close race between the Liberals and the Conservatives. As I've said before, the race is on - but Stephen Harper still holds the advantage. He can build from this level of support to put some distance between himself and Michael Ignatieff. That is something he must do, as a reduced minority would be almost as bad as losing the election.


  1. Hmm. Ekos has the Liberals leading again in Ottawa!? Last At first it looked suspect, but that's at least three polls in a row. Interesting.

  2. The Harper slide is on!

    All the CPC seats in Quebec will go Bloc in the next election!

    Harper is sacrificing Quebec/Ontario seats to satisfy his western base!

    Well I guess we can put aside those three talking points for now.

    I'll be more interested to see what the polling looks like in the aftermath of the registry showdown.

  3. My hold-a-ruler-against-the-screen curve smoothing says that the race at the top is closer than the latest numbers show. I'd put the Tories around 31%, only 2% ahead of the Grits. The Liberal and NDP numbers seem about right. The Greens and Bloc are low and should be 12%ish and 10%ish respectively.

    It's been a while, so once again: these estimates apply to EKOS polls only. Bistromathematicians are requested to divorce their calculations from these adjustments.

    Two weeks ago I said that the apparent tie at the top wasn't real. Yet. These numbers confirm that, but the gap is narrow.

  4. Eric is there a way to strip away regions from the poll results?

    In this poll there was a 13 point swing in favour of the Liberals in Alberta .... no impact on seats

    There is a 5 point swing in Ontario in favour of the CPC. This may or may not be significant if the CPC picked up supporters in downtown Toronto it is meaningless in the seat count.

    I guess what I am saying is it would be worthwhile to eliminate guaranteed seats from the polls.

    CPC gets Alberta, Sask and Manitoba and the interior of BC.

    Liberal get down town Toronto and Montreal.

    The Bloc gets its 40 rural Quebec seats.

    If these sure fire areas were eliminated from the polling data the remaining data would be a much better indicator of the actual election results.

    I imagine that would be how the political parties would commission their focussed polls.

    No sense wasting money polling in downtown Toronto most of the West and the interior of Quebec.

  5. Being cast as the Heros of Hockey in Quebec, whether the arena gets built or not, was a good political move for the CPC in Quebec.

    The 9% bump in their Quebec support actual might result in seats.

    If a non-issue like being anti arts cost them seats then being on the side of angels in hockey is liable to get a majority.

    What a crappy way to run a country.

  6. In my last post I sort of missed my point.

    It is appearances that count for so much.... too much. The CPC and Liberals and Bloc do not have much of a different policy on hockey arenas in Quebec but the CPC has grabbed the position of being the folks that would really like to do it.

    The same way on the issue on Arts funding there is not a huge difference in what the parties actually deliver for Arts funding but the CPC got cast as the bad guys.

    In Quebec if there was a clear choice between lavish Arts funding and the Canadiens versus the Nordiques in a playoff round the Arts funding could be cut to the bare bones.

  7. Some people read an awful lot into the tea leaves of each individual poll. "Accurate within 3%, 19 times of out 20" is subtly transformed into "off by at most 3%, but dead on for our purposes". Sorry, it don't work that way.

    The edges of silliness may help put this into perspective. According to EKOS, two weeks ago every single under-25 in Saskitoba intended to vote Tory. Based on a sample of 2. Which has more predictive power than a coin flip. Just. Double-check the 19-out-of-20 range: 69.3%.

    Atlantic Canada was especially intruiging in that survey. In the same under-25 demographic, precisely 74.1% of the electorate were Green supporters. 18.0% were Tories and 8.0% swore allegiance to "Other". Which is an interesting combination from a sample space of 4. Yes, four. That's demographic adjustment in overdrive; was the raw data based on two Greens, a CPC and a CPC-ML?

    Small sample space results are clearly absurd. Larger sample space results are merely off by amounts significant in the close numbers we see today. Gloom and joy may be cathartic to the system, but that's pretty much the only reason to attach much significance to a single poll.

  8. Does that possibly mean we see the end of Baird??

    Really something to hope for, eh?

  9. I noted the downplaying of the results by the CBC.... That the 3.5 lead is just outside the margin of error of 2.3.

    .... the Tory slide is on....

    You seem to have made that distinction to, along with commentary about the "big jumps"....

    I am wondering if Shadow and I were right? Was it just summer polling that had them fall that far? (to be sure, they did fall some)

    But this poll shows that this last bit of polling is still all over the map.

    A 3 way race in BC with the NDP on top? or a 16 point tory lead as we saw in ipsos?

    The prairies see a big jump for one party every week ekos does the polling. the sample size week to week is just too small.

    This ekos on Ontario is much more reasonable with a small liberal lead, but we have seen both a 10 point tory lead (environics), and a 7 point liberal lead (nanos/ipsos) in the last 2 weeks.

    In Quebec the last 2 weeks we have seen the bloc as high as 41.. and as low as 35. the liberals at 33,... or 22. The tories at 11... or 21 the NDP at 10.. or ties with the tories at 16?

    And in atlantic Canada... 2 polls put the NDP at 14,... one at 30? Teh liberals are stady though most in teh high 30's, but the tories.... 45? or just 29?


    I think what we are seeing is the tail end of the summer of bogus polling (although ekos polling in the top line was stable against itself the last 2 weeks). And I expect the numbers to even out again to the middle of the months before.

    Tories 33-34
    Liberals 27-29
    NDP 15-17
    Bloc 38-39

  10. I find it hard to believe that the promise of money for an arena in Quebec City would be a major vote getter. Seriously, who picks who they vote for federally based off of promised money for an arena? I mean I've heard of people picking a party because of a single issue (abortion/gun registry) but a hockey arena?

  11. Eric, one small mistake in your write up - the NDP is UP three points in Quebec to 11.8 not DOWN three points as you say

  12. Barcs i'll buy that.

    Since I didn't believe EKOS was real last go around i'll say that this poll is probably more of a "correction" than Tory gains.

    Until parliament is in session, the registry fall out is dealt with, we won't really know how things will look until October.

    Around October we should get a pretty good idea whether anyone is going to force a november election.

  13. BCVoR,
    Not so sure I agree with you that hockey funding would be more popular than arts funding in Quebec. In Quebec, people actually watch movies and TV made locally (even on CBC) and listen to Quebec music (even if it's not on US pop charts). While arts funding is mainly for job protection in the Other Nine Provinces, in Quebec people actually consume subsidized art.

    Ask someone if they would be ok with cancelling their favourite TV show to pay for a building that may or may not house the Nordiques someday...

  14. I mean I've heard of people picking a party because of a single issue (abortion/gun registry) but a hockey arena?

    Or a 2% cut to arts funding or Financial support for Jewish schools.

    These minor issues surely can't be the reason we elect or don't elect a government...

    BUT it has been and likely will be.

  15. I disagree with Barcs on the summer polling numbers. In general the ruling party numbers should go up in summer when the HOC is not sitting and people are on vacation. This has been past tradition.

    I beleive the Libs are on a steady upward climb and only behind because they are not the party in power.

  16. BC Voice of Reason,

    You know what happens to snowflakes when they hit the I have to go any further???

    This Prime Minister needs a BUILT arena ASAP to merely hold on to what he has. Otherwise, he is screwed six ways from Sunday.

  17. Ron that's a bit rich considering you were telling us the Conservatives would lose all their Quebec city seats last week.

    Harper has been returning to Quebec after being absent for the summer (he vacationed there but that was private).

    He's also been very aggresively taking on the BQ lately, attacking them over every little thing like federal parks and the Habs.

    Now that he's back in the game let's wait a few weeks so the numbers can settle down.

    Then we'll know his prospects in the province.

  18. With the last few polls that I have seen which include Ekos, Environics and Ipsos Reid over the last 2 weeks I have to say they seem to build a pretty clear picture which is people are becoming upset with Harper and his style of governance and all of them show the Conservatives leading from about 3 points to about 4 points which is close to the margin of error.

    I am a progressive conservative or a red tory and I usually lean close to the Liberals more than the Conservatives since I want a government that is socially progressive and fiscally conservative at the federal level. Another thing that makes me lean to the liberal side is I believe they are more pragmatic, centrist and they want to cooperate with the other parties.

    The problem with the Conservatives now is the leadership being too harsh on the opposition. I also want a new federal party between the Liberals and the Conservatives in the future because there is room there for a third option. You can have an option that takes the best from the Liberals and the Conservatives but still cuts taxes and wants a strong social safety net and concentrates on being socially progressive and finding a good balance on the environment. Another thing I would like to add is there are liberals and conservatives who are socially conservative and you can have room for people like them since if I were going to design a party you need to include a broad coalition of people. This party would need to be mostly liberal conservative, red tory, blue liberal, social progressive, social conservative, conservative liberal, one nation conservative, neoliberal and communitarian. I know there is room for another party since in Great Britain their Conservative party finds the way to do just that and we can have one almost like it.

    As of now if I had to guess about seats I would say Harper would lose about 5 to 10 in Ontario, pretty much all in Quebec, keep his seats in the West, and lose a couple in British Columbia. As far as the Atlantic goes it seems the Conservatives may stay where they are.

    The Liberals will pick up about 20 to 25 seats from both the Conservatives and the NDP. Therefore, my prediction for a future parliament would look like this:

    Liberals - 104
    Conservatives - 125
    NDP - 26
    Bloc - 52
    Green - 0
    Independent - 1

    Thank you and I look forward to hearing some comments about what I wrote!

  19. I am a progressive conservative or a red tory

    OK Change that to Progressive Conservative and start re-energising that party.

    Quite bluntly the CPC is NOT the PC party. In fact it is almost a Tea Party by comparison to any other Canadian party.

    In fact it is actually very close to the extreme right of the Republican Party.

    As a result the majority of Canadians can't support it as shown by the 2/3rds that vote for something else.

    We deserve better !


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