Monday, November 15, 2010

NDP growth in Quebec in new Léger poll, but it's mostly useless

A new poll by Léger Marketing on the federal voting intentions of Quebecers bodes well for the New Democrats on first glance, but in actuality their growth in support will do them few favours in seat wins.Compared to Léger's last poll taken between October 12 and October 14, the Bloc Québécois has lost only two points, and still holds the lead with 36%.

The three main federalist parties, however, are all gummed up around 20%, with the Liberals edging out the other two with 22% to the NDP's 21% and the Conservatives' 18%. That represents a two point gain for the Liberals, a two point loss for the Tories, and a four point gain for the New Democrats.

At 21%, the NDP is flying high. But what's the cause of it?

The NDP has made big gains amongst non-francophones, which has also boosted them in and around Montreal. The party now has the support of 22% of non-francophones, up 14 points, and 25% of Montrealers, up eight points.

But since that big gain seems to be primarily from anglophones and allophones, there is little hope for New Democratic seat gains. If the party runs at 22% on the West Island, it will not allow them to steal any seats away from the Liberals.

The Bloc still leads among francophones with 43%, down one point. The NDP is running second with 20%, a gain of one point, while the Liberals are steady at 18% and the Conservatives are up one to 15%.

Among non-francophones, the Liberals still retain the lead with 38%, but that is a drop of 11 points. The Conservatives are running second with 30%, up six, but like the NDP it will do them little good.

The races are tight in the two main cities of the province, with the Bloc tied at 27% with the Liberals in Montreal and with the Conservatives in Quebec City. The Bloc has dropped nine points in Montreal, while the NDP is up eight. The Conservatives and Liberals have each picked up two.

In Quebec City, both the Bloc and Tories have dropped two points. The Liberals have taken advantage, and are up four points to 20%.

Finally, in the rest of Quebec the Bloc is dominant, with 51% (up 10). While the results in Montreal and Quebec City might make a few Bloc MPs nervous, those outside of the two cities seem to be very safe. The Liberals are at 23% in this region (down one), while the Conservatives are down five to 10%. This can't help but make us wonder whether those Tories in the Saguenay and Bas-St-Laurent aren't at risk.

With these results, and with the federalist parties cannibalizing each other at such an alarming rate, the Bloc would win 51 seats. That is one more than Léger's last poll, and four more than the party's current standing in the House.

The Liberals would win 15 seats, up one from October, while the Tories would win seven (down two). The NDP would win two seats.

One thing that sets Léger's polls apart from the others is that the NDP does so well. The larger samples in Léger's polls would seem to argue that the NDP is closer to 20% than they are to the 10% or so other pollsters give them. But that is a huge disparity between the two. We should not discount Léger's findings, however, as during the 2008 election campaign they had the NDP at between 9% and 12%, exactly where the party ended up on voting day.

12 comments:

  1. I think that if NDP support in Quebec actually did almost double from 12% to 21% it is a virtual certainty that other seats would come into play - esp. seats that resemble Outremont and Gatineau in terms of having a good mix of francophones and allophones and where is clearly somewhat of an NDP base. Examples of this would be Hull-Aylmer, Westmount-Ville Marie, Pontiac, Jeanne LeBer and various others. Of course what is really extraordinary is that the NDP manages to get up to 21% despite the BQ being at 36% - which is almost what they got in the last election and "there's gold them there hills" - with the news that the BQ has now formed a coalition with the Tories to keep them in power for another two years and with the likelihood that Duceppe may quit before the next federal election - how much higher can the NDP go if the BQ starts to fall below the 30%?

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  2. I read the same thing about the Cons and Bloc. Should be interesting to see if it's true.

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  3. Platform-wise, the NDP have a lot in common with the BQ. Being federalist does the NDP no favours in Québec really, since the Liberals are 'the party of federalism'. I think if they can find a constitution-neutral position within Québec, there is a possibility it could really play out well for them - for example, they are pro-Bill 101, aren't they? Layton personally has huge levels of support in the province, and though he's rather famously Mr. Toronto, he is originally from Montréal, so he has a better chance of presenting himself as 'one of us' than Harper, Ignatieff or May.

    There really is a lot of room for growth for the NDP in Québec, though especially in a province with no real history of love for the NDP, the cold-feet factor on election day could be huge.

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  4. BTW: Eric, contrary to what you say - I think that IF in fact the NDP surge in Quebec is being led by a major increase in support from non-francophones - it actually HELPs the NDP win more seats - since right now all of the NDP target seats in Quebec have very sizable non-francophone populations - like Outremont, Gatineau, Hull-Aylmer, Pontiac, Westmount-Ville Marie and Jeanne Leber - so this is actually very good news.

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  5. I call shenanigans. Leger has always struck me as the odd one out, and 21% in QC is no exception to this. It's hard to see even where this growth comes from, when every other poll shows low teens and static movement. And this is a 4-point bump since their last poll, isn't it?

    I can certainly see the NDP coming upon 15%, but this is just weird. Even DL has to admit that.

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  6. Volkov it is simple to see where this comes from. In Canada Quebec has always been hugely anti war. It does not matter which war. With the Cons and Libs being the war parties we are seeing a rejection of those policies. End of story.

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  7. Not too surprising to me. Quebec has been the province that the NDP has made significant gains, popular-vote wise, ever since Jack Layton took over the party.

    I think that if these numbers hold, the NDP will be competitive in more than two seats, and will win in more than two seats... however the gains will be limited. If these numbers do hold up though, the Bloc might bleed support to the NDP... as voters that were previously iffy about the electoral outcomes of the NDP make the leap.

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  8. Just as a quick note, in the election previous to Jack Layton being leader of the NDP, the NDP only had 1.8% of the vote in Quebec. Consistent gains after each election have been the norm.

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  9. Robert,

    This poll = done before this Afghan thing came along.

    Also, Liberals + Conservatives = more than NDP.

    Also, Bloc = more anti-war than NDP.

    Math is fun.

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  10. "Leger has always struck me as the odd one out, and 21% in QC is no exception to this."

    Actually Leger is not the "odd one out" at all. The latest CROP poll had the NDP at 18%. Notice that polls by Quebec-based polling companies with sample sizes of 1,000 have the NDP doing very well in Quebec - unlike rinky-dink sub-samples in Canada-wide polls by Toronto based polling companies that don't know anything about Quebec. Poll after poll shows that Layton is wildly popular in Quebec while Quebecers are nauseated by harper and indifferent to Igantieff - so it makes sense that tnhis would start to have an impact on vote intention. These numbers must be a real blow to Martin Cauchon in Outremont - he might as well kneel before an open grave and wait to get a shot fired into the back of his head.

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  11. Actually, executions following electoral losses fell out of fashion by the 1930s.

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  12. "Bloc = more anti-war than NDP."

    Not true - the BQ has actually been quite supportive of the war in Afghanistan and has never staked out as much of an anti-war position as the NDP has. When the NDP put forth a motion to withdraw canadian troops right away - the BQ voted NO to it. They are a pro-war party.

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