Sunday, November 14, 2010

October Polling Averages

Time to look at October's polling. Eight national polls were released during this month (two fewer as last month), totaling about 13,230 interviews. Here are the results we get at the national level, with the difference from last month's average in brackets (margin of error +/- 0.9).

Conservatives - 33.7 (+0.3)
Liberals - 28.6 (-1.0)
New Democrats - 16.0 (+0.8)
Bloc Québécois - 9.8% (-0.2)
Greens - 9.5% (-0.7)
Others - 2.4% (+0.8)

At first glance, it seems that the Liberals have taken a step bakwards to the benefit of the NDP. But the Greens are also down and the Conservatives have made a modest gain, so it looks like a little bit of oscillation between the parties. As none of these movements are part of a trend, we're likely just shifting within the margin of error.

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

Conservatives - 130 (+1)
Liberals - 95 (-6)
Bloc Québécois - 54 (+2)
New Democrats - 29 (+3)
Greens - 0 (unchanged)

The Conservatives gain a seat, but that makes a gain of five seats over the last two months. The Bloc and NDP make a few gains, while the Liberals lose six seats. The regional results, with difference from last month in brackets:

BRITISH COLUMBIA (8 polls - about 1,460 people - MOE +/- 2.6)

Conservatives - 31.4% (-2.0)
New Democrats - 27.7% (+3.2)
Liberals - 23.1% (-2.8)
Greens - 15.1% (+0.7)
Others - 2.7%

The Conservatives have lost five points over the last two months, but are still holding the lead in the province. The NDP has made a big gain, while the Liberals lost some ground. And for the Greens, this marks a gain of 1.5 points over the last two months. The Conservatives would win 16 seats (-2 from last month) with these numbers, with the NDP taking 11 (+3) and the Liberals nine (-1).

ALBERTA (7 polls - about 1,190 people - MOE +/- 2.8)

Conservatives - 57.8 (-0.9)
Liberals - 18.8 (-1.5)
New Democrats - 11.2% (+1.7)
Greens - 9.2% (-0.5)
Others - 3.0%

Just a little movement back and forth, with the NDP making gains at the expense of the Liberals. The Greens, however, have now lost 2.1 points over the last two months. The Conservatives would win 27 seats (unchanged), while the Liberals would win one (unchanged).

PRAIRIES (7 polls - about 790 people - MOE +/- 3.5)

Conservatives - 46.6% (+0.1)
Liberals - 22.8% (+1.0)
New Democrats - 18.9% (-2.3)
Greens - 8.5% (-0.4)
Others - 3.2%

The Conservatives have held steady while the Liberals have made a good gain. The NDP dropped big in October, but that makes it a loss of 3.1 points since September. Unchanged from last month, the Conservatives would win 21 seats to the Liberals' four and the NDP's three.

ONTARIO (8 polls - about 4,860 people - MOE +/- 1.4)

Conservatives - 38.3 % (+1.8)
Liberals - 35.6% (-1.1)
New Democrats - 15.6% (+1.3)
Greens - 9.2% (-1.9)
Others - 1.3%

The Conservatives and Liberals swapped positions in Ontario, with the Tories now on a roll. They've gain 3.1 points in the last two months. The NDP is also up, with the Greens and Liberal both dropping over a point. The Conservatives would win 51 seats (+5), while the Liberals would win 44 (-4) and the New Democrats 11 (-1).

QUEBEC (9 polls - about 4,190 people - MOE +/- 1.5)

Bloc Québécois - 39.5% (+1.2)
Liberals - 23.4% (-0.7)
Conservatives - 14.5% (-2.3)
New Democrats - 11.5% (-0.6)
Greens - 8.5% (+1.0)
Others - 2.6%

After seeing a drop in support in both August and September, the Bloc is back with a gain. The Liberals are down a little, while the Conservatives are down even more. The Bloc would win 54 seats (+2), while the Liberals would win 15 (unchanged), the Conservatives five (+2), and the New Democrats one (unchanged).

ATLANTIC CANADA (8 polls - about 910 people - MOE +/- 3.3)

Liberals - 38.9% (-0.7)
Conservatives - 33.4% (+1.4)
New Democrats - 19.7% (+0.9)
Greens - 6.4% (-1.7)
Others - 1.6%

The Liberals slipped in October here (and have dropped three points in two months), but still lead. The Conservatives, on the other hand, have gained 6.1 points since September. The New Democrats are regaining some of the support they've lost over the last few months. The Liberals would win 20 (-1) seats. The Conservatives would win nine (unchanged) and the New Democrats three (+1).The worst performer this month, determined by net gain or loss in the six regions, is the Liberal Party. They suffered a net loss of 5.8 points, with important dips in support in Ontario, Alberta, and particularly British Columbia. The gain in the Prairies hardly makes up for it.

Next worst was the Green Party, with a net loss of 2.8 points. The party is heading in the right direction in British Columbia, but is dropping in Ontario.

Middle-of-the-pack is the Conservative Party, with a net loss of 1.9 points. They made good gains in Atlantic Canada and Ontario, but suffered bad losses in Quebec and British Columbia.

Runner-up is the Bloc Québécois, with a gain of 1.2 points in Quebec. The gap between them and the Liberals is now 16.1 points, widened by 1.9 points this past month.

And, finally, this month's winners are the New Democrats, with a net gain of 4.2 points. Gains in Alberta, Ontario, and British Columbia were of a good size, while modest growth in Atlantic Canada is a piece of good news. The only problem area this month for the NDP seems to have been in the Prairies, while a step backwards in Quebec is a negative sign.


  1. Éric,

    NDP momentum. I wonder what could account for that. Let's see, perhaps they are the one party now perceived as having moved closer to the center.

    Of course, they could blow all of that in a nanosecond. All they have to do is endorse the Afghan mission extension!

  2. Ronald,

    What? If "moving towards the center" counted as the reason for NDP momentum, we should have seen them in power back in 2000. They've essentially been a centrist party since Broadbent.

    The NDP have no momentum, they have bounce back.

  3. Volkov,

    Well, I guess in the final analysis, that will always be in the eyes of the beholder -- but speaking personally, I tend to bend to the logic of your argument.

    Where are you Volkov on the possible effects on the LIBERAL bounce back from a fifteen point gap if the party endorses the Conservative position on the Afghan so-called "training" extension.

    For my part, I'm right there in agreement with what General Rick Hiller said.

  4. Ronald,

    The party has already more or less "endorsed it," and frankly, I have a feeling it won't affect either party very much. As much as I abhor the idea of not having a debate, overall this was a smart move on both the Conservative's and the Liberal's parts, because it puts the issue on the backburner and the NDP/Bloc coalition on the issue can't try and roast the two parties for their positions on it. Watch what will happen - nothing.

    But, not sure what you mean by 15-point gap and etc. What 15-point gap?

  5. Volkov I think there will have to be a debate, either the government will schedule it, the speaker will grant an emergency debate, or the NDP/BQ will use an opposition day motion on the Afghan issue.

    Bob Rae seemed to think a debate would have to happen on Question Period today, although he was against having a vote.

    Liberals really don't want to take a vote on this because it will likely split their party and endanger the Quebec caucus.

    Does this have the potential to bleed Liberal support to the NDP and BQ ?

    Journalist panel on Question Period today certainly thought so.

    Then again, its the right thing to do.

    The de facto Liberal leader Bob Rae has the appreciation of a lot of Conservatives today !

  6. I fail to see how the Afghan training issue will hurt the Liberals. Rae and Ignatieff having been calling for a training mission since June.

  7. All,

    Let's get down to brass tacks. IF Liberals proceed with supporting an extension without allowing their MPs to express themselves on a recorded vote -- that's it, ladies and gentlemen: not only no Liberal gains in Quebec but Liberal LOSES. It's that simple. The vote is a safety valve for Quebec MPs. If they can't let off steam in the House of Commons, the voters will do so instead and it won't be pretty for the Liberals.

  8. Morakon,

    "I fail to see how the Afghan training issue will hurt the Liberals. Rae and Ignatieff having been calling for a training mission since June."

    Yes, but exactly what kind of training? Hillier is on the record that army training CAN'T be done behind the safety of the wire. The mentors (Canadian troops) have to go out in the field with the Afghans in a combat situation.

    I said a while back that I could live with police training. I presume that can be done in secured police stations. But again, I will never, positively never, support training the Afghan army.

  9. Ronald,

    "Yes, but exactly what kind of training? "

    I think that is the big question. I think the Liberals have said they support a training mission but they need specifics before they support government on it.


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