Friday, January 7, 2011

December Averages

Time to look at December's polling. Seven national polls were released during this month (sameas last month), totaling about 11,460 interviews. Here are the results we get at the national level, with the difference from last month's average in brackets.

Conservatives - 35.3% (+2.0)
Liberals - 27.8% (-0.4)
New Democrats - 16.2% (-1.0)
Bloc Québécois - 10.2% (+0.6)
Greens - 8.8% (-0.8)
Others - 1.7% (-0.7)

The Tories made a big jump in December, gaining two points. It's the highest they've been since December 2009, when they were polling slightly over 36%. Perhaps the Tories get a December boost. The Liberals, on the other hand, have dropped 0.8 points over the last two months. The New Democrats have also dropped, while at 8.8% the Greens are at their worst since, coincidentally, December 2009.

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

Conservatives - 140 (+12)
Liberals - 90 (-3)
Bloc Québécois - 53 (unchanged)
New Democrats - 25 (-9)
Greens - 0 (unchanged)

A big jump for the Conservatives compared to November, coming mostly at the expense of the listless NDP. The Liberals aren't exactly barn-burners either, but seem to have been stuck in the 90 seat range for months.The regional results, with difference from last month in brackets:

BRITISH COLUMBIA (7 polls - about 1,140 people)

Conservatives - 39.6% (+7.8)
New Democrats - 23.6% (-4.1)
Liberals - 23.4% (-0.3)
Greens - 11.3% (-2.6)
Others - 2.1%

If you're looking for an explanation for the Conservative gain in December, look no further than in British Columbia. That's a massive increase in support. The NDP drop comes out of nowhere, as the party had been stable in November. The Greens should be worried, as they've dropped almost four points in two months in the crucial province. The Conservatives would win 22 seats (+6 from November), while the Liberals would win eight (-1) and the NDP six (-5).

ALBERTA (6 polls - about 840 people)

Conservatives - 54.4% (-3.7)
Liberals - 20.6% (+0.2)
Greens - 11.7% (+2.8)
New Democrats - 10.8% (+1.0)
Others - 2.5%

The gain in BC is slightly offside by the Conservative slip in Alberta. They still dominate the province, though. But it is remarkable that the Liberals have been holding at over 20%. The Greens, meanwhile, have gained more than what they've lost in the province from September to November, and are third in Alberta. Unchanged from November, the Conservatives would win 27 seats and the Liberals one.

SASKATCHEWAN & MANITOBA (7 polls - about 1,590 people)

Conservatives - 47.9% (+5.1)
Liberals - 23.4% (+1.1)
New Democrats - 21.2% (-2.5)
Greens - 6.2% (-3.2)
Others - 1.3%

The Conservatives rebound after a big drop in November, while the Liberals are up a little. The NDP has slipped back to third in the region while the Greens are back down. The Conservatives would win 21 seats (+1), the Liberals four (unchanged), and the NDP three (-1).

ONTARIO (7 polls - about 3,780 people)

Conservatives - 38.4% (+1.6)
Liberals - 33.4% (-1.1)
New Democrats - 16.7% (-0.2)
Greens - 9.9% (+0.1)
Others - 1.6%

Before anyone gets too excited about the Conservative gain, this just puts the party back to where they were in October. The Liberals have lost 1.1 points for the third consecutive month, which is a bit of bad news for them. The Conservatives would win 53 seats (+4), the Liberals would win 40 (-3), and the New Democrats 13 (-1).

QUEBEC (9 polls - about 4,870 people)

Bloc Québécois - 39.8% (+1.4)
Liberals - 20.9% (-1.7)
Conservatives - 17.7% (+1.3)
New Democrats - 14.0% (+0.7)
Greens - 5.9% (-1.6)
Others - 1.7%

This is the best Bloc result since July, while the Liberals have lost 3.2 points since September. The Conservatives are up for the second straight month, as is the NDP. The Bloc would win 53 seats (unchanged), the Liberals 14 (-1), the Conservatives seven (+1), and the NDP one (unchanged).

ATLANTIC CANADA (7 polls - about 880 people)

Liberals - 41.2% (+5.4)
Conservatives - 35.3% (+4.8)
New Democrats - 18.3% (-4.6)
Greens - 4.8% (-4.8)
Others - 0.4%

A big jump for the Conservatives, part of the two-ends-of-the-country jump I mentioned in The Hill Times last month. The Liberals are up even more in the region, the highest they've been since August. With gains like these, someone has to suffer. Both the NDP and the Greens are down almost five points. The Liberals would win 21 seats (+2), the Conservatives nine (unchanged), and the NDP two (-2).In terms of net gains and losses in the six regions, the New Democrats performed worst with a net loss of 9.7 points. Most came in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia, two regions the party has always counted on for seats. The gain in Quebec, however, is positive.

Next worst were the Greens, with a net loss of 9.3 points. They were stable in Ontario, however, which is one of the provinces they will focus on.

Middle-of-the-road goes to the Bloc, which had a net gain of 1.4 points.

Runner-up is the Liberal Party, with a net gain of 3.6 points. Most of that was in Atlantic Canada and the three Prairie provinces. Losses in Ontario and Quebec are far more worrisome.

And December's winner is the Conservative Party, with a massive net gain of 16.9 points. They jumped more than four points in Atlantic Canada, the Prairies, and British Columbia, and had modest gains in Quebec and Ontario. Dropping in Alberta is not really a big deal for the Tories.