Friday, January 28, 2011

Little change in EKOS poll, 52% want an election in 2011

Typos in graphics corrected. Liberals at 27.9% nationally, not 29.9%, and this would give 94 seats, not 92. My apologies.

A new poll from EKOS shows that little has changed in the last two weeks.Compared to EKOS's last poll, the Conservatives have picked up 0.9 points and now lead with 35.4%. The Liberals are also up: 0.6 points to 27.9%. For those keeping score, that's an increase of the Tory lead by a tiny 0.3 points.

The New Democrats, however, are stable at 14.8%, well below where they need to be.

The Bloc Québécois is at 9.7%, while the Greens are down 0.5 points to 9.8%.

Note: Check out the EKOS PDF as they have a very neat breakdown of the differing results of various polling methods.

In Ontario, the Conservatives are up a point to 37.5%, while the Liberals are down one to 34.3%. The NDP is up one to 15.1%, while the Greens are stable at 10.5%. The Liberals are leading in Toronto with 38.2% to the Conservatives' 37.4%, but the Tories are up in Ottawa with 47.3% to the Liberals' 32.4%.

The Bloc is down one point in Quebec but still leads with 38.8%. The Liberals are up one to 22.4%, the Conservatives are down one to 18%, and the New Democrats have gained a point and are in fourth with 11.4%. The Bloc leads in Montreal with 41%, while the Liberals trail with 22.7%.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives are holding steady with 37.8% support, while the Liberals have picked up three points and are in second with 23.5%. The New Democrats have dropped four points to 18.9%, a result that is more likely than not on the low side. The Greens are at the opposite end, with a three point gain to 16.7%. The Conservatives are dominating in the Vancouver area, with 49.2%. The Liberals are running second with 17.9%.

Both the Liberals and Tories are up in Atlantic Canada, with 36% for the former (+4) and 34.4% for the latter (+2). That gain has come from the NDP, which is down six points to 19.8%.

Little movement in Alberta, where the Conservatives are leading with 59%. The Liberals are still doing alright with 20.3% support. In Calgary, the Conservatives lead the Liberals by 55.7% to 26.5%.

Finally, in the Prairies things have reset themselves after the unusually close race of two weeks ago. The Conservatives are up 10 points to 48.1%, the Liberals are down nine points to 23.4%, and the NDP is up four points to 19.7%. That's more what you'd expect to see.

With the results of this poll, I would project the Conservatives to win 23 seats in British Columbia, 27 in Alberta, 21 in the Prairies, 51 in Ontario, seven in Quebec, and 10 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 140. That is a gain of four seats from my projection for EKOS' last poll, with the gains coming primarily in the Prairies and Ontario.

The Liberals would win 10 seats in British Columbia, one in Alberta, five in the Prairies, 42 in Ontario, 15 in Quebec, and 19 in Atlantic Canada for a total of 94, one more than last time.

The Bloc Québécois would win 52 seats in Quebec, unchanged from two weeks ago.

The New Democrats would win three seats in British Columbia, none in Alberta, two in the Prairies, 13 in Ontario, one in Quebec, and three in Atlantic Canada for a total of 22. That's down five from last time, in large part due to the sorry result in BC.

Generally speaking, this poll is very similar to my current projection.

But it had other interesting tidbits, too. Forty percent of Canadians would prefer that the next government be Conservative (28% said a majority, 12% a minority), while 37% said they wanted it to be Liberal (17% minority and 20% majority). That is surprisingly close, as is the poll on a Conservative government vs. a coalition government: 41% would choose the Tories (likely the party's ceiling in general), 39% would choose the coalition. One worrying note for the coalition, however, would be that they've narrowly lost Ontario to the Conservatives. Only Quebec and Atlantic Canada have a plurality who would prefer a coalition government.

A little less than one-third of Canadians (30%) want the election to take place soon, while fully 52% want it to take place sometime in 2011, despite 41% believing it will end up with another Conservative minority. But of all party supporters, only a majority of those who vote Conservative want the next election to take place in 2012.

So, more fuel for the election fire. Conservatives doing well enough, Liberals still in it, Bloc still up, NDP still at risk. One wonders if the speculation will continue for the next two months, which is when the budget is rumoured to be introduced. I'm not sure if that kind of rampant speculation can be sustained for eight weeks!