Monday, January 17, 2011

Polls show Sisyphean task ahead for Harper and Ignatieff

With election rumours swirling, the war of words has yet to have a profound impact on the voting intentions of Canadians. Though their rhetoric is heating up, neither Stephen Harper nor Michael Ignatieff appear capable of making any significant gains against each other.

The rest of the article can be read on The Globe and Mail website.

I suggest you check it out if you aren't interested in just the numbers in this projection update, which I will describe here.Nationally, the Conservatives have gained 0.6 points and lead with 35.4%. The Liberals are down 0.2 points to 29% while the New Democrats are down 0.1 points to 15.7%. The Bloc Québécois is up 0.1 points to 10.3% nationally, and the Greens are down 0.5 points to 8.2%.

In terms of total seats, the Conservatives are down one to 135, the Liberals are up two to 98, the NDP is down one to 23, and the Bloc is steady at 52 seats.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives are up 2.2 points to 39.2% and have gained one seat. The NDP is down 0.7 points to 24.2% and have lost one seat. The Liberals are down 0.9 points to 22.9%, while the Greens are down 0.6 points to 11.3%. The Conservatives are projected to win 22 seats, the Liberals eight, and the NDP six.

In Alberta, the Conservatives are up 4.1 points to 60.7%. The Liberals are down 3.2 points to 18%, the NDP is down 0.5 points to 10.1%, and the Greens are down 0.4 points to 8.7%. The Conservatives are projected to win 27 seats and the Liberals one, unchanged from the December 20th projection.

In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Conservatives are down 2.3 points to 44.7% while the Liberals are up 0.8 points to 24%. The NDP is also up, 1.5 points to 22.4%. The Greens are steady at 7.2%. The Conservatives are projected to win 20 seats (-1), the Liberals five (unchanged), and the NDP three (+1).

In Ontario, both the Conservatives and Liberals have gained 0.3 points and now stand at 38.3% and 36%, respectively. The NDP is down 0.4 points to 15.3% and the Greens are down 0.2 points to 9.3%. The Conservatives are projected to win 50 seats (unchanged), while the Liberals would win 45 (+1) and the NDP 11 (-1).

The Bloc Québécois has gained 0.9 points in Quebec and leads with 40.2%. The Liberals are down 0.3 points to 22.4% while the Conservatives are up 0.5 points to 17.7%. The NDP is down 0.8 points to 12.4%, and the Greens are down 0.4 points to 6.1%. Unchanged from the last projection, the Bloc would win 52 seats, the Liberals 15, the Conservatives seven, and the NDP one.

Finally, in Atlantic Canada the Liberals are up 0.5 points to 41.4%. The Conservatives are down 1.7 points to 31.8%, and the NDP is unchanged at 18.6%. The Greens have dropped 0.9 points to 5.1%. The Liberals would win 22 seats (+1), the Conservatives eight (-1), and the NDP two (unchanged).

In terms of net gains and losses in the six regions, the Liberals come out on the bottom with a drop of 2.8 points. But most of that was in Alberta, and the party did gain two seats overall, thanks to better performances in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

The Greens were second worst, with a net loss of 2.5 points.

Middle-of-the-road honours goes to the NDP, with a net loss of 0.9 points. Their only gain was in the Prairies, which isn't a vital region for them.

Second place goes to the Bloc, with a gain of 0.9 points in Quebec.

This projection's winner is the Conservative Party, with a net gin of 3.1 points. But most of that was in British Columbia and Alberta and the party did lose one seat overall.


  1. Éric,

    Further to my comment the other day, what are the regional margins of error for the monthly running average? I suppose I could work it out from the benchmark you gave per 1000 respondants, given a list of all the polls and the weights you assign, but it's probably a lot easier for you. ;-)

    Also, when you do these running averages, do you correct for your measured "house effects"? I.e. is there any different bias from month to month due to the mix of pollsters who happened to have released polls during the month? Or is there always a similar enough mixture that it's always a small correction?

    I wonder how influential your site is in the calculations of the parties about whether to force/call an election. :-)=

  2. jbailin,

    As my projection is not a poll, it does not have a statistical margin of error. I should point out that it isn't a running MONTHLY average, but a running projection that goes back several months.

    There is usually a similar mixture of pollsters in my monthly averages, so I think it cancels out any house effects.

    For the monthly averages, I present them merely as an average of what the pollsters are saying.

    My official projection, the one at the top of the page, is more about what my calculations show to be the current situation. While the data provided by pollsters is the main component, there are other factors taken into account as well.

  3. CPC up by 8:

  4. The average of the 7 polls taken in August 2008:

    CPC 34.4 Lib 31.4 NDP 15.7 Blo 8 Green 9.7

    Election was called Sept 7.

    Harper rolled the boulder up from that point to only 12 seats from majority.

    This time he will be starting well up the hill from the point he started in the last election.

  5. BC Said: "This time he will be starting well up the hill from the point he started in the last election."

    Yes, but the question isn't where he's starting on the hill, but whether or not he's already at the top.


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