Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Democrats and PCs tied in Manitoba, advantage NDP

A new poll by Probe Research shows that the governing New Democrats in Manitoba have closed the gap on their Progressive Conservative rivals in the province, and could squeeze another majority mandate out of the numbers.

Compared to Probe's last poll conducted in March, just before the start of the federal election campaign, the Progressive Conservatives have dropped three points and now stand at 44%, tied with the New Democrats.

Premier Greg Selinger's party has gained nine points since then, much of it on the backs of the provincial Liberals who have sunk five points to only 9% support.

Selinger's handling of the flooding in the province and perhaps even the acquisition of the Atlanta Thrashers, now the Winnipeg Jets, may have played a role in his change of fortunes. The success of the federal NDP is undoubtedly another probable factor.

The New Democrats have made big gains both in the capital and in the rest of Manitoba.

In Winnipeg, the New Democrats are up eight points and lead with 50%, well ahead of the Progressive Conservatives, who are unchanged at 37%. The Liberals are down five points to 11% in the province's main city.

Outside of it, the Progressive Conservatives still lead but have dropped seven points to 55%. The NDP is up 12 points to 36%, while the Liberals are down six points to 5%.

It is a very good poll for the NDP and a very disastrous one for the Liberals. They have lost roughly one-third of their support since March, and most of it to the New Democrats.

But the PCs still do have an ace up their sleeve. Of their voters, 68% are "very certain" in their choice. That is up eight points since March and well ahead of the New Democrats, 52% of whose voters are certain to vote for them. It is even worse for the Liberals. Only 26% of their voters are certain in their choice.

If that kind of turnout occurred on election day, this 44-44-9 split would be transformed into a PC victory with 54% of the vote, with the New Democrats at 41% and the Liberals at 4%.

But with the results of the voting intentions poll only, ThreeHundredEight projects a slim New Democratic majority government of 30 seats. The Progressive Conservatives form the Official Opposition with 26 seats, while the Liberals retain one seat.

That's a drop of six seats for the NDP compared to their current standing and a gain of seven for the PCs, but compared to the projection done for the last Probe poll this is an increase of eight seats for the NDP and a loss of eight for the PCs.

Manitoba is setting up to be the most closely contested of the five provincial elections scheduled for the fall. Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan should see landslides by their respective incumbent governments. The Liberals are behind the eight ball in Ontario, though the outcome is still up in the air, but in Manitoba it is looking like anyone's game. How Selinger handles his party in his first campaign as leader could be a major factor in deciding whether he gets to win a mandate for himself or not.


  1. Eric, your link at the top of the posting is to the Probe poll from March - NOT to the one that was just released.

    I think you are are confusing certainty of choice with certainty of casting a ballot. The question was about how certain people that they will stick with their choice. I think you are interpreting it as if it was "how certain are you that you will go to the polls and vote?". The Conservatives will always have the most most people who are certain to vote for them because they have no competition on the right. If you are a rightwing person in Manitoba of course you will vote Conservative since there are no other rightwing parties to choose from. If you are left of centre and you currently plan to vote NDP - you might in the back of your mind hold open the possibility that you might cast a protest vote for another left of centre or speudo left of centre party like the Manitoba Liberals or the Greens.

  2. That intensity rating is clear !

    The polls showed it for Harper. CPC was more engaged than LPC.

    In the end there was a big turnout bonus. Frank Graves pointed to this intensity gap as the reason his polling was so horribly off in the last election.

    If that holds then its a big PC sweep.

  3. DL,

    Thanks, link corrected. Wasn't confused with the question on certainty, just took it to a different level.

  4. Actually anon, I think DL is closer to the truth of this than you this time. If you're a rightwinger, you really only have one choice in this upcoming election -- PC. The reason the NDP certain percentage is lower is likely because many planning to likely vote for that party are Liberals voting strategically to keep the PCs from winning. Ironically, in this case, a strong PC showing is likely going to help the NDP win the next election.
    I don't think what happened in the federal election has anything to do with how things are shaping up in Manitoba.
    By the way Eric, any word on anyone planning a poll for Saskatchewan? The last one I heard of was done in November, that's a bit long in the tooth now.

  5. No word of anything for Saskatchewan. I'm sure there will be some during the campaign, at the very least.

  6. pinkobme weren't you predicting Harper would never get his majority on this blog before the last election ?

  7. Hey anon: Yeah I did predict the CPC would win a reduced minority, the Libs would gain 15 or 20, the NDP drop somewhat and the Bloc stay as they were. I've already eaten my share of crow over that. But hey, that's not going to stop me from trying for a second helping. Besides I forgot what a bunch of masochists Canadians, and particularily, Ontarioans are.
    Maybe if I keep trying, one day I'll be as good at this prediction game as you.
    Or maybe I should just predict the CPC will win in every jurisdiction. That'll snake-bite them for sure.
    Happy post-Canada day.

  8. Hmm based on this poll the NDP pull even with the PCs and have a decent lead in Winnipeg, 50-37, though that lead is about 8-10 points below last time. That still wouldnt change more than 2-3 seats to the PCs and the NDP would probably win the Liberals Inkster seat to offset that a bit, probably making it 23-7-1 NDP-PC-LIB in Winnipeg AT WORST for the NDP and they would have a chance at taking up to 26. They would just need 6 other seats out of the 11 they have in the rest of Manitoba (26 seats outside Winnipeg) and with the margin 55-36 in the rest of Manitoba (~50-41 last time for the PCs) for the PCs the NDP should be able to hold at least 9 of the 11 giving them a solid 33 seat majority, and even if the PCs get a ballot box bonus of 3% they likely wouldnt win more than 24-25 seats.


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